What’s not to love about a Peace Lily? They purify the air while bringing life and elegance to your home. Plus, they’re easy to take care of!
Peace lilies, also known as closet plants, are popular indoor plants for both homes and offices.
When it comes to houseplants, these are some of the easiest to care for. But, although lilies, in general, are easy plants to care for, proper growing conditions are still essential.
Follow this complete guide for instructions on how to grow and care for your peace lilies.
Botanical Name: Spathiphyllum spp.
Common Name: peace lily, Spath lily
Plant Type: Perennial
Hardiness Zones: 11-12 USDA
Sun Exposure: Partial
Soil Type: Moist but well-drained
Soil pH: Acidic
Height: 1–4 ft. tall indoors, up to 6 ft. tall outdoors
Bloom Time: Spring
Flower Colors: White and yellow
Native Area: Central America, Asia
What is a Peace Lily?
Native to tropical Asia and Central and South America, peace lilies are not true lilies. This plant is a tropical, evergreen perennial member of the Araceae family.
Peace lilies thrive on the forest floor, receiving low light and consistent humidity and moisture. Replicating these conditions at home is essential to keep your plant happy and healthy.
With enough sunlight, peace lilies produce white to cream flowers during the active growing season in early summer and continue to bloom throughout the year in proper conditions.
Most indoor varieties of peace lilies grow up to 16 inches tall, but bigger outdoor lilies can reach up to 6 feet. Like most lilies, peace lilies are not cold hardy plants, so they can only grow outdoors in humid and warm climates.
Like many plants, peace lily plants carry symbolism. This plant’s meaning is associated with healing, hope, purity, sympathy, and peace.
Peace lilies are often given as a gift to those who have lost a loved one.
Types of Peace Lilies
Peace lily plants have been heavily hybridized, so dozens of popular varietals exist. They range from mini to massive, from golden-leaved to deep green with white flowers. Some of the most popular peace lily types include:
- S.’ Mauna Loa Supreme’: This common variety can grow up to 4 feet tall, with dark green leaves that can be up to 9 inches wide.
- S. ‘Mojo’: A medium-size peace lily with striking green foliage.
- S.’ Starlight’: This type is known for having multiple blooms, up to 20 flowers per plant
- S.’ Sensation’: reaching 6 feet in height, this is the largest peace lily variety.
- S. ‘Golden Delicious’: This peace lily variety features new growth with beautiful golden-green color
- Spathiphyllum’ Power Petite’: Growing up to 15 inches, this is a smaller peace lily variety.
Peace Lily Care
Understanding this lily’s tropical origins provides excellent tips about how to care for these plants.
Peace lilies are dust magnets due to their large leaves, so make sure to gently wipe down their leaves, so dust does not prohibit photosynthesis.
The closer your plant’s growing conditions mimic its natural preferences, the happier it will be.
Peace lily flowers need sunlight, though not harsh, direct sunlight. Peace lilies are shade-loving plants in their habitats but need more sunlight indoors.
Although some varieties can adapt to more light than others, an east-facing window is a prime spot for your peace lily to receive optimal levels of indirect light.
Peace lilies are prone to root rot. These plants prefer being underwatered than overwatered.
How often you water your plant depends on how fast the soil drains and the size of the container, but in general, you should water only when the top inch of the soil has dried out.
Reduce watering in winter, but do not let your soil dry out completely. If your peace lily begins to droop, it likely needs more water.
Use filtered or distilled water since tap water is highly chlorinated, or let your tap water sit for several days until the chlorine evaporates.
Peace lily plants enjoy high humidity.
Misting your plant’s leaves weekly with distilled water during summer or placing them atop a moistened gravel tray can help increase the humidity surrounding it.
Peace lilies prefer moist warmth, so avoid cold drafts and temperatures under 55ºF, as they can die when exposed to prolonged cold temperatures.
This plant’s ideal temperature is from 65ºF to 80ºF.
These plants grow best in moist soil and well-drained potting mix with organic matter such as orchid bark, coconut coit, organic compost, and perlite.
Your plant shouldn’t need much fertilizer if you’re using an organic matter-rich potting mix.
Feed your peace lily with a balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer diluted to ¼ strength every 5-6 weeks.
Begin feeding in the active growing season (early spring to summer). Stop feeding in the fall and resume in late winter the following year.
Peace Lily Propagation
Peace lilies are generally propagated by dividing clumps during repotting, which, luckily enough, can be done in any season.
Inspect your plant for small offshoot crowns adjacent to the main plants; this is a sign your peace lily is ready to divide. Here’s how to do it:
- Remove the entire plant from its container, and tug, or cut apart the adjacent crowns. You can also cut away the main root ball’s section.
- Any piece with at least two leaves and attached roots will likely grow successfully.
- Fill a 6-inch pot with a fresh potting mix that is sufficiently moist but not soggy.
- Plant immediately the clumps in the container and water thoroughly.
- Keep your plant somewhere warm and well-lit.
- The roots should reestablish themselves in at least 30 days.
Peace Lily’s Common Problems
Under proper growing conditions, peace lily plants should thrive without any issues.
But peace lily owners can encounter a few problems if the plant’s environment is inadequate.
Here are common Peace lily problems and how to solve them.
Peace lily plants are free of most diseases and pests. But, they can be susceptible to mealybugs and spider mites.
To treat these pests, use horticultural oil or wipe down the plant’s leaves with insecticidal soap or a water and dish soap solution.
Brown leaf tips can be due to poor soil drainage or underwatering/lack of humidity. Plus, the soil’s salt buildup might be a culprit.
Ensure that your peace lily is watered adequately and the soil drains well. If any of these options aren’t the issue, flush the soil thoroughly until you see water coming out from the drainage holes to remove the salts.
Pale and curled leaves are a common sign of too much light. Scorched leaves are a sign of high direct sun. In either case, relocate your plant to a shadier location.
This can be a sign of underwatering, overwatering, or that your peace lily leaves are getting old.
If the plant has not been repotted and its leaves are turning yellow, it may need more space to stretch its roots. Repot your plant to a new container with good drainage.
Wilting or droopy leaves
Wilting or leaves that droop is a common sign of overwatering.
Watering your plant once per week should be enough. Anytime you water your plant, wait until the moisture comes out of the drainage holes but never let water sit in the saucer.
If the water drains too fast through the saucer, it is because your soil is too sandy; it needs to be porous and well-draining, containing perlite, fine bark, or peat moss.
Peace Lily Toxicity
Yes, like all lilies, peace lilies are mildly toxic.
All parts of this plant contain calcium oxalate, a chemical that may cause GI and respiratory irritation problems if ingested in large amounts.
Keep your peace lily plants out of reach of pets and small children that might chew on them.
Common plants containing this chemical include daffodils, hyacinths, philodendrons, and true lilies.
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Melissa Pino is a biologist, master gardener, and regular contributor for Planet Natural. Melissa's work focuses on promoting environmentally-friendly practices, helping people create healthy gardens and finding ways to achieve overall health and wellness.