Peace lilies are tropical species and hybrid from the Spathiphyllum genus that are a favorite 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 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. As houseplants, they can be purchased and brought into the home at any time, though you will want to protect the plants from cold temperatures as you move them from the store to your home. They are moderate growers and will reach maturity in around three years. Peace lily plants are considered toxic to pets and humans.
|Common Name||Peace lily, spath lily|
|Botanical Name||Spathiphyllum spp.|
|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|
|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|
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.
Peace lilies enjoy moderately moist soil and filtered sunlight, along with consistently temperate conditions. These plants are free of most of the diseases and pests that can plague indoor plants, but they can be susceptible to scale and mealybugs. Spot treatment with horticultural oil is a good strategy for these pests.
Peace lilies are shade-loving plants in their native habitats, but when grown indoors they need a bit more filtered light, though not direct sunlight (some varieties can withstand more light than others). Curled, pale leaves generally indicate that the plant is receiving too much light and scorched leaves indicate too much direct sun. In either case, the plant should be moved to a shadier location.
Peace lilies like rich, loose potting soil 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 and pot the plant in a terracotta or clay vessel that can wick away excess moisture.
Peace lilies much prefer being underwatered rather than overwatered, so take care to water them only when they're dry at least an inch below the surface. During the summer, mist peace lilies frequently because they thrive with higher humidity like is typical in a rainforest. 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 out.
Temperature and Humidity
These plants really 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.
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 hybrids 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 mother plant; this is a sign the plant is ready to divide. Here's how:
- Remove the entire plant from its container, 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 soil 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.
Potting and Repotting Peace Lily
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. Always use a high-quality potting soil, and a pot with good drainage.
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. However, 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.
Are peace lilies hard to care for?
While not super difficult to care for, peace lilies do require a bit more attention than the average houseplant. Between frequent-enough feedings, making sure they don't get too much light (or too little), and watering them just enough, 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. In fact, it's very rare to find a tropical environment in the United States where they can thrive in the outdoors year-round, so they are primarily considered an indoor houseplant.