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August 15, 2022

Peace Lily Plant Care (How to Grow Spathiphyllum)

Your Peace Lily isn’t thriving and you don’t know what to do? Don’t worry, this article has you covered. We’ll explain all the main aspects of Peace Lily care, from water and light requirements to propagation and pruning.

Scientific classification:
Botanical/Latin Name: Spathiphyllum Wallisii
Family: Araceae
Genus: Spathiphyllum
Species: Wallisii
Common Name: Peace Lily

One of the most important requirements for this plant is the right amount of light. While Peace Lilies will tolerate low light levels, they will not flower without a minimum of bright indirect light (ideally over 10,000 lux). If you can provide it with a few hours of light direct sunlight each day (early in the morning or late in the afternoon), even better. If you are growing your Peace Lily indoors, place it near a window that receives plenty of indirect light during the day.

Minimal amount of light: 50 Lux (5 FC)
Optimal amount of light: 750+ lux (75+ FC)
Direct sunlight tolerance: 1-2 hours
Category: low-light tolerant

Mr. Houseplant’s Peace Lily thriving

The more light they get, the more they will photosynthesize, the faster they will grow and the healthier and happier they will be.

How Often to Water A Peace Lily

When it comes to watering, a Peace Lily will let you know when it’s time for a drink. The leaves will begin to droop when the plant is thirsty, so simply water thoroughly and then allow the top inch or two of soil to dry out before watering again. If you water the plant and it’s still droopy after 24 hours, that means that it’s likely been overwatered. Wait for the soil to dry out fully to the bottom of the pot, and then water again. After you repeat several rounds of watering like this, the plant should stop being droopy.
If you wait too long to water your plant, the soil can become too dry and the Peace Lily’s root system will start dying. If you water your plant too much, the soil can become oversaturated and also damage the Peace Lily’s root system.

What is the Best Soil for A Peace Lily Plant?

The best soil for this plant is a well-draining, nutrient-rich soil with at least 20 to 30% inorganic matter, so the roots can get oxygen. The mix should be loose and airy to allow the roots of the plant to breathe.

Although I am generally not a big fan of straight out-of-the-bag potting soil as they retain too much water, Mother Earth Groundswell is an exception. It’s an excellent well-draining potting mix.

If you like to mix your own soil, you can use Proven Winners and mix 3 parts Proven Winners, 1 part perlite, and 1 part bark. When you add amendments with larger particle sizes, such as coarse perlite, bark, coarse sand, etc, you create so-called macro pores, which contain oxygen, reducing the chances of root rot.

How to fertilize A Spathiphyllum Plant?

You only need to fertilize your Peace Lily if you don’t repot it annually. Repotting provides fresh potting soil full of new nutrients. If you do want to fertilize your plant, make sure to do it only if it’s actively growing. If you fertilize your Peace Lily when it stops growing, nutrients will accumulate in the soil as the plant is not using them and will start burning the roots and damaging your plant.

Dyna Gro is a good choice if you want to fertilize during the growing season. It contains all 16 essential minerals that Peace Lilies need. You can also fertilize your Peace Lily using any fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 3:1:2 during the growing season.

Make sure to follow instructions on the fertilizer packaging, as each fertilizer will have a different frequency and amount.

Although fertilizer is important, it is not a replacement for light. Your plant will not bloom without the proper amount of light.

My Peace Lily enjoying its environment

How to Repot a Peace Lily Plant?

This is how to repot a peace lily plant:

  • First, prepare a one size bigger pot and fill one third with fresh soil.
  • Then, carefully take out your Peace Lily
  • Gently loosen the rootball and check the state of the roots
  • If the roots are mushy and smelly, prune them
  • Finally, place the plant into its new pot, fill up with soil and lightly press it around the plant.
  • Water it and let it rest

You should repot your plant once a year to give it fresh nutrients and keep the soil from getting compacted. Remember that soil needs to have enough oxygen, so ideally your pot should have a drainage hole. This way, any excess water can drain out and the roots won’t sit in the water without oxygen for too long and rot.

If you are going to repot your plant, it is best to only do a pot up rather than a full repot. A full repot is removing all of the soil and replacing it with fresh new soil. Full-repotting is excellent for more experienced plant parents, but it can be stressful for the plant and it may take a few days or weeks for it to recover. I generally advise newbie plant parents to do a pot-up rather than full repotting.

How Do I Know If My Peace Lily Needs Repotting

Here are the top signs that your peace lily might need repotting:

  • If the roots are coming out the bottom of the pot
  • If the soil is drying out much faster than it used to (i.e. 3 days as opposed to 7-8 days)
  • If there is not a lot of soil left in the pot because the roots have consumed most of it

If you’re unsure, pull the whole plant out of the pot and inspect the roots. If all you see is a large rootball and not a lot of soil, it’s time to repot.

Even if you don’t experience any of the aforementioned situations, you should still repot your plant once a year. That way you’ll be removing nutrient-poor, compacted soil, and providing fresh soil, with oxygen and lots of nutrients.

Ideal temperature Needs for a Peace Lily

The ideal temperature for Peace Lilies ranges from 75F to 85°F (23°C to 30°C). Peace Lilies are more tolerant to lower temperatures than some other tropical species. Whereas other tropical species get visible leaf damage at 52°F /11°C, Peace Lilies will only experience slower growth. Exposure to temperatures below 45°F /7°C will result in leaf damage. For some Peace Lilies varieties, such a low temperature can be fatal.

The Right Humidity Levels for Peace Lilies

Peace Lilies can thrive in both low and high humidity environments as long as they have enough light and are watered properly. If the humidity is low (under 20%), Peace Lilies will lose water through their leaves more quickly, so you will need to water them more often. If the humidity is high, Peace Lily plants will lose water more slowly, so you won’t need to water them as often.

Mr. Houseplant with lush, flowering Peace Lilies

Are Peace Lilies Toxic to Pets?

According to the ASPCA, Peace Lilies are toxic to pets. If your pet swallowed a part of a Peace Lily it can cause oral irritation, intense mouth, tongue and lips burning and irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.

How to Propagate A Peace Lily?

You can propagate a Peace Lily by division or through seed propagation. Unlike a lot of plants, you cannot propagate a Peace Lily by taking a leaf or stem cutting. You can propagate Peace Lilies in a few simple steps (you can only do this if your plant has several clumps of leaves/several plants in one pot):

  • Prepare new pots and fill one-third of them with fresh potting soil.
  • Remove the plant from its pot and loosen the soil around the roots. Don’t worry if you cut off some of the roots in the process.
  • Identify the point of division. Try to identify where the roots of 2 clumps of leaves connect
  • Separate the two plants/clumps. With smaller plants, you might be able to just pull the roots apart by hand, but with larger plants with thicker roots, you might need to cut them. You’ll need a serrated knife, especially if its root bound. Sterilize it before you cut
  • Once you’ve divided the plants, put these new Peace Lilies in the previously prepared pots. Fill with soil. Don’t forget to water. Put new Peace Lilies in a space with plenty of bright, indirect light.

You shouldn’t worry if the leaves on your plants become droopy soon after you separate and repot them. This is just an initial shock reaction that will go away once the plants get accustomed to the new environment.

Since I have a huge Peace Lily with 11 flowers, I was curious to find out how I can propagate by seeds, especially since there isn’t much info about it online. If you’d like to find out more about how to pollinate a peace lily, check out the blog post I wrote.

You also don’t want to miss the peace lily pollination video below:

When Should I Proagate A Spathiphyllum

Any season is good for Peace Lily propagation. Why? As long as it’s warm enough and there is enough light (or grow lights), you’re good to go. If it’s warm enough in your home for you, it will be warm enough for your Peace Lily.

When And How To Prune Your Spathiphyllum

In general, you don’t need to prune your Spathiphyllum if it has healthy leaves and stems. You should only prune sick, dead or dying parts of a plant. In case you need to prune, how you’ll prune depends on the plant’s part that needs pruning:

  • If you need to prune a dead or diseased stem, you should do it at the base of the stem, cutting it off as close to the bottom as possible.
  • After a peace lily flower dries out and dies, the whole flower stalk will dry out. Once that happens you can prune the flower stalk at the base, as low as possible. Or if it’s dry enough, you will actually be able to just pull it out from the plant with your hand.
  • You should also prune dry/dead leaves. If only the leaf tips are brown, you can just cut the tip off. However, if the whole leaf if dry and crispy, you can cut off the whole leaf.

A dried-out Peace Lily flower

FAQ

Are Peace Lilies Hard to Care For?

Peace Lily plants are not hard to care for. They are easy to grow and are tolerant of a wide range of lighting conditions. They prefer bright, indirect light but will also do well in low-light conditions, as they can tolerate extremely low light levels. Do note that in low light, they will grow slower.

How Fast do Peace Lilies Grow?

Peace Lilies grow relatively slowly, typically only an inch or a few inches per year in height. However, they can grow more quickly if they are provided with optimal conditions, primarily a lot of light.

How Many Varieties of Spathiphyllum Exist?

There are more than 40 known species of Spathiphyllum, although only a few are commonly cultivated as houseplants. They come in different sizes.

Among the smaller ones, the most common are Spathiphyllum ‘Power Petite’ and Spathiphyllum Wallisii.

When it comes to the mid-sized ones, the most popular is Spathiphyllum ‘Mauna Loa Supreme’. Following behind are Spathiphyllum ‘Clevelandii’ , Spathiphyllum ‘Mojo Lime’ and Spathiphyllum ‘Domino’.

The largest Peace Lily that you can buy is Spathiphyllum ‘Sensation’. It can grow up to 6 feet with 20-inch-long leaves. Its smaller version is ‘Sensation Mini.”

Why does My Peace Lily Have Yellow Leaves?

There are several reasons why a Peace Lily might have yellow leaves. It could be due to regular senescence (leaf loss), insufficient moisture, overwatering, a nutrient deficiency, or pests. You can diagnose this based on the way the leaves are yellowing and the care the plant is getting.

If you know your plant is getting sufficient light and the watering is correct, it’s likely due to regular loss of older leaves, pests or nutrient deficiency. If the leaves are yellow and wilted, it is likely that the plant is either overwatered or underwatered. If the leaves have fading yellowing on the edges, you may have pests.

Pest damage on a Peace Lily leaf (in this case spider mites)

It’s also possible that your plant cannot support any more leaves due to the amount of light it’s receiving. Once it reaches the maximum number of leaves with the current amount of light, lower leaves will start yellowing and dying. This would be considered normal leaf senescence.

Diagnosing yellow leaves on a Peace Lily is a complex issue. It’s important to always look at the overall environment the plant is in (light, humidity, watering, fertilizing, etc.) and the care it is receiving in order to diagnose properly. If you have any doubts, feel free to book a consultation with me.

Why does My Peace Lily Plant Have Dry Leaves?

There are several reasons why a Peace Lily might have dry leaves. It could be due to sunburns, insufficient humidity, insufficient watering, a nutrient deficiency, or it could be normal leaf loss.

Brown Tips on Peace Lilies

If you notice brown tips on your Peace Lilies, it is likely due to one of four things:

  • too little water,
  • too much fertilizer,
  • low humidity or
  • soil compaction.

Before trying to solve this, know that brown tips are not a problem, they are just an aesthetic issue. Feel free to cut them off and enjoy the beauty of your plant. Plants are not perfect in nature, they shouldn’t be perfect in our homes.

Leaves yellowing is a natural process

If your Peace Lily is not getting enough water, the leaves will start to turn brown and wilt. Make sure to water your plant regularly.

If you are using too much fertilizer, the salts in the fertilizer can build up and burn the tips of the leaves.

If you have very low humidity (under 20%), use a humidifier near the plant to increase humidity.

If the soil is compacted, this can also cause brown tips. Do a full repot of your plant by removing all old soil and replacing it with fresh new soil.

If your Peace Lily has brown leaf tips, try one of these solutions and see if it helps!

Have More Questions about Peace Lilies?

If you want to learn how to get a peace lily to flower, I’ve already written a full blog post about it.

Nonetheless, if you’re having doubts or more questions about Peace Lily care, let me know in the comments below this article. You can also schedule a virtual one-on-one consultation with me and get the help you need.

Always happy to help!

Yours Truly,

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