A Peace Lily (not really a true lily) or Spathiphyllum originated in tropical forests around the world where it grew close to the forest floor in the shade of larger plants. This helps explain why it is one of the few indoor plants that bloom even in medium to low light. A Peace Lily is a member of the Araceae family and a relative of the Alocasia, Dieffenbachia, Caladium, and Philodendron. All plants in this family contain calcium oxalate crystals and are very poisonous.
Peace Lily Description
A Peace Lily is a beautiful, indoor houseplant that grows between 1- 4ft tall. It has large, glossy, oval, dark green leaves. The leaves do not develop on stems but come directly out of the soil. What we think of as the “white flowers” are really modified leaves called spathes that surround the real, inconsequential flowers. The “flowers” start out as light green and, as they mature, turn white. These tall, impressive white “spathes” (flowers) last for several weeks.
Peace Lily Varieties
S. Sensation is the most popular variety sold with dark green ribbed leaves and white flowers.
S. Domino has large, green and white variegated leaves
S. Mauna Loa is a larger variety (2ft tall) and less forgiving
S. Wallisii is a small, compact dwarf variety with 3″ flowers.
S. Lynaise has leaves with a matte, rather than a glossy finish. It flowers profusely.
S. Supreme has wide green leaves produces large, white, 6″-8″ oval flowers
S. Flower Power is one of my favorites, producing large flowers on tall stems. The lance shaped green leaves provide a beautiful, green background.
S. ‘Starlight’ has shiny, tough, dark green leaves and can produce up to 10-20 flowers at a time
Peace Lily “Flowers” S. Domino S. Supreme S. Starlight
Quick Care Tips
Wait until leaves get soft and droop a little before watering
Grows slowly in low to medium light, but needs bright indirect light to flower
Easily propagated by plant division
Do not over feed or leaf tips burn
Avoid temperatures below 55°F
How much light for a Peace Lily: These plants grow slowly in low light and more quickly in medium, or indirect bright light. Too much light causes the leaves of a Peace Lily to fade and lose their vibrant, dark green color. Too little light and flowers do not develop. Direct sunlight burns the leaves.
How to water a Peace Lily: Allow the top 50% of the soil to dry out before watering. If the leaves severely droop, yellow leaves develop once a Peace Lily is watered. Leaves turn a blackish brown from over- watering. Too much water, resulting in root rot, is the main reason a Peace Lily dies.
How to fertilize a Peace Lily: Feed every other month when the plant is actively growing with a balanced plant food diluted to 1/2 the recommended strength. Too much fertilizer burns the leaf tips of a Peace lily..
Best temperature for a Peace Lily: 65°-85°F (18.3°-29.4°C).
Does a Peace Lily need high humidity: High humidity is a plus but not a necessity.
Does a Peace Lily flower: A Peace Lily produces modified, white, hooded leaves called “spathes” that are called the flowers. The “flowers” develops the top of tall, slender stems. The plant needs bright, indirect light to flower.
Peace Lily plant pests: Keep an eye out for aphids, spider mites, and mealy bugs. Spraying with the non-toxic “Green Solution” not only gets rid of plant pests, it also removes dust and improves the appearance of the leaves. Read how to identify and treat these plant pests and how to make the “Green Solution” in the Glossary of the website.
Peace Lily plant diseases: Since these plants prefer a humid environment, leaf spot, and other bacterial and fungal plant diseases can be a problem. Keeping the leaves dry, providing good air circulation around the plant, and avoiding overly wet soil helps prevent plant diseases.
Best soil for a Peace Lily: Use a rich well-aerated potting soil that contains a good amount of peat or other organic material.
How big a pot for a Peace Lily: Do not move the plant to the next size container until the roots have almost filled the existing pot. Keeping a Peace Lily a bit root- bound helps it to flower and prevents root rot due to over watering.
How to prune a Peace Lily: Once the flowers fade, cut off the flower and its stem at the soil line. Every flower has it’s own stem and will not re-bloom. Pruning the flowers and stems helps the plant look better and encourages more flowers. Remove brown or yellow leaves at the base of their stem also. You can trim the brown or yellow tips on the leaves of a Peace Lily using a sharp, wet scissors; however, this rarely prevents the discoloration from spreading throughout the remaining portion of the leaf.
How to propagate a Peace Lily: Dividing the root ball of the plant and potting the two sections in small containers with drip holes in the bottom is the best technique.
Because of the name and lovely white “flowers,” a Peace Lily is often sent as a gift when someone dies.
Clean Air Plant
NASA recommends a Peace Lily as an excellent plant to clean the air of harmful chemicals.
Poisonous Plant Info
A Peace Lily is a poisonous plant and dangerous to have near cats, dogs, and small children. These plants have a #2 Toxicity level.
The tips of the leaves of Peace Lily plants usually turn brown from too much water, too much fertilizer, too much fluoride, chlorine, or salt in the water, or sitting in a location that is too hot.
To help your Peace Lily produce flowers, first move it to a brighter area. I’ve also found that if you stress the plant by allowing the soil to dry out before watering, it produces more flowers.
The leaves are turning yellow because the soil of your Peace Lily is getting a little too dry before you water. Water the plant a little more frequently and I think the yellow leaf problem should disappear.
Your Peace Lily may be getting too much light. Move it to an area where the light is not quite as intense, perhaps an east or north-facing window. If the plant leaves are still pale, try a basic houseplant food diluted to ½ the recommended strength.