Peace Lily Plants Care: Guide & Tips

Peace Lily Plants Care: Guide & Tips

The peace lily plant is an elegant, flowery plant that makes for a great indoor and outdoor addition. Peace lilies bloom in spring with long-lasting flowers that hover gracefully over the green leaves.

About Peace Lily Plants

Peace lilies are tropical, evergreen plants that thrive on the forest floor, where they receive shaded sunlight and consistent moisture and humidity almost year-round. Replicating these conditions at home is the key to growing your peace lily to be happy and healthy.

With enough light, peace lilies produce white flowers starting in the early summer, continuing to bloom throughout the year if kept in the right conditions.

Most household varieties of peace lily grow up to 16 inches tall, but larger outdoor cultivars can have leaves that reach up to 6 feet in height. Peace lilies are not cold-resistant plants, so they can only be grown outdoors in very warm, humid climates (USDA Zones 10 or 11).

Is the Peace Lily Plant Poisonous?

Yes, peace lilies are a mildly toxic plant. All parts of the peace lily plant contain calcium oxalate, a substance that may cause stomach and respiratory irritation if ingested in considerable amounts. Keep peace lilies out of reach of children and pets who might chew on the leaves or flowers. 

Common Name

Peace lily, spath lily

Botanical Name

Spathiphyllum spp.

Family

Araceae

Plant Type

Flowering tropical plant

Mature Size

1–3 ft. tall; up to 6 feet tall outdoors

Sun Exposure

Partial shade

Soil Type

Moist but well-drained

Soil pH

Acidic

Bloom Time

Spring

Flower Color

White or yellow

Hardiness Zones

11–12, USA

Native Area

Central America, Asia

Toxicity

Toxic to dogs, toxic to cats, toxic to humans

 

Peace Lily Outdoors

How to Plant Peace Lilies

Potting, Repotting, and Dividing Peace Lilies

  • Use a well-draining, all-purpose potting soil. The soil should be able to hold moisture and dry out slowly over time. Peace lilies don’t like to dry out completely, but they also won’t do well if kept in soil that’s too damp, as this fosters root rot and other problems.

  • Repotting the plant every couple of years in the spring is great for the peace lily, as it will greatly appreciate the new soil.

  • With time your peace lily may grow too large for its pot, at which point it should be divided. Remove the plant from its pot and split it into smaller plants, being sure to leave several leaves per section. Peace lilies grow from rhizomes, so it can tolerate a bit of tough treatment every once in a while.

Can Peace Lilies Grow in Water?

Absolutely, peace lilies can grow in water alone; they are often sold in vases without any soil. Ideally, the base of the plant should be suspended above the water line, either by a specific vase insert or through a layer of small river stones. This allows the roots to grow down into the water, but keeps the base of the plant and its leaves from being constantly wet, which is great to avoid root rot.

Peace Lily In Water

How to Care for Peace Lilies Plants

Watering Peace Lily Plants

Peace lilies are water loving plants, and cannot tolerate long periods of drought. Nevertheless, they can be quite easily recovered with a good watering cycle and are not too demanding.

  • When it comes to watering, consistency is always key. Keep the soil lightly moist to the touch, but not overly saturated. Peace lilies can tolerate short periods of dry soil, but their leaves will start to show brown tips if they don’t have enough water or humidity.

  • Peace lilies are quite sensitive to chemicals commonly found in tap water, which may cause brown leaf tips. Use filtered, room-temperature water.

Tip: One nice thing about peace lilies is that they will tell you when they’re thirsty: the plant’s leaves start to droop visibly. When the plant starts to look less “perky” than usual, test the soil with your finger. If it feels dry, it’s probably time to water again.

Light, Fertilization, Temperature & Humidity

Lighting

Ideally, keep peace lilies in a spot that gets bright but indirect light. An east-facing window is perfect, as the plant will be exposed to the bright morning sun. A north-facing window can also be a decent spot for a peace lily.

Keep peace lilies out of areas where they’ll get direct sunlight all day (such as in a south-facing window or out under the sun), as it may dry them out too much.

Temperature & Humidity

Peace lilies enjoy high levels of humidity. Misting their leaves or placing their pot atop a moistened tray of gravel can help to increase humidity around the plant and make it grow healthier.

Peace lilies are a sub-tropical plant, so try to keep them in temperatures above 60°F (16°C) and away from cold windows. They do best in temperatures above 70°F (21°C).

Fertilizing

Peace lilies are not heavy feeders, so fertilize only occasionally. To encourage growth, fertilize every 4-6 weeks with a balanced houseplant fertilizer starting in early spring.

Peace Lily Pest and Diseases

  • Brown leaf tips are commonly caused by excessive direct sunlight, over-fertilization, or lack of water and humidity. Keeping the plant on a tray of moistened gravel or misting the leaves can help to increase humidity.

  • Yellow leaves may be caused by overwatering, underwatering, or old age (of the leaf). If the oldest leaves are yellowing and the plant hasn’t been repotted in a while, it may just need more space to grow its roots. 

  • Scale and mealy bugs will happily take up residence on the plant, if given the opportunity. A thorough wipe of leaves with a dish soap and water solution can be effective at reducing them, though several applications will be necessary.

Peace Lily yellow leaves

How to Get Peace Lilies to Flower

  • Most often, if no flowers are appearing on your peace lily, it means the plant is not getting enough light. Peace lilies are very tolerant of low light and can live happily in shaded areas, but “low light” doesn’t mean nolight! To encourage flowering, move the plant to a brighter location, where it will receive bright, indirect light for at least three hours each day.

  • Green, weak-looking flowers, or a general lack of flowers can also be caused by improper fertilizing. In the case of green flowers, cut back on fertilizing. In the case of weak-looking flowers, try switching to a fertilizer made specifically for flowering plants. This type of fertilizer will have a higher amount of phosphorous, which plants need for blooming. 

Peace Lily Varieties

Different varieties of peace lilies are not very easy to come by in most garden centers, though they have been increasing in popularity.

  • Spathiphyllum wallisii is a smaller peace lily, reaching only 12 inches tall.

  • Spathiphyllum ‘Petite’ is smaller still, at approximately 8–10 inches.

  • Spathiphyllum ‘Sensation’ is the largest variety available, capable of growing up to 4–6 feet in height and width.

  • Spathiphyllum ‘Domino’ is a medium-size variety with attractively variegated leaves.

  • Spathiphyllum ‘Mojo Lime’ has lime-green foliage, is another medium-size peace lily.

Peace Lily Plants Care

Peace Lily Did You Know

  • The peace lily is said to have gotten its common name from its white flowers, which rise timidly above its green foliage and resemble white flags of peace. 

  • Despite the peace lily’s common name, it is not related to true lilies at all.

  • The plant’s interesting blooms are also the source of its Latin name, Spathiphyllum, meaning “spathe-leaf.” The flowers consist of the spathe (the white, sheath-like leaf) and the spadix (the spike of small flowers located within the spathe). 

Peace Lily Flower Closeup

Peace Lily Summary

Peace lilies are tropical species and hybrid from the Spathiphyllum genus and are a quite common flowering houseplant. A striking plant when used in mass display, the peace lily blooms in spring with long-lasting flower stalks that hover gracefully over the foliage. The plant has glossy oval leaves with points that emerge from the soil. A well-grown peace lily may bloom twice a year, resulting in several months of flowers.

When grown outdoors in tropical and subtropical climates, peace lilies are normally planted in the spring while it is still cool. As houseplants, they can be purchased and brought into the home at any time, though you will want to protect the plants from colder temperatures.

Peace lily plants are considered toxic to pets and humans.

When it comes to automated plant care systems, peace lilies are one of the plants that usually struggles with them, as it only require very frequent watering with intermittent dry periods. Only truly smart plant care systems like KORU can adapt to each plant's different needs, helping them to thrive by measuring light, temperature, humidity and soil moisture.