Peace Lily

OFFICIAL NAME

Spathiphyllum wallisii

ALSO KNOWN AS

Spath Lily

ORIGINS & CLIMATE

Central & South America, Southeast Asia | Tropical

ABOUT THE
PLANT

A pleasantly lush cluster of vibrant green leaves create the perfect backdrop for the elegant white blooms that peek out in spring (with a bonus appearance in the fall)... and can stick around for quite awhile.

HOW MANY GREEN THUMBS?

easy going, bright indirect, drought averse, clusters, petite, bushy or dense, tabletop, shelf, aroid, flowering, tropical, oblong, color, low light tolerant

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Peace Lily

The basics

Water Needs

This plant prefers to stay fairly moist, but certainly not soggy sopping wet. Check the soil frequently in summer to determine if it's starting to dry out. In winter, you can be a little more lax, allowing the top inch or so to dry out before watering again.

Water

Preferred Light

Bright, indirect light is ideal for your Peace Lily. Susceptible to leaf burn in long stretches of direct light. Can tolerate lower light conditions, but be sure to adjust watering and expect the plant to take on an elongated, sparse look (and fewer, if any flowers).

Light

Humidity Needs

Can adapt to average room humidity, but will thrive in higher humidity, especially in the summer or hot, dry conditions (like near a heater). Your Peace Lily will also appreciate occasional misting to help remove dust from their leaves and keep brown tips at bay.

Humidity

Ambient Temperature

Peace Lilies generally prefers temperatures above at least 65°F, but will thrive in even warmer temps. Keep in mind, some fluctuation into slightly cooler temps at night and in winter (only a couple degrees cooler) will encourage your plant to give you plentiful blooms!

Temperature

Toxic or Not?

Peace Lilies are highly toxic to pets and humans. Ingestion will cause mouth and stomach irritation and possible vomiting. In some cases, may even cause swelling of the upper airway. Keep away from children and pets.

Toxicity

Size Potential

Indoors, this plant can grow up to 12-18 inches tall with a 9-12 inch spread (when mature and with enough light)!

Size

Overall Look

Generally in an upright formation of densely packed stems with elongated leaves arching only slightly down, but best known for the white spathes that stand out from the crowd of green. Works best as a tabletop plant or on a shelf to showcase the unique leaves.

Format

Leaf Look

Graceful elongated green foliage and the occasional spathe (a modified leaf) in white or light green. These special leaves also have a funny little spike in the middle known as a spadix (this is where the many teeny-tiny flowers live).

Leaf Shape

Pro Tip

In order to achieve plenty of blooms, Peace Lilies need a resting period in winter. You'll have to keep them in slightly cooler temperature ranges (around 60°F) and a bit less light (and therefore less water). You may even allow the plant to get rootbound. A little bit of stress is actually a trigger for the plant to flower more vigorously.

Pro Tip

Did You Know?

The name 'Peace Lily' is thought to come from the white blooms that peek out above their green foliage like a white flag of surrender, or peace.

Fun Fact

Water

|

Keep soil just moist, but not soggy.

Water Needs

This plant prefers to stay fairly moist, but certainly not soggy sopping wet. Check the soil frequently in summer to determine if it's starting to dry out. In winter, you can be a little more lax, allowing the top inch or so to dry out before watering again.

Light

|

Low light tolerant. Bright, indirect light preferred.

Preferred Light

Bright, indirect light is ideal for your Peace Lily. Susceptible to leaf burn in long stretches of direct light. Can tolerate lower light conditions, but be sure to adjust watering and expect the plant to take on an elongated, sparse look (and fewer, if any flowers).

Humidity

|

Extra humidity appreciated in drier spaces.

Humidity Needs

Can adapt to average room humidity, but will thrive in higher humidity, especially in the summer or hot, dry conditions (like near a heater). Your Peace Lily will also appreciate occasional misting to help remove dust from their leaves and keep brown tips at bay.

Temperature

|

Enjoys warmer temps.

Ambient Temperature

Peace Lilies generally prefers temperatures above at least 65°F, but will thrive in even warmer temps. Keep in mind, some fluctuation into slightly cooler temps at night and in winter (only a couple degrees cooler) will encourage your plant to give you plentiful blooms!

Toxicity

|

Highly toxic to humans and pets if ingested.

Toxic or Not?

Peace Lilies are highly toxic to pets and humans. Ingestion will cause mouth and stomach irritation and possible vomiting. In some cases, may even cause swelling of the upper airway. Keep away from children and pets.

Size

|

A petite plant pal.

Size Potential

Indoors, this plant can grow up to 12-18 inches tall with a 9-12 inch spread (when mature and with enough light)!

Format

|

Densely packed upright stems.

Overall Look

Generally in an upright formation of densely packed stems with elongated leaves arching only slightly down, but best known for the white spathes that stand out from the crowd of green. Works best as a tabletop plant or on a shelf to showcase the unique leaves.

Leaf Shape

|

Bright green with an elongated teardrop shape and a white inflorescence.

Leaf Look

Graceful elongated green foliage and the occasional spathe (a modified leaf) in white or light green. These special leaves also have a funny little spike in the middle known as a spadix (this is where the many teeny-tiny flowers live).

Pro Tip

|

Wanna see more blooms? A little stress can help.

Pro Tip

In order to achieve plenty of blooms, Peace Lilies need a resting period in winter. You'll have to keep them in slightly cooler temperature ranges (around 60°F) and a bit less light (and therefore less water). You may even allow the plant to get rootbound. A little bit of stress is actually a trigger for the plant to flower more vigorously.

Fun Fact

|

What's in a name?

Did You Know?

The name 'Peace Lily' is thought to come from the white blooms that peek out above their green foliage like a white flag of surrender, or peace.

Beyond The Basics

Soil & Potting

Thrives in a rich, very well-draining potting mix—you can use a good quality potting mix labeled for orchids or supplement a standard indoor mix with orchid bark. Ensure the pot has the appropriate drainage and don't forget to pour out any excess water collected in the drainage tray or cachepot.

Repotting

Try to repot every 2-3 years in the spring, especially when tending to a younger plant. Increase the pot size by about 2 inches each time or until you're satisfied with the size. It's still important to repot at this stage, but it'll be an exercise of refreshing the soil, keeping the pot size the same, and possibly doing some root trimming to restrict the plant's growth. Keep in mind, a mature and lightly rootbound plant is more likely to flower! More on repotting here.

Feeding

If you're not already planning to repot, you can fertilize during the spring and summer months. Once to every two months should be plenty. No fertilizer is necessary during the winter when plant growth naturally slows down. You can try a balanced liquid or water-soluble fertilizer—always diluted more than the recommended strength. Try something with more potassium (K) if you're specifically looking to see blooms. More on using fertilizer here.

Grooming

While no specific pruning is required for this plant, it's always good practice to regularly remove yellowed or dying leaves and any fallen plant debris. Ensure your scissors or pruners are sanitized to avoid spreading disease or pests. You'll also want to dead-head any spent flowers.

Propagation

Since Peace Lilies grow in dense clumps, you can always divide these into multiple plants when repotting. You'll simply pull apart the roots into your desired clumps. Or, if a bit rootbound, you may need to cut them apart. You can then pot each one up into their own appropriately sized vessel. If you'd like to propagate without dividing your plant, you can also try a stem cutting. You'll need to take an apical stem cutting (the top of the stem where there is new growth). Try to cut a decent section with 3-4 leaves and cut just below the lowest leaf. Remove the lower leaves to ensure a clear stem before rooting in water or another medium. Once the roots are a few inches long you can pot up your new Peace Lily! It may take about a year for your new plant to flower. More on propagation techniques here.

Variants

TrOUBlESHOOTING

Why are the leaves on my Peace Lily curling inward/outward?

Symptom

Leaf edges curling, either inward or outward. Usually accompanied by some discoloration.

Cause

Leaves curling inward is often a sign of dehydration from either too much light or not enough water. Leaves curling outward is more likely a sign of not enough light or too much water.

Solution

The key is a well tuned balance between the amount of light and your frequency of watering. Instead of going by a set schedule, check-in with your plant to see if they need the water or not. You'll want to allow around half the soil to dry out completely before watering again. While this may be on a consistent schedule for some months, as the seasons change, so will the amount of light and therefore your watering schedule must shift.

More on watering here.
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Why does my Peace Lily have mold on the surface of the soil?

Symptom

A white mold covering the surface of the soil or full-on mushrooms sprouting in the soil or even popping out through drainage holes.

Cause

It can be frightening to notice mold or mushrooms growing on the soil. However, these fungii are usually benign and won't harm your plant directly. The real danger is that you're creating an environment that promotes fungal growth and is quite likely overly wet. Ultimately, these could be warning signs that you are overwatering.

Solution

If you want to eliminate the mold and mushrooms, you can simply remove and replace the top inch or so of soil. You can also try a soil soak of neem oil, which acts as a fungicide. But try not to overdo it, since you're delivering neem oil in a water-based solution, too much will do more harm than good. The most important factor will be to evaluate your watering frequency and ensure you aren't overwatering. While the visible fungii aren't problematic for your plant, sustained overwatering will eventually lead to a fungal infection at the roots, the cause of dreaded root rot.

More on watering here.
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Why are the leaves on my Peace Lily wilting and yellowing?

Symptom

Multiple leaves are wilting and turning yellow—particularly the older, lower leaves. You may also notice stunted growth and mushy stems.

Cause

The most likely culprit is overwatering and initial signs of root rot. When a plant's roots sit in waterlogged soil for too long, a fungal infection can quickly take over, causing the roots to rot (turning brown and mushy).

Solution

First, ensure that your plant has appropriate drainage (both in terms of well-draining soil and plenty of drainage holes in the plant's container).

If you think you've caught the overwatering early on, you can simply let the plant dry out more than you have been. Allow the top few inches of soil to dry out before watering again. Continue monitoring and only water when needed. You may also try using chopsticks (or something similar) to poke holes in the soil to help the roots get more oxygen. And finally, you can try to "wick" the excess moisture out of the soil by placing the whole pot (with drainage holes) in a tray or container with dry soil. This new layer of dry soil should soak up some of the excess moisture from the waterlogged areas around your plant's roots.

However, if you suspect a serious case of root rot, you'll definitely need to take a peak at the roots by removing the plant entirely from their container. If there are any black and mushy roots, trim them back completely before repotting with fresh soil in a new or sterilized container.

More on leaf changes here.
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Why are the leaf tips on my Peace Lily browning?

Symptom

Leaves turning brown just on the edges or tips. These edges may gradually change from yellow to brown, crispy, and possibly a bit curled.

Cause

Browning just on the edges of tips is usually a reaction to low humidity. Since many of our houseplants have tropical origins, they also thrive in humid conditions. Our average indoor humidity is usually adequate, but some plants are simply more sensitive to changes in humidity than others. You may notice this more acutely when conditions are particularly dry—like when you turn on the heater in winter.

Solution

Try to accommodate your plant's needs by locating them in more naturally humid places, like the bathroom or kitchen, or grouping a bunch of humidity-loving plants together. But the only way to truly guarantee increased humidity is to get a humidifier!

Once you've addressed the problem: If the brown tips bother you, you can trim them back. Do your best to follow the shape of the leaf to help them look natural. Also, try to cut just short of the discolored edge so it doesn’t expand.

More on leaf changes here.
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Why does my Peace Lily have so few flowers?

Symptom

A complete lack of flowers or very few flowers.

Cause

Peace Lilies generally need a resting period in winter in order to produce plenty of blooms. A little bit of stress is actually the trigger for a plant to flower more vigorously.

Solution

In the winter, keep your Peace Lily in slightly cooler temperature ranges than you normally would—aim for around 60°F. While this should happen naturally, make sure they're also getting a bit less light (and therefore less water). You may even allow the plant to get rootbound. Don't forget to return to your normal care routine when spring comes around and you should be rewarded for your efforts!

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