Planting peace lilies outside

How to Grow Peace Lilies Outside

The peace lily (Spathiphyllum Domino) is an evergreen, flowering tropical that has variegated white and green leaves with striking white blooms. The peace lily is most popular as an indoor plant, but you can grow peace lilies outside successfully if you live in a warm climate. If you give your peace lilies a suitable outdoor location, preferably shaded and moist, you’ll have healthy plants with beautiful flowers. Caring for a peace lily that grows outside is slightly different than one kept indoors, however.

Plant your peace lily in partial shade, where it’s protected from strong, direct sunlight. Your peace lily will flower better if it gets bright, indirect sunlight.

Plant your peace lily in either in a pot that you’ll keep outdoors or in the ground. Make sure you plant the lily in rich, well-drained soil. The best environment for peace lilies is in soil that stays moist all the time but doesn’t get soggy or pool water.

Water your peace lily once per week, unless you’re getting adequate rainfall. Monitor the soil to make sure it isn’t getting saturated, but allow the soil to dry out a bit between watering. You should notice that the foliage is drooping when the peace lily needs water.

Fertilize your peace lily regularly. Unlike peace lilies kept indoors, outdoor lilies need a nutritional boost to grow properly. Use a general plant fertilizer and follow the directions on the package.

Peace Lily Not Blooming: Reasons A Peace Lily Never Flowers

The peace lily is an ornamental plant generally sold for the home interior. It produces a white spathe or flower, which is forced by commercial growers to make it more appealing at market. Once the spathe is gone, you are left with lovely glossy green leaves, but what if you want that flower back.

Often, a peace lily won’t flower no matter how you care for it. This can be frustrating but there is a very good reason for this condition.

Peace Lily Facts

Peace lilies are members of the same family as philodendrons, both of which are Aroids. They are very popular tropical houseplants. Peace lily’s flower is especially appealing set amongst the dark green leaves. It lasts for at least a month but then eventually fades and dies. A peace lily never flowers until it is mature. Professional growers know how to get a peace lily plant to bloom on command. They use a natural plant hormone to stimulate the plant into production.

It is not uncommon to find a peace lily not blooming, even when it is a healthy plant. They are native to the tropical Americas and found in dense forests where dappled sun is the chief source of light. They need humus rich soil and moderate moisture. The optimum growing conditions are between 65 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit (18-30 C). Warmer conditions encourage blooming.

The white spathe is actually not the flower but a modified leaf that encloses the actual flowers, which are tiny and insignificant. A peace lily won’t flower unless it is moist and warm enough with gentle lighting.

When Do Peace Lilies Flower?

Peace lilies are sold with a flower or spathe. It is an attractive feature, rising up creamy white from the center of the arching sword-like foliage. They are forced to bloom with gibberellic acid, a natural plant hormone that stimulates cell division and elongation.

The plants used to be raised to maturity and natural flowering before the appearance of gibberellic acid. The process could take up to a year before there were sellable plants. Your plant is usually not mature when it comes from a commercial grower today. That means it is not old enough to flower naturally. Additionally, site conditions need to be ideal and the plant needs to be fertilized.

When do peace lilies flower? They naturally flower in spring or early summer.

How to Get a Peace Lily Plant to Bloom

Your best chance if your peace lily never flowers is to check that you are giving it the correct cultivation. It needs well-draining potting soil, rich in organic matter. Water the plant two or three times per week. It is bet to use distilled water, as these plants can be sensitive to some minerals and chemicals found in tap water.

Try feeding your plant a balanced houseplant fertilizer every 2 to 3 months.

Keep the plant in a low light situation out of direct sunlight, but bright enough you could read a book. Gradually move the plant to brighter light if it is in a very dark room. This could spur a peace lily not blooming to flower just by virtue of more candles of light.

Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily)

Peace Lily Care Guide

Light

As mentioned in the introduction above, darker spots are acceptable for a Peace Lily but don’t assume this is what it needs. If given the choice a bright spot avoiding any direct sunlight is much better.

Watering

Try to keep the soil just moist at all times, but if you’re quite forgetful you just need to watch the plant for visual hints of when to water.

When it’s happy it looks like the picture on the right, when it needs water it flops over as shown in the picture on the left. When you water, soak the plant but don’t let it “sit” in water. If you’re having problems with the plant it’s likely to be linked to your watering technique. Check out the problem section further down for hints and clues.

Humidity

If you’ve very low humidity on a constant basis it will cause you problems in the longer term, so try to increase the humidity in these places. Otherwise the occasional misting is all it needs.

Feeding

Like the water requirements the plant will tell you when you’re getting it wrong; too much fertiliser will cause brown spots on the leaves, and too little will result in no flowers and poor growth (assuming the light conditions are bright). To prevent things getting to this stage though, aim to feed with a weak solution once every couple of weeks in the growing seasons, which will be much appreciated.

Temperature

Average temperatures found in the home are ideal. Grow in a range between 15°C (60°F) – 21°C (70 °F) all year round.

Repotting

A slightly pot bound plant is supposed to be helpful for encouraging flowering, but when you decide to repot, try to do it during Spring if possible. Nothing special needed here, just a slightly bigger pot and a standard potting mix for houseplants.

Propagation

When you repot your plant you can choose to divide it to create more. The problem with dividing circular types of plants is you end up with a lopsided result and can ruin the original “bulk”. If you do go ahead and divide, face the sparse side towards the light source, it will sprout new growth from that side first, which in time will help balance the plant shape.

Speed of Growth

Moderately in good light conditions. Significantly slower (if at all) if light levels are low.

Height / Spread

This depends on the variety you buy. Although even then, in a indoor home situation they will only expect to reach about 45cm / 18in in height and about that in width.

Flowers

Of course! There is loads of information on the web about how to get a Peace Lily to rebloom, the problem is that the tips and suggestions don’t seem to work for everyone in the same way which is obviously not helpful! If you have a secret to success and you want to share, tell us in the comments section below.

Meanwhile here are the best ideas for encouraging reblooms:

  • Light – All plants need light for productive photosynthesis, try to find a spot that is light without any direct sunlight. i.e. a North facing window or set deeper into a South facing room.
  • Rain Water – Many plants respond well to rain water because it has no added chemicals, and contains natural minerals needed by plants. OK, maybe you can’t use rain water for every watering, but if you’ve access to a rainwater collector of some kind, give it a try.
  • Pot Bound – The rational behind this is that pot bound plants sense they’re trapped and can no longer grow, so produce flowers as a means of propagating themselves by seed.
  • Warmth – A room where you spend a lot of your time will likely be warmer than that spare bedroom, consider sharing your living space with your Peace Lily.

Remember don’t expect very numerous blooms like you had when you first brought the plant, and the reasons why this is so are discussed in the introduction above.

Is this Houseplant Poisonous?

The Peace Lily is mildly toxic to cats, dogs and people. Whilst consuming this plant is rarely fatal, if ingested it can result in significant irritation of the mouth, tongue and lips.

Anything else?

Your Peace Lily will need dusting or washing from time to time to keep the leaves glossy and looking their best.

Caring for Peace Lily Plants Summary

  1. Average Light Levels An adaptable houseplant that will do well in both light shade or brightly lit spaces. If you want growth then avoid deep shade and you must keep your plant out of direct sunlight to prevent it burning.

  2. High Watering If you grow your plant in a bright and warm place then these plants will be heavy drinkers (dark locations will mean low watering needs). Keep the soil moist, or wait until the plant starts to wilt a little.

  3. Average Temperature Provide temperatures between 15°C (60°F) – 21°C (70 °F).

  4. Feeding Provide feed once or twice a month during Spring and Summer.

  • Growing your plant in dark places will result in less growth.
  • Do not let your plant sit in waterlogged soil, good drainage is essential.
  • Do not expose it to direct sunlight for prolonged periods.

Peace Lily Problems and Common Issues

Peace Lily has brown crispy edges

If the crispy parts are on the tips rather than on the edge as shown in the photo above, scroll further down. Unfortunately crispy brown bits on the sides of the leaves are a fairly common issue which could have several different causes.

  • Sunlight has the power to burn parts of the leaf that was exposed to it. It could take a week or so for the damage to show itself so think back to work out of this could be the cause.
  • Watering too much or too little causes all kinds of problems for Peace Lily plants. Underwatering tends to result in some yellowing, but overwatering normally leads to the brown edges you see in the picture.
  • Feeding your plant excessively can cause leaf burn. But in reality this is pretty hard to do at home. If the brown is only happening on one leaf then it’s probably one of the issues above.

Peace Lily is drooping

In the majority of cases this is the “I need water NOW!” SOS signal from your plant. Try not to let this go on for a long period otherwise leaf damage will result as outlined in some of the problems below.

Annoyingly if you over water the plant, it will also show a droopy effect, albeit on a much less obvious level. It’s really easy to see this droop and think it’s starting to ask for more water, so thinking the droop will get more severe you reach for the watering can. You’re clearly acting with good intentions here, although unfortunately you are making things worse.

It’s best to be safe than sorry when it comes to the Peace Lily and watering, get used to checking if you aren’t 100% sure what it needs. Feel the soil or lift the pot. Light pots will indicate the need for water, heavy pots tell you the soil is already saturated and no more water is wanted.

Tips of Peace Lily leaves are black, almost soggy

Normally caused by over watering over a prolonged period. If at the moment you are screaming at the screen that you don’t over water (and you’re certain of this) try repotting the plant. If many years have passed since the last time you did it, then the soil may have broken down and need replacing.

Dark Green almost black spots on the leaves

If the blackness is on the tips, look at the previous problem. If the spots are somewhere different it’s likely being caused by too much fertiliser. Flush the soil with fresh water and don’t feed again for 6 months.

Totally yellow Peace Lily leaves or yellow and brown tips

The odd Peace Lily leaf going completely yellow quickly is normal, especially if it’s a very old one. If many leaves are going yellow at once it’s in too bright a spot or the plant has been sitting in a lot of water. Move to a darker location and cut back on the watering.

You’ll also start getting yellow leaf tips with brown crispy edges or tips if you constantly don’t water within a few days of your Peace Lily flopping over (see watering care above), i.e. under watering. Something else to consider; you can get this yellow / brown leaf tip problem if the plant has been watered far to much over a steady and prolonged period. Although if this is the cause it’s much more normal for the tips to be dark green, brown or black instead.

No Flowers on my Peace Lily Plant

See the flower section above.

Peace Lily flowers are going green

Very common on this plant. As the flowers age (several weeks after blooming) they naturally start to turn green. If they’re never white, i.e. as soon as they open they’re green immediately, it’s likely caused by too much fertiliser in the months prior to the blooms forming.

About the Author

Tom Knight

Over the last 20 years Tom has successfully owned hundreds of houseplants and is always happy to share knowledge and lend his horticulture skills to those in need. He is the main content writer for the Ourhouseplants Team.

Also on Ourhouseplants.com

(Gallery / Picture in article) Credit Peace Lily in window to Gaurav Sharma
(Gallery / Picture in article) Credit Peace Lily Flower close up to JJ Harrison
(Gallery / Article) Peace Lily Plant in house corner Judy A
(Gallery) Credit Peace Lily Flower and leaves with dark background UshaJ

Community Comments

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Peace Lilies are one of the most popular houseplants and have been so for years and years now. We love their dark green, glossy foliage but most of all the long-lasting white flowers rise above. I’ve done lots of posts and videos on houseplants but can’t believe this one hasn’t made it to the roster yet. Peace lily care coming your way along with growing tips and other things good to know.

Growing Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum or Spath) Indoors

They can grow outdoors year-round in places with high humidity and mild winter temps like Florida and Hawaii. Spaths are well-loved houseplants because they’re attractive, easy to find, not expensive and mostly because of those lily white flowers. There are many species and varieties of Peace Lilies – these care tips apply to them all.

Size

They’re commonly seen in 4″ grow pots right up to 14″. You most often see these for sale as smaller plants in 6″ or 8″ grow pots which are table top plants. When you get into the 10″, 12″ & 14″ grow pot size, those are floor plants. Mine that you see here & in the video down below is in a 6″ pot & stands about 12″ tall.

As I said, there are many species & varieties of Peace Lilies. Common taller varieties are Mauna Loa (2-3′) & Sensation (5-6′) while Spathiphyllum wallisii is the old tabletop stand by. The majority of Peace Lilies have deep green leaves in various sizes. There is 1 variety, that I know of, which has green & white variegated foliage.

Peace Lilies in the greenhouse. This 10″ size is obviously a floor plant.

Growth Rate

Peace Lilies are moderate growers. If the light is too low, the growth rate will be slow. It’s spring as I’m writing this & mine is putting out a lot of new growth.

Uses

Smaller ones (4″ pot size) are often used in dish gardens.
The most common use for Spaths is as a tabletop plant. The larger growing varieties are wide floor plants. They grow almost as wide as they do tall so you’ll need some floor space for mature specimens.

Close Relatives

I’m adding these in for fun because I also have them growing in my home. They’re in the same plant family as the Peace Lily & are popular houseplants too: pothos, monstera, arrow head plant & anthurium. Actually, the anthurium is often called Red Peace Lily.

Here are some of my plants which are also in the Araceae plant family. My 3 Agalonemas weren’t in the picture because there wasn’t any room!

How to Care for Peace Lillies

Exposure

Peace lilies prefer moderate or medium light.

Mine grows on a table in my kitchen about 12′ away from east facing patio doors. There is also a skylight not far away. It’s very happy in this location & is currently producing 7 flowers. So, I have it placed near but not in a window.

If the light is too strong (like a hot, west exposure close to a window) , your plant will burn. Peace Lilies leaves are thinner than many houseplants so it won’t handle that situation well.

Conversely: Spathiphyllums are often billed as low light plants but they won’t put out new growth or flower in low light levels.

Watering

This is 1 plant which likes regular watering. I’ll let the top 2/3 dry out before I water again. I try never to let it go completely dry because the leaves & stems will go limp & it’ll completely droop.

I started my horticultural career in Boston as an interior plant technician. The Peace Lily is the plant which we replaced more often than any others (it was very popular!) because of under watering or over watering.

If yours goes completely dry 2 or 3 times, it’ll be fine. Letting it consistently droop will take its toll on this plant.

The weather is warming here in Tucson so I water mine every 5 days. Also, it’s in a smaller pot so that is another reason it’ll dry out faster. In winter I water it every 7-10 days depending on the temps & light levels.

Your Peace Lily might need more or less – this houseplant watering 101 posts will help you out. Basically, the more light & warmth, the more often yours will need watering.

1 thing: back off on the frequency in the winter. Plants need to rest at this time of year plus the light levels & temps tend to be lower. Even though this plant doesn’t like to dry out, it doesn’t like to stay sopping wet or sit in a saucer of water.

If your tap water is high in chlorine & salts, the leaves will show signs of burn. You may have to switch to filtered or distilled water.

If your home is comfortable for you, it’ll be so for your houseplants too. Just be sure to keep your Peace Lilies away from any cold drafts as well as air conditioning or heating vents.

Spathiphyllums are native to the damp rainforest regions. If the leaves of yours are showing tiny brown tips, that’s a reaction to the dry air in our homes. Here in hot dry Tucson, all the leaves of mine have teeny brown tips but you have to look close to see them.

I have a large, deep kitchen sink with a faucet water filter. Every time I water my Peace Lily, I take it to the sink, spray the foliage & leave it in there for a few hours to temporarily up the ante on the humidity factor. I avoid spraying the flowers – more on them towards the end.

If you think yours look stressed due to lack of humidity, fill the saucer with pebbles & water. Put the plant on the pebbles but make sure the drain holes &/or the bottom of the pot isn’t submerged in water. Misting a few times a week should help out too.

This is my little Peace Lily. A few of the flowers are turning green due to age & will eventually turn brown.

Fertilizer/Feeding

I give all my houseplants a light application of worm compost with a light layer of compost over that every spring. Easy does it – 1/4 to 1/2″ layer of each for a larger sized houseplant. Read about my worm compost/compost feeding right here.

Because Peace Liles flower, I give mine a watering with Eleanor’s vf-11 in spring, early summer & the end of summer. I’ve started using it on my other houseplants too. You can also use a balanced houseplant fertilizer like 10-10-10 at half strength.

You don’t want to fertilize houseplants in late fall or winter because that’s their time for rest.

Don’t over fertilize your Spaths because salts build up & can burn the roots of the plant. This will show up as brown spots on the leaves. Avoid fertilizing a houseplant which is stressed, ie. bone dry or soaking wet.

For me, Spathiphyllums have always flowered once a year. I’ve heard that they can flower again at the end of summer/beginning of fall.

Soil

Use a good organic potting soil when repotting this plant. You want it to be enriched with good stuff but also to drain well. I’m partial to Ocean Forest because of its high-quality ingredients. It’s great for container planting, including houseplants.

I also mix in coco coir chips & fiber, & organic compost. These enrich the soil naturally. Charcoal is an ingredient I always have on hand.

This is my favorite amendment, which I use sparingly because it’s rich. I’m currently using Worm Gold Plus. Here’s why I like it so much.

You can read how I feed my houseplants with worm compost & compost here: How I Feed My Houseplants Naturally With Worm Compost & Compost

Repotting/Transplanting

This is best done in spring or summer; early fall is fine if you’re in a warm climate. The faster your plant is growing, the sooner it’ll need repotting.

Because the Peace Lily isn’t a fast grower, repotting it every 3-5 years will be fine. I go up a pot size or 2.

Small Peace Lilies are commonly used in mixed gardens like this.

The only way I’ve propagated this plant is by division. My 6″ Peace Lily that you see here & in the video could easily be divided into 2 plants.

Pruning

Not much is needed. The main reasons to prune this plant are to take off the occasional yellow leaf or spent flower.

Just make sure your pruners are clean & sharp before you do any pruning.

Pests

The Peace Lily can be susceptible to mealybugs, especially deep inside the new growth. These white, cotton-like pests like to hang out in the nodes & under the leaves. I simply blast them off (lightly!) in the kitchen sink with the spray & that does the trick.

Also keep your eye out for scale & spider mites. It’s best to take action as soon as you see any pest because multiply like crazy. Pests can travel from houseplant to houseplant fast so make you get them under control pronto.

Pet Safety

Peace Lilies are considered to be toxic to pets. I consult the ASPCA website for my info on this subject & see in what way the plant is toxic. Here’s more info on this for you.

Most houseplants are toxic to pets in some way & I want to share my thoughts with you regarding this topic.

Oh those beautiful flowers looking like white sails.

Cleaning The Air

This is a big topic as far as Spathiphyllums are concerned. They are billed as being air purifying wonders. All plants benefit the air in some way. However, you can’t expect a Spath or 2 to clean your whole living room.

You know I love plants, both indoors & out. But, the NASA study was done in a controlled chamber; our homes aren’t controlled chambers. Here are my thoughts on how well houseplants clean the air.

Cleaning The Foliage

Oh yes, plants breath through their leaves & like to have them be clean. Plus, they’ll look much better!

Peace Lilies are naturally shiny & don’t need any kind of leaf shine. It blocks their pores & hinders the respiration process.

I cleaned mine right before this post & video so it was nice & pretty for you. I sprayed diluted Mrs Meyer’s Soap (which I use for cleaning) onto a wet, soft cloth & wiped each leaf. It brings out the natural shine of this plant. I do the cleaning once or twice a year. Any mild, natural liquid soap (like Dr. Bronner’s) will also be fine to use.

Flowers

Oh yes, we all love those lily white flowers! Each 1 lasts 3 weeks up to 6-8 weeks, depending on how warm & bright your home is.

The white part is the spathe & the flowers are tiny & found on the spadix. Technicalities aside, the whole thing is called the flower.

Mine started to set blooms at the end of winter. It’s early May as I’m writing this. Their natural cycle is flower anytime from late winter to early summer. The growers time them to be in bloom at different times of year so they’re flowering when for sale.

When the flowers start turning green, they’re on their way out. I always leave them on until they start turning brown & look bad.

Where to deadhead a Peace Lily flower: the flower stem grows inside the leaf stem. Go as far down the flower stem as you can into the leaf stem & cut there. I’ll be doing a post & video on this soon so stay tuned.

This was taken at the growers. You can see a bit of white pollen from the flowers on the leaves at the bottom of this pic. Also, a yellow/brown tipped & edged leaf Peace Lilies can be notorious for.

Good to Know

Leaves turning brown or yellow is an issue Peace Lilies are known for. It’s usually a watering, drainage or light issue but other things can come into play too. Below are symptoms I’ve had experience with. Just know there may be other causes depending on the environment your plant is growing in, how you’re caring for it, the soil & pots it’s planted in, etc.

Yellow leaves

Usually due to low light levels, not enough water or poor drainage.

Brown tips

Small tips are a reaction to the dry air.

Brown edges & bigger brown tips

Too much chlorine in your water, over or under watering, over fertilizing.

Brown leaves

Cold damage & the plant repeatedly going completely dry.

Not flowering

Your Peace Lily isn’t getting enough light or it doesn’t like the environment it’s in.

Green blooms

The flowers are on their way out. They’ll stay green for a while & then turn brown & die.

White powder on leaves

That’s the pollen falling off the spadix.

You can find this plant, more houseplants and lots of info in our simple and easy to digest houseplant care guide: Keep Your Houseplants Alive.

The Peace Lily is 1 of the most popular houseplants. If you don’t have 1 already, then maybe it’s time. Just remember, don’t let yours go completely dry and keep it out of hot sunny windows. You’re going to love those flowers!

Happy gardening,

Be sure to check out these other plant care guides!

Chinese Evergreen Care and Growing Tips

Rubber Plant: Growing Tips for this Easy Care Indoor Tree

7 Easy Care Floor Plants For Beginning Houseplant Gardeners

7 Easy Tabletop & Hanging Plants For Beginning Houseplant Gardeners

Gardening in South Africa

Of all the species found in the genus Spathiphyllum, all but three are found only in the New World Neotropics. The remaining three species are found in the Philippine and Molucca Islands, New Guinea, Palau, New Britain, and the Solomon Islands, while all the rest are found from tropical Mexico through Central and South America. The hybrids sold today originated from specimens gathered by collectors who went to South America in the 1800’s seeking new and interesting “house plants” for European growers. Spathiphyllum wallisii was discovered in the late 19th century growing wild in Central America, and is one of approximately 40 species of flowering plants in the family Araceae or arum family, which also includes Anthurium and Philodendron.

These plants are members of a genus that loves water, growing wild in the rain forests and commonly along the margins of streams and rivers where they form large colonies which are interconnected by their rhizomes. The genus also favours partially or periodically flooded forests, sometimes in sites with relatively low light intensities. The plants can naturally withstand abuse because in their natural habitat they must also survive through the dry season, which at times requires them to cope when little water is available.

The dark-green, glossy leaves are strongly veined and arch away from the plant’s base, making the peace lily an attractive foliage plant even when it’s not in bloom, but when in bloom, usually in early summer, it is truly lovely. What we call it’s ‘flowers’ are actually pale green spathes, which turn white as they open. Spathes are large sheathing bracts enclosing the flower spadix of certain plants. The spadix is a spike of minute flowers closely arranged around a fleshy axis and a characteristic of arum lilies.

Peace lilies in full bloom are sold in garden centres virtually all year round because growers use a chemical known as gibberellic acid to induce the plants to bloom, regardless of the season. Gibberellic acid is a natural plant hormone and is used in agriculture to stimulate both cell division and cell elongation that affects the leaves as well as the stems of a plant. A number of cultivars, are commercially available, all of which are essentially quite similar. Apart from one peace lily which produces a green flower and another that has variegated leaves, they all produce large green leaves and white flowers. Some have smaller leaves and an abundance of small flowers, while others produce large, glossier leaves and fewer, but much larger flowers.

Peace Lilies are a decorators dream – Image by mfiol from In the Garden and Home:

Peace lilies can be planted out into the garden in frost free regions of the country. Indoors, they are a decorators dream because their lush green foliage compliments most styles, adding freshness to almost any spot in the home, and the striking white flowers will liven up any colour scheme.

They are also used extensively as potted plants in shopping malls and offices and are renowned for improving air quality indoors. They are sold by florists, supermarkets and garden centres, and make excellent gifts.

Cultivation:

Of all the indoor flowering plants, peace lilies are one of the easiest to care for, because they tolerate average indoor conditions better than many house plants. However, most indoor plants are killed by either too much water or too little water, and often by too much fertiliser, and peace lilies are no different. Give this plant the right position indoors, water and feed correctly, and you will have a winner.

Although peace lilies are known to survive in darker spots in the home and do not like direct sunlight, they will bloom better if given bright, filtered natural light. They thrive in fertile, well-drained soil and their fertiliser requirements are quite low, but in order to encourage blooms they must be fed with half strength solutions of liquid fertiliser for flowering indoor plants every four to six weeks in summer. Leaves with brown spots may be the result of over feeding (concentration could be too high).

Although peace lilies growing in the wild love water, when potted they prefer an evenly moist soil which drains very well, and is never allowed to dry out completely. To simulate the dry season in their natural habitat, water potted plants less frequently in winter. Generally, in summer, watering your peace lily once a week should be sufficient. However, when the plant is grown in low light levels or cooler temperatures, water requirements will be less. With brighter light levels or warmer temperatures, and during periods of rapid growth, water requirements will increase. Test the soil before watering by sticking your finger into the potting soil up to the first knuckle and if the soil is still moist, don’t water. Overwatering may cause leaves to turn yellow and under watering may cause plants to wilt and the leaf edges to turn yellow or brown. If your plant does wilt badly, it will quickly recover if the pot is soaked in in a bucket of water for a while.

Spathyphyllum flowers add freshness to a roomThese tropical plants love humidity, so if you live in a dry climate, creating a humid environment is beneficial to the plant. To do this, place the pot in a drip tray filled with small pebbles and water. The water will slowly evaporate and create more moisture in the air surrounding the plant, and the pebbles will ensure that the pot is not standing in the water, which can cause root rot. Mist spraying the leaves with water regularly will also help tremendously, and is especially important in dry climates and in air conditioned rooms. Always use tepid water when watering or misting, and this is especially important during cold weather. Keep the leaves dust-free by wiping them with a damp cloth or by washing them down with a soft spray of water in the bath or sink. Unattractive leaves can be removed by following the leaf stem to the base of the plant and cutting it off at soil level. Spent blooms are removed in the same way.

Peace lilies should be re-potted when the root growth has filled the container. To help the roots to retain soil and prevent root tearing, re-pot the plant when the soil is somewhat moist. Select a container about one to two sizes bigger than the current one. Cover the drainage holes in your new pot with crocks or pebbles and lay down a layer of fresh potting soil. When placing the peace lily in its new pot, keep the plant at the same depth as it was in the old pot while filling with fresh soil around the plant. Gently press the soil down until the plant is firmly planted. Water well and wait a couple of weeks before feeding again.

In warmer climates peace lilies will grow outdoors, thriving in moist, humid, frost free regions. In these regions they must be sited in semi-shade and protected from strong sunlight and strong winds. Exposure to direct light may cause yellowing leaves with a burnt appearance. Ensure that the soil is rich and drains well.

Peace Lilies are good candidates for hydroponics (a method of growing plants without soil) but are susceptible to chlorine damage in tap water, so allow the water to stand awhile before watering to allow the chlorine to evaporate. Distilled water and rainwater can also be used.

Propagation:

You can create new peace lily plants by dividing them. Propagate by removing the plant from its container and gently shaking off the excess soil while gently teasing the sections apart. A sharp knife can be used to cut through some sections if necessary. Ensure that each divided section has sufficient roots. Re-pot into small pots to start off, using a rich, well-drained potting soil.

Problems, Pests & Diseases:

Without natural predators around, all house plants can succumb to insect problems, but these are very minimal with peace lilies. They can be susceptible to insects like aphids, black scale, spider mites and mealy bugs. Insect problems can be taken care of with insecticides, insecticidal soap or by washing the plant with water.

Many gardeners and growers attribute the death of peace lilies to excessive watering, but although this may often be the case, the main reason for the demise of most plants is a combination of poor soil that is kept soggy, poor light conditions, near constant neglect and a lack of nutrients, or at the other extreme, an overdose of fertiliser. Overwatering may cause leaves to turn yellow and under watering may cause plants to wilt and the leaf edges to turn yellow or brown. Root rot, leaf spot and bacterial soft rot can occur in peace lilies, but are usually the result of improper care and bad drainage.

If you are feeding your plant but it still does not bloom well, you need to move it to a location with bright, filtered light. Older plants may also just need to be re-potted or divided. This is one of the few plants that bloom’s better after dividing it.

If the leaves become shrivelled and dry, the humidity is too low; and if the leaf tips start to brown, it can be a result of direct sun, over-fertilising or under-watering.

Warning:

True lilies from the Liliaceae family are much more toxic to cats and dogs than the peace lily, which is not a true lily and is only mildly toxic to humans and animals when ingested. The Peace Lily contains calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause skin irritation, a burning sensation in the mouth, difficulty swallowing, and nausea, so keep it away from children and pets who may play with or chew on it.

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