Peace Lily

The peace lily is among the most famous of all houseplants, and it’s not hard to understand why. It’s easy to grow and hard to kill. It has large, dark, evergreen leaves that grow out in a spray pattern all of which gives the peace lily the “classic houseplant look.” With a good spot and consistent care, you will also get the extra reward of a special white flower bloom, known as a spathe and spadix. Whether you’re starting a new houseplant hobby or adding a new type to your collection, the peace lily is a great choice.

Plant Overview

spathiphyllym

Indoor Size and Growth Habits: Usually medium in size with densely packed stems and large leaves that create a fulsome houseplant.

Light Requirements: 1-3 *

Water Frequency & Soil Moisture: 2-3 *

Potting Mix, Fertilizer & pH: Standard potting mix with light to moderate acidity. Likes but doesn’t need fertilizer.

Humidity & Temperature: Moderate to high humidity and temperatures between 60-80

Toxicity Level: Mild to moderate

Cost: $-$$

Placement: Light, Size, and Décor

Peace lily placement really depends on what you want to get from the plant. If you want an easy-care plant that will survive low-light conditions, this can be a solid choice for places that aren’t in front of a window. Lots of direct sunlight can burn the leaves, but the more indirect light you offer this plant the better it will do.

Though big enough to fill a substantial space, the peace lily is not a climbing vine or tall floor pine. This medium houseplant regularly reaches 1-1.5 feet in height and width. Indoors, the plant can reach upwards of 2-3 feet tall in good growing conditions. Larger peace lily plants will hold their own as floor plants. Smaller peace lilies are perfectly sized for large desks or tabletop centerpiece.

Popular with houseplant enthusiasts, office managers, and pretty much everybody. Home stagers may get peace lilies on a rotating basis from local growers who sell the plants when they’re showing their spadix-and-spathe flowers. A well-placed peace lily can really help a home put its best foot forward. Meanwhile, interior designers can play up the resilient, easy-care nature of the plant.

Care: Water, Potting, and Soil

Peace lilies do best with consistently moist soil, but they are more drought-resistant than many people give them credit for. Even in the winter, this plant is unlikely to go longer than 2 weeks without asking for water. During the summer, it likely wants water at least once a week if not more. Their leaves droop when the soil gets too dry but bounce back quickly after giving the houseplant water.

Be sure to use pots with good drainage, so you can give the plant regular watering without creating root rot. Alternatively, the peace lily can also be grown in water. The peace lily usually does fine with most standard potting soil mixes. That’s because it likes some moisture content in its soil and a slightly acidic pH between 5.5 and 6.5.

Pests and Other Problems

Healthy peace lily plants rarely experience pest problems, but when they do, the most common culprits are aphids, spider mites, or mealybugs. It’s not uncommon for leaves to dry up or turn yellow for one reason or another. Often, the rest of the plant is fine and will grow new shoots in its place. Serious or pervasive signs of yellowing could be a sign of root rot. It’s a good idea to clean the leaves occasionally or as you notice dust accumulating on leaves. It also doesn’t hurt to check the soil pH periodically.

The peace lily gets a middling grade for toxicity. Don’t confuse this plant with true lilies (which are highly toxic to pets). The peace lily has calcium oxalates that are general skin irritant and may induce vomiting and drooling, but the plant is rarely if a serious health threat to pets or children.

Propagation and Repotting

The peace lily cannot be effectively propagated from leaf cuttings alone. Fortunately, as with many houseplants that have bunched stems that grow from the ground, it’s easy to propagate this plant by division. Simply dig up the plant and divide it into separate sections that you can then replant.

The peace lily generally likes to be snug in its pot but will eventually become pot-bound to the point that it needs repotting. Watch for signs that the roots are starting to poke out of the drainage hole, or the roots have become so tightly packed that it’s hard to remove the plant from its pot. So long as you follow a few basic steps, it’s relatively easy to repot a peace lily plant.

Cost and Availability

In a simple plastic container, a peace lily is more likely going to cost $5-$10 plus delivery fees, or more like $10-$25 from a local plant shop. In a nice ceramic pot, the plant might cost something like $50 or more. When buying them from a store, the plant is more likely to have flowers in bloom.

Similar Types of Houseplants

The peace lily (spathiphyllym) is one branch on the major houseplant family, Araceae, known for its spadix-and-spathe flowers. It’s also one member of the Monsteroideae subfamily, including the popular Monstera houseplant. A different Araceae subfamily, Pothoideae, includes the pothos and anthurium plants. Any of these types of houseplants would be worth considering as an alternative or complement to peace lily plants.