304 North Cardinal St.
Dorchester Center, MA 02124
Peace lily care basics to keep your plant healthy
Disclosure: This article may contain affiliate links, meaning we may earn a small commission if readers purchase products through these links. As an Amazon Associate, we earn commission from qualifying purchases.
Interested in peace lily care? These low-maintenance houseplants aren’t too fussy, but there are a few things you can do to help them thrive indoors.
Good peace lily plant care starts by planting it with high-quality potting mix in a container that is large enough for the roots and has a drainage hole for excess water to escape out the bottom.
Water the plant once or twice a week or whenever it looks a bit droopy. While they tolerate low light, they do best indoors with some bright indirect light. Fertilize your potted plant throughout spring and summer, and avoid feeding it in the winter when days are short.
Read on to learn all about peace lily plant care
Peace lily care basics
Peace lily plants (Spathiphyllum spp.) are a popular choice for both indoor and outdoor gardens due to their attractive white blooms and tolerance for low-light conditions. These tropical plants are native to Central and South America and are known for their ability to purify the air by removing toxins such as formaldehyde and ammonia.
Peace lilies make popular houseplants because they are easy to care for and can thrive in various indoor environments. These tropical plants have glossy, dark green leaves and produce white, hooded flowers that resemble calla lilies. Peace lilies are not true lilies but are aroids, known for their flower-like spathe around a long spadix of tiny blooms.
Here are some basic tips for caring for peace lilies.
Peace lilies prefer indirect, bright light, but can tolerate low light conditions. Avoid placing them in direct sunlight, as this can scorch their leaves.
Peace lilies like to be consistently moist but not waterlogged. The soil should not be dry and crusty, but it also shouldn’t be wet and muddy.
Water the plant when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Usually, this is about once or twice a week. Use tepid water to avoid shocking the plant, and pour slowly so as not to splash up the potting mix. Allow the excess water to drain away, and never leave the plant sitting in standing water.
Peace lilies prefer temperatures between 60-80°F (15-27°C). These plants are very tender and cannot withstand freezing temperatures.
Use a well-draining peat or coco coir-based potting mix for peace lilies. Ideally, the mix should also include perlite and/or vermiculite for entrained air, and so extra water can drain out easily.
Feed peace lilies with a balanced liquid fertilizer every two to four weeks during the growing season (spring and summer). Don’t feed them at all in the winter when days are short. Give the plant a rest!
Peace lilies appreciate being slightly pot-bound, so they do not need to be repotted frequently. When the plant outgrows its pot or the potting mix begins to break down, repot it into a slightly larger container using fresh potting mix.
By following these basic care guidelines, your peace lily should thrive and bring a touch of greenery to your indoor space.
Sunlight preferences of peace lily plants
Peace lilies (Spathiphyllum spp.) are popular houseplants and are also grown outdoors in warmer climates. One of the keys to keeping peace lilies healthy is providing them with the right amount of sunlight. Here’s what you need to know about the sunlight requirements of indoor and outdoor peace lily plants.
Indoor peace lilies
Peace lilies grown indoors prefer indirect, bright light, but can tolerate low light conditions. This means that they are well-suited for rooms with east- or west-facing windows, or for spaces that receive bright, indirect light from nearby windows or doors. Avoid placing peace lilies in direct sunlight, as this can scorch their leaves and cause the plant to wilt.
If your indoor peace lily isn’t getting enough light, you may notice that its leaves become pale or yellow and its growth slows. In this case, try moving the plant to a brighter location or providing it with artificial light using a grow light. You can also bring it outdoors to a full-shade location if the weather is warm. Just be sure to keep it out of direct sunlight, as the leaves will be accustomed to low indoor light levels.
Outdoor-grown peace lilies
Peace lilies are native to tropical regions of the Americas and are best suited for growing in warm, humid environments. In the United States, they can be grown outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11, which includes parts of Florida, Texas, and California.
Outdoor peace lilies prefer partial shade or filtered sunlight. They can tolerate full sun in the morning or late afternoon (as long as the individual plant is accustomed to strong light), but should be protected from the hot midday sun. Too much direct sunlight can cause their leaves to scorch and fade.
If you are growing peace lilies outdoors, it’s important to keep an eye on the weather and bring the plants inside if temperatures drop below about 60°F (15°C). Peace lilies are sensitive to cold temperatures and don’t grow well in cool temperatures. And worse, can suffer damage or die if exposed to frost. Freezing temperatures generally kill peace lily plants.
Watering peace lily plants
The best watering practices for peace lily plants depend upon where the plant is growing. In general, they prefer moist (but not muddy) soil, and tend to droop quite dramatically when they need water. It also makes sense to avoid watering the foliage, and to water the soil instead (either at the base of the stems or by placing a potted plant in a basin of water.
If you have grown other types of lily plants, it’s important to note that the peace lily is not a true lily and has very different care preferences. Peace lilies are of the botanical genus Spathiphyllum, which is in the Aroid family (Araceae), not the lily family (Liliaceae). Care for peace lilies is more like care for anthurium houseplants than for garden lilies.
Let’s look at some watering basics for peace lilies, whether they are grown as indoor houseplants, potted plants on a shady patio, or planted in the ground in tropical climates.
Watering peace lily houseplants
Peace lilies are known for their low maintenance needs, making them a great choice for busy gardeners or those new to plant care. When it comes to watering, it’s important to keep the soil evenly moist, but not soggy. To do this, check the soil moisture levels regularly by sticking your finger about an inch into the soil. If it feels dry, it’s time to water. If it feels moist, wait a few more days before watering again.
It’s also important to use room temperature water, as cold water can shock the plant and cause the leaves to turn yellow. If you have hard water, consider using filtered or distilled water to prevent mineral buildup in the soil.
Most plants are sensitive to over-watering, so it’s important to allow the soil to drain properly. To ensure good drainage, use a pot with drainage holes and a well-draining soil mix. Check to make sure water is draining out of the bottom. You can take smaller plants right to the sink and watch them drain, but you may have to watch the saucer under larger specimens.
Watering potted peace lily patio plants
If you have your peace lily plant in a pot on a shady patio, the watering needs will be similar to those of an indoor plant. However, it’s important to keep in mind that potted plants generally dry out faster than those planted in the ground, so you may need to water more frequently.
Potted patio plants dry out very fast in hot weather, especially if they get any direct sunlight. Even if your peace lily is tough and has gotten used to a bit of direct sunlight, still keep it well-watered. These plants don’t like to dry out (especially when its hot and sunny out).
Again, check the soil moisture levels regularly and water when the soil feels dry. It’s also a good idea to use a pot with drainage holes to prevent excess water from sitting in the soil, which can lead to root rot.
Watering peace lilies planted in the ground in tropical climates
In tropical climates, peace lilies can be planted in the ground as long as they are in a shady or filtered sun location. These plants prefer moist, well-draining soil, so it’s important to water regularly to keep the soil evenly moist.
During hot, dry spells, you may need to water more frequently to prevent the soil from drying out. Again, be careful not to over-water, as this can lead to root rot. It’s also a good idea to mulch around the base of the plant to help retain moisture in the soil.
Temperature requirements for peace lily plants
Peace lily plants are native to the tropical regions of the Americas (Mexico, northern South America) where temperatures do not fall below freezing. They prefer to grow in temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Peace lilies don’t grow well below a minimum temperature of about 55°F (12°C).
Frost or freezing temperatures will typically kill peace lily plants. It is also important to keep the plant away from drafts (even if its indoors) and to protect it from extreme temperature fluctuations. Don’t grow them right next to an exterior door if you live in a cold climate.
Soil preferences of peace lily plants
Peace lilies are a popular choice for both indoor and outdoor gardens due to their beautiful white flowers and lush, green leaves. These tropical plants are native to the Americas and are generally easy to care for, but it is important to provide them with the right soil conditions in order to ensure their health and growth.
When growing peace lilies in pots/containers, it is important to use a well-draining soil mix. A good option is a potting soil that contains perlite or vermiculite, which will help to create drainage pathways for excess water to travel down. It is also a good idea to use a pot with drainage holes to prevent excess water from accumulating in the soil.
Peace lilies grown in the ground in tropical regions will do well in a wide range of soil types, as long as the soil is well-draining and consistently moist. These plants prefer a soil pH of 6.0 to 6.5, which is slightly acidic. They do not tolerate drought well, so it is important to water them regularly and to mulch the soil around the base of the plant to help retain moisture.
Overall, peace lily plants are not particularly picky when it comes to soil, but it is important to provide them with well-draining soil, as they don’t thrive in muddy wet stagnant soil. They need fresh, oxygenated water to thrive.
Fertilizing peace lily plants
Fertilize peace lily plants once a month during the active growing season – typically from spring to summer. You can use a balanced liquid fertilizer formulated for houseplants and follow the instructions on the label for the recommended dilution and application frequency. It is best to fertilize the plant when it is actively growing and to avoid fertilizing it when it is not actively growing, as this can cause the plant to become stressed. Don’t fertilize at all in the winter when days are the shortest.
In addition to liquid fertilizers, you can also use slow-release granular fertilizers or fertilize the plant with compost or organic matter. Be sure to follow the instructions on the label for the recommended application rate, as over-fertilizing the plant can cause the leaves to turn yellow and the plant to become stunted.
It is also important to water the plant thoroughly before and after applying fertilizer, as this will help to distribute the nutrients throughout the soil and prevent the fertilizer from concentrating in one area, which can be harmful to the plant. As with watering, it is important not to over-fertilize the plant, as this can lead to excess foliage growth at the expense of flowers since most houseplant fertilizers are quite rich in nitrogen.
Repotting peace lily plants
Peace lily plants may eventually outgrow their current pot and will need to be repotted in a larger container. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to repot a peace lily plant.
- Water the plant thoroughly and allow it to drain completely before starting the repotting process. This will help to loosen the soil and make it easier to remove the plant from its current pot.
- Choose a new pot that is 1-2 inches larger in diameter than the current pot and has drainage holes to prevent excess water from accumulating in the soil. Stagnant water in the pot can lead to fungal disease, root suffocation, and even kill the plant.
- Gently remove the plant from its current pot by turning it upside down and gently tapping the bottom of the pot to loosen the soil. If the plant is stuck, you can try gently pulling the sides of the pot away from the soil to loosen it. You can usually bend plastic pots a bit, but you may need to slide a butter knife down the inside edges of a terra cotta pot.
- Carefully remove the excess soil from the roots of the plant, taking care not to damage the roots. The best way to do this is to wash the soil off the roots entirely so you can inspect them, but if this isn’t feasible (due to an indoor workspace or a big plant), then just brush off most of the soil. Don’t worry about disturbing the roots – just be gentle with them. Trim any damaged or diseased roots off with a pair of clean scissors.
- Place a small amount of soil in the bottom of the new pot and position the plant in the pot so that the crown (where the leaves and stems meet) is at the same level it was in the old pot. Don’t bury any stem.
- Fill the pot with soil, pressing gently to remove any air pockets. Water the plant thoroughly to help settle the soil and ensure that it is evenly moist. Check the level of the base and adjust the soil level until the base of the stems meets the soil.
- Place the plant in a location with bright, indirect light and maintain a consistent watering schedule, taking care not to overwater the plant.
Repotting a peace lily plant is a simple process that can help to ensure the continued growth and health of the plant. With a little bit of care and attention, your peace lily will thrive in its new pot for years to come.
FAQs about caring for a peace lily plant
How often should I water a peace lily plant?
Peace lily plants prefer consistently moist soil, but they do not tolerate being waterlogged. The soil should be damp like a wrung-out sponge, not muddy like a puddle. It is generally recommended to water the plant once a week or whenever the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.
How do I get a peace lily plant to flower?
Peace lily plants typically flower in the spring and summer months when the days are longer. To encourage flowering, provide the plant with bright, indirect light and maintain a consistent watering schedule. You can add an artificial plant light if growing the peace lily as a housplant. Avoid over-fertilizing the plant with nitrogen-rich fertilizer, as this can lead to excess foliage growth at the expense of flowers.
What should I do if the leaves of my peace lily plant start to turn yellow?
Yellowing leaves can be a sign of over-watering or under-watering. Check the soil moisture level and adjust your watering schedule accordingly. Yellowing leaves can also be a sign of root rot, which is caused by excess moisture in the soil. If the plant is in a pot with poor drainage, consider repotting it in a pot with drainage holes.
Yellow leaves can also indicate a nutrient deficiency. Most commonly, this is a deficiency in nitrogen, but other deficiencies also cause some yellowing of foliage. Fertilize the plant with a complete balanced fertilizer.
How do I care for a peace lily plant in the winter?
Peace lily plants are native to tropical regions and prefer a consistent, warm temperature. In the winter months, it is important to protect the plant from drafts and extreme temperature fluctuations. Water the plant less frequently, as the plant will be dormant and will not need as much moisture.
How do I propagate a peace lily plant?
Peace lily plants can be propagated most easily by dividing the root ball and planting the divisions in separate pots. Alternatively, they can be propagated by planting stem cuttings in soil or water. It is generally recommended to use a rooting hormone with the cuttings to help promote root growth.