Underwatered Peace Lily: 6 Key Signs & Recovery Tips

The most common signs of an underwatered Peace Lily are wilting, crispy leaves, and slow overall growth. Depending on the severity of the underwatering, you may need to repot the plant entirely or water the soil thoroughly.

Keep reading to learn the six most common signs of underwatered Peace Lilies, tips for preventing underwatering, and how to revive your plant if it is underwatered.

Is It Common For Peace Lilies To Be Underwatered?

You might be surprised to learn that underwatering is actually less common than overwatering for Peace Lilies.

This is mainly because Peace Lilies are extremely dramatic and will start to wilt at the first stages of underwatering. Many people – myself included – tend to overwater Peace Lilies at first to stop this from happening.

Once you get used to your Peace Lily, you’ll realize that it’s better to water based on the soil’s moisture rather than the leaves’ movement.

Luckily for you, if your Peace Lily is underwatered, this is much easier to fix than overwatering.

This is because overwatering can lead to root rot, which requires pruning the roots and hoping that you can fix it fast enough before the decay spreads to other parts of the plant.

Symptoms of an Underwatered Peace Lily

Here are some common symptoms of an underwatered Peace Lily, along with explanations for why each one happens and what it means in terms of the severity of the underwatering.

1. Soil Pulling Away From Pot

When you notice the soil in your Peace Lily’s pot is pulling away from the sides, this is a clear sign that the plant is not receiving enough water.

The soil will shrink as it dries out, creating gaps between the soil and the pot. If the soil is starting to crack at the surface, this is a sign that your Peace Lily has been overwatered for a long time.

2. Wilting Leaves

Wilting leaves are a common issue for Peace Lilies suffering from underwatering.

Peace Lilies leaves are incredibly sensitive, and if they don’t have enough water to increase the turgor pressure in the leaves, they will wilt quickly.

3. Brown Leaf Tips

Another telltale sign of an underwatered Peace Lily is browning at the leaf tips. If the leaves lack moisture, they will start to dry out, and this usually happens from the tips first.

A brown tip of a peace lily plant
A brown tip on my Peace Lily plant

This process speeds up if the humidity is low or there is lots of air circulation around the plant.

As you can see from the image above, this is a problem that I have dealt with, although low humidity is the cause in my case.

4. Brown And Crispy Leaves

Eventually, the leaves will turn brown and crispy all over due to moisture loss.

These leaves cannot be saved, and if several leaves are showing these signs, you need to act quickly to protect your plant.

5. Slow Overall Growth

If your Peace Lily is not growing at a healthy pace, it could be because it’s not getting enough water.

Underwatered plants may struggle to produce new growth because they lack the necessary hydration to support their development.

Hydration is absolutely crucial for plant growth – not only does the moisture contribute to photosynthesis, but it also transports essential nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus to the leaves.

6. Lack Of Blooming

A lack of blooming is another sign that your Peace Lily may be underwatered.

The plant needs a steady supply of water to produce flowers, so if the soil is consistently dry, the plant may be unable to produce blooms.

Tips For Watering Peace Lilies To Avoid Underwatering

Here are some easy tips for watering your Peace Lily to prevent underwatering.


One effective method for watering your peace lily is soaking the pot in a water basin.

Fill a container with a few inches of water and place your Peace Lily’s pot inside, letting it sit for at least 10 minutes. Once the soil is moist, remove the pot and let the plant drain before returning it to its drainage saucer.

This is especially useful if the soil is underwatered, as it allows time for it to absorb moisture.

Always check for any standing water in the dish and remove it to prevent overwatering.

Flushing With Water

Like soaking, you can also flush the soil from the top with water until it comes out of the drainage holes.

This is a great way to water the soil thoroughly, and it’s also helpful because you can tell if the soil is draining too quickly or not (more on this later).

Check The Soil Regularly

To prevent underwatering, it’s essential to monitor the soil moisture regularly.

Several green peace lily leaves

If the top inch of the soil is dry, it’s time to water your Peace Lily.

Watering Frequency

The frequency at which you water your Peace Lily will vary depending on your living conditions and what season it is.

I have to water my Peace Lily twice as much during the summer as in the winter, for example.

If you live in a warm climate, you’ll find that your Peace Lily drinks a lot more water, so you’ll need to check the soil regularly.

It shouldn’t take too long to get used to this, but if you move house or change the position of your Peace Lily, you may find that the watering schedule changes.

How To Revive An Underwatered Peace Lily

If your Peace Lily is underwatered, don’t worry; there is a good chance that the plant will return to health if you follow the steps below.

Check The Soil

Your first step in reviving an underwatered peace lily is to check the soil to ensure that underwatering is the problem – you’ll be surprised how easy it is to confuse similar symptoms.

It is underwatered if the soil is dry all the way through and pulling away from the sides.

Other symptoms like brown and crispy leaves can help to confirm this.

Prune Damaged Leaves

Next, examine your Peace Lily for any damaged leaves.

Remember that these will be brown and crispy in the case of underwatering, and it is best to remove them to let the plant focus its energy on new growth and existing healthy leaves.

Use sterilized pruning tools to prevent disease and cut back at the base.

For Minor Cases

If the top few inches of soil are dry, but the soil underneath seems moist, then all you need to do is water the soil properly using flushing or soaking, and your Peace Lily should bounce back to health quickly.

In more severe cases, repotting will be necessary.

Repot If Necessary

If the underwatered Peace Lily seems too tightly packed in its current container or the soil appears too compacted, it might be necessary to repot the plant.

Remember the flushing technique from before?

Place your Peace Lily into a sink or container and water generously – if the water flows straight through quickly and out of the bottom, it is severely underwatered (or has too much drainage), and a new soil mix should be used.

Choose a slightly larger pot with drainage holes and use a fresh potting mix. Peace Lilies like soil that drains well, and a mix of standard houseplant potting mix, sand, and perlite/bark works well for this.

Gently remove the Peace Lily from its current pot and place it in the new pot. Fill in the remaining space with the new potting mix, making sure the plant is secure.

After repotting, water the soil generously and place it back into position.

In Summary

Underwatering is quite a rare issue for Peace Lilies, as most people tend to overwater them, if anything.

Luckily underwatering is a lot easier to deal with, and if you follow the tips in this article, your Peace Lily should bounce back to total health in a matter of days.

Don’t be afraid to repot your plant if the soil is dry all the way through, Peace Lilies can adapt to new soil quickly, and it may shock you how quickly they can recover.

Photo of author

About Me

Hi, I'm Joe! I'm the head of SEO and content management at Bloom and Bumble. I'm a huge plant lover and over the years my home has become more like an indoor rainforest. It has taken a lot of trial and error to keep my plants healthy and so I'm here to share my knowledge to the rest of the world.

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