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Peace Lily Care Guide: Spathiphyllum Tips & Tricks

Last Updated on March 21, 2021 by Sophie

If you’re in search of a pretty plant with even more beautiful blooms that’s one of the easiest to care for and low maintenance indoor plants, then you’ve come to the right place. The Peace Lily is also known as Spathiphyllum, or Spath for short, and will make a wonderful addition to your interior garden. Here’s a Peace Lily Care Guide, including watering and propagation techniques, tricks, and tips.

The name ‘Peace Lily’ can actually be misleading to quite a few people on account of the fact that the white flowers look similar to lilies (and aren’t actually flowers- but more on that later), but are not actually lilies at all. 

Please note that all parts of Peace Lilies contain a compound, calcium oxalate, which is toxic to both people and animals. As such, Peace Lilies should be kept well out of reach of children and pets. 

peace lily and other indoor house plants

Peace Lily Care Guide

Watering your Spathiphyllum 

Like many plants which originate from tropical regions, the Spathiphyllum particularly enjoys high humidity conditions. This can become a problem during the winter months when central heating can dry out the air in your home. One of the first signs that your plant isn’t receiving high enough humidity levels is brown and crispy leaf edges.

The easiest way to introduce higher humidity levels to your plant is by placing it into the bathroom, which is often the area of the house with the highest humidity levels. Another way to ensure that your plant receives adequate humidity levels is by misting it daily.

Peace Lilies aren’t like Prayer Plants or some succulents in that they won’t shrivel up or wilt if you forget to water them once or twice. With this being said, if the plant isn’t receiving enough water then the first tell-tale sign is that the leaves will start to droop. If this happens, then water your plant immediately and the leaves and spathes should start to perk up within a few hours.

peace lily

Best soil conditions for the Peace Lily

Like many other tropical plants, such as prayer plants, the Peace Lily likes to be kept slightly damp at all times and does not like to dry out between waterings (this can lead to crispy leaves). With this being said, the Spathiphyllum doesn’t like to have its feet sat in water as this can lead to root rot, from which there is often little chance of recovery.

It should also be noted that Peace Lilies prefer to be semi pot-bound. What this means is that the plant doesn’t really enjoy sitting in a container that much larger than its root ball. Be sure that, when you size up to a new container, the new container is’t bigger than 1/3 of the root ball of the Spathiphyllum. 

Best light conditions for the Spathiphyllum

The fact that the Spathiphyllum will manage in most conditions makes it, in my opinion, hands down one of the easiest to care for house plants. However, if you notice that your Peace Lily is not flowering nearly as much as it should, then this is an indication that the leafy green plant is no receiving enough light.

Though Peace Lilies will grow in pretty much any light condition in your home (I personally grow one of my specimens in a particularly dark corner of my bathroom), it should be noted that, as this leafy plant is a tropical plant, it can be particularly susceptible to cold temperatures. 

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Why is my Peace Lily not flowering (producing spathes)?

If your plant seems happy but isn’t putting out any new flowers (note that what many people think are the flowers aren’t flowers, but instead, much like Anthurium, are actually known as a Spathe. This is a specialised leaf of a cream, white, or yellow colour, which is a hood protecting the flower of the plant), then there could be a number of causes.

The plant is not getting enough light

Though the plant will do well in almost any light condition, provided that it receives at least a little light, the plant will likely not produce any spathes. If the plant is in a shady corner of your home that no other plant seems to be able to tolerate, then try moving it to a more brightly lit area.

The plant is not fertilised enough

Compared with many other indoor house plants, Peace Lilies are pretty fast growers and so require fertilising on a more basis. This is less of a concern in the period after you’ve changed out the soil when repotting the plant as the new soil should contain adequate nutrition.

However, if the plant has previously been receiving enough light and it is the correct time of the year for producing Spathes, then try fertilising your plant. Do not over-fertilise the plant and ensure that the plant’s roots are damp for several days before fertilising.

After all, giving the plant too much fertiliser, or placing fertiliser directly onto roots which are too dry can burn the roots of the plant, from which it is fairly hard for the plant to recover. During the growing season (i.e. spring and summer, be sure to fertilise the plant every month or so).

How to propagate Peace Lily Plants

Sadly, unlike many succulents, Peace Lily plants cannot be propagated from stem cuttings. In this regard, the Spathiphyllum is actually similar to many calathea varieties. Instead, propagation of the plant should be done via root division during repotting (which should typically be done during the beginning of the growing season; i.e. in spring or early summer).

You should avoid dividing plants during the autumn or winter because this can shock the plant and lead to poor growth. Peace Lilies are pretty fast growers, and I find myself repotting this leafy green plant into a larger pot every year to two years.

In order to repot your Spathiphyllum, simply shake off the excess soil and divide the plant at the roots and, therefore also the stems. If you’re repotting the Peace Lily because it’s rootbound, then be sure to repot both halves of the plant in pots which is similar in size to the one that the plant just came out of. Of course, if you have a larger plant, then you can even divide your plant into three, four, or five, plants.

Peace Lily pests and problems

Luckily, Peace Lilies seem to be much more resistant to pests and problems than many other indoor plants which originate from tropical regions. With this being said, this guide will run you through some of the most common problems that your Peace Lily will face.

Fungus gnats

Though Peace Lilies don’t really suffer from spider mites in the same ways as which Prayer Plants can, fungus gnats remain an ever-present issue, particularly because the Peace Lily likes to be sitting in damp soil all the time, which is the perfect environment for fungus gnats. In order to combat these pesky pests, try leaving the top layer of the soil to dry out between waterings.

Yellow leaves on the Peace Lily

There are a few reasons that the leaves of Peace Lilies might turn yellow. The first of these is that the leaf has simply gotten old and withered away, allowing room for new growth. Simply remove old leaves as soon as you spy them so as to avoid promoting the growth of bacteria. Another reason for yellowing leaves is that the plant is receiving too much water. If you suspect this to be the case, try cutting down on the watering schedule for your plant.

Dusty Leaves

Since the dark glossy green leaves cover such a wide area, the Peace Lily has a particular tendency to become dusty. Leaves which have accumulated a layer of dust can lead the plant to not being able to photosynthesise as well, which in turn can mean that the plant won’t thrive as it should. If you notice your plant becoming dusty, simply rinse it in the shower.

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Peace Lily Care Guide: Spathiphyllum Tips & Tricks (peace lily propagation, watering, pests)

About Author

Sophie Nadeau is a travel, pizza, and history lover who is currently based in Paris, France. A keen indoor gardener, she spends her time at home reading books, looking at too many dog photos, and growing an indoor jungle in her tiny flat!

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