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March 21, 2021

How To Pollinate A Peace Lily Plant

I have pollinated my peace lily several times with success. I haven’t found a lot of information online on the topic of peace lily pollination, barely anything, which is why I decided to write this blog post.

The purpose of pollination is to produce seeds. Growing plants from seeds is very exciting. It takes a bit more time and skill, but it’s very rewarding growing something from a tiny seed into a large plant, it provides a lot of satisfaction.

Note that plants grown from seeds are not always the same as the original plant. Especially if you cross pollinate different varieties or different species.

Mr. Houseplant and Peace Lily

Pollinating Peace Lilies

Peace lilies belong to the genus Spathiphyllum. They are excellent houseplants and very low light tolerant. The most common type has dark green leaves contrasting beautifully with the white flowers.

Peace lilies can be propagated easily through asexual/vegetative propagation, such as division. They can also be propagated sexually by using seeds. To do this you have to pollinate them. Pollination in nature is usually done either by insects or wind. However, it is also possible to pollinate them by hand. Let’s look at how to do that.

Steps to Pollinate the Peace Lilly Plant

Here are the quick and easy steps to pollinate your peace lily plant.

Flowers have male and female parts. Male parts produce pollen. You need to collect pollen and apply it to the female parts in order for pollination to take place, so that the flowers can produce seeds.

Closely monitor your peace lily to see when it is ready for pollen collection. What people usually call a ‘flower’, is actually an inflorescence. One inflorescence consists of the outer spathe (white delicate outside cover) and the spadix, which is located inside the spathe and looks like a fleshy spike. Personally, it reminds me of a mace :)  The actual flowers are placed all over the spadix.

Demonstration of spathe and spadix on a peace lily flower stalk

Female parts of the peace lily flowers open first, before pollen is produced. As soon as the spathe starts unfurling, all the female parts on the spadix start maturing simultaneously. After they start dying (turning brown), that’s when the plant starts producing pollen.

Which means that you can’t pollinate a peace lily if you only have one flower stalk. You need to collect pollen from one flower stalk and then pollinate the next stalk that blooms.

When you notice a flower stalk starting to produce pollen, put a plastic container under the stalk, gently tap it and collect the pollen inside the container. This will usually start happening very quickly after the female parts of the flowers close/start dying/turning brown.

Find a second spathe that is starting to unfurl. When you see it starting to unfurl, you only have about 24 hours before all flowers close and start turning brown. Notice I am referring to individual flowers on the spadix turning brown, not the whole flower stalk. The tiny tips of individual female flower parts will start turning brown. At that point, the pollination window is closed.

The flowers are only viable for pollination for about 24 hours. How can you notice if they are still viable? Look at the tops, they will be fuzzy, like in the following image.

What I like to do is open the spathe right before it unfurls as the female flower parts will already be viable for pollination.

peace-lily-fuzzy-flowers

If the female parts are fuzzy, use a soft brush to apply the pollen over the receptive flowers. Try to apply pollen over as many flowers as you can.

After several weeks, the flowers will start swelling, as the seeds are produced. Notice the upper part of the spadix in this photo and how some of the sections are starting to swell. They are the ones producing seeds.

peace-lily-after-pollination-swollen-flowers

If none of the flowers have been pollinated, the whole flower stalk, starting with the spathe will dry out, like in the following image.

browning-peace-lily-flower

If you successfully pollinated the peace lily, after several weeks the stalk will be full of seeds. This is what the seeds look like

Peace-Lily-seeds

If there are no receptive flowers that you can pollinate, you can keep the pollen in a cool dark place. It should be viable for at least a few weeks. I have used peace lily pollen 3-5 months after I collected it and it was still viable, without refrigeration. But if you plan on keeping it longer than a few weeks, refrigeration would be something to consider, to extend its viability.

If you don’t want to do the pollination, but just want to try growing from seeds, you can order some peace lily seeds from my shop.

I hope this was helpful, let me know if you were able to pollinate in the comment section. And here is a video of the whole pollination process.

FAQs About Peace Lilly Pollination

Do Peace Lilies Need To Be Pollinated?

No, Peace Lilies don’t need to be pollinated. But if you want to get seeds, you need to pollinate a Peace Lily.

Do Peace Lilies Produce Pollen?

Yes, Peace Lilies produce pollen. In order to produce pollen they need to produce flowers. And they will produce flowers only if they get sufficient light.

How Do I Get My Peace Lily To Bloom?

To get your peace lily to bloom increase the amount of light it’s getting. Give it at least 10,000 lux (1,000 foot candles) of light. For more details on how to get a peace lily to bloom, check out the detailed blog post on the topic.

What Do You Do With Peace Lily Seed Pods?

You can harvest Peace Lily seed pods to grow new plants. Harvest the seeds before the flower stalk and seed pods fully dry out, as the seeds will be easier to harvest. Once the seed pods dry out, it takes a bit of effort to extract the seeds.

Can You Start A Peace Lily From Seed?

Yes, you can start a peace lily from seed. To learn how, take a look at the video below:

Yours Truly,

Mr.Houseplant-signature-tr

16 Comments

  1. Rahana September 26, 2021 at 7:17 am - Reply

    Really informative …thnxz a lot …small small doubts were there …all cleared here …thankxz ….May Hod bless u

    • MrHouseplant September 26, 2021 at 11:03 am - Reply

      Thanks Rahana, I’m happy you liked the blog post

  2. Andrew October 7, 2021 at 11:59 pm - Reply

    Mr. Houseplant! I accidentally left my peace lily outside in full sun last year and it died all the way. But apparently it managed to pollinate itself before it died because the old pot (that I never cleaned out) now has about 10 peace lily sprouts. Some of them have grown a single stalk and leaf, but they are all laying down. Is this because they’re brand new plants and haven’t gained the strength to stand? And should I stake them until they have enough stalks to stand on their own?
    Any guidance would be great because I’ve fallen in love with this new plant and want to see it grow up.

    • MrHouseplant October 10, 2021 at 9:15 pm - Reply

      Hi Andrew,

      Sorry to hear about your plant! It might have been pollinated by insects, since it’s not a self-pollinating plant, but I think it’s more likely that the plant wasn’t fully dead. Perhaps the leaves were, but the root system might’ve still been alive and able to start growing a few new plants. You can stake them until they grow bigger/older and are able to stand on their own.

  3. Tayyabah April 7, 2022 at 4:07 pm - Reply

    Very useful blog. Thanks for sharing. Can you also teach how to propagate from a plant without using seeds? Also, can we make a cutting from a potted plant and then try growing in water? Will that work?

    • MrHouseplant April 7, 2022 at 4:14 pm - Reply

      Hi Tayyabah, thank you, I’m really glad you like my blog.

      I have blog posts on care for several different plants, like pothos, rubber plant, string of pearls…and they do have some information on propagation without seeds. Even some videos. I hope that’s helpful.

      I am in the process of writting many more, very detailed blog posts, dedicated only to propagation – both soil propagation and water propagation.

      And to answer your questions, if you’re asking about peace lilies, unfortunately you can’t take a leaf cutting from it and propagate it. You can propagate peace lilies by division (separating individual plants).

  4. Nikki April 17, 2022 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    Mr houseplant, just wondering if you can please give me information on how a single flower on a domino has gone to seed, it is an indoor plant so cant have been pollinated by insects, the whole spadix is full of seed, the only other pollinating plant is a sensation peace lily about 5 metres away, is it possible that pollen from this plant has pollinated domino? Also the majority of the seed pods are white, does this mean they will give me the variegation of the domino and the others will remain green?

    • MrHouseplant April 19, 2022 at 6:34 pm - Reply

      Hi Nikki, that is a very interesting situation :) I’m not sure if Domino is different from regular peace lilies, but as you probably know, a regular peace lily needs two flowers in order for the pollination to happen. Could it be that an insect you didn’t notice used pollen from the other peace lily to pollinate the Domino?

      As for the seeds, I think you’ll probably need to wait and see what comes out after potting them.

      If you can, can you please send me a photo to my Instagram account?

  5. Natalia April 27, 2022 at 10:54 am - Reply

    Thank you for such a thorough and informative article, I learnt so much! I’ll definitely try pollinating my next peace lilly flower :)

    • MrHouseplant April 27, 2022 at 3:52 pm - Reply

      Hi Natalia, thank you so much! I’m really glad you liked the article :)

  6. William May 1, 2022 at 8:49 pm - Reply

    Does this process work with hybridization between other peace lilies types?

    • MrHouseplant May 1, 2022 at 9:33 pm - Reply

      Hi William, I’m not sure I understand the question. I have successfully pollinated several peace lilies and a lot of my followers have as well. Can you please clarify what you mean and I’ll be happy to answer.

  7. William May 3, 2022 at 4:37 pm - Reply

    Can you take pollen from one variant of peace lilly and put it on an other variant of peace lilly to make a hybrid peace lilly?

  8. Grace September 22, 2022 at 6:11 am - Reply

    I have a question I received a little itty bitty peace Lilly what at all can I do to make sure it survives I really like this little fella. Also loved your blog .

    • MrHouseplant September 26, 2022 at 1:48 am - Reply

      Hi Grace, since peace lily can tolerate a wide range of lighting conditions, the main thing is to figure out proper watering. And even though it can tolerate low light, I would suggest providing it with bright light, as it will grow faster and be less susceptive to pests and overwatering. If you haven’t already, check out my post on peace lily care where I described the proper lighting conditions, how to water it and much more and let me know if you have any questions :)

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