Peace lilies are common houseplants because they are relatively easy to grow, and they are a beautiful addition to any home. However, they can also be a little temperamental. One common issue that peace-lily growers face is the plant leaning to one side.
Peace lilies lean to one side when they aren’t getting even light distribution, or their roots don’t have enough room to grow. Peace lilies also may start to lean if they become infested with harmful pests.
In the rest of this article, I’ll discuss in detail the reasons why peace lilies start leaning to one side. I’ll also explain how to properly care for peace lilies in a way that will keep them healthy and happy. Keep reading this article if you want to have a healthy and non-leaning peace lily in your home.
Why Are My Peace Lilies Leaning to One Side?
Peace lilies start to lean to one side when their light source is unevenly distributed, their roots outgrow the pot, or they are the victims of pests. To diagnose any of these issues, carefully observe the growing conditions of the plant.
It can be difficult to create the perfect growing environment for peace lilies. However, you can improve your plants’ growing conditions by keeping the following information in mind.
Uneven Lighting Causes Peace Lilies to Lean
Because peace lilies are houseplants, it is unlikely that you’ll be able to put them in a spot where they are exposed to the sun completely evenly on all sides. If you place a peace lily plant by a window, all of the light goes to that side of the lily. Eventually, the lily will grow towards the sun, giving the plant a leaning look.
This is called phototropism. This is an important process for plants because it allows them to optimize photosynthesis; however, it can also make your plant look lopsided and unhealthy. If the lily leans too much, it can also drain the plant of its energy and cause permanent damage.
Rotate Peace Lilies To Allow for Even Light Distribution
Luckily, this is an easy fix. All you need to do is rotate your peace lily every once in a while. An easy way to remember to do this is to rotate the pot a little bit every time you water the plant. If the lily gets an equal amount of sunshine on all sides, it won’t lean, and it’ll grow healthier overall.
Provide Peace Lilies With Adequate Lighting
Peace lilies will also start to lean to one side if they are placed too far away from a light source. The lily will always grow towards the light; if it is too far away from a window, it will grow in that direction to try and get closer.
You can fix this by moving the plant closer to the window and rotating it regularly.
Cramped Roots Lead to Leaning Peace Lilies
Another reason your peace lily may be leaning to one side is that the roots don’t have enough room to grow. If the root system gets too big, it can fill the pot completely, limiting the pot’s ability to support the weight of the lily.
If the roots don’t have enough room, the plant’s growth is stunted. Furthermore, the lily may start to lean because it isn’t getting enough nutrients from the roots.
Repot Your Peace Lily To Fix Cramped Root Systems
To fix this issue, you’ll need to repot your lily into a larger pot. I recommend using a ceramic planter with plenty of space for roots to grow and a drainage hole that helps maintain healthy root growth and prevent rot. Porcelain ceramic looks a lot classier than plastic or fiberglass, so it will accentuate the beauty of your peace lily in a bright and beautiful way.
Pests Can Cause Peace Lilies to Lean
Finally, if a peace lily has attracted pests, they can suck the life out of the lily until it starts to lean to one side. Peace lilies can attract pests like scale insects, mealybugs, and spider mites. These bugs will consume the sap in your lily’s body, which dehydrates and weakens the plant. This can cause leaning.
Eliminate Pests To Improve Peace Lily Health
If your pest problem is mild, you can dab the individual bugs with an alcohol-soaked cotton swab to get rid of them. You can also dilute alcohol with water and spray the entire plant to eliminate the pests.
Alternatively, you can buy an insect killer and spray that on the lily. These sprays can kill mealybugs, mites, leafhoppers, scale insects, whiteflies, thrips, and more. Usually, you can use these products on all indoor and outdoor plants that are infected with pests, and they will effectively eliminate them through contact.
How To Care for Peace Lilies
One of the best things about peace lilies is that they’re easy to care for. With that being said, they do still require attention and care. Let’s discuss how to care for your peace lilies so they look beautiful and healthy in your home.
Healthy peace lilies can reach a maximum height of 4 feet (1.22 m), although the size depends on what kind of peace lily you have. Peace lilies are typically divided into three different sizes: dwarf, medium, and giant. On average, peace lilies live for 3-5 years.
For more information on lilies and how tall they grow, check out my article: Why Do Your Lilies Grow So Tall?
There are many different kinds of peace lilies you can choose to grow in your home. They include:
- Spathiphyllum Petite, which is the smallest kind of peace lily
- Spathiphyllum Wallisii
- Spathiphyllum Domino
- Spathiphyllum Mauna Loa Supreme
- Spathiphyllum Sensation, which is the largest kind of peace lily
Choosing the Right Lighting for Peace Lilies
One misconception is that peace lilies should be put in dark places. While it is true that peace lilies can be relatively healthy in darker places, they won’t thrive in very dark areas. Instead, if you put them in a bright spot, they’ll grow quickly and look better. Just make sure that you rotate the plant to avoid the lily growing towards the light and leaning to one side.
Use High-Quality Soil for Peace Lilies
You should plant peace lilies in well-draining, all-purpose soil.
Using the right kind of soil is essential; peace lilies shouldn’t dry out completely, but they also shouldn’t be in soil that is too wet, as that will cause root rot. Consistent watering is key to successfully caring for a peace lily. The soil should always be a little moist but not saturated.
Be Aware of the Signs of Dehydration and Water Accordingly
If you notice your peace lily’s leaves start to droop, that is a sign that the plant is dehydrated. If you notice that your lily’s leaves are browning, but the soil is still moist, this may be the result of certain chemicals that may be in your tap water. Try using filtered water instead. If your plant is still struggling, ensure that you’re watering with room temperature water.
Peace lilies like humidity, so you’re in luck if you live in a humid climate! If you don’t, you can replicate the humidity conditions by misting the leaves or putting the pot on top of moist gravel.
Fertilize Peace Lilies Regularly
You should fertilize peace lilies once every six weeks (beginning in late winter) to encourage flowering in the spring and summer. The best fertilizer will have a lot of phosphorus and be specially formulated to encourage flowering.
You can get fertilizers specifically made for peace lilies and their needs at every stage, from seeds to full-grown plants, at your garden center or online.
Remove Peace Lily Blooms As They Fade
The blooms of peace lilies should be removed when they begin to fade and droop. Keeping the blooms where they are will produce seeds and divert energy from future flower production and growth. For more information, you can read my articles “Should Lilies Always Be Cut Down in the Fall?” and “How Far Down Should You Cut Your Lilies?“
Peace lilies are a great asset to any home, but they can start to lean to one side if they don’t have even light distribution, their roots don’t have enough space to grow, or if they are the victim of pests.
If you are diligent about caring for your peace lily properly, you can avoid the leaning issue and enjoy the beauty of the plant without getting distracted by a lack of symmetry.