Flower Care Flower Information Lilies

Peace Lily Care: For Gardens, Pots, Bouquets

close up image of peace lilies

Peace lilies have long been popular houseplants due to their gorgeous green leaves and white flowers. But they’re not only a joy to look at—their easy-to-care-for form means they easily fit into a variety of homes. Put them in a shady corner, water them about once a week, and watch them fill the space with lushness!

Since these plants are so easy to care for, they are also popular housewarming gifts. Peace lilies are also said to promote prosperity and good luck—two things anyone would be happy to have in their new home.

Peace Lily Information

Common name: Peace lily
Scientific name: Spathiphyllum genus
Bloom time: typically in the spring, but can bloom multiple times per year
Height: one to four feet indoors, up to six feet outdoors
Width: one to three feet
Light: bright, indirect light
Water: Medium
Soil pH: 6.0 to 7.0
Soil type: Well-draining
USDA Hardiness zones: 10 and 11, can also be grown indoors

How to Grow Peace Lilies

Peace lilies are most often grown as houseplants since they cannot tolerate cold temperatures. However, they can be grown outdoors in warm areas where the temperatures remain above 50ºF.

Where to Plant Peace Lilies

Since peace lilies like bright but indirect light, it’s best to plant them in a shady area or under larger plants. They tolerate some direct morning light, but direct afternoon sun will likely cause damage. That means they will likely do better on the east side of a house than the west side.

You should also choose a location with good drainage, and avoid low-lying areas that collect water. If you have compacted soil, loosen it with a digging fork and add some sand or peat moss to improve aeration and drainage.

When to Plant a Peace Lily

The best time to plant a peace lily outdoors is the later winter or early spring. During this period, the peace lily is just about to resume rapid growth, which will give it time to grow into its new home. You can also plant in the fall, but you should avoid planting in the summer and winter.

Peace Lily Care

Peace lilies are known for being low maintenance, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can set them and forget them. Providing the proper environment and care will help these plants thrive both now and in the future.

Watering

Peace lilies like the sweet spot of soil that is not too wet yet not too dry. Basically, they like moist soil that’s not soaking wet.

The amount you’ll need to water will depend on a few factors, including temperature, light, humidity, and soil type. In general, you’ll likely need to water your peace lily every week or two. However, until you get a good feel for the ideal watering schedule, it’s a good idea to check your plant’s soil every few days.

One way to do this is by sticking your finger into the top two inches of soil. If you detect moisture, you can wait to water. However, if the soil feels dry, water now. If you have a smaller peace lily, you can also use the weight of the plant as an indicator of when you need to water. Lift up your plant’s pot right after you water it to get a sense of the weight when the soil is moist. When your planter feels noticeably lighter, it’s time to water.

Peace lilies aren’t super sensitive to the type of water you use, but they can struggle with high levels of chlorine or super hard water. If your tap water falls into either of those categories, consider using rainwater or filtered water.

Light

Peace lilies naturally grow on the forest floor, where they receive dappled light. Therefore, they like bright but indirect light. The interior of a bright room or next to a window covered with a sheer curtain are two suitable locations.

Temperature

Peace lilies like warm temperatures, between 60ºF and 85ºF, with warmer temperatures during the day and cooler temperatures at night. Extended temperatures below 60ºF can cause stunted growth and a lack of vigor, and short periods of temperatures below 45ºF can cause immediate damage.

You’ll also want to ensure that your peace lily isn’t exposed to sudden changes in temperature. That means keeping the plant away from both hot and cold drafts often found near exterior doors and heating/cooling vents.

Humidity

Since these plants are from tropical regions, they prefer moderate to high humidity. If the air in your home is dry enough to make your lips crap and skin dry, you’ll likely need to boost the humidity around your peace lily. A humidifier is the best way to do this, but you can also mist the air around your plant.

Repotting

If your plant has outgrown its container or developed root rot, you’ll need to repot your plant. The best time to do this is in the later winter or early spring. If you want more details about repotting, check out some tips regarding how to repot a plant.

Common Peace Lily Problems

While peace lilies are easygoing plants, they’re still susceptible to their fair share of problems. Keep an eye out for the following, and remember the included suggestions.

Yellow Leaves

If you notice your peace lily’s leaves fading from vibrant green to yellow or brown, something is wrong. However, since there are so many possible causes of this discoloring, determining the exact cause can be difficult.

Some common include overwatering, underwatering, cold temperatures, and direct sunlight. Check to see that the soil is well-draining and neither dry nor saturated, ensure the temperature is above 60ºF, and keep out of direct light. Overwatering is probably the most common cause of yellow leaves, so try cutting back on water if you’re unsure of the cause.

Sap Sucking Pests

The most common pests of peace lilies are little critters including aphids, spider mites, and thrips. While these little guys may appear harmless, they use their small mouthparts to sap the peace lily’s sap. The result is tiny dots known as stippling, as well as discolored and dropping leaves.

If you notice a few of these pests, you can wipe them off using a soapy rag. However, if a large outbreak occurs, you may need to spray the pests with insecticidal soap or neem oil. These pests can rapidly multiply, so remove them as soon as possible.

No Flowers

First off, let’s understand what a peace lily flower is. While many people refer to the entire white structure as a flower, the actual flowers occur on the pointed spandex. The curved white structure that surrounds the spandex is actually a modified leaf called a spathe.

Now that’s clear, we can dive into a lack of flowers on a peace lily. First, peace lilies do not bloom continuously throughout the year, nor at the same time each year. That’s different from many flowers, including spring-blooming tulips and azaleas (read azalea flower care for more info).

If your plant hasn’t bloomed for a year or two, improper environmental conditions are likely to blame. A lack of light, low temperatures, and wet soil can all prohibit flowers. Additionally, too much nitrogen fertilizer can also inhibit flowering.

Growing Peace Lilies in Pots

While some plants are typically planted outside in the soil, peace lilies can happily exist in a pot. Make sure you choose a pot that is a bit larger than the plant’s root ball and ensure it has drainage holes. Avoid moving your pot around too much, as constant environmental changes can stress your plant.

Varieties of Peace Lilies

The Spathiphyllum genus consists of 47 different species, and there are multiple varieties within each species. The different types can vary in size, bloom time, and leaf shape, so spending some time investigating the various peace lilies can help you find one that’s perfect for you or a friend.

Piccolino Peace Lily

This dwarf variety can fit on top of plant stands or side tables. It has dark green leaves and bright white ‘flowers’ common with many types of peace lilies.

Sensation Peace Lily

If you’re looking for a big peace lily to fill an empty corner or act as a statement piece, the ‘Sensation’ variety is a good choice. It’s one of the largest types of peace lilies and can easily grow four feet tall indoors.

Domino Peace Lily

While many peace lilies have solid green leaves, the ‘Domino’ variety sports dark green leaves covered in fine white steaks and specks. It also produces lots of white flowers.

White Stripes Peace Lily

This small variety has medium green leaves with white stripes running up their middles. They can produce flowers, but don’t bloom as easily as other types.
Care for Your Peace Lily

With this information in mind, you’re ready to care for your peace lily! And if you’d like to give one of these plants to others, you can pass on this info to the lucky recipient. If a houseplant isn’t the gift you’re looking for, you can opt for bright blooms and send lilies online.

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