When your Peace Lily appears undersized, it can be disheartening. If the leaves seem small, and the stems aren’t reaching their full potential, you might be wondering what’s amiss. Why isn’t your Peace Lily growing to its full size, and how can you promote its growth?
The primary reason for a stunted Peace Lily is inadequate sunlight. Ensure it receives a minimum of 6 hours daily of bright, indirect light. Other factors contributing to a stunted Peace Lily could include irregular watering, either too little or too much, insufficient fertilization, or restricted space in its pot.
When you aim to boost your Peace Lily’s growth, make changes gradually, addressing one factor at a time. Your plant won’t wither away from being too small, but rapid, drastic changes in its environment could be detrimental. Often, a minor adjustment is all it takes to encourage robust growth.
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Peace Lily Not Growing
When you observe that your Peace Lily isn’t displaying signs of growth, it’s essential to conduct a thorough assessment of your plant and its environment. Take the time to carefully inspect the plant for any issues and evaluate its growing conditions.
Not Enough Light
It’s possible to sustain a Peace Lily with artificial light, but there’s a notable distinction between mere survival and flourishing. Spathiphyllum plants thrive when they receive bright, indirect light throughout the daylight hours. This entails the kind of light found a few feet away from a well-lit window.
If your Peace Lily seems to be struggling with its growth, consider relocating it to a spot with more sunlight. East-facing windows are often a good choice, as they receive the brightest light when the day is cooler, reducing the risk of sunburn.
Rooms with south or west exposure can also be suitable, provided your Peace Lily is positioned 4-6 feet away from the nearest window. You can move it closer to the light source if you use sheer curtains to diffuse the intensity of the light. If you want to know how much light peace lilies need then check out my recent article Peace Lily Light Requirements ( Less Is More! ).
Too Hot Or Too Cold
Extreme temperatures or drafts can cause significant stress to your plant, hindering its ability to produce new flowers or leaves. Ensure that you position your plant in a spot where it is shielded from drafts and temperature extremes.
Not Enough Water
Peace Lilies thrive when they have a consistent source of moisture. They grow best when the soil around their roots remains consistently damp, similar to the feeling of a slightly moist bath towel. Allowing your Peace Lily’s potting soil to dry out excessively between waterings can stress the plant, impeding its growth potential. Think of it like trying to drive a car by constantly shifting between Reverse and Drive – you won’t get very far.
To ensure your Peace Lily is adequately hydrated, don’t wait until its leaves start drooping. Instead, check the soil with your finger approximately every 3 days. When the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch, it’s time for a thorough watering that saturates the entire root ball. If done correctly, you should observe water draining from the bottom of the pot. If you want to use grow lights for your peace lilies then check out my recent article Peace Lily Grow Light ( LED & Grow Lights ).
Soil that remains constantly saturated is even more detrimental than soil that dries out excessively. An overly wet environment deprives your Peace Lily’s roots of essential oxygen and creates a breeding ground for excessive microbial growth, potentially leading to root rot.
If you observe your Peace Lily’s growth slowing down, it’s crucial to assess the soil condition. Ensure you are allowing the top layer of soil to dry out between waterings, as previously recommended. If it takes longer than about 5 days for the upper soil layer to dry, it could indicate that the soil retains too much moisture, posing a risk to your plant’s health.
Overwatering can manifest in various ways:
Leaves quickly turning yellow, often starting with the lower leaves, and fungus gnats around the plant. Unpleasant odors emanate from the soil, softening of the stem bases, and brown spots on the foliage.
If you suspect root rot due to overwatering, it’s crucial to act promptly. Carefully remove the plant from its pot and trim away any roots that appear slimy, mushy, or discolored (gray or black). Be sure to disinfect your trimming tools before each cut. After root trimming, transplant your plant into a new pot with fresh, well-aerated soil, preferably a chunky substrate. This will help restore your plant’s health and promote its growth. If you want to know the meaning of peace lilies then check out my recent article Peace Lily Meaning ( Secret Symbolism & Meaning ).
Repotting can be a stressful event for a plant, and it may take some time for your Peace Lily to resume its growth after the process. In some cases, your Peace Lily might display wilting as its roots temporarily react to the stress of repotting.
It’s generally advisable to conduct repotting during the spring or summer months, and it’s important to minimize unnecessary disruption to the roots. While it might be tempting to loosen the roots of a rootbound plant before transplanting it, this action can often have detrimental effects rather than benefits.
Thoroughly examine your plant for any signs of pests. Keep an eye out for yellow speckled patches on the leaves or any visible indications of pests. A plant grappling with a pest infestation typically won’t generate new growth.
Let’s discuss what happens when your Peace Lily becomes root bound, which means it has outgrown its current pot.
Identifying a root-bound Peace Lily is relatively straightforward. When you remove the plant from its container, you’ll notice that the roots have no space to spread out; instead, they double back and entwine, resembling tightly packed ramen noodles. The longer roots may be encircling the rest of the root ball.
A lack of growth is a common indicator of root binding. Another sign is a pot that quickly drains water, preventing it from being retained. This occurs because the roots have displaced most of the soil.
You may also observe roots near the soil’s surface or emerging from the pot’s drainage holes. Additionally, the leaves may start to wither and develop yellow or brown tips, although this can sometimes be attributed to issues like fertilizer burn.
What should you do if your Peace Lily becomes root bound? Transplant it into a container that’s approximately 2 inches larger in diameter than its current pot. Gently separate the roots with your fingers to encourage outward growth.
While photosynthesis, which requires sunlight, water, and carbon dioxide, is essential for plant growth, there are other vital elements necessary for the development of leaves, stems, and flowers in your Peace Lily.
In their natural habitat, wild plants obtain these additional components from elements present in the soil and rain. Houseplants, however, rely on fertilizer to acquire these essential nutrients. If you’ve gone without fertilizing your Peace Lily for over a year, it might have depleted the nutrients in its potting soil, potentially leading to stunted growth, especially if the leaves appear misshapen.
To encourage healthy growth, try administering a diluted liquid fertilizer every month. Be attentive to signs of over-fertilization; if the leaves start becoming crumpled and brown, reduce the frequency. Additionally, only fertilize your Peace Lily when it receives sufficient light for growth, and avoid fertilization during the fall and winter.
For regularly fertilized Peace Lilies, consider conducting a soil flush every 1-2 months. Slowly saturate the pot with approximately 4-5 times the volume of water it can hold. As the excess liquid drains through the soil and out of the drainage hole, it will carry away any surplus fertilizer, reducing the risk of fertilizer burn.
Grow Bigger Peace Lilies
To encourage your Peace Lily to grow larger, ensure it receives bright indirect light, carefully manage its watering regimen, and apply a mild fertilizer every 2-3 months. Promptly address any issues that may arise to prevent your plant from undergoing undue stress. Keep in mind that the size of individual cultivars can differ, with mature plants varying in height from 1 to 4 feet.
How To Get Your Peace Lilies To Grow Taller
Peace Lilies typically exhibit growth patterns oriented towards their primary light source. In many cases, Peace Lilies are cultivated with overhead lighting, resulting in upright and compact growth. However, when they are placed in environments with window lighting, their new growth often tends to spread towards the light source rather than growing directly upward. This change in lighting conditions at home can cause your Peace Lily to appear less upright over time.
How do you encourage peace lilies to grow?
Grow your Peace Lily in a well-lit area away from direct sunlight. Maintain regular watering, ensuring the soil stays consistently moist but not overly wet. During the spring and summer, provide bi-weekly liquid houseplant fertilizer. Remove faded flowers and regularly clean or wipe the leaves to promote efficient photosynthesis.
Are peace lilies slow growing?
Peace Lilies typically have a slow growth rate but can attain a height of up to three feet. To support their growth, use indoor plant food to fertilize them monthly during the spring and summer, or consider foliar feeding throughout the year.
Why is my peace lily not growing after repotting?
Improper watering after transplantation is a frequent cause of transplant shock. Excessive watering can result in waterlogged soil, leading to root rot. Conversely, insufficient watering can cause wilting and leaf drop in the plant.
Will a peace lily grow new leaves?
Peace lilies typically generate new leaves from their base quite frequently. Therefore, in a matter of weeks, you won’t even notice that the peace lily had a trim.