Perfect your Peace Lily care and be rewarded with an abundance of elegant white flowers.
Not every houseplant lover is blessed with a south-facing window streaming with sunlight. And the good news is you don't need one with The Peace Lily. It's one of the best low-light houseplants out there and a great choice for indoor nature newbies. Forgetful waterers are in luck too as the Peace Lily can tolerate some neglect. For this reason, this attractive ornamental also makes a forgiving office plant.
The Peace Lily has lots of luscious dark green leaves but what really sets it apart are those regal, hooded white spathes, which delicately unfold atop erect stalks. Though it's botanically inaccurate to call them a flower, the Peace Lily flower is a beautiful sight.
In spring, a longlasting flowering structure known as a spadix is produced. This is surrounded by a long white, yellow or green-coloured modified leaf known as a spathe. A happy plant might even bloom again in autumn. Don't worry if the flowers turn green, this is just part of the process they go through as they die.
A brief history of the Peace Lily
Native to parts of the Tropics in Mexico, Central and South America, and Southeast Asia. In the 1870s, the German plant hunter Gustav Wallis
introduced the Peace Lily to Europe. He was working for James Veitch and Sons in London at the time and died of dysentery while on his travels not long after. The species S. wallisii is named after him.
If creamy white isn't for you, there are now more than 50 cultivars available, some with spathes in shocking pink or pale green.
The scientific name Spathyphyllum stems from the Greek for spathe (a modified leaf, in this case, the white bit surrounding the bumpy, cone-like spadix) and phyllum (which means leaf). The common name Peace Lily is said to have arisen because the billowing flower looks like a flag of surrender if you squint.
How to nail Peace Lily plant care
Peace Lily plants might have an air of majesty about them but thankfully they don't have the high maintenance personality to match. It is worth remembering that these evergreen herbaceous perennials aren't frost-hardy so it's best not to grow them outside unless you can ensure consistent temperatures above 15 degrees.
Light: The Peace Lily is a shade tolerant plant that enjoys semi shade in summer and bright light in winter. This doesn't mean the Peace Lily can survive without any light, so remember to open your curtains if you're keeping this one in the bedroom.
Soil: Peace Lilies aren't too fussy when it comes to their soil. A standard peat-free
potting mix for houseplants will do.
Water: The Peace Lily likes its soil to be on the moist side. However, you can reduce watering in winter. The top inch of soil should be dry before you water again.
Humdity: Peace Lily leaves relish a regular misting.
Feed: Fertilise with an organic house plant feed around once a month during the growing season.
Leaves: Clean the leaves every now and then with a damp cloth to keep dust at bay. Regularly cleaning leaves can help control Spider Mites.
Are Peace Lily plants poisonous?
The Peace Lily is not a true Lily, (which are members of the Liliaceae family and highly toxic to cats and dogs). However, the Peace Lily is considered mildly toxic, so for peace of mind, we'd still advise keeping it away from pets. You can check out which other plants are toxic to your furry friends here:
Where is the best place for a Peace Lily?
A well-lit position out of the way of direct sunlight would work well. A bright bathroom would also work well as Peace Lilies thrive in warm, humid environments. Alternatively, some people like to keep a Peace Lily in the bedroom to make the most of their air-purifying benefits. While Peace Lilies were found to clean the air by NASA, you'll need around 15-18 large plants for a space of 160 metres. Better get on with dividing your plant!
How to propagate a Peace Lily
The best time to repot and propagate your Peace Lily is in spring. Tap your mother plant out of the pot and divide the rhizomes
with your hands or a sharp, clean knife - it sounds violent but so long as the plant is healthy, you won't harm it. Make sure each section has roots and at least two healthy leaves before you pot up.
Common Peace Lily problems
Yellow leaves: Yellow leaves can be a sign of too much or too little light. Additionally, yellow leaves can be a sign of too much water. Read up on how to rescue your drowned plant here:
Peace Lily not flowering: While the Peace Lily can grow in full shade, it will reward you with more flowers if put in a brighter position. Around 6-8 hours of indirect light are recommended.
Black leaves: Black tips could be a sign of underwatering. An accumulation of salts in the soil from tap water or over fertilisation can also lead to black tips. You should replace the soil with fresh and use rain water for your Peace Lily.
Brown leaves: Brown tips are a telltale sign of dry air. Unless you live in a rainforest, your Peace Lily is likely to suffer from brown tips at some point, but most likely in winter when we ramp up our heating. Mist your plant, group it with others, keep it in a bathroom or leave it on a pebble tray to maintain an adequate level of humidity. Read more about humidity here:
Drooping leaves: Drooping leaves are a sign the rootball has dried out. Water your Peace Lily pronto!
Popular Peace Lily varieties
Where to buy Peace Lily
Looking to add some grace and serenity to your abode? Get your green fingers on a Peace Lily plant on the Candide Marketplace