I have a Peace Lily in my collection that has been by far the most dramatic plant i’ve had to learn to care for. Thankfully, the way they show what’s wrong, helps give clues as to what’s going on with them!
This stunning plant, with it’s large dark green leaves and spectacular white flowers, is a common houseplant that’s relatively cheap to buy! They even help with purifying the air in your home by breaking down gases like carbon monoxide and formaldehyde. This plant comes with the label of ‘easy for beginners’, but some of us have been through a few of them before finding great success. Hopefully by the end of reading this blog, you’ll be able to have a positive and successful experience with your Peace Lily.
Peace Lilies are a bit temperamental with their environment, so it’s important to try and recreate their growing environment as much as possible when growing inside. Let’s have a look at a few key factors in growing a Peace Lily.
This is the one area where Peace Lilies are the most dramatic. Their leaves tend to droop when the plant needs to be watered and they like to have big drinks of filtered, room temperature water around once a week. But make sure the soil dries out in between waterings to avoid getting root rot. Their leaves don’t mind a little spritz once a week with water and they definitely need to be planted in a pot with drainage holes to ensure they don’t sit in water.
With Peace Lilies only able to survive outside in zone 11 and 12, they make the perfect houseplant! They love living in a high humidity environment that is 60+ degrees Fahrenheit and free from drafts (vents, windows, doors). Setting the pot on a tray of water and misting the leaves weekly will help create this environment.
Peace Lilies are not super big on their food needs. They only need to be fertilized every 6 weeks during their growing season (Spring through summer). A 20-20-20 fertilizer is recommended, but used at a watered down level (25%) compared to other plants.
This plant has minor problems surviving in low light rooms, but tends to thrive in bright indirect light. East, north, or west facing windows are alright for the Peace Lily, but make sure they’re able to avoid direct afternoon sunlight to avoid scorching the leaves.
When a Peace Lily becomes root bound, it’s time to repot it. It’s good to increase the pot size by one inch with each repotting and it’s important to make sure the pot has drainage holes. Peace Lily’s don’t tend to grow bigger then a 10 inch pot.
Peace Lilies enjoy a high drainage soil mix of a peat-based potting mix combined with sand, bark or perlite. It’s also important to make sure the soil dries out in between watering.
Growing in water
People have had great success with growing Peace Lilies in water. Some use a base of LECA pebbles or just plain rocks. If you’re growing your Peace Lily in water, it’s important to make sure that the base of the plant is out of water, and that you change the water weekly.
The leaves of the Peace Lily plant are prone to collect dust which can impede it’s growth and health. Simply clean the leaves with a damp sponge or cloth to help avoid this.
Common problems with Peace Lilies:
There are a few common problems that we all deal with from time to time with our Peace Lilies. Let’s take a deeper look into these problems and learn how we can fix them.
Weak looking flowers or not Flowering
The two main reasons why your Peace Lily is not flowering is it’s not getting enough sunlight or enough fertilizer. Move to a brighter location with more indirect sunlight or start fertilizing with a fertilizer for flowering plants which contains more phosphorus.
Brown tips on leaves
There are quite a few reasons that cause brown tips on the leaves of the Peace Lily plant. If your leaves are light green in color and have brown tips, this means it’s getting too much sun and needs to be moved to a spot with less direct sunlight. If your leaves are dark green in color with brown tips, this means the plant needs to be watered more frequently. Other factors that cause this are chemicals in the water (use filtered), over fertilizing (use 25% strength), improper watering and low humidity.
If your plant is producing green flowers, there are two reasons. If they’re new flowers and green, cut back on how much fertilizer you’re giving them. If the flowers started off white, and turned green, it’s just a normal part of the aging process and will eventually brown and die.
Yellow or brown leaves
There are a handful of reasons that cause yellow or brown leaves on a Peace Lily. Environmental conditions like over/under watering and too much or too little sunlight can cause leaves to change. Cold drafts of air or root bound plants will cause yellow leaves and the plant will tend to drop them. Common pests like Spider mites and aphids (Read about how to treat pests here: Common houseplant Pests) will do this too, with the last culprit being the leaf is changing color due to its old age.
The most common cause of wilting leaves is under watering, even though over watering can cause this too. If the soil is wet and the stems and leaves are wilting, check the roots to make sure that they are firm and light in color and not rotting. If the soil is dry and they’re wilting, give it a good drink (until the water is coming out of the drainage hole) and they usually perk up within 30 minutes. If your plants are wilting every few days, replant into a larger pot. This will help lessen how often you need to water.
Dark or black coloring/spot on stem or leaves
Dark coloring or spots tend to be a sign of a fungal infection. The best thing to do in this situation is to remove the affected part of the plant and throw in garbage. If you were to throw the affected part of the plant in your compost, it will continue to spread a fungal infection to other plants you use the compost for.
Even though this plant made it on our Plants you love to hate list and has a warning out for pets and toxicity, it’s still one of our favorite plants in our collections. Their display of flowers is spectacular and their glossy, wide spread leaves make it worthwhile learning how to properly care for these plants. Hopefully now you feel confident in taking great care of your Peace Lily and you’ll have a plant that will last many years to come!