Peace lilies — which are not true lilies, but a member of the Araceae family of flowering plants – are renowned for their easy care. They’re hardy, forgiving, and will even let you know when they’re thirsty — look for the telltale droop. The shade-loving tropical plant is also known for its air-purifying abilities – it’s great at breaking down and neutralizing toxic gases like carbon monoxide and formaldehyde.
Talk about looking out for you! While peace lilies are known for their resilience, following these easy peace lily care steps that will help yours thrive, not just survive:
- Light and Shade: Peace lilies love shade and some indirect light. A spot 5-7 feet away from a south- or west-facing window will often provide the right mix. Yellowing leaves, brown spots or streaks may mean that your plant is getting too much light, so try moving the plant a little further from the window or experiment with a new, less sunny location. Peace lilies can sometimes even do well under a fluorescent light without any sunlight at all! If you move your plant into a shadier location and its leaves are still brown, it may need a bit of misting on the leaves.
- Temperature: Peace lilies like a consistent temperature between about 65 and 80 degrees F. Protect your plant from drafts and cold or drastic changes in temperature.
- Fertilize: Spring and summer, use an organic fertilizer to help your plant bloom. Keep in mind that peace lilies are sensitive to chemical fertilizers, so organic options are best.
- Water: Peace lilies like to be watered a lot at once, but also need a chance to dry out afterward. The plant will droop a bit when thirsty, telling you when it needs a drink! If you pay attention to when it usually starts to sag, you can plan to water one day before it generally happens. Watering about once a week and spritzing leaves with water throughout the summer will help keep your peace lily hydrated. If your plant seems to completely droop, don’t give up: water and spritz and give it a chance to revive. If your water is chlorine-heavy, let a container of water stand overnight before watering the plant.
- Drainage: Peace lilies are susceptible to root rot, so it’s very important to make sure the plant has a chance to dry out between waterings and that the container it lives in drains well. If your peace lily starts to wilt, check the roots to make sure they are firm and light-colored rather than soggy.
- Transplant: When your plant’s roots show or your peace lily seems to be drinking up all its water within a few days, re-pot into a larger container. Your plant may need to be gradually moved into larger and larger containers, but generally peace lilies won’t need to go into a pot larger than 10 inches.
Expect your peace lily to show off its familiar white blooms in the spring. The plant is mildly toxic to animals and humans, so keep away from small children and Fluffy, and wash your hands after handling your plant as it produces crystals that can irritate skin. Follow these peace lily care tips and, with some experimentation, your peace lily should bring beauty to your house for years to come!