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Peace lily care guide – How to plant and care for peace lilies
Last Updated on January 21, 2020 by John
A peace lily is an eye-catching plant that is very easy to grow, but getting the perfect blooms requires a bit of finesse. In this article will explain how to care for your peace lily so that you can achieve stunning leaves and beautiful white blooms.
First of all, a peace lily is not, in fact, a lily at all. It’s a tropical perennial which means it can go on living for years to come flowering regularly in the right growing conditions, that means a warm room in bright but filtered light in moist but not standing in water. It’s perfect for a home or office, it thrives with very little light but won’t flower in low light but it will purify your air. At most, it will grow to around 4ft in height which makes it perfect for corners in your office or that empty space on your desk that could use a little pick-me-up. They have dark green leaves that stand in contrast to the rich white flowers, flowers which look like peace flags, hence the name.
Where to grow peace lilies
First things first, find the perfect place. A peace lily is great for indoor growing because it requires a bright room to flower but will grow well in low light if needed but probably won’t flower. The thing is, as is the case with most plants tolerant of low light, the plant itself will thrive and purify your air, bring you all the benefits of an indoor plant, but as mentioned, it won’t flower. If you really want the aromatic white flowers you’ll have to place it somewhere it will receive bright, indirect light such as near a bright window but not in front of it.
Ideally position in bright filtered light, in a warm room
As a tropical plant though the peace lily is sensitive to very cold temperatures so you don’t want to place it right up against the window where the cold draft is ever-present.
How to plant peace lilies
Peace lilies prefer to have their roots a little crowded
Peace lilies grow contently in containers, however, they need to be on the crowded side, so pick a container that’s not much larger than the root ball. You want a container that’s no more than around one third bigger than the root ball of your plant.
Grow in an indoor house plant compost
Fill the container with indoor potting compost and add the plant after teasing the roots if they are compact and root bound, into the container so that the top of the root ball is about an inch below the rim of the container. You want to leave this space so that you can water the plant easily without the roots being too wet. Fill in any remaining area with potting mix and firm down with your fingers but not to compact and water it until you see the water draining out the bottom.
Feeding and watering peace lilies
Feed with a slow-release fertiliser or liquid house plant feed
Once you have your plant established, you can add some indoor plant food as either a slow-release fertiliser tablet or liquid house plant food about 2 months after you have planted your peace lily, there should be enough food in the new compost to last a couple of months. You can apply it into the soil or you can mix it in with the water if using the liquid type food and simply integrated during normal watering schedules. Always follow the label directions for any indoor plant food you use as they do vary as to how often they should be used.
Keep compost moist but not in standing in water or soggy soil
Peace lilies need regularly moist soil but they cannot stand being sat in wet soggy soil or sitting in water. If you notice the top few centimetres of soil are dry, you can water until the water starts to drain out the bottom of the pit. Then wait until it stops draining and put your pot or container back on the saucer. If you forget to water or are away for the weekend and your plant starts to flop over, don’t worry they are fairly forgiving. As soon as you water it again and it soaks up the water it will go back to being its tall and upright self. However, we still recommend getting a friend or family member to water your plants if your away for any longer length of time.
Again, peace lilies prefer to have a crowded environment but when your plant starts to wilt regularly and you notice that the roots are rootbound, meaning they’re sticking out of the drainage holes, it’s time to repot. You want to get a container that’s about 3 or 6cm larger than the current container and then repot using the same instructions as you did the original potting.
Problems and Pests
Most of the time your peace lilies will be maintenance-free but from time to time you might have a pest or a problem. Fungus gnats can be a problem but you can water less frequently and allow the topsoil to dry out in-between time to help thwart their growth.
If the leaves are turning yellow, older leaves can simply be removed by cutting them back to the centre of the plant. If however, the younger leaves are turning yellow, it might be a sign that you overwatered, so let the soil dry out a bit and reduce the amount you water and the plant should go back to normal. Sometimes if plants are placed in light that is too bright, such as in front of a window, they can start to turn yellow. If this is the case move to a slightly less bright position.
Brown edges on leaves
If the edges are brown that could mean that your peace lily is getting direct sunlight and it’s burning the foliage so you should move it away from direct sun, this usually happens after they start to turn yellow but overwatering can also give a similar symptom.
None flowering plants
If you aren’t getting any flowers it’s probably because the plant isn’t getting enough sun so you can just move it someplace that is bright with indirect sunlight, but of course, not direct sunlight as this can burn it and in a warm room. Peace lilies that are also very young may also not flower as they usually don’t flower until they are more mature. They are usually forced to flower early for garden centres which is why it may have previously been in flower when you purchased it.
Peace lilies like any indoor plants tend to collect a lot of dust. You can wipe the leaves down regularly when you see this dust or just put the whole plant in your shower and spray it down, then let it dry before you put it back.
Now you know how to properly care for your peace lily so you can grow multiple indoor plants, enjoying the purified air, the aroma from the flowers, and the overall beauty of an indoor plant.