Peace Lily Plant Care

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Peace Lily spathe flower zoomed in

Peace Lilies are one of the most popular tropical indoor houseplants that have beautiful white flowers with large leaves. They are drought tolerant (do not need too much watering), need slightly moist well draining soil with neutral pH, low to medium indirect sun, organic fertilizer from spring to early fall and high amount of humidity to grow well. Nasa has listed it in the Top 10 air purifying plants. NASA recommends 6-10 Peace lily plants per room.

 

If you read this article completely,  you will be an expert in peace lily plant care, how to grow and propagate, what Soil to use, Repotting, Pruning and how much Water, Sunlight and Fertilizer is needed. You will know the best and most recommended ways to care for your peace lily plant.

Peace Lily General Info

  • Origin: Tropical regions of America and southeast Asia
  • Genus: Spathiphyllum
  • Scientific Name: Spathiphyllum
  • Common Names: spath
  • 👪Family: Araceae
  • 🌼Flowers: spathe creamy white with sword-like foliage
  • 🍃Leaf Colors: Green or slightly variegated (peace lily domino)
  • 🌵Climate: Tropical
  • 🌡️Temperature: Warm and humid. 65F to 80 F (18 C to 26 C)
  • 🌼Growing season: 
  • 💧Watering
  • ☀️Light: Indirect light, South or East facing window.
  • ☠️Toxicity: Toxic to kids and pets when ingested
  • 🧴Use: Air purifier and ornamental houseplant.
  • Propagation🌱: By dividing the rhizome
  • Height📏: 3ft to 6ft, with upto 20 inch long leaves
  • Soil: Well draining pH neutral soil.

Watering Schedule💧

Do not over water: Only water when the soil goes completely dry

 

The most common way people kill the peace lily plant is by overwatering. The best way to know when to water is to do the classic finger test where you stick your finger and see if 1-2 inches of the topsoil has dried out completely before giving it more water. If it's still moist, don't water it. Just picking up the pot is also an easy way to know if it needs to be watered. It feels pretty lightweight and doesn’t seem to have moisture in there, you can plan to water.

 

  • If you underwater peace lily, the leaves start drooping and they move back to their normal position once they get watered. This may look fascinating but it puts the plant in a lot of stress. Do not wait for the leaves to start drooping and water when you see that the soil is dry. 
  • Peace Lilies are sensitive to chemicals. So make sure your water is free from chlorine or other chemicals.

 

When watering your Peace Lily, remember the 2 D’s

  1. Drench: Water until the pot starts to drain the water, and the soil is completely drenched.
  2. Drain: Water should be completely drained

 

Pro Tip: Better to be on the side of under-watering than over-watering with peace lilies. Most of the plants can recover from severe under-watering but die if over-watered.

Sunlight Requirements☀️

Peace Lily prefers bright indirect light and does not like harsh direct light at all. They only require medium to low light. If you want your peace lily to bloom, you have to provide them with a few hours of indirect sunlight everyday. South or East facing window is the best for Peace Lily plants. Do not keep your peace lily in direct sun.

 

The non-variegated variety of Peace Lily does well even in low-light conditions, however, the variegated variety will need some sunlight to retain its variegation.

 

Wide leaves of peace lilies are prone to dust accumulation, so make sure to wash/wipe the leaves when you see dust, so the leaves can process sunlight efficiently.

 

Note: Make sure you don’t keep the plant very close to the glass window, as it can intensify sun rays and burn the leaves. Too much direct sunlight will burn the leaves

Soil

  • Peace lily requires well-draining and aerated soil. 
  • Pot should be well drained with multiple drainage holes. Water should not be withheld in the pot at all. 
  • They like moist soil but not at all water clogged as it right away rot the sensitive roots of peace lily.
  • pH neutral

Recommended Peace Lily soil mixture

  1. Garden soil or Compost (30%-40%) for nutrients.
  2. Sand (30%-40%) for good drainage of water. Use river sand or construction sand. Don’t use beach or sea sand because it is high in sodium chloride (salt).
  3. Perlite/Bark/Pumus (10%) or a combination for all three for aeration and better water drainage.

Fertilizer

Feed your Peace Lily with a General Purpose organic Fertilizer during late spring, summer and early fall. Do not fertilize during the winter. With peace lilies, it is better to under fertilize rather than over fertilize. Peace lilies are very sensitive to chemicals, so only use an organic fertilizer.

Temperature and Humidity🌡️

  • 65F to 80 F (18 C to 26 C)
  • Anything higher will dry the leaves and anything lower will kill it.
  • Peace lilies do like high humidity as they are found in the tropical regions. With less humidity, their leaf tips start to turn yellow
  • They don’t like draughts - keep them away from air vents and doors/windows that get opened and closed throughout the day.

Problems and Solution Table

📸 Screenshot this Peace Lily troubleshooting table! 

 

Problem

Reason & Solution

Wilting Leaves

Needs water or the plant is root bound. Give it water if you haven’t recently, or else, check the roots and re-pot in a bigger pot if required.

Yellow Leaves

Too much Sunlight, overwatering or underwatering. Nutrient deficiency: Mg, N or Iron. Use NPK fertilizer

Yellow tips on leaves

Humidity is low or potassium deficiency. Use a humidifier near the plant. Use NPK fertilizer

Brown and Crispy leaves

Too much direct sunlight burned the leaves. Take it further away from the window

Brown tips on Leaves

Water is hard. Don’t use your tap water, and use distilled water instead.

Peace Lily flower turning black

If the flower is a few weeks old, this is normal and the flower has declined. Cut off the stem from the base.

Leaves turning Yellow

Do not worry too much if one odd leaf turns yellow. However, if most of the leaves are turning yellow, it could be overwatering or underwatering of the plant. Leaves of peace lily can also turn yellow and halt its growth if it is suffering from certain nutrient deficiencies.

 

Peace lilies are susceptible to magnesium deficiencies, but they can also suffer from nitrogen, potassium and iron deficiencies as well. Low levels of Nitrogen can cause peace lily leaves to turn yellow. Low level magnesium or iron will also cause your peace lily leaves to turn yellow but the veins may remain green. Low levels of potassium may cause the leaf tips to turn yellow.

 

To prevent the peace lily leaves from turning yellow, maintain a proper watering schedule by watering only when the top 1-2 inch of the soil is dry and use a 20-20-20 NPK fertilizer. 

Peace Lily Not Flowering🌼

May to June is the time when Peace Lilies bloom.

 

When you buy a peace lily, you have that beautiful white flower. Once they die off, it is difficult for a general houseplant owner to get the peace lily to flower back because there is a certain hormone (called gibberellic acid) that the nurseries and garden centres use to get them to flower which is not easily available to the general public.

 

To make your peace lily bloom, do the following:

  1. Indirect Sunlight: Keep the peace lily in bright light. They won't bloom indoors. While they are low light tolerant, if you want your plant to flower, keep it in a south or east facing window.
  2. Fertilize once every 2 weeks with an organic fertilizer during spring, summer and early fall. You can also find a fertilizer that is high in phosphorus and good for flowering. 
  3. Decrease watering. Water when they start drooping.
  4. Keep it warm and humid. If it's not getting enough humidity, it will not bloom.

When Peace Lily flowers, it lasts for about 2 months which is great. Even if you are not able to get your peace lily to flower, the foliage itself is pretty great in my opinion😍

Peace Lily bloom turning black

Peace lily flower bloom turning black

Once the peace lily blooms, it stays for about 2 months. If the flower is a few weeks old, this is normal and the flower has declined. This just means the bloom has run its course and died. Cut off the stem of the bloom from the bottom base.

White powder on Peace Lily leaves

That’s actually pollen that the peace lily flower sheds. It is not a matter of concern and it is normal to find this white powder on leaves. Just take a damp cloth and wipe it off.

How to revive an overwatered Peace Lily🆘

If you have overwatered your Peace Lily, and the plant is still in the wet soil,

  1. Remove the plant from the pot
  2. Remove any rotted parts of the Plant from the roots
  3. Repot into new dry soil.

Pests 🐛& Diseases🦠

Spider mites. You can easily get rid of spider mites.

 

The two main diseases in peace lilies are caused by fungal pathogens that are present in the soil: cylindrocladium spathiphyllum and phytophthora parasitica fungi. They attack the roots of the plant causing root rot and the plant has a very rare chance of surviving once they have these parasites in the soil. Symptom of these diseases is the yellowing of the leaves from the bottom to the top and eventually the plant will die.

 

Since there is no practical cure for these diseases, the best way is to take preventative measures. You can minister a fungicide to your plant.

Repotting

Peace lilies like to be pot bound. The common sign that tells you that it’s time to re-pot your peace lily into a bigger pot is when you see that the plant has outgrown its container and the leaves start drooping just within a few days of watering the plant. Other signs include crowded, deformed growth of leaves.

Pruning✂️

You can prune the brown tips of the leaves which is generally caused by using hard water. Make sure to sanitize your pruners before pruning the leaves.

 

To grow more stalks in the plant, cutting the stalk as close to the base as possible will lead to more stalk growth.

Propagation🌱

The Peace lily root system is rhizomatous (modified stems running underground horizontally). These stems are underground and have their own root and shoot systems. So in order to propagate peace lilies, you have to cut the underground stem to divide the plant into two or more plants. 

Here’s a step by step process of propagating your peace lily plant:

  1. Take the plant out of the pot and remove the soil.
  2. Using your fingers, hold a part of the plant and detach it from the entire root system. You can also use scissors to divide the plant.
  3. If the roots are too long, you can trim the roots.
  4. Place the divided plant in the centre of the pot and add soil.
  5. Water thoroughly.

Peace Lily and Cats / Dogs☠️

  • Peace Lily contains a chemical called Calcium Oxalate that can be fatal to cats and dogs if consumed in large amounts.
  • Keep the peace lily away from pets and kids.

Benefits of Peace Lily Plant

Peace Lily purifies the air from toxins. They normalize formaldehyde and carbon monoxide. Nasa has listed it in the Top 10 air purifying plants. NASA recommends 6-10 Peace lily plants per room.

How to buy a Peace Lily Plant

Peace Lily is so basic, you will find Peace Lily plants from supermarkets to your nearest nursery. But when you do reach your nearest nursery, Make sure the leaves look healthy with no brown tips or drooping leaves.

 

Peace lilies come in 3 different sizes: Small, medium and large

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