Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)

March 4, 2020

We here at Angus & Celeste would be surprised if anyone who is reading this didn’t know what a Peace Lily is. One of the most common houseplants due to its ease to grow, the Peace Lily is an old-hat at beautifying our spaces.

A potted up Peace Lily in our Self Watering Plant Pot in White Speckle.
A potted up Peace Lily in our Self Watering Plant Pot in White Speckle.

We recently shot some peace lilies in our A&C planters with @Raefallon and our wonderful stockist in Perth called Stackwood. We decided we definitely needed to add the Peace lily to the Angus & Celeste plant guide. The Peace lily feels like one of those plants that most people may have met at some time in their life.  We can assure you, this humble little plant is really well worth re-visiting folks!

Peace Lilies are tropical, evergreen plants native to the tropical regions of the Americas and south-eastern Asia. They are most well-known for their flowers, which we will talk about a little more below.

Easy to care for, a Peace Lily is a welcome addition to any plant family. Read on for a little more info to help your Peace Lily thrive.

Don't forget to keep an eye on when you need to re-pot. A rootbound Peace Lily isn’t able to absorb the fertiliser, nutrients or water it needs when the roots have nowhere left to go! Image via Gardening Know How.
Don’t forget to keep an eye on when you need to re-pot. A rootbound Peace Lily isn’t able to absorb the fertiliser, nutrients or water it needs when the roots have nowhere left to go! Image via Gardening Know How.

Environment & Temperature:

Peace Lilies are from the tropics, so they like high humidity. Regularly misting the leaves will help keep humidity high.

Keep your Peace Lily away from direct afternoon sunlight. We recommend an east-facing window, as your plant will enjoy the warmth of the morning sun while avoiding the intensity of the midday and afternoon sun.

Temperatures upwards of 21 degrees Celsius are ideal. Avoid leaving your plant in an environment under 16 degrees Celsius.

Don't worry if your Peace Lily wilts - it just needs a good drink!
Don’t worry if your Peace Lily wilts – it just needs a good drink!

Watering:

For anyone who has ever come home to find their peace lily with its leaves thrown down, sagging completely and looking like its nearly dead, fear not! Peace lilies are very dramatic but are actually super hard to kill. When they look like this, they are just in need of urgent water. Once plants get bigger in size and have a lot of leaves, they do require a decent amount of water. Plonking them in your kitchen sink filled with water will see these plants come back to life with such miraculous speed! Within as little as 30 minutes their leaves will be back standing straight and tall. Sometimes it can be surprising how quickly they spring back!

Keep the soil moist, but avoid overwatering. Peace Lilies can tolerate short periods of dry soil. Leaves will begin to turn brown if unwatered for too long.

These guys are sensitive to chemicals commonly found in tap water, such as fluoride, which can cause brown leaf tips. If possible, use room-temperature, filtered water.

Have you ever seen a variegated Peace Lily? Now you have! This is a variety known as 'Picasso', photographed by Kate at @kateandfinn_vs_plants. Check out that pure white leaf unfurling!
Have you ever seen a variegated Peace Lily? Now you have! This is a variety known as ‘Picasso’, photographed by Kate at @kateandfinn_vs_plants. Check out that pure white leaf unfurling!

Fertiliser & Soil:

Use a well-draining, all-purpose potting soil.

To encourage growth during spring and summer, fertilise about every six weeks with a balanced houseplant fertiliser.

Peace Lilies can also grow in water. For best results, suspend the base of the plant above the water line in the vessel you are using. This will allow the roots to grow into the water while keeping the base and leaves of the plant from being constantly wet, which will cause rot.

Three happy Peace Lily plants all in a row in our Monarch Fern Decorative Plant Pots.
Three happy Peace Lily plants all in a row in our Monarch Fern Decorative Plant Pots.

Flowers:

The attractive blooms of the Peace Lily are also the source of its Latin name, Spathiphyllum, which translates to “spathe-leaf.” The flowers consist of the spathe (the white, sheath-like leaf) and the spadix (the spike of small flowers located within the spathe). 

Most commonly, if your plant isn’t flowering it’s because it isn’t receiving enough light. Try moving your plant into a brighter location, where it will receive the bright, indirect light that it loves.

Such an elegant flower. Photo from House of Plants.
Such an elegant flower. Photo from House of Plants.

Pests & Diseases:

Causes of brown leaf tips may be the result of too much direct sunlight or over-fertilisation, a lack of water, or low humidity. Evaluate your plant’s environment to determine what might be the issue.

Yellow leaves usually indicate that you might be overwatering your plant. Yellow leaves also occur with age.

Scale and Mealybugs are more than happy to move in and set up residence on your plant if given a chance. Wiping down your plant with insecticidal soap is effective at stopping them, however, repeated applications will be necessary.

Did you know?

It’s said that the Peace Lily got its name from the spathe or the flower, which resembles the white flag of peace.

(2 Comments)

  1. Cathy van der Griend says:

    Thank you for this! We have a couple of aging peace lilies in the house, and now i know where best to leave the plants. We shall also invest in a spray bottle, for my daughter to mist the plants.

    We just used your article above as a type of ‘home school’ lesson and have extended this from caring for our plants into discussions on compass directions (north, etc) and countries – e.g. South-East Asia!

    Thank you x

    • Austen Lehmann says:

      Hey Cathy!

      Wow, what a little journey you and your family are going on! We are super happy to hear that our article could be a springboard for so much more in your household.

      All the best you all and your peace lilies 🙂

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