Peace lilies, also known as Spathiphyllum, are a very popular houseplant for a good reason. They have beautiful evergreen foliage, with exotic and elegant white blooms. Everyone says they’re easy to care for, and they like low light conditions. They usually bloom twice a year, and the blossoms last for a long time. There are also several different varieties available in virtually all sizes to suit almost any room in your home.
Unfortunately, many of us have just the opposite experience when we bring one of these plants home and have nothing but trouble with it. When the blooms that caught our eye on the shelf start to fade, we can’t seem to get them to bloom ever again. The leaves wilt regularly, or they start turning yellow—or worse, brown and crispy! If you fell in love with their architectural blooms, it can be frustrating to end up with a pot of plain green leaves.
The reality is, Peace Lily can be a bit of a drama queen. They’re not the most difficult plant in the world to take care of, but they do have fairly particular needs:
- They want moist soil, but not too moist.
- They want to be rootbound, but not too rootbound.
- They want bright light, but not direct sunshine.
- They want rich soil, high humidity, and plenty of warmth.
The truth is, it’s not as difficult to achieve their ideal balance as it might seem. The main thing to remember is that Spathiphyllum likes consistent care—and don’t we all?
Spathiphyllum Care Guide
Here is our guide for how to care for Peace Lily plants. If you follow these tips, your peace lily should reward you with rich green foliage and striking white blooms.
Peace Lily is often considered a low-light-tolerant plant. This is partially true; it can survive in surprisingly low-light situations. But surviving and thriving are two very different things! There is also a bit of misunderstanding about what qualifies as low-light for houseplants. In your home, “bright light” means right by a south-facing window with full sun, medium-light means there might be a sheer curtain over the window, or your plant might be 2-3 feet back from a window. Low-light means the plant is 5-6 feet back from the window where it gets no sun. Your windowless powder room may seem like a low-light area to you, but to your Peace Lily, it may as well be sitting in the dark!
Confusion about lighting is often where people get frustrated with Spathiphyllum. They’ll squeak by with a little bit of natural light, but they need plenty of bright indirect light to bloom. However, they don’t like direct sunlight; it will burn their leaves. The ideal spot for your Peace Lily is within 4-5 feet of a sunny south-facing window, with a very sheer curtain over the window to block direct rays.
Soil & Pot Requirements
Peace Lily likes rich soil with lots of organic matter, and they like to be a little bit potbound. Use a fertile, high-quality potting soil, and don’t use a bigger pot until your Peace Lily is showing signs of being excessively rootbound.
You’ll know when your Peace Lily is ready for a new pot when its leaves start to wilt and droop just 2-3 days after watering. If it seems like your Peace Lily needs more water every few days, that’s another good indicator that it’s time for a new pot. Only go up one pot size at a time when you do repot it, and make sure you choose a pot that has a drainage hole.
Peace Lily likes moist, but not wet soil. Watering is something that requires a bit of practice and attention to figure out. The best way to tell if your Peace Lily needs water is to stick your finger in the soil about 1″ deep, or up to the first knuckle. If the soil feels dry, it’s a good time to water. If the soil still feels damp, wait another day or two.
The problem with a “once a week” or “every ten days” watering schedule is that it doesn’t account for climatic changes. If you have an overcast and rainy week, the soil in your plants is not going to dry out as fast. If you have a crazy hot week with sun all day every day, they’re going to dry out more quickly than average. The best way to develop a watering schedule is to check the soil with your finger, or with a moisture meter, every few days. Eventually, you’ll start to know intuitively when it is the right time to water.\
Wilting and droopy leaves are another way to tell if your Peace Lily needs water, but this is not a perfect indicator to rely on. Wilting and droopy leaves mean your plant is experiencing stress, either from water (not enough or too much) or from its pot being too small.
Humidity & Temperature
Spathiphyllum is a tropical native. They like consistently warm and slightly humid environments. The ideal temperature range for them is between 65-75ºF. Maintaining humidity will also help your Peace Lily to thrive. You can mist your Peace Lily every day, but that may not be practical. A pebble tray or a nearby humidifier are easier ways to maintain humidity levels.
Peace Lilies don’t need too much fertilizer, but for the best blooms, you can opt to give them a balanced fertilizer every 6-8 weeks.
If your Peace Lilies drop lots of pollen, you can snip off the pollen spike a few days after blooming. The white spathe will still last for a long time.
When blooms finally fade, cut them off, right back to the base.
Wipe the leaves with a soft cloth or sponge every few months to remove dust and keep those Peace Lily leaves shining!
It might seem like Peace Lilies are drama queens, but in reality, they just know exactly what they need to thrive. Once you find a good location with lots of bright indirect light and learn when they like to be watered, they’ll be happy in your care and provide you with those elegant blooms you fell in love with. Shop our website to add a Peace Lily to your home!