The peace lily is a flowering tropical plant from the Spathiphyllum genus. Outside of its hardiness zones, many people grow the peace lily indoors. There are many types of peace lilies within the genus. But in general, peace lilies have large, glossy, oval leaves. They typically bloom in the spring, though that can vary when growing them as houseplants. A healthy peace lily might bloom twice a year, resulting in several months of flowers.
When grown in the garden in the tropical and subtropical climates where they are hardy, peace lilies are normally planted in the spring while it is still cool. When you care for a peace lily indoors, they can be purchased and brought into the home at any time of year, though you will want to protect them from cold temperatures as you transport them. They are moderate growers and will reach maturity in around three years. Note that peace lilies are toxic to pets and people, so be mindful about where you place a peace lily in your house.
|Common Name||Peace lily, spath lily|
|Botanical Name||Spathiphyllum spp.|
|Mature Size||1–4 ft. tall, 1–4 ft. wide (indoors), up to 6 ft. tall (outdoors)|
|Soil Type||Moist but well-drained|
|Flower Color||White, yellow|
|Hardiness Zones||11–12 (USDA)|
|Native Area||Central America, Asia|
|Toxicity||Toxic to pets and people|
Watch Now: How to Grow and Care for Peace Lilies
Peace Lily Care
Peace lilies are generally grown as potted houseplants in the United States, as most areas are not conducive to growing the plant outdoors. If you have potted peace lilies, you can move them outside during the summer months. But once temperatures dip, it's a good idea to bring them back inside.
Caring for a peace lily indoors is relatively easy. Provide your plant with moderately moist soil and filtered sunlight, along with consistently temperate conditions.
Peace lilies are happiest when they're somewhat root-bound. However, when the plant has clearly exceeded the capacity of the pot, it can be potted up to a larger container in the early spring. If you notice roots popping up out of the soil and down from the drainage holes, it's time to repot. It's ideal to pot the plant in a terracotta or clay vessel that can wick away excess moisture. Always use a high-quality potting mix, and a pot with good drainage.
A peace lily needs sunlight, though not direct sun. They are shade-loving plants in their native habitats. But peace lilies indoors need a bit more filtered light. (Some varieties can withstand more light than others.) An east-facing window is a prime spot to place a peace lily in your house.
Peace lilies like a rich, loose potting mix that contains plenty of organic matter. These plants are native to tropical canopy conditions where the soil is packed with deteriorating plant material, so you'll find the best success with soil that mimics this composition. Additionally, the plant is also very sensitive to too-damp soil conditions, so be sure to choose a well-draining mixture.
Peace lilies prefer being under-watered rather than overwatered. How often you should water a peace lily depends on container size and how fast the soil drains, but, in general, water when the top inch of soil has dried out. In winter, reduce watering but never allow the soil to dry out completely. If your water at home is highly chlorinated, it's a good idea to use filtered water. Alternatively, you can allow tap water to sit for several days until the chlorine evaporates.
Temperature and Humidity
These plants prefer moist warmth. Avoid cold drafts and temperatures that fall below 55 degrees Fahrenheit; the plant will die when exposed to prolonged cold temperatures. The ideal temperature range for your peace lily is 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Spritz the leaves every week with softened or distilled water throughout the summer growing season to raise humidity.
Peace lilies appreciate frequent feedings, which result in the strongest plant and seasonal blooming. Feed your plant weekly in the summer or use slow-release pellets at the beginning of the season. You do not need to fertilize the plant during the winter.
Types of Peace Lilies
Peace lilies have been heavily hybridized and therefore come in dozens of popular varietals. They range in size from miniature to massive and from deep green with snow-white flowers to golden-leaved beauties. Some of the popular types of peace lilies include:
- Spathiphyllum ’Power Petite’: A small varietal that grows to only about 15 inches
- S. ‘Mauna Loa Supreme': A very common variety that grows to be between 3 to 4 feet tall, with leaves that are up to 9 inches wide
- S. ‘Sensation’: The largest peace lily varietal, which reaches up to 6 feet in height with broad, 20-inch long leaves
- S. 'Mojo': A striking, large varietal with vibrant green leaves
- S. 'Golden Delicious': A varietal that features new growth with stunning golden-green color
- S. 'Starlight': A varietal with narrow leaves that have wavy margins. It's also known for having multiple blooms, with as many as 20 flowers on a single plant
Propagating Peace Lily
The peace lily is generally propagated by dividing clumps during repotting activities, which can be done during any season. Inspect the plant for small offshoot crowns located adjacent to the main parent plant; this is a sign the plant is ready to divide. Here's how:
- Remove the entire plant from its container, and then tug apart or cut away the adjacent crowns. You can also simply cut away a section of the main root ball. Any piece that has two or more leaves and attached roots will likely grow successfully.
- Fill a 6-inch pot with fresh potting mix that is moist but not soggy.
- Immediately plant the clumps in the container, and water thoroughly.
- Keep the plant somewhere warm and well-lit. The roots should reestablish themselves in less than a month.
These plants are free of most diseases and pests that can plague houseplants. But they can be susceptible to scale and mealybugs. Spot treatment with horticultural oil is a good strategy for these pests.
How to Get Peace Lily to Bloom
Peace lilies are notoriously difficult when it comes to blooming. Sometimes even the happiest, healthiest plants don't bloom outside of their natural rainforest environment. If you're hoping to have your indoor peace lily bloom, your best bet is to provide it with very consistent ideal conditions, especially when it comes to humidity, diffused light, and consistent fertilizer.
The peace lily flower stages are budding, blooming, going to seed, and wilting. The buds are fairly small and unfurl like leaves. It can take some time for them to come into bloom, so be patient.
Common Problems With Peace Lily
Under the right growing conditions, peace lilies typically thrive without issues. But some problems can arise if the environment isn't quite right.
Curled, pale leaves generally indicate that the plant is receiving too much light overall. And scorched leaves indicate too much direct sun. In either case, the plant should be moved to a shadier location.
You might notice browning on your peace lily's leaf tips. This can be due to too much or too little water, as well as poor soil drainage. It also can arise due to insufficient humidity. Plus, the buildup of salts in the soil might be a culprit. Ensure that your plant is properly watered and that the soil is draining. If that doesn't seem to be the issue, try flushing the soil by watering until you see water coming from the drainage holes to remove the salts.
Are peace lilies hard to care for?
While not difficult to care for, peace lilies do require attention to get their growing conditions right. Between making sure they don't get too much light (or too little), watering them just enough, and feedings, peace lilies appreciate a bit of TLC.
How fast do peace lilies grow?
Peace lilies grow at a moderate pace, reaching maturity in three to five years.
Can peace lilies grow indoors?
Yes, peace lilies are common to care for indoors. In fact, it's rare to find a tropical environment in the United States where they can thrive outdoors year-round, so they are primarily considered indoor houseplants, partly thanks to their possible air-purifying benefits.
How long does a peace lily last?
Though a peace lily matures between three and five years, it can live for years after that and bloom over and over again.
What do you do with a peace lily after it dies?
After the flowers die, you can snip off depreciated blooms, as they will just sap energy from the plant. Continue to care for the plant as you normally would until it blooms again.