Growing A Peace Lily Indoors

Peace lily in a living room
© New Africa/Shutterstock.com

Written by Em Casalena

Updated: October 8, 2023

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The popular indoor plants called peace lilies are prized for their classy white flowers and deep green foliage. They are reputed to provide a relaxing atmosphere, which is why they are often given as gifts during difficult times. They are also well-known for their air purification properties.

Since peace lilies are tropical plants, they thrive in warm, humid environments. But because it’s likely that you don’t reside in a tropical jungle, how can you best assist this plant in adjusting to your indoor environment? You might be surprised at how simple it is!

In this guide, we’ll take a look at everything you need to know about growing peace lilies in your own home. These low-maintenance plants make excellent houseplants, as long as you follow this care guide correctly.

Choosing the Best Pots and Soil

Since most American climates are unsuitable for growing this plant outdoors, peace lilies are quite often used as indoor plants that are grown in pots. If your peace lilies are in pots, you may transfer them outside for the summer. However, it is a good idea to bring them back inside as the temperature drops. Indoor peace lily maintenance is really not that difficult. Give your plant filtered sunshine, relatively wet soil, and regular temperature changes.

Rich, loose potting soil with lots of organic materials is the top choice for peace lilies. You’ll have the most success with soil that is very dense with compost or an appropriate fertilizer. Choose a well-draining combination of soil and fertilizer since this plant is also quite sensitive to too-damp soil conditions.

Your peace lily pot has to include drain holes since drainage is crucial for plants growing in soil. When the container has become too full from the root growth, peace lilies need to be repotted. Always repot your peace lily using potting soil that is rich in humus. Repotting the plant when the soil is a little damp can assist the roots to retain soil and prevent root tearing. Use a pot that is one-and-a-half times the size of the preceding pot as a general guideline for deciding pot size. Maintain the plant’s level in the new container at the same level as it was in the old one, or fill the container to the top of the root ball. After repotting, give the plants a little extra water to flush out any air bubbles that may have formed, then wait a few weeks before fertilizing.

Best Lighting and Temperature for Your Peace Lily

Sunlight is required by peace lilies, but not direct sunlight. In their native tropical environments, they love having plenty of shade. However, peace lilies that are grown inside the home require some extra filtered light. More light-resistant variants exist than others. The best window in your home to display a peace lily is one that faces east.

These plants favor warm, damp environments. Avoid drafts and temperatures under 55 degrees F; if a peace lily is exposed to consistently cold temperatures, it will definitely die. Your peace lily should be kept between 65 and 80 degrees F in ideal conditions. Throughout the summer growing season, mist the leaves once a week with softened or distilled water to increase humidity.

How Often Should I Water Peace Lilies in Pots?

Instead of being overwatered, peace lilies like to be underwatered. The size of the container and how quickly the soil drains will determine how frequently you need water a peace lily, but in general, water when the top inch of the pot’s soil has become noticeably dry. Reduce watering over the winter, but never allow the soil become bone dry. Use filtered water if the water in your home is heavily chlorinated. As an alternative, you may leave tap water out for a few days to let the chlorine vaporize.

A potted peace lily's soil being tended to in a pot

Fertilizing your peace lily (pictured) is a simple and beneficial process, especially when repotting.

©iStock.com/Larisa Stefanuyk

Should I Fertilize Peace Lilies in Pots?

Restrict fertilizing your peace lilies to the spring and summer, when plants are actively developing, for the healthiest examples. The species and cultivars that can be cultivated inside don’t totally enter dormancy, although the low light of fall and winter usually causes development to sluggishly slow to a standstill. This indicates that plants don’t use much energy throughout the winter and don’t need extra nourishment for development. The nutrients that are provided at this time frequently remain in the soil. Additionally, an accumulation of mineral salts from too much fertilizer can harm roots and have an effect on a plant’s capacity to absorb water.

Starting your feeding regimen when the days start to noticeably grow longer in your location, between late winter and early spring, is the most efficient approach to fertilizing. When the days begin to drastically shorten in the middle of October, stop feeding. The kind of fertilizer used will determine how frequently your peace lily has to be fed as well.

Fertilize peace lilies using a fertilizer that is evenly balanced or slightly richer in nitrogen to maintain them and help them generate an abundance of eye-catching spathes. Numerous houseplant formulae frequently have a greater nitrogen concentration and stimulate the development of flower buds, lush foliage, and strong roots. There are three simple ways to feed indoor specimens: liquid or water-soluble fertilizers, slow-release pellets, and plant food spikes. The duration of each type of fertilizer’s effects on the soil varies, which has an impact on how frequently they need to be used.

Pruning Peace Lilies in Pots

Peace lilies are distinguished by their large white bracts, also known as spathes, which are really modified white leaves that encircle a cluster of little flowers on a stalk. This section of the plant will inevitably begin to turn green and droop after it has blossomed for a while. This is natural and only indicates that the blossom is dead.

By deadheading, you can improve the plant’s look. On stalks that extend upward from the plant’s base, peace lilies bloom. A stalk will only produce one blossom at a time. The stem will ultimately turn brown and die once the blossom has faded. The base of the plant should be pruned while cutting back peace lilies. As near the bottom as you can, cut the stem off. New stalks will be able to grow because of this.

A peace lily may be pruned anywhere, not just on the bloom stems. Sometimes, leaves turn yellow and begin to shrivel. Underwatering or excessive light may be to blame, but it might also be simply old age. Simply remove any leaves that are fading in color or becoming dry by cutting them off at the base. To stop the transmission of disease, always clean your shears after each cut.

Propagating Peace Lilies in Pots

The peace lily is often propagated by splitting chunks during the repotting process, which can be carried out at any time of year, provided it isn’t freezing cold. Look for little offshoot crowns next to the parent plant to determine whether the plant is ready to be divided.

After completely removing the plant from the container, pull apart or cut away the nearby crowns. You may also just cut a piece of the main root ball off. Any component with at least two leaves and associated roots have a good chance of flourishing. Fresh, moist but not soggy potting soil should be poured into a six-inch container. Plant the clumps in the container right away, and give them plenty of water. Keep the plant in a warm, well-lit area. Less than a month should pass before the roots start to grow again.

Encouraging Flower Growth in Peace Lilies

If no flowers are blooming, the plant is most likely not receiving enough light. Low light is highly tolerable for peace lilies, but low light doesn’t always equal no light. Move the plant to a more sunny spot where it will receive bright, indirect light for at least a few hours each day in order to promote flowering.

Improper fertilization might also result in green blooms, flowers that appear feeble, or a lack of flowers in general. Reduce fertilization if your blossoms are green; the plant could be receiving too much nitrogen. Try switching to a fertilizer designed for blooming plants if your flowers appear feeble or are lacking.

A potted peace lily soaking up sunlight in a window

Peace lilies (pictured) do wonderfully indoors and can live longer when properly potted.

©iStock.com/Anya Why

What are the Benefits of Growing Peace Lilies in Pots?

There aren’t many notable benefits to growing peace lilies in pots, other than the fact that growing them indoors inside of pots can extend their lifespan. If you live in zones 10 to 12, you can grow peace lilies outside even though they are often cultivated as houseplants. However, these zones might not have the tropical humidity that they require to thrive. They should be planted in constantly wet soil in a shaded area where they will naturally receive more ambient light than if they were indoor plants.

Facts to Know About Growing Peace Lilies in Pots

Most plant diseases and pests that can damage houseplants are absent from peace lily plants. However, they are sometimes vulnerable to mealybugs and scale. For these pests, doing a few spot treatments with horticultural oil is a useful tactic.

It’s also important to remember that peace lilies are poisonous. The calcium oxalate found in all sections of the peace lily plant can irritate the respiratory system and the stomach in large doses. Keep your peace lilies away from young children and animals who could touch or gnaw on the plant.

Another interesting fact about the peace lily is that it can grow in water alone. After all, these plants are frequently sold without any soil in water vases. Ideally, a layer of tiny river stones or a specifically manufactured vase insert should sustain the plant’s base above the water’s surface. This permits the plant’s roots to extend into the water while preventing rot from occurring at the plant’s base and on its leaves.

The majority of peace lilies used in homes only reach a height of 16 inches, although bigger outdoor cultivars can have leaves as large as six feet. The peace lily benefits from repotting every few years in the spring since it loves new soil and fertilizer.

Peace lilies’ broad leaves have a tendency to attract a lot of dust within the home. Periodically give them a little wash down with a moist paper towel; a too-dense coating of dust can prevent photosynthesis.

Tropical, evergreen peace lilies flourish on the forest floor where they get dappled sunshine, constant humidity, and moisture. The secret to getting your peace lily to be content and healthy is to duplicate a similar environment in your home.

Peace lilies are truly beautiful and relaxing plants. Despite being pickier about their habitats, they are nonetheless simple enough for a beginner to cultivate. A peace lily takes time to blossom, but it is well worth the wait. You can keep them alive and content for many years if you give them the proper care and attention!

Want to learn even more about this amazing plant? Check out our complete guide to peace lilies here.

Bonus: Why are Peace Lilies Given at Funerals?

Spath or peace lilies (Spathiphyllum) is a monocotyledonous flowering plant in the family Araceae, native to tropical regions of America and Asia. Macro close up of white flowers in bright sunlight.

Peace Lilies are frequently given to someone who is in mourning.

©ON-Photography Germany/Shutterstock.com

Peace lilies are often given to someone who is in mourning and, along with other varieties of lilies – are often used to decorate at funerals or visitations. It is considered to be a go-to funeral flower because of the significant meaning behind its blossoms. Lilies represent the soul’s return to a peaceful state of innocence. The peace lily plant symbolizes innocence and the rebirth of the departed’s soul from the physical world to a greater place. Potted peace lilies are an appropriate gift for a friend in mourning because they can carry the plant home to brighten their lives for a long time to come.


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About the Author

Em Casalena is a writer at A-Z Animals where their primary focus is on plants, gardening, and sustainability. Em has been writing and researching about plants for nearly a decade and is a proud Southwest Institute of Healing Arts graduate and certified Urban Farming instructor. Em is a resident of Arizona and enjoys learning about eco-conscious living, thrifting at local shops, and caring for their Siamese cat Vladimir.

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