Peace Lily – Care, Growing, Watering, Requirements, Propagation
Related to the calla lily much more than the common lily, Spathiphyllum or peace lily is a flowering houseplant with air purifying capabilities.
Its elegant features make it a popular ornamental plant among plant hobbyists.
Despite looking like an upscale plant, the peace lily is adaptable and low maintenance, which makes it the perfect houseplant for those looking for an easy-going plant.
In what follows, you can read my take on how to care for peace lilies and the things you should pay attention to if you want your plants to thrive in your home.
Peace Lily Care Tips
Peace lilies were listed by NASA in their Top Ten Household Air Cleaning Plants to have in a home. To reap the benefits of peace lilies, you’ll need to care for them properly.
There are a few varieties of peace lilies with different sizes, some of which can grow up to 4 feet tall, but most household varieties are usually around 16 inches.
Because there are different sizes, you can pick the type of peace lily that you can easily accommodate in your home.
Peace lilies do best if kept in a well-lit room, but out of direct sunlight. Specifically, you should avoid afternoon sunlight, which will cause the leaves to scorch.
If you can, keep your plant close to an east-facing window. This will provide the plant plenty of sun in the morning and avoid the excessively hot afternoon sun.
In my experience, peace lilies thrive if they’re watered with filtered water that is free of chlorine, chloramine or fluoride.
If you don’t have a water filter or water filter pitcher, you can use the water aeration technique to get rid of chlorine from water.
Simply let tap water sit overnight and water peace lilies with it in the morning.
Use room temperature water and avoid overwatering. Keep the soil moist but not soggy.
If the soil dries out a bit between watering is not a major issue but make sure it doesn’t happen often as the leaves will start to brown if the plant doesn’t get enough water.
I water my peace lily about once or twice a week. In fact, peace lilies are great at letting you know when they need to be watered — you’ll notice that the plant sags a bit when in need of a watering.
During winter, you may need to water your plants less often depending on the temperature and humidity in your home.
Temperature & Humidity
Native to the tropical rainforests of America, peace lilies require temperatures in the 65-85°F range.
Cold drafts and temperatures below 45 F are not tolerated by peace lilies. Likewise, keeping the plants close to heating and cooling appliances must be avoided.
Peace lilies enjoy humid climates. If the air in your home is dry, you’ll need to mist the leaves with distilled or soft water in the summer.
A well-draining, all-purpose potting soil will work fine for your peace lily.
Peace lilies can even be grown in water provided that the base of the plant is suspended above the water line and only the roots are in the water.
If leaves and the base of the plant are constantly exposed to water, eventually they will rot.
Feeding this plant is only occasionally necessary. I recommend feeding with a balanced houseplant feeder starting in late winter to encourage growth. Feed only every 6 weeks and not more often.
Potting & Repotting
I transplant my peace lily every year in the spring to refresh its soil or because it outgrew its pot and needs a bigger one.
I usually take this time to divide my peace lily and gift the new plants to friends and coworkers who appreciate peace lilies.
Peace Lily Propagation
As I mentioned, peace lilies can be propagated through division. As the plants grow from rhizomes, they’re easy to divide and create new plants.
Different Types of Peace Lilies
There are a few peace lily varieties to satisfy all tastes and needs. Here’s a list of the different types of peace lilies:
This peace lily variety is a small type averaging at 15 inches in height.
This too is a dwarf peace lily variety that doesn’t get bigger than 15 inches and it’s an ideal small houseplant.
Mauna Loa Supreme
This variety is a mid-sized peace lily grows to a few feet high. They’re more suitable to be grown as a floor plant or a garden plant.
Another mid-sized peace lily variety with long leaves and a height that can reach 1-3 feet.
This is the largest commercially available peace lily with a height that can tower at 6 feet tall.
If you want a peace lily variety that blooms a lot, the flower power variety will live up to its name.
If you have a soft spot for variegated houseplants, you can get a variegated peace lily too.
If you don’t have a lot of space in your home, dwarf peace lily varieties are an excellent compromise.
Floor-standing models are great for offices. In fact, the peace lily is known to thrive even in fluorescent office lights.
Peace Lily Diseases and Pests
Some pests can be difficult to treat once they take over your plant, so it’s best to notice the symptoms early and act immediately. That said, peace lilies aren’t as prone to diseases or pests as other houseplants.
Still, there aren’t entirely immune to them. Here are some of the most common diseases and pests to affect the peace lily plant:
- The most common pests to damage your peace lily includes mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites. Regularly wiping the leaves can help prevent them, but once these appear you may need to use insecticidal soap to get rid of them.
- Brown leaf tips can be another issue to look out for. Browning of the leaf tips can be caused by lack of humidity, excess watering or excess feeding.
Peace lilies are resilient plants that can recover easily from missed watering and even after an infestation with a pest.
Peace Lily FAQs
Still have some burning questions about peace lilies? See if I’ve answered them below:
Is the Peace Lily Toxic?
Despite its air purifying capabilities, the peace lily may not be the most ‘peaceful’ of plants.
Unfortunately, this plant is high in calcium oxalates, which causes irritation of mucous membranes and gastrointestinal upset if ingested.
Therefore, keep this plant away from children, dogs and cats.
What is the Lifespan of Peace Lily Plants?
These plants usually live from 3 to 5 years, which may not seem long, but it is compared to many other houseplants.
Since they’re easy to propagate, you can always have them around if you take good care of them.
Why Do Peace Lilies Get Curly Leaves?
There are a few reasons why the leaves of your peace lily plant can get curled. Here are some of the chief reasons:
- Too much light or high temperatures
- Pests like aphids that can cause distortion of leaves
- Curly or wavy leaves may be a feature of some peace lily varieties (e.g. Wallisii variety).
If your peace lily is suddenly growing curled leaves, the cause may either be a change in light and temperature or a pest or disease that will distort the leaves of the plant or cause it to grow differently.
Can I Keep My Peace Lily Outside?
The weather in most temperate climates isn’t suitable for peace lilies. That said, if the weather in your area permits, you can keep your peace lily outside, but make sure it’s guarded from direct sunlight and it gets plenty of water.
Why Are My Peace Lily’s Flowers Green?
Green flowers are most likely caused by over-fertilizing. Reduce the frequency and/or amount of fertilizer and see if it improves things for your peace lily.
A lack of flowers can also be caused by improper fertilizing. If lighting conditions are otherwise optimal (low light can also lead to a lack of flowering), try switching to a fertilizer designed for flowering plants.
Peace lilies are a hardy houseplant with requirements that can be met by anyone. They come in a few interesting varieties, so you can pick and choose the one that you find most attractive.
Because they’re easy to propagate, you can create new plants from an old one and continue to enjoy these plants for many years down the road.
This plant is also a resilient one. Missed a few waterings? Give it a good soak-through and see it bounce back. That said, I encourage you to keep a good watering schedule or water whenever your plant sags as it’s a sign that it’s thirsty.
As you can see, there aren’t many requirements when it comes to caring for this elegant houseplant, and the requirements it does have are easy to meet.
I hope I covered most of the things you need to know about the peace lily plant, so you can offer it the best care.