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How to Care for a Peace Lily Plant

Updated on October 14, 2017
Wolfy profile image

Kate graduated from Sonoma State University with a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree in Biology. She currently resides in Sonoma, California.

One of the most beautiful house plants in the plant world is the Peace Lily. The deep, dark green foliage and bright white flowers are signature trademarks of these wonderful plants and, as perennials, they bloom all year round! Their leaves reach an average of 12 inches long, and the white snowy blossoms can make an appearance at anytime.

Peace Lilly's are often given as gifts for graduation parties, social gatherings, weddings, and birthdays.They became known as being representative of peace. This is partially because of the calming aromas the plant puts off as well as its bright white flowers (white flags are known internationally as the sign for cease fire in war time).

There are a few main aspects about caring for this wonderful plant that you will want to make sure you have a basic understanding of. They are: lighting, soil conditions, watering, and the use of fertilizer. With even with a basic understanding of the conditions ideal for a Peace Lilly, you can be relatively confident your plant will flourish for years to come!

Aspect of Care:
Ideal Conditions:
Low light is better, avoid direct sunlight.
Soil Conditions
Quality soil with good aeration and drainage.
Don't over saturate the soil. High humidity areas are preferred (i.e. in a steamy bathroom).
Fertilize sparingly. It's easy to over do it. Brown leaves = too much fertilizer.
General Care Tips
Wet the leaves on occasion. A light mist or wipe with a damp cloth.

1. Lighting

Peace Lily's are hardy plants and usually adapt to their environment. They thrive in low light and are not to be put in direct sunlight. Too much sun causes the plant to be stressed and results in the leaves turning yellow and brown. Natural light is a favorite of this plant, but they have been known to thrive in rooms without any windows. It is vitally important to keep them from cold drafts and freezing temperatures.

2. Soil Conditions

Potting soil should be of high quality. It should be well aerated with additional sand in the mixture. Allowing drainage holes in the pot will help prevent the roots from rotting, which is a common issue with these plants. A yearly check is advisable to make sure the plant has not become root bound. If this should become a problem, gently loosen up the roots with your fingers while transplanting it to a bigger pot.

3. Watering

The most common cause of killing any plant is over-watering. This is especially the case with the Peace Lilly. This particular plant really thrives in a bathroom. Steamy bathrooms really quench their thirst and they don't mind the low light conditions (see lighting section above). The key to watering the plant is to spread out the watering sessions. Check the dampness of the soil about every week. If the top of the soil feels dry, it's time to give it some water. A rule of thumb is to give the plant enough to drink, but don't saturate it.

A healthy Peace Lilly Plant (right) vs. an over watered one (left).
A healthy Peace Lilly Plant (right) vs. an over watered one (left).

4. Use of Fertilizer

Should you decide to fertilize your plant there are some things to take into consideration. If you decide to feed your plant, use a well balanced fertilizer. Use this sparingly. You will know if you are fertilizing the plant too much if the leaves turn brown. A great alternative to traditional fertilizer is compost tea.

Should you choose traditional fertilizer, look for a fertilizer with approximately a 3:1:2 ratio for it's "NPK" numbers. NPK simply refers to the percentage of certain nutrients a plant uses and these numbers are almost always listed on the fertilizer's label. So, an example of fertilizers with that 3:1:2 ratio that Peace Lilly's prefer is any fertilizers labeled with "24-8-16", "9-3-6", or "12-4-8" on the packaging. This can be in the form of a standard solid fertilizer or in a liquid form.

General Care Tips

Every few days wipe down the plant with a soft, damp cloth. A little tender loving care goes a long way and helps keep your plant in check. Once a week check for any old or dead foliage and trim it off. Removing the dying or dead flowers will ensure new growth. Also, give it a mist of warm water to provide extra moisture and stimulate growth.


The Peace Lily is a beautiful plant and will bring a lot of enjoyment. Remember, it is in the spathiphyllum family of plants. So while this plant is beautiful in appearance, it can be toxic to pets and humans alike. Keep this in mind when choosing the location of your plant. The Peace Lily is one of the more easy plants to care for and can bring many years of beautiful flowers and a wonderful fragrance.

Reader's Poll:

What aspect of caring for your Peace Lilly do you struggle with?

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    • Wolfy profile image

      Kate Daily 11 days ago from California

      A Peace Lilly needs just the right about of light and water to bloom. Is you Peace Lilly in the shade? These plants can actually grow very well in shaded areas but generally wont bloom unless they get a bit more direct light.

      If that's not the issue, then maybe it's time to try a little fertilizer? If you have never fertilized the plant before that may be causing the lack of flowers.

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      Dorene 13 days ago

      My peace lily is growing beautifully but it doesn't bloom?

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      Lilian 5 weeks ago

      Great, it's Spring here in Australia. Will update you in a week . Thanks Kate

    • Wolfy profile image

      Kate Daily 5 weeks ago from California

      That should be just fine. The best advice I can give you though is try to re-pot the Peace Lilly in the spring when it's growing strong if at all possible. The re-potting process can be stressful for the plant so be as gentle as possible, don't be surprised if the flowers look sad for a few days afterwards, and try to do it when the plant is healthy and strong! Good luck, let us know how it goes!

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      Lilian 5 weeks ago

      Can I re-pot Peace Lily while flowering?

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      Angel 3 months ago

      Lots of non bloomers. Maybe try a blooming plant food?

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      Agnes 3 months ago

      My peace Lily isn't bloomed maybe wrong soil ? Any ideas

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      tracyhornby68@gmail.com 7 months ago

      My peace lily has not bloomed in four years. Perfect location, larger pot, watered appropriately... any ideas?

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      Geneva 8 months ago

      My peace lily hasn't bloomed any flowers. Why is this happening?

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      Meli 8 months ago

      Make sure to put the peace Lily out of weave of children and pets it is poisonous if they try to eat it

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      Beth 10 months ago

      Don't over water.....?? Really?

      That's strange because I've had my peace Lilly for almost 2 years in beta vases, nothing but water. I get a new flower or 4 every 2-3 months.

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      Jennie 18 months ago

      Can u root from a leaf of a peace lilli

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      Maria Legg 22 months ago

      Thanks, have just got a baby peacelilly given to me, but it was all cut back and pretty dried out, alas love and care has got it going again. However am surprised at the low lighting it can tolerate