How to Repot a Peace Lily: Timing and Techniques

By: Matt Slaymaker
January 12, 2024
When And How to Repot a Peace Lily
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Does your peace lily look a little too large for its pot? Does it have yellow, drooping leaves or hardly any new leaves? Then, perhaps, it’s time for you to repot your peace lily. This will give the plant more room to stretch, and the roots will get sufficient moisture and nutrients. 

Not repotting your leafy baby at the right time negatively impacts its growth and appearance. On that note, it’s vital to understand when it’s best to undertake this task. 

So, read on, as our comprehensive guide covers everything that there is to know about how to repot a peace lily and when.

When to Repot a Peace Lily Plant

When to Repot a Peace Lily Plant

Repotting a peace lily can accelerate its growth. And the ideal time for this task is spring, although late winter or early summer also works.

The favorable weather conditions during these seasons allow the plant to wake up from its dormant state, sprout leaves and flowers, and thrive.

Related: Peace Lily Meaning & Symbolism

Can You Repot a Peace Lily Anytime?

To minimize the shock of repotting, it’s best to transfer the plant in spring. However, urgent repotting mustn't wait, and you can do it at any time of the year.

But you should ensure that the roots experience minimum disruption. Also, it’s important to use the right soil mix and a pot of an appropriate size.

How Do I Know When a Peace Lily Needs Repotting?

Generally, repotting a peace lily plant once a year during or around the blooming season is sufficient. But, sometimes, you must gather your supplies and immediately repot your peace lily if you notice these tell-tale signs:

  • Unhealthy plant appearance: Your peace lily is turning yellow, brown, or droopy and looks unhealthy due to poor nutrient absorption from depleted soil. 
  • Stunted plant growth: You’ll notice that the plant is hardly growing new leaves or flowers, and the few new ones are small. 
  • Roots visible on the soil surface: When the plant grows too big for its pot, there's no room for growth, and the roots appear above the topsoil. 
  • Roots growing through drainage holes: Plant roots may outgrow the pot and poke through the drainage holes. 
  • Cracked pot: When the roots don't have sufficient space to grow, they put pressure on the pot walls and cause cracks.
  • Root rot: Rotten roots often imply disease issues or the need for better drainage. Repotting the plant into a pot with fresh soil, after the roots have been cleaned and trimmed, may solve the problem.
  • Soil drying too quickly: If the pot soil gets compacted, dry, and lacks proper aeration, you need to repot the plant with a new potting mix. 
  • Insect infestation: If insect pests infest the pot soil, infecting the plant and its roots, you’ll need to repot your peace lily. 

The Tools You Need for Repotting a Peace Lily 

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Peace lilies are fairly low-maintenance, easy-to-grow plants, which don’t demand a lot. But repotting them requires some attention. 

Start by gathering the following tools and accessories:

  • Plant pot: The ideal diameter of your peace lily’s pot should be 2” larger than the plant’s diameter
  • Soil mix: You’ll find that a well-draining, sandy potting mix works best for your peace lily. 
  • Fertilizer: Peace lilies are not particularly demanding. They just need a regular, water-soluble, and well-balanced NPK fertilizer. 
  • Water: Hydrate the soil properly after repotting your peace lily. 
  • Pebble tray: Adding a pebble tray is optional. But it improves drainage. 
  • Garden shears or scissors: To cut and trim the roots if needed.
  • Gloves: To keep your hands from getting dirty.
  • Disinfectant: Rubbing alcohol to sterilize sharp tools.  

What Is the Best Soil for a Peace Lily?

Peace lilies thrive in a soil mix that has both drainage and water-retention properties. It should contain peat moss, lime, perlite, and sand, as do great in partially sandy soils. If you get a universal indoor plant potting mix, you can always add some sand (2:1) to avoid waterlogging.

Do Peace Lilies Like Deep or Shallow Pots?

Peace lilies have shallow root systems and hence, don't need excessively large and deep pots. For best results, pick a medium-sized pot that's neither deep nor shallow.

It all depends on the size of your plant. Naturally, a big and bushy peace lily with well-developed roots will require a new pot that’s deeper and larger than its previous container. On that note, you may decide to propagate the peace lily and divide it into smaller plants, which you want to transplant into individual smaller pots.

How to Repot a Peace Lily Step-by-Step

How to Repot a Peace Lily

Before transplanting your peace lily, take the opportunity to remove any spent, brown flowers. Also, cut with care older or faded leaves, as tidying and pruning your peace lily, beforehand, will facilitate its growth in the new pot. To avoid transplant shock, follow these steps:

1. Soil Preparation

Lightly place a layer of the potting mix inside the new pot that's about an inch thick. Don’t press it too much. Use a well-draining potting mix.

2. Plant Removal

Tease the plant roots out of the pot. If the plant looks and feels root-bound, give it a little twist or run a butter knife around the pot walls to loosen it.

3. Root Cleaning

In this step, you need to inspect, clean, and prune the roots. 

  • Remove any loose soil from the root ball.
  • Gently loosen the roots. You may cut gently through the outer layer of the roots.
  • Check for signs of browning, rotting, or pest infestation, and remove any damaged parts.
  • Rinse and wash the roots with water at room temperature. 

4. Repotting Your Peace Lily

Place the plant into the pot and add the soil. Make sure to gently press the top layer to a level that is a few inches below the rim of the pot.

Post-Repotting Care Tips for Your Peace Lily 

Post-Repotting Care Tips for Your Peace Lily

Once you have repotted your exotic beauty, you need to apply proper care for your peace lily. Follow these steps:

Watering Needs

To avoid transplant shock, water the peace lily thoroughly. Then, follow a watering schedule of hydrating the plant weekly or once every 10 days. Prevent overwatering or underwatering by checking the top two inches of the soil. Water it only if it feels too dry.

Light and Position

Peace lilies need a bright spot with indirect sunlight and preferably partial shade. But right after repotting, it’s better to keep it away from sunlight in a more shady area. Once it gets adjusted to its new home within a week, you can place it in indirect or filtered sunlight near a east-facing window. 

Temperature and Humidity

Peace lilies thrive within 65F-85F, at a humidity level of 50%-60%. Extreme temperatures and humidity levels can weaken the plant. Use your HVAC system to control the temperature indoors, and the humidifier to ensure the best growth conditions for your plant. 

Fertilizing Requirements

For the first six weeks, do not feed your peace lily. Once, the plant adapts after being repotted, use an universal houseplant fertilizer. Always dilute the fertilizer when you administer it every 6-8 weeks. 

Why Is My Peace Lily Drooping After Repotting?

Peace lilies can get stressed and look droopy after repotting. The reasons might be the following:

  • You replanted the peace lily without loosening and pruning the root ball. 
  • It’s getting too much or too little water, leading to waterlogged or parched soil.
  • The new pot is either too large or too small for the plant. 
  • You have not met the recommended light requirements for your peace lily after transplanting it, for example, being placed in a spot that's too sunny.

How Long Does It Take a Peace Lily to Recover After Repotting?

Right after repotting a peace lily, it may look weak and unhealthy. But if you care for it properly, the plant will recover within 1-2 weeks. 

It is worth noting that if the plant develops pale leaves, they won’t change back to green. However, droopy, curling leaves, slow growth, etc., can be reversed.

How Often to Repot a Peace Lily

Unless it's urgently needed, repot a peace lily once every two years. If the plant experience issues and starts looking unhealthy, then consider repotting it as a remedial measure. 

As mentioned above, instead of repotting it into a bigger pot, a very large peace lily can be divided into smaller plants to give away as gifts or to expand your indoor plant collection

Related: Are Peace Lilies Dangerous to Pets? What Cat and Dog Owners Should Know

How to Repot a Peace Lily: FAQs

Q: Are peace lilies sensitive to repotting?

A: Yes, peace lilies can be sensitive to repotting but several factors are at play here. The plant can get stressed if it’s repotted too frequently or due to a lack of proper care post-transplanting.

Q: How often do you change the soil on a peace lily?

A: You can change the soil about once a year if needed, especially if is not well-draining or insect or fungal issues occur. To provide fresh nutrients for your peace lily, follow the correct feeding routine.

Q: Can you transplant a peace lily when it's blooming?

A: Yes, it’s possible to transplant a peace lily when it’s blooming if there’s an urgent need like pest control. But you're recommended to wait for it to finish blooming. Doing so will reduce the stress on the plant.

Q: Do peace lilies prefer to be rootbound?

A: Peace lily roots like to be snug inside the pot, boosting water absorption and preventing decay. So, you can say peace lilies like to be a little rootbound. 

Conclusion 

Peace lilies are the happy-go-lucky members of the houseplant community. But when you repot them, pay attention to the basics. That way, they’ll thrive and make your indoor green space beautiful. 

And if you’re looking for more plants to accompany your peace lily, go for aralia, cordyline, crotons, dracaena, ferns, and peperomia. These are its perfect companions. They can grow in harmony with the peace lily and complement the beauty of the white flowers and green, glossy leaves.