Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) is a plant with both flowers and leaves. The leaves of Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) are large, dense, and shiny. The yellow-white fleshy inflorescence is covered by white buddha bracts, and the back of buddha buds also has bright green ridges. The veins, set off by the dark green leaves, are full of tranquility, elegance and refreshing feeling. Its flower shape is peculiar, like white sails floating in the green ocean, giving people a sense of smooth wind and smoothness, and people gave it an auspicious name "Smooth Sailing".
How to Choose and Prepare a Planting Site
Peace lilies will practically grow in the closet, but that doesn't mean that's where you should put them. When grown in low light, these plants will rarely bloom. So if it's foliage you're after, go ahead and put your peace lily in a dark corner. If you want flowers, though, place it where it will receive bright, indirect light. Just make sure there aren't any drafts—since they're tropical, peace lilies are sensitive to cold temperatures.
Though most peace lilies are grown as houseplants, you can also grow them outside if you live in zones 10 to 12. Plant them in a shady spot (where they’ll naturally get much more ambient light than if they were growing inside) in soil that's consistently slightly moist.
How to Grow Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
Steps for Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) Propagation with Division
You can't propagate a peace lily from a cutting, and growing it from seed takes years. But thankfully, there's a reliable and easy way to propagate this type of plant: by division!
- First, you'll need to find an existing plant, preferably a mature one with several crowns. Maybe a friend of yours has a Spathiphyllum that could use dividing.
- Choose a six to eight-inch pot with drainage holes, and a draining dish to fit beneath it.
- Fill the pot with a potting mix intended for houseplants, like this one from Miracle-Gro, available at the Home Depot.
- Over a disposable tablecloth or newspapers, gently release the parent plant from its container. Choose a section of crown with at least two leaves and a healthy root system attached.
- Using your fingers or a knife, if needed, pry the crown away from the mother plant.
- Replace the original lily in her container and add a bit of potting mix if needed. Take your divided crown and plant it in your prepared six to eight-inch pot, tucking the mix in around the roots.
- Water thoroughly and place in a location in your home that receives indirect sunlight.
How to Care for Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
While Spathiphyllum will tolerate very low light, without some brightness from a window or a lamp, they are unlikely to bloom much, if at all. They can tolerate anything except direct, and bloom more the more light they receive.
Use a peat-based potting soil for Spathiphyllum that has excellent drainage. Or, use a cactus potting mix as a suitable growing medium. The ideal Spathiphyllum soil should keep some moisture but allow all excess water to drain. Mix peat moss, loam, and perlite to grow healthy Spathiphyllum plants in pots.
You can also use a commercial houseplant potting soil that contains organic matter. However, you should amend the soil with perlite, bark chips, or coarse horticultural sand. Organic matter such as peat moss helps to retain some moisture. And, the addition of perlite or a similar soil amendment improves drainage and aerates the potting medium.
One of the worst things for Spathiphyllum is when their roots sit in soggy, waterlogged soil. There can be a few reasons why the Spathiphyllum pot retains too much water. Some of these are:
- The Spathiphyllum has become rootbound, and water can't drain properly.
- The potting soil is too dense and needs better aeration.
- The drainage hole on the pot’s base is blocked.
Ideally, keep the soil evenly moist (not wet!) Otherwise water thoroughly when the soil just becomes dry but do not let the plant sit in water. Avoid allowing the plant to wilt (although Spathiphyllum will recover amazingly from wilting very badly, you’re likely to see a lot of yellow leaves as a consequence if it happens too often.) Like low light, Spathiphyllum will survive low water levels, but will never thrive as well as when proper watering is followed. Once in a while, put the plant in the shower and water the leaves to wash off any accumulated dust.
Temperature and Humidity
Peace lilies like a consistent temperature from 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Protect your plant from drafts and cold or drastic changes in temperature. So, maybe don’t place yours by a door that opens out into the cold winter air.
In spring and summer, use an organic houseplant fertilizer to help your plant bloom. Keep in mind that peace lilies are sensitive to chemical fertilizers, so organic options are best.
This easy-care plant doesn't require any pruning, but do make sure to remove broken or dead leaves when you see them. If a plant becomes rootbound and grows to be too large for its container, transplant it into a larger pot.
Signs that it's becoming rootbound are: roots beginning to stick out of the drainage holes, water collecting on the surface of the potting mix because it has become too compacted for good drainage, and slowed growth even during the spring and summer.
This is also a good time to divide the plant. Take one to three crowns and give them their own new containers, following the directions outlined above.
Pests and Diseases
Brown leaf tips are commonly caused by excessive light, over-fertilization, or lack of water and/or low humidity. Keeping the plant on a tray of moistened gravel or misting the leaves can help to increase humidity.
Yellow leaves may be caused by overwatering, underwatering, or old age (of the leaf).
Scale and mealybugs will happily take up residence on the plant, if given the opportunity. A thorough wipe-down of leaves with soapy water or insecticidal soap can be effective at stopping them, though repeated applications will be necessary.
Varieties of Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
Some of the popular hybrids include:
Spathiphyllum ’Power Petite’: a small variety, growing to only about 15 inches
S. ‘Mauna Loa Supreme': a very common variety, growing to 3 to 4 feet tall with leaves up to 9 inches wide
S. ‘Sensation’: the largest of the peace lily varieties; reaches up to 6 feet in height with broad, 20-inch long leaves
S. 'Mojo': a striking, large plant with vibrant green leaves
S. 'Golden Delicious': features new growth with a stunning golden-green color
S. 'Starlight': has narrow leaves with wavy margins; also known for heavy, multiple blooms, with as many as 20 flowers on a single plant
Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) FAQ
Is The Peace Lily Plant Poisonous?
Yes, mildly. All parts of the peace lily plant contain calcium oxalate—a substance that may cause stomach and respiratory irritation if ingested in large amounts. Keep peace lilies out of reach of small children and pets. Other common plants that contain calcium oxalate include philodendrons, daffodils, true lilies, and hyacinths.
Why My Spathiphyllum Isn't Flowering?
The most common reason why Spathiphyllum
doesn't flower is a lack of bright light. Spathiphyllum usually bloom in spring and needs bright, indirect sunlight to produce flowers. Although Spathiphyllum can survive in dark rooms, it won’t flower in places with poor lighting or constant shade.
How to Make a Spathiphyllum Plant Bloom?
Encourage a Spathiphyllum
to bloom by giving it plenty of indirect light and water it appropriately. To help Spathiphyllum produce flowers, move it to a brighter location if it’s not blooming. Making sure it gets bright light can help get a non-blooming Spathiphyllum to flower repeatedly.
Most people buy Spathiphyllum plants when they're already in bloom. So, it can be disappointing if the plant fails to flower again. Putting the Spathiphyllum pot on an east-facing windowsill or near a south- or west-facing window in the spring may encourage blooming. A healthy Spathiphyllum in ideal growing conditions should produce several flowers annually.