Let Your Garden Bloom And Learn How To Care For a Peace Lily

Peaceful, beautiful, tropical, do these sound like something you want? You can bring this kind of ambience to your garden with peace lilies. These evergreen herbaceous perennials houseplants shine indoor or outdoor and make a great option for beginners as a result of their low light and water requirements. 

Peace lily flower on natural wood background

You may already know how to care for other plants, like the bird of paradise, roses, aloe vera or rosemary, but what about peace lilies? The ease of caring for them makes peace lilies beloved by many. They are hardy, forgiving, and their telltale droop lets you know what you need to do. Ready to learn more about peace lilies and how to care for them? Read on!

About peace lily plant

Native to the Americas and Southeast Asia, peace lilies belong to a family of closet plants that make great choices for homes and offices. Its botanical name is Spathiphyllum, a name derived from the Greek words spath which means spoon, and phyllon for leaf.

The name peace lily may indicate that they belong to the lily family but they actually do not. Instead, they belong to the subfamily Monsteroideae of the Araceae family. However, they are nothing like what their subfamily name suggests, rather their name came about because of the look of white flags of peace their white spathe displays. 

Peace lilies are tropical plants that can live for years, flowering over and over again with good care. Most peace lily houseplants today are varieties of the species Spathiphyllum wallisii, and other hybrids are typically cultivars of this species.

Peace lilies are not cold-resistant plants and they can thrive in environments like forest floors, without needing plenty of direct sunlight and overwatering. So replicating this sort of environment in your home garden is important if you want happy and healthy peace lilies.

Peace lilies are quite distinct, with big dark green leaves that gorgeously contrast the bright white lily flowers (known as a spathe). The striking plant blooms in the spring with flower stalks that twist at first then flourish revealing the plant’s white or yellow spadix in the centre. The white blooms appear only under the right light conditions.

The plant produces glossy oval leaves that grow toward soil as they mature. If you care very well for your peace lily, it may be able to bloom twice in a year, which results in many months of flowers. 

Peace lily growing in a garden

Where to plant your own peace lily

Peace lilies are so tough that they can grow inside a closet, but we aren’t saying you should try to grow them in such conditions. They find it harder to bloom under low light. So if their foliage is what you are after, then by all means place your peace lily in a dark corner. 

But if flowers are what you want, then plant them in a place where they can receive bright indirect light, but keep in mind that light-coloured and scorched leaves indicate that the plant is receiving too much direct sun

How to maintain a peace lily plant

Watering

Watering your plants the right way is always important. Peace lilies do best in moist soil, however, they are not great in standing water. So good drainage is a must-have. Whenever you observe that the top layer of the soil has gone dry or drying up, water the plant until the overflow begins to seep out of the bottom of your plant container. 

Always look for the right pot. Make sure your pot or container has drainage holes at the bottom. Leave the water lily for some time to drain completely before thinking about watering it again. Peace lilies will not give any problem, but you should always remember to water them. One day, your beloved plant could be blooming and looking amazing, and the next day it could be flopping over in its pot. 

A pot of peace lily in front of window

However, you shouldn’t worry. Just water right away, let the plant soak the water up, and water again. And with that, you are back on track. When watering, avoid using dechlorinated water as the peace lily is sensitive to chlorine. Tap water can be dechlorinated by leaving it out at room temperature for a day or two. Also, don’t overwater as this can cause root rot.

In addition to watering the soil, you can create the humid air of the rainforest around your lily by regularly misting using a spray bottle. The more water the blooms get especially in dry periods like summer, the healthier they will be.

Fertilizers and plant food

About one month after planting, your peace lily should start getting hungry. You can get formulas made for peace lilies which are designed to feed the plants especially if they are indoors. These foods can be applied directly to the soil or during watering (mixed with water). However, ensure you follow their label directions.

If you plan to fertilize, apply a balanced houseplant fertilizer weekly in the summer, or use slow-release pellets as the season begins, however, avoid fertilizing in the winter.

Best temperature and humidity

Peace lilies do best in moist warmth so avoid cold temperatures as the plant will struggle to survive under such conditions. The best temperature ranges between 20-26 degrees Celsius

For productive photosynthesis, place your plant in a north-facing window where it can receive indirect sunlight. Keep in mind that intense light can cause yellowing of the leaves. Every week, regulate the temperature by spritzing the leaves with distilled water throughout the summer growing season.

Repotting

Peace lily will not cause a fuss even when in a crowded pot. But if your plant is starting to wilt much more frequently, you’ll know it’s time to start thinking of repotting. At that point, its roots will have taken a large part of the container so that there’s not much soil left to hold water. Get a new pot, wider in diameter than the original one your peace lily is growing in currently, and repot.

Peace lily before repotting on white background

It is essential to use an appropriate potting mix and to repot annually in spring as the plant appreciates the refreshed soil. The pot may no longer be able to carry the peace lily as it may grow too large before it can be divided. So take out the plant from its pot then split it into smaller plants, leaving out several leaves for every clump.

More plant care tips for peace lilies

Peace lily care is pretty straightforward, but there are other issues you can observe with these plants. Keep an eye out for these:

1. Yellow leaves

As the older peace lily leaves age, they will turn yellow. Get them off by cutting them at the centre of the plant. Overwatered plants will sometimes develop yellow leaves, too. You have to cut back on watering and let the soil dry out a bit to let the plant recover.

2. Brown leaf tips

Brown leaf tips are usually an indication that your peace lily has been getting too much sunlight. In such a case, get the plant out of the rays of the sun. You can try to improve the humidity around your plant. 

Get small pebbles and fill the saucer under the pot. Add water up to about one-third inch below the top of the stones. As the water evaporates all around the leaves, the humidity increases.

3. Zero Blooms

If your peace lily isn’t blooming, then move it to a different area where it will get more bright but not direct light.

Person cleaning dust from peace lily leaves

4. Dusty Leaves

Peace lily has quite large leaves which allows it to collect dust. You can use water to clean them or even a microfiber cloth to get rid of dust.

Common pests and diseases

Peace lilies are typically free of most diseases and pests that typically affect indoor plants, however, they are susceptible to scale and mealybugs, especially when it comes to the new growth. If given the opportunity, these pests can happily take up residence on your plant. 

Thoroughly wiping down leaves using soapy water or insecticidal soap is a simple treatment that can stop them, although, for 100% effectiveness, the repeated application will be necessary.

1. Fungus gnats

Peace lilies thrive on rich, loose soil that contains plenty of organic material and this will not cause any issue. However, if you are growing them in a different type of potting soil, then you might have to face fungus gnats

First, try to water less frequently and ensure the top of the soil dries out between waterings. If that fails, you may consider using an insecticide that is specifically for home garden use. This will kill all the larvae in the soil.

2. Mites or aphids

Other pests like mites, aphids, or other small arthropods can damage peace lilies. When you notice the leaves of the lily starting to wilt or die, especially accompanied by visible pests, a slimy and sticky “glue-like thing”, or the presence of white webbing, this indicates that a pest infestation is ongoing. 

Peace lily on blue background

Is peace lily poisonous?

Yes, peace lily is mildly poisonous. Like other common plants such as daffodils, philodendrons, true lilies, and hyacinths, peace lily contains calcium oxalate crystals, a substance that when ingested in large quantities can alter the calcium levels in the blood and cause renal failure. 

Peace lilies should be kept far from the reach of children and pets, both cats and dogs, as it is toxic to them. The first sign you see when a cat or dog has eaten a peace lily is they begin to salivate profusely and shake their heads and paw at their mouths.

The peace lily is truly a plant that makes your gardening peaceful for many reasons. First of all, it shows it needs water by sagging and when watered, it revives quickly. Secondly, it doesn’t require intense light conditions to grow. Thirdly, this is a resilient plant that bounces back quickly after a disease infestation or a few missed waterings. It only needs sufficient care and occasional wiping of their leaves. So what are you waiting for? Go on and add some peace lilies to your garden today.

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