How to Care for a Peace Lily (spathiphyllum): Tips for Thriving Plants

By: Matt Slaymaker
August 6, 2020
How to Care for a Peace Lily
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Step into the world of indoor tranquillity with our Peace Lily care guide. From lighting preferences to watering rituals, this comprehensive guide unravels the secrets to fostering vibrant, thriving peace lilies in your home.

Whether you’re a seasoned plant enthusiast or a budding green thumb, join us on a journey that demystifies the art of nurturing these graceful botanical companions.

Learn how to care for a peace lily plant, elevate your indoor oasis as you unlock the key to optimal peace lily care, and watch your green allies flourish in radiant, serene splendor. 

All About Peace Lily: What Is a Peace Lily Plant?

The peace lily is a flowering tropical plant from the Spathiphyllum genus. If you’re growing one outside of its hardiness zone, the best place to grow one is indoors. It is an easy-to-care-for plant that loves shade and is excellent for cleaning the air of your home or office.

Peace lilies are not true lilies but are so named because their blooms resemble the flowers of the calla lily.   

There are many types of peace lilies within the genus, including:

  • Spathiphyllum ‘Power Petite’: This small variety only grows to around 15 inches. 
  • S. ‘Mauna Loa Supreme’: This common variety grows between 3 to 4 feet tall and has leaves up to 9 inches wide.
  • S. ‘Sensation’: As the largest peace lily, it can reach up to 6 feet, with broad 20-inch long leaves. 
  • S. ‘Mojo’: This is one of the more striking varieties with vibrant green leaves.  
  • S. ‘Golden Delicious’: The new growth of this type of peace lily is a stunning golden-green color.
  • S. ‘Starlight’: A  variety with narrow leaves with wavy margins. Another well-known feature is its multiple blooms, sometimes as many as 20 on a single plant.  

Peace Lily: Meaning and Significance

The name ‘peace lily’ relates to its white flowers, which are thought to look like white flags (a symbol of peace). It symbolizes hope and purity, interpreted as encouragement to let go of the past and start anew. Alternatively, it could represent a call to work on personal relationships and make amends where necessary. 

Peace lilies are often used in floral arrangements to symbolize the beauty of the serenity of life. As such, they have become symbolic of calming emotions and feelings.

In Feng Shui, the peace lily is believed to add harmony and peace to a space and purify the air, making it even more valuable.

How Do You Pick a Good Peace Lily?

How Do You Pick a Good Peace Lily?

Source: What Grows There

Here are some tips to keep in mind when buying a peace lily:

  • Check for signs of pests and diseases, such as yellowing leaves, brown spots, or wilting foliage.
  • Choose a healthy plant: It should have healthy green leaves and no signs of damage or discoloration. In addition, look for a well-proportioned plant, with a good balance between the foliage and the roots. 
  • Check the soil: It should be moist but not waterlogged.
  • Inspect the roots: Gently remove the plant from its pot and check the roots. They should be firm and white, not brown or black.
  • Look for new growth: A healthy plant will produce new growth regularly. New leaves or flowers indicate a plant is thriving

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Peace Lily Benefits

Peace lilies are beautiful flowering plants rich in symbolic meaning with many uses and benefits.

  • Air-purifying properties: Peace lilies are known for their air-purifying properties. In a study conducted by NASA, they were found to reduce every pollutant tested, including benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene, and ammonia. 
  • Balanced humidity levels: Peace lilies can help manage the humidity levels in your home or workspace. Their tropical nature means they enjoy humidity and absorb it naturally. 
  • Feng Shui benefits: Peace lilies are often used in feng shui to help bring calm and balance into the home or working environment. 
  • Therapeutic benefits: Peace lilies may have mental health, stress reduction, and therapeutic benefits. Studies suggest indoor plants can lower stress's physical and mental symptoms. 
  • An easy-care plant: Compared to many other plants, peace lilies are relatively easy to care for, making them an excellent choice for beginners. 
  • Easy to propagate: You can quickly propagate your peace lily by division.

How to Care For a Peace Lily Indoors? The Complete Guide

How to Care For a Peace Lily Indoors

Source: Horticulture Magazine

In this next section on how to care for a peace lily, we’ll explore the intricacies of caring for peace lilies indoors. Uncover the ideal lighting, watering, and maintenance practices that transform your living space into a haven for these graceful botanical companions.

Whether you’re a seasoned plant enthusiast or a newcomer to the world of greenery, this peace lily indoor care guide will ensure that your peace lilies thrive in the indoor sanctuary you’ve carefully curated. 

Peace Lily Light Requirements: How Much Light Does a Peace Lily Need?

This section unravels the secrets of perfect lighting for your peace lily. From understanding its preference for filtered sunlight to navigating the nuances of intensity, explore the key to harnessing light as a vital element in caring for your elegant botanical companion.

What Is the Best Light for a Peace Lily?

Peace lilies are known for thriving in low-light conditions, but they still require some light to thrive. The best light for the plant is indirect sunlight of moderate to bright strength.

If the light is too bright, it will scorch your peace lily, but it won't grow properly if it’s not bright enough. The best place is near a window, but out of direct sunlight.  

Can a Peace Lily Live in Low Light?

In their native habitat, peace lilies are shade-loving plants. However, when you grow a peace lily indoors, it needs a bit more filtered light. 

Peace lilies will grow in poor light but flower better in bright, indirect light and struggle to produce blooms in deep shade. With sufficient light, your plant will produce white to off-white flowers starting in early summer and continue to bloom throughout the year, as long as the conditions are right. 

Is My Peace Lily Getting Too Much Sun?

Your peace lily will tell you when it’s getting too much sun. Look for the following indicators:

  • Curled, pale leaves
  • Scorched leaves indicate too much direct sun

Peace Lily Water Care: How Often Can You Water a Peace Lily?

Peace Lily Water Care: How Often Can You Water a Peace Lily?

Source: Max Reality

Time to journey into the realm of moisture mastery for your peace lily. Discover the delicate balance of keeping the soil consistently moist without overwatering, unraveling the secrets to meeting the unique watering needs that sustain the grace and vitality of your cherished botanical ally. 

How Much Water Do Lilies Need?

Lilies should be watered once weekly, providing one inch of water each time. Water at the base of the plant rather than watering overhead. This avoids excess water on the foliage and flowers, possibly contributing to mildew and mold. 

If you water your plant too infrequently, it will wilt and die, while too much water can lead to root rot, which can be fatal. 

What Does an Overwatered Peace Lily Look Like?

A few tell-tale signs to keep an eye on that might indicate your peace lily is being overwatered include:

  • Weak and wilted leaves, even though the soil is damp or soggy
  • Yellowing leaves with brown, dead tips
  • Yellow leaves, especially around the base
  • Lack of growth and flowering
  • Dark, slimy, or soft roots when repotting

How Long Can a Peace Lily Go Without Water?

Peace lilies should be watered approximately every 5-7 days to ensure good health. However, they can survive for 10-12 days without water. 

Peace Lily: Temperature and Humidity

The ideal temperature range for peace lilies is between 18 - 29°C (64 - 84°F). As a tropical plant, they need humidity levels between 60% and 80%. Humidity below 40% can cause the leaves to turn yellow and brittle. 

Do Peace Lily Plants Like Humidity?

Yes, they do like humidity and can’t survive without water. They require humidity to stay alive and display vigorous growth.

Do Peace Lilies Like to Be Misted?

Peace lilies are tropical plants that like to be misted every other day as this helps with humidity. However, if the area is not well-ventilated and the humidity is already high, it could lead to pest infestation and fungal diseases. 

Can a Peace Lily Live in a Cold Room?

The ideal temperature for a peace lily is above 60°F. However, they can survive when the temperature is between 44 to 55°F.

Anything lower than this will cause cold damage and even death.  

Best Soil for Peace Lily

Which Compost Is Best for a Peace Lily?

The ideal soil retains moisture for a few days to a week. A regular houseplant mix or palm mix is a perfect choice. 

Do Peace Lilies Like Coffee Grounds?

Peace lilies can benefit from coffee grounds as they are a rich source of nutrients for the plant. Additionally, they prefer acidic soil, and coffee grounds add acidity to the soil. To get the maximum benefits from the grounds, use them as compost or liquid fertilizer.  

What Is the Best Plant Food for a Peace Lily?

The best plant food for peace lilies are:

  • Water-soluble houseplant fertilizers with a balanced ratio, such as 20-20-20, diluted to one-half or one-quarter strength.
  • Slow-release fertilizers with a balanced ratio, such as 14-14-14 or 15-15-15, provide nutrients for up to four months.
  • Fertilizers that have more nitrogen than phosphorous and potassium, as nitrogen promote green foliage growth.

Remember to water the peace lily after fertilizing, as this distributes the fertilizer evenly around the roots.

Repotting: When Should I Transplant a Peace Lily?

Repotting: When Should I Transplant a Peace Lily?

Peace lilies prefer to be slightly root-bound, so you don’t need to repot them too often. However, if you notice your plant is becoming top-heavy or struggling to absorb water and nutrients, it might be time to repot it to allow more room for root development. 

Ensure you provide fresh soil and choose a pot slightly larger than the current one to avoid over-potting your plant.

Do Peace Lilies Like Small or Large Pots?

Peace lilies prefer a pot about 2-3 inches wider than their root ball. This allows the roots to spread out and grow but is still snug enough to support the plant. 

Are Peace Lilies Sensitive to Repotting?

They are not particularly sensitive to repotting. However, it’s essential to know when to repot them. If you notice roots coming out of the drainage holes or circling the surface of the potting mix, it’s time to repot.

Peace Lily Pruning & Cleaning

Peace Lily Pruning & Cleaning

Sources: At Home With Hues

Using the proper techniques when pruning your peace lily will encourage new growth, while mindful cleaning practices will keep your botanical companion thriving. 

How Do You Prune a Potted Peace Lily?

To prune a potted peace lily, follow these simple steps:

  1. Deadhead the spent flower bracts
  2. Remove older leaves on the outer perimeter
  3. Prune the leaves of your peace lily at the base of the plant

Remember to use a clean pair of pruning shears or scissors when pruning as this will avoid any possible spread of bacterial or fungal disease.

Should I Dust My Peace Lily?

Your peace lily will likely collect a lot of dust on its large leaves, inhibiting photosynthesis. Therefore, it’s a good idea to dust it regularly. You can use a wet paper towel or microfiber cloth to wipe the leaves gently. 

In addition, you can mist the leaves several times a week with a spray bottle to replicate the humid air of the rainforest.  

How to Propagate a Peace Lily

Once you’ve grown a thriving peace lily, you can divide it to obtain a second one. You’ll need pruning shears, a sharp knife, rubbing alcohol, containers or flowerpots, potting soil with significant peat moss, a drop cloth, and water. 

Follow the steps below to propagate your peace lily by division:

  1. Look for the crowns
  2. Lift the plant out of the pot
  3. Remove the soil by tapping it around the roots
  4. Check for roots
  5. Cut the rhizomes into two or three using clean shears
  6. Remove any diseased parts, unhealthy roots, or brown leaves
  7. Prepare pots with fresh potting soil
  8. Plant the plants with the rhizome division beneath the potting soil
  9. Water the plants lightly using room-temperature water
  10. Choose a sunny spot with indirect light
  11. Fertilize after 2 months

When Should I Split My Peace Lily?

Your peace lily will do best when you divide it during good weather. Avoid splitting it during extremely hot or cold conditions, as this could damage the plant.

It needs to be split when it becomes too large for its pot. An overgrowth can generally see this of roots or foliage. 

Generally, it’s recommended that you split your peace lily every two to three years, as this will keep the plant looking its best and encourage it to flower more prolifically.  

Can I Grow a Peace Lily From a Cutting?

Peace lilies cannot be grown through leaves or branch cuttings.

Common Problems With Peace Lily Plants

Common Problems With Peace Lily Plants

Sources: Reddit

Peace lilies are a popular houseplant but can encounter some common problems. Knowing a little bit about what these are means you’ll be able to recognize the problem and correct it. 

  • Wilting: This can be caused by overwatering and underwatering. An under-watered plant is easy to fix by watering it and allowing water to flow out the drainage holes. An overwatered plant needs immediate attention to prevent root rot. Let the top half of the soil dry out before watering again.
  • Brown leaves: This could be caused by too much direct light, over-feeding, lack of proper humidity, or underwatering. Move it to a more suitable location, improve humidity, flush the soil with clean water to wash away as much fertilizer as possible, or water your plant with filtered water. 
  • Yellow leaves: The most common cause of yellow leaves is overwatering. To fix it, stop watering your plant and allow it to dry out.  
  • Pest issues: Pests like spider mites, aphids, or mealybugs can sometimes be problematic. Mild infestations can be managed by regularly spraying your plant with water to get the insects to fall off. 
  • Plant not blooming: For your peace lily to bloom, it requires medium to bright indirect sunlight.  

Peace Lily Safety: Is Peace Lily Toxic to Cats and Dogs?

Yes, peace lilies are toxic to cats and dogs if ingested. Therefore, you should keep your pets away from the plant. 

Are Peace Lilies Toxic to Humans?

Peace lilies are also mildly toxic to humans. All parts of the peace lily contain calcium oxalate, which may cause stomach and respiratory irritation if ingested in large amounts. 

How to Care for a Peace Lily Plant: FAQs

Q: Where is the best place to put a peace lily in your house?

The ideal spot for a peace lily is near a west-facing or east-facing window with sheer curtains. 

Q: Do peace lilies clean the air?

Peace lilies are excellent for helping keep indoor air clean and fresh. They are recognized as one of the best natural indoor air purifiers, as they help strip harmful VOCs from the air. They clean the air by absorbing pollutants floating around through their leaves. 

Q: Are peace lilies easy to care for?

Yes, peace lilies are easy to maintain. Follow the tips in the peace lily care guide, and your plant will be healthy. 

Q: How often do peace lilies bloom?

Peace lilies generally bloom twice yearly - once in spring and once in fall. However, some hybrid varieties can rebloom. 


In this comprehensive guide, we’ve demystified the art of caring for peace lilies. From understanding their preferred lighting and watering needs to the delicate techniques of pruning and cleaning, you’re now equipped to cultivate serenity within your indoor oasis. 

As you embark on your green journey, consider complementing your peace lily with compatible plants such as snake plants, pothos, and spider plants, creating a harmonious ensemble that enhances the lush tranquility of your home.