DecorativeHouseplants

How To Grow Peace Lilies?

peace lily

Peace lily (Spathiphyllum) is a popular, low-maintenance house plant with glossy green leaves and white flowers, called spathes. Native to Central America, it’s used to a warm, humid environment and is perfect for growing in a bright bathroom. Peace lilies are easy to grow and relatively trouble-free. They are evergreen herbaceous perennial plants with large leaves 5 to 26 inches (12 – 65 cm) long and 1 – 10 inches (3 – 25 cm) broad. The size depends on the specific variety or cultivar.

The flowers are produced in a spadix, surrounded by a 4 – 12 inches (10 – 30 cm) long, white, yellowish, or greenish spathe. The plant does not need large amounts of light or water to survive. They are commonly grown as houseplants. They can hold out against the elements well enough to thrive when planted outdoors in situations that are hot and humid.

How To Grow?

Peace lilies thrive in a warm, humid environment. Therefore Spathiphyllum is mostly grown as ornamental houseplants. Peace lilies are easy to grow and relatively trouble-free. Peace lilies are not cold-hardy plants, so they can only be grown outdoors in warm, humid climates (USDA Hardiness Zones 10, 11). Spathiphyllum are a good challenge for beginner houseplant enthusiasts since they need care, but are forgiving.

Toxicity

The flowers, leaves, and stems of the peace lily contain tiny, insoluble calcium oxalate crystals that can cause immediate mouth and throat irritation if chewed or swallowed. Keep this houseplant out of reach of children or curious pets.

Types of Peace Lilies

There are many cultivars of Spathiphyllum available, below we have brought out a few:

  • Jet Diamond Peace Lily: a new variety that features dark green foliage variegated with silvery white. 
  • Jetty Peace Lily: a variety that features lush, full growth, and long-lasting white flowers.
  • Little Angel Peace Lily:  a dwarf, compact variety that blooms more readily than many older varieties.
  • Patricia Peace Lily: a compact variety that features rich green leaves and white flowers.
  • Piccolino Peace Lily:  a dwarf, compact variety with dark green leaves and pure white flowers.
  • Sensation Peace Lily: the largest peace lily available, this giant has massive tropical leaves and can reach 6 feet ( 1.8 meters ) tall.
  • Sonia Peace Lily: it stands out from other peace lilies because of its small stature and adorable white flowers.
  • White Stripe Peace Lily: this compact variety has green leaves with a matte finish and a white stripe running up the center.
pink peace lily
Peace lily with pink spathes Source: foooomio

Water

Peace Lilies need consistently moist soil, but they don’t like sitting in standing water. Peace Lily appreciates being watered weekly, but the plant will let you know when it needs water by slumping its leaves.

During the winter months feel free to only water your plant once every two weeks. Watering about once a week and misting the leaves with water throughout the summer will help keep your Peace Lily hydrated. If your plant seems to completely droop, don’t give up: water and spritz and give it a chance to revive.

Overwatered Peace Lilies may also display withered or curled leaves coupled with brown discoloration. The withering is a key component to check for, as the browning can look similar to the crispy, dried-out brown foliage of an underwatered plant.

huge peace lily
Huge peace lily growing in nature Source: Culbert

Light

Peace Lilies can live in low to bright, indirect sunlight. They’re the perfect plant to bring life to a dark room or corner. Prolonged exposure to bright direct sunlight may burn and scorch their leaves and dry out their pedals.

Curled and pale leaves can indicate too much light and dried and browning leaves can be damaged from direct sunlight. Place this plant in low to moderate light conditions and never in direct sun. Peace Lilies tolerate low light, but very dark rooms will not be a good spot for these lush plants.

To encourage flowering, move the plant to a brighter location, where it will receive bright, indirect light for at least a few hours each day.

Soil & Fertilizer

Peace Lilies prefer soil that can mix drainage and moisture retention. Blended potting mixes with texture are common for Peace lilies, especially ones with perlite, peat moss, coir, or loam. Keep the pH between 5.6 and 6.5 since Peace Lilies prefer slightly acidic soil. We suggest using peat moss to increase the soil’s acidity.

Peace lilies are not big on being fed, so fertilize only every so often. To encourage spring and summer growth, fertilize every 6 weeks or so with a balanced houseplant fertilizer starting in late winter.

To keep them healthy and help them produce plenty of attractive spathes, fertilize peace lilies with an evenly balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10 NPK or one that’s slightly richer in nitrogen. In fertilizer formulas, NPK refers to the ratio of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium elements in the mix. You can apply the plant food directly to the soil or mix it in when you water the plant.

big spathes of peace lily
Peace lily growing outdoors Source: Tahmid

Pruning

Peace Lilies don’t need regular trimming, but removing exhausted blossoms and leaves improves your plant’s health. When a bloom starts to wither, remove the entire stalk below it.

Peace Lily should be pruned even if the foliage is still green. Pruning should be done at the base of the plant. Cut the stalk off as close to the bottom as you can. This will make room for new stalks to emerge.

Pruning a Peace Lily isn’t limited to the flower stalks. If you grow a peace lily indoors, it may become too big for its container. You can control a Peace lily’s size by pruning away its dead stems, leaves, and flowers.

Repotting

Because the Peace Lily enjoys being rootbound, it needs repotting to absorb water and nutrients properly. Fortunately, repotting Peace Lily is easy. Peace Lilies are quite content being a bit crowded in their pots.

You’ll know it’s time to repot when your plant begins to wilt more habitually. At that point, its roots will have begun to take up so much of the container that there’s little soil left to hold water. 

It is best to repot in the spring or early summer when the plant is actively growing. There’s no reason not to repot a small peace lily, just be sure not to place your smaller plant in a pot that is too large for it. Place the Peace Lily in the new container.

Fill in around the root ball with potting mix, then compact the mix gently with your fingers. If needed, water lightly to help settle the soil and add a little more potting soil. It’s important to position the plant at the same level it was planted in its old pot.

peace lily without spathes
Peace lily without spathes

Propagation

Peace Lilies can’t be propagated with leaf or stem cuttings, but they can easily be propagated by division during any season:

  1. Check for crowns
  2. Remove from pot
  3. Divide the plant by taking a crown section away from the mother plant by hand, or cut sections away with a sharp knife
  4. Remember to be gentle
  5. Make sure to use clean scissors, shears, or a knife.
  6. The crown needs to have 2 or more leaves and must have roots attached to be propagated profitably
  7. Check the roots and foliage, and remove any loose parts of the roots or leaves that have brown tips
  8. Use four-inch (12 cm) pots when potting up
  9. Fill the pot with a well-draining potting mix
  10. Water thoroughly
  11. Place in an area with bright light
  12. Water well and fertilize once a month

Diseases

When caring for a Peace Lily you might come across some diseases: Cylindrocladium Root Rot, Dasheen Mosaic Virus, Leaf Blight, and Pythium Root Rot. To treat your Peace Lily from these diseases drench the soil with a fungicide containing thiophanate-methyl, according to the instructions printed on the fungicide’s label.

Avoid root rot by not over-watering the Spathiphyllum. Don’t allow water to sit in the saucer after watering. Keep an eye on your Peace Lily to spot and treat the disease better and quicker.

Pests

Three pests might attack your Peace Lily: aphids, mealy bugs, and spider mites. Aphids: If your plant becomes covered with sticky slime, check for aphids.

Mealy bugs: If your foliage begins to turn yellow and dry look for mealy bugs and a cottony mass between the plant’s stems and leaves. To get rid of the pests use a q-tip drenched in alcohol to swab down any visible insects.

This should kill the scale bugs and mealybugs that tend to infect Peace Lilies. Next, wipe down all leaves with a dilute solution of soapy water, neem oil, and water to prevent recolonization by any remaining bugs.

Final Thoughts

This easy-care plant is suitable for a beginner looking to bring lightness into their home or workspace. Their humble yet mesmerizing foliage will bring life into any situation. Because of its hardiness and forgiving nature, the plant is very popular amongst household lilies. Peace Lilies are easy to find in any flower shop or a shop specializing in gardening.

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