Looking for a plant that can bring peace and serenity to your home? Look no further than the Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum), a stunning plant that can thrive for years with the right care. While many assume that Peace Lilies have a short lifespan of around five years, with proper diligence and attention, these plants can continue to produce glossy leaves and elegant blooms for much longer.
Whether you’re a seasoned plant enthusiast or a beginner looking to add some greenery to your space, the Peace Lily is a great choice. With its beautiful appearance and reputation for longevity, this plant is sure to bring a sense of calm and tranquility to any room in your home.
How Long Do Peace Lilies Last?
Peace lilies typically have a lifespan of three to five years. However, with consistent and good care, they can thrive and flower for decades. These plants are not true lilies, but their appearance is similar to that of white lilies. They are often associated with peace, purity, and innocence. Some people in the new age movement believe that peace lilies can harmonize conflicts and negativity. Despite their perceived abilities, peace lilies are pleasing to the eye and can add beauty to any room.
Why Choose a Peace Lily?
Peace lilies are a popular choice for indoor plants due to their ability to thrive in low light conditions, making them perfect for dimmer rooms. Their elegant white spathes add a touch of sophistication to any space, and they can flower for months at a time.
One of the most notable benefits of a peace lily is their ability to purify the air around them. NASA studies have shown that peace lilies are particularly effective at removing harmful chemicals from the atmosphere, making them a great choice for improving air quality in your home or office.
Overall, a peace lily is a great choice for those looking for an enduring classic indoor plant that is both aesthetically pleasing and beneficial for air quality.
How to Care for Peace Lilies
How to Water Peace Lilies
Watering Peace Lilies can be tricky, but it becomes easier once you get the hang of it. To water your Peace Lily, you need to use the right water. They are chemically sensitive and cannot handle hard water, softened water, cold water, or tap water containing chlorine or fluoride. Distilled water is a good option, but using a cartridge-style filter jug that removes everything that can harm the lily is recommended.
It is important to water the Peace Lily when the top inch of soil is dry to the touch. Overwatering can lead to root rot, so it is crucial to avoid watering too much.
Best Soil for Peace Lilies
Peace Lilies prefer a potting blend that contains lots of organic material and drains well. Most good quality commercial blends will suffice, but adding one part vermiculite to three parts of potting soil is recommended to ensure proper drainage. Vermiculite is a mineral that holds onto moisture while letting the excess drain freely, which is an excellent trait to add to a Peace Lily’s mix.
Peace Lilies do not need to be repotted often, no more than once every other year in the beginning of spring. Repotting will give the lily a good foundation for the season’s new growth.
Best Light for Peace Lilies
Peace Lilies can manage with low light, but they do best in moderate to bright light. A southern or southeastern facing room is perfect. The more light they have, the more chance you have of a rich display of blooms, as they do not flower as readily in the shadows.
However, it is important to avoid direct sunlight, as their dark glossy leaves are very vulnerable to sunburn and will quickly crisp up if exposed to direct sunlight.
Best Temperature for Peace Lilies
Peace Lilies prefer consistently warm temperatures with little variation. Ideally, they should be kept between 68 and 85°F (20 to 30°C). They can be quite badly damaged by low temperatures, even those above freezing, so it is important to keep them away from drafts, air conditioning vents, and out of unfinished basements and lofts.
Best Humidity Level for Peace Lilies
Humidity levels around Peace Lilies make a surprising amount of difference to their lifespan. Peace Lilies are rainforest plants and thrive in high humidity environments. While dry air in homes and offices won’t kill your lily, it will lead to crisp brown leaf tips and a shortening of their lifespan.
To counter these effects, it is recommended to provide extra moisture in the air around the Peace Lily. Misting can help, but a humidifier is a better option. Alternatively, moving the lily to a humid bathroom or kitchen can also help.
How to Fertilize Peace Lilies
Peace Lilies are chemically sensitive, so fertilizing them can be a delicate process. It is easy to burn their delicate roots with an overly enthusiastic dose of plant food. Apply fertilizer gently and infrequently, only during the spring and summer. Adding a half-strength dose of good quality balanced liquid fertilizer to the lily’s watering regime no more than once a month through the growing season is recommended.
4 Peace Lily Problems to Watch for
Peace lilies are sensitive to over-watering, which can cause the roots to rot. Signs of over-watering include drooping leaves that don’t recover after watering, soft brown stems and leaves, fungus gnats, and mold or mildew on the soil surface.
If caught early, over-watering can be remedied by allowing the peace lily to dry out. However, if the roots have already begun to rot, repotting is necessary. To do this, clear away the old soil, trim away dead roots, and use a clean pot and fresh medium.
Chemical burns are difficult to spot in peace lilies, but they often manifest as brown tips on the leaves. This is caused by a buildup of harmful chemicals in the soil, such as excess fertilizer or minerals from tap water. To remedy this, flush the soil with lots of clean water to get rid of the toxins. This can be done by running clean water into the pot and out the drainage holes in two five-minute bursts with a rest period in between.
No Peace Lily Flowers
Peace lilies are known for their reliable indoor blooms, but sometimes they fail to flower. This can be due to low light levels, which prevent the plant from producing enough energy to produce spathes. Young plants may also take up to a year to flower, and some cultivars only bloom in the spring. In these cases, patience is the only cure.
While peace lilies are largely pest-free, they can still fall victim to a few common pests. Mealy bugs, spider mites, and fungus gnats are the most common culprits. Mealy bugs suck sap from the peace lily and cluster in groups around veins and folds in the leaves. Spider mites are tiny and nearly invisible, but they also suck sap and spin a fine silk over their victim. Fungus gnats lay their eggs in overly wet soil and their grubs eat decaying organic matter.
If caught early, natural remedies like neem oil or horticultural soap can be used to treat these pests. Alternatively, wiping them off with a cotton bud dipped in rubbing alcohol is also effective.
Pruning Peace Lilies
Peace lilies have beautiful blossoms that last for a month or two. However, when the flowers die, they need to be removed. Additionally, when older leaves reach the end of their lifespan, they should be trimmed away. The best way to do this is to use clean gardening shears to cut them neatly from the plant, leaving about an inch of stem above the soil. The discarded flower or leaf can be safely composted.
How Often to Water a Peace Lily
The frequency of watering a peace lily depends on various factors, such as temperature and time of year. During hot and sunny days, the plant will use more water for its biological functions, and the soil will dry out quickly. On the other hand, peace lilies tend to enter a state of near dormancy during winter and require less water.
Experts recommend watering the peace lily when the top one or two inches of soil are dry. During summer, it may require watering once a week, while in winter, it may need watering once a month. The peace lily will indicate if it needs more water by drooping significantly.
Table: How Often to Water a Peace Lily
|Frequency of Watering
|Hot and sunny days: More frequent watering; Winter: Less frequent watering
|Water when the top 1-2 inches of soil are dry
|Summer: Once a week; Winter: Once a month
|Drooping indicates the need for more water
Growing a peace lily can be a challenging task, but the rewards are worth it. To keep this elegant plant alive for decades, it is crucial to maintain proper watering and lighting. Additionally, repotting the peace lily every other year with fresh soil is essential. With consistent care, your peace lily can bring sophistication to your home for years to come.