How To Care for a Peace Lilly
August 31, 2020 by Kassi Kuppinger
Also known as a Spathiphyllum, these beautiful, lush plants add a lot to any room, filling space with its big green leaves, and adding a delicate touch with its elegant white flowers. This plant, despite its name, is not actually a true lily, however, it does resemble a calla lily. This, paired with its flowers (resembling a white flag of surrender), is where it gets it’s name. Being very adaptable and easy to care for, this houseplant makes for a lovely gift, as it stands for peace and can serve as a gesture of sympathy. Another reason these plants make such a great addition to any household is that they have made the list of top 10 household air cleaning plants! With their beauty, ease and practicality, what’s not to love about these plants?
Peace lily’s prefer partial shade.
Some varieties can even thrive with no natural light at all! One thing they definitely do not like is getting too much light. Direct sunlight will easily scorch the leaves of your plant, so I would suggest placing your plant out of direct sunlight. I have a peace lily that sits 6 or 7 feet away from an east facing window, so it gets some slight, indirect light, and it is thriving. Generally, peace lily’s will do great when placed 6-8 feet away from any window, as long as it is not in direct sun!
If you notice the leaves of your plant beginning to turn yellow, this is a sign of it getting too much light. Your leaves will also start to turn brown and crispy when exposed to direct sunlight, as this a sign of the leaves becoming scorched. If this begins to happen, simply place your plant in a more shaded spot and it will recover just fine.
Well draining soil that retains some moisture is preferable for your plant.
Well draining, but also retains moisture?? Exactly. Your peace lily wants its roots to stay moist, but if it is sitting in soggy soil, it won’t last long. One way to get the perfect soil is by mixing your standard potting mix with some peat moss and sand. The sand will help make sure the water drains as its supposed to, and the peat moss will hold onto some water and make sure the roots have the moisture they need. Another way to get the right soil is to mix your potting soil with some extra perlite and bark chips. The perlite will serve the same purpose as the sand, and the bark will serve the same purpose as the peat moss, both making sure that your peace lily has the perfect conditions.
In general, these plants like to be watered once per week.
A good rule of thumb is to wait until the leaves start to droop a little. Your plant will tell you when it could use a little water, and this will also keep you from over-watering. You can also test the soil and make sure the top 1-inch of soil is dry before watering. Though peace lily’s do like to stay moist, any plant that is over-watered will not be very happy. If your plant is over-watered, the leaves will start to turn brown and wilt.
Peace lily’s really are very resilient plants, so even if you forget to water yours, and its leaves have become so droopy they are hardly even standing up in their pot, fear not. Simply give it s good drink, and perhaps spray its leaves with a bit of water, and you will be surprised at how quickly it will recover.
Peace lily’s can also be somewhat sensitive to chlorinated water, so to help your plant grow as strong as it can, it is a good idea to let some water sit overnight so that the chlorine can percolate out before watering.
Temperature and Humidity
Your peace lily will thrive in temperatures ranging from 65-85°F.
They do not like cold drafts or temperatures below 45°F, so it is best to keep them inside and away from any air vents that might blast them with cold air.
As far as humidity goes, they do not require any additional misting, though they can benefit from an occasional spritz.
Peace lily’s tend to range between two and four feet tall!
These plants make for great floor decor, as they tend to grow 2-4 feet tall, with dense, bushy foliage. Some plants will vary in size depending on their variety, but standard plants are most commonly around 2-3 feet tall.
Peace lily’s can only be propagated through division.
These plants cannot be propagated by leave or stem cuttings, but can be divided at any time in the season. Simply pull your plant out of its pot, divide it gently into however many plants you would like, making sure to handle the roots gently and do the least damage possible. Once divided, simply plant each part in a new pot of its own. It may take the plants some time to settle into their new home and repair some roots that were damaged, so if it seems to struggle in the first couple weeks, don’t worry. Your plant will be back to its normal self before you know it. Just be careful not to over-water in this time, as over-watering will simply shock the plant even more and could result in it dying off.
These plants ARE toxic to house pets and young children.
Though peace lily’s aren’t technically poisonous, they do contain a compound that will cause extreme irritation if consumed. Nausea, vomiting, inflammation and diarrhea are the primary symptoms of ingesting the plant, and even the pollen produced by the flowers of the plant can cause irritation if ingested.
The best way to avoid this is to simply keep the plant out of the way if your furry friends have a tendency to get into plants. If some sort of contact does occur, it doesn’t often warrant a visit to the vet or to the doctor, though it is always good to consult a professional if symptoms are severe or if you are unsure of what to do.
Sometimes caring for your plants is not always that straight-forward, and a number of similar symptoms can be signs of a variety of things. If you find yourself in this situation, and you just can’t quite figure out what is going on, reach out to us!
You can let us know what’s going on by sending us pictures, bringing your plant into the store, giving us a cal or whatever it takes! We will do everything we can to help make sure your plant stays healthy and happy.