Peace Lily Plants Buying & Growing Guide

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Peace Lily

The peace lily (Spathiphyllum spp.) is well known for its striking marquise-like flowers (spathes), which look similar to a calla lily and its attractive glossy, green foliage. This plant is perfect for indoor landscaped areas or in darker rooms where sunlight is limited. A few interesting details about the peace lily include:

  • Its flowers emit a distinct smell that attracts pollinators.
  • Peace lilies are highly desirable in the practice of Feng Shui.

Peace Lily Plants for Sale

Peace Lily Plant Overview

Quick Facts

OriginSouth America
NamePeace Lily, Spathiphyllum Wallisii, Spathe Flower, White Sails, Cobra Plant.
FamilyAraceae (Arum family)
FertilizerApply diluted liquid houseplant fertilizer to your lily. You can do this every month throughout summer and spring. But be careful with over-fertilization so as not to burn the roots or tips of your plant.
Max Growth18 to 24 inches (45 to 60 cm) in height.
Poisonous forCats and dogs. They contain calcium oxalate, which is acidic so keep small children and animals away from your lilies.
LightPeace lilies should be sheltered from direct sunlight but can be positioned in an area with moderate lighting.
WaterGive your lilies plenty of water and allow them to dry between watering. If not, peace lilies will produce fewer flowers and be prone to diseases.
TemperatureTry to place your plant in an area with average room temperature. Anything below 45o F should be avoided.
SoilYou can mix one part loam, peat moss, and sand to make a potting soil. Any soil designed for houseplant will also work but ensure it’s one that can hold moisture well and drain enough to support the lily.
HumiditySpathiphyllum wallisii needs a high level of humidity (usually above 50%). Low humidity will cause your plant to stop blooming and shoot out brown leaf tips.
PropagationRoot cutting and leaves
PestsIn a favorable state, the peace lily is highly resistant to pests.

 

Planting and Care

Peace Lily Flower White

Planting instructions

Peace lilies can be planted outdoors in-ground or in patio containers in zones 10-12. All other zones should grow them indoors. Plants should be planted in a shady area. The ideal daytime temperature range should be 68 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, with nighttime temperatures being 40 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit. Soil should be moist but well-drained. Avoid planting in areas where water pools or floods. When planting, be sure to space them about three feet apart.

For outdoor/indoor container planting, place your peace lily in a well-draining container that’s about three to five inches wider than the root ball. These plants require very little fertilizer. It’s best to avoid top shelf  potting mixes as they contain fertilizer that may burn the roots. Make your own potting mix using a mixture of peat moss (40%,) vermiculite (20%,) pine bark (20%), and perlite (20%.)

When grown indoors these plants should be placed in low-light areas and out of direct sunlight.

Watering and nutrients

Water Peace Lily

Peace lilies do best when the soil is moist; however, be careful not to overwater. Bring tap water to room temperature and to ensure that any chlorine in the water settles. Alternatively, use bottled spring water at room temperature. When watering, be careful to water at the base of the plant, avoiding getting the leaves wet.

Fertilize peace lilies with a very light application of fertilizer one month after planting with a balanced fertilizer (10-10-10) that has been diluted to a quarter of its usual application strength. Reapply fertilizer (diluted) about every six weeks.

Pollination

In the center of the peace lily flower is a “spadix” (a conical protruding floral spike containing minute flowers.) The spadix is where pollen is either released or received. Females receive pollen, whereas males release pollen. Flowers last up to about 10 days, and during this time, they emit a soapy odor during the morning that attracts bees. Up to three pollinating bees claim ownership of one flower and return to that flower each morning during the 10-day flowering phase. Once the flowers have reached the end of flowering, the soapy odor emittance ceases signaling to the bees to go to the next peace lily flower, spreading pollen from the previous flower to a new one.

Pruning

It will be easy to know when to deadhead flowers because, after ten days of flowering, they fade from a creamy white to green and begin to wilt. To deadhead, follow the flower stalk to the base of the plant. Using sharp, disinfected pruning shears, cut the stalk just above the soil, and remove.

The foliage will require some mild pruning when leaves become discolored (yellow/brown) and wilt. Sometimes the discoloration and wilting may indicate it’s not getting enough water or too much sunlight. As the plant grows, it’s also natural for the leaves to turn yellow and wither. Either way, it’s essential to remove the dead/decaying leaf to promote new growth. This can be done using disinfected, sharp shears cutting either the discolored portion of the leaf or the entire leaf (making a 45-degree angle cut at the base of the petiole.)

Pests and diseases

Peace Lily Problems

The peace lily requires little maintenance and has few problematic pests or diseases. It’s not unusual to find mealybugs or brown scales on your plant. To remove mealy bug infestations, use a cotton ball soaked with rubbing alcohol to wipe away mealy bugs. To remove scale insects, scrape the insect bodies gently off the surface of the leaf.

Peace lilies may be susceptible to Cylindrocladium spathiphylli (a type of root rot). This is a disease pathogen transmitted from plant to plant through contaminated water. Symptoms include lesions (red/brown) on the roots and a decaying appearance. Secondary symptoms of this pathogen manifest as yellowing leaves.

Peace lilies also may be susceptible to Phytophthora, a soil-borne fungal disease that causes leaf spots and root rot. Black lesions form on the leaves, and wilting occurs. Prevention of diseases can be accomplished through cultural controls such as distancing plants from each other and avoiding placing them in a communal watering tray. Once a plant becomes infected with Phytophthora, it’s best to discard it.

Light

Peace Lily can flourish even in a room without a window

Although they can tolerate fluorescent light, lilies thrive better in partial shade. They can flourish even in a room without a window.

Moreover, peace lilies can react to light, so it’s easier to monitor them as regards lighting.

When the light that goes to them is too strong, this plant will sprout yellow leaves or show up brown leaves when placed under direct sunlight. Their tender leaves tend to singe from the effect of direct sunlight.

Soil

Lilies naturally seep nutrients out of the soil. Therefore, the choice of soil and how you prepare it is absolutely important for the survival of your plant.

It’s important to note that the nutrients inherent in the soil cannot be replaced by fertilizers.

This is why it’s generally recommended to re-pot your plant every year or two so you have the opportunity to present a new source of nutrient to your plant.

As you know, you can continue to fertilize the old soil. However, keeping it for too long may create salt/chemical deposits that may harm your plant.

Repotting regularly also ensures you’re providing the maximum amount of nutrients for your peace lily to survive on. And you’ll also be able to decide whether to move the plant to a bigger pot.

The benefit of that is it will keep your lily from becoming root bound when left in the same pot for too long.

Humidity

Where do peace lilies thrive?

In a tropical jungle, where it’s warm and sultry. To replicate this condition, you can mist the plant with lukewarm water – you can do this daily, or three times a day, depending on your plant’s needs.

Try to mist the leaves of the plant regularly so as to improve the humidity and keep the plant in a solid state.

A good idea is to use an air humidifier if you feel you can’t do it manually. This should work well and free you from having to worry about the air humidity around your plant, every time.

Propagation

Repotting of peace lily plant

The best method is to do propagation by division, where you separate sections of the original plant. You do this by dividing the root clump in the middle of the mother plant so that each segment is separated.

You then place each part in a separate container. Dividing every 2 years will have a positive effect on your plant’s bloom.

Usually, the number of plants you wish to grow will determine how many places you divide the original plant as well as how many crowns the mother plant has.

If there are plenty of crowns already, you can separate them into more divisions, if not, you can make do with two or three.

You can cut away section from the old plant by using a sharp knife or take it away by hand gently. In order to propagate successfully, you need to ensure that the new crown has at least two leaves with roots attached.

And before you put it in a new pot, check the foliage and roots and remove brown tips or any loose part.

Repotting

You should re-pot your lily once it rears its root above the soil. This is one of the joys of caring for a lily – it happens once or twice per year, so it doesn’t require too much time.

Repotting may also be needed if the root of your peace lily starts growing round in a circle and not performing very well, you may need to loosen those roots up a little bit.

Don’t worry about the new one being fragile because they can actually take well to a new environment. The new container should be an inch to two inches bigger in diameter than the original pot.

Make sure you add enough soil to the bottom of the new pot to raise the plant to its original height. It’s important to cover the roots well so you don’t leave any air pockets.

This will give a lot of space for the roots to stretch out, grow, and allow more water to be held by the soil so that the plant isn’t going to dry out too quickly.

You can use the soil from the old pot. Also, make sure the new pot is not too big if you are doing a small transplant. Remember a warm and comfortable root brings about blooming in peace lilies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the peace lily plant safe to have around pets?

This plant is toxic for small children, dogs, cats, birds, and other small pets. Peace lilies release oxalate crystals (small needle-like crystals.) When the plant is breached (chewed, nibbled, broken), those crystals become embedded in tissue that comes into contact. If ingested, the embedded crystals cause an intense painful/burning sensation in the mouth resulting in drooling, difficulty in swallowing, vomiting, and possible swelling.

How large will a peace lily plant get?

These plants grow up to six feet tall and five feet wide. The cultivar ‘Sensation’ may grow to be the size of a small tree with a six-foot height and flowers two to three times the size of a hand. Gardeners living in states such as Florida enjoy these large plants on their shaded patios and indoor atriums. The cultivar ‘Little Angel’ is a smaller species.

Do peace lilies come in any other color other than white?

The flowers on a Spathiphyllum spp. (peace lily) only bloom in a creamy white color. As new flowers appear on the plant, they will have a green appearance until fully bloomed. Many mistakenly refer to a different plant Anthuriums as peace lilies. Also known as the flamingo plant, (Anthurium spp.), this plant is often mistaken as a “red” or “pink” peace lily. However, Anthurium is a completely different genus.

Where do peace lilies originate?

Native to the tropical regions of Central America and Asia, peace lilies are found as understory plants in warm, humid wetlands such as rain forests and jungles. It’s not uncommon to find these plants growing wild in tropical climates along rivers and streams. Beyond their native environment, they can be found in many shopping malls and are often planted near water features. The humidity and temperate climate provide the ideal environment for keeping these plants healthy indoors.

Aren’t peace lilies symbolic of sympathy, making them common at funerals?

Interestingly, this plant is the most common plant sent to funeral homes and loved ones. As legend has it, peace lilies are commonly sent to the grieving because the plant symbolizes the departed’s soul being taken back to a place where innocence is regained.

Peace Lily Varieties

Domino Peace Lily

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) Domino

Also known as Spathiphyllum Domino, this plant has shiny, dark, green leaves with a white line across the entire plant. At first glance, they don’t look much like a lily, which is as a result of the scattered leaves like that of a basil plant. Domino Peace Lilies are the only variegated (multicolored) plant of all peace lilies.

Little Angel Peace Lily

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) Little Angel

These are compact, dwarf lilies with a ready bloom you’ll love. Their flourishing flowers stay high above the main leaves, so they are easily recognizable.

Sensation Peace Lily

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) Sensation

This is the largest of all lilies, with massive tropical leaves. In fact, it can stand as tall as 6 ft. and the leaves can reach 20” in length.

Jetty Peace Lily

Also known as Spathiphyllum Jetty, this plant is distinguished by its luxurious, long-lasting white flowers. Because of their deep green leaves, they make for a great garden ornament.

Patricia Peace Lily

This plant has white flowers and lush green leaves. Patricia peace lily is small and compact but does not have tall flowers like the Little Angel lilies. This makes it easy to differentiate them.

Piccolino Peace Lily

They have pure white flowers, dark green leaves, and short.

Conclusion

Since they are small in height and width, peace lilies can survive in almost any area of the home that you place them.

What’s more important is to ensure the place is not exposed to direct sunlight but open to moderate light.

Ideally, you want to keep your plant in an environment with light and shade throughout the day.

One thing that endears peace lily to people is the ease it takes to care for them as well as their ability to thrive in low light environments.

Most importantly, they are resilient. You don’t have to worry they’ll die a premature death when they start sagging today.

Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) Guide - Tips For Growing, Care & Propagation