What Is Peace Lily? (5 Key Facts About Peace Lily Care)

If you’re looking for an indoor flowering plant that doesn’t require constant attention and tons of light, a peace lily might be a great fit. 

Peace lilies (Spathiphyllum) are among the most popular houseplants due to their easygoing nature, lush foliage, and willingness to produce stunning flowers indoors – even in lower light. They are native to tropical areas of Central America and Southeast Asia, so they can only survive outdoors in zones 11 and 12 in the US. Peace lilies are big water lovers, so keeping them evenly moist is important.

Despite the ease of care, peace lilies are not without some occasional drama. This article will help you learn how to keep your peace lily healthy and happy. 

Join 1000+ gardeners to get access to news, tips, and information.

Delivered right to your inbox – once per week.

What Is Peace Lily?

Spathiphyllum are not true lilies, regardless of their common name. Peace lilies belong to the Araceae family, putting them in the same group as elephant ears, anthuriums, caladium, and calla lilies. 

peace lily flower closeup
Peace lily can produce stunning indoor flowers, even with lower light levels.

It’s important to note that while they don’t share the same high toxicity level as true lilies, peace lilies are still mildly toxic to children and pets. So keep any curious cats or mischievous toddlers in mind when you’re planting and displaying your peace lily. 

Planting Peace Lily

Before you start planting and taking care of your peace lily, it’s important to consider the location, watering needs, and growing media. Here are some tips to get started:


Many new plant owners hear the term “low light” and mistakenly believe that peace lilies can be left in a dark room with little natural light. Although they may survive in truly low light, they will not thrive. Peace lilies need plenty of indirect sunlight to grow sufficiently and produce flowers. 

Peace lilies can tolerate low light, but they won’t thrive in full shade.

You can place a peace lily a few feet away from a south-facing window (where the sun’s harsh rays won’t reach), or directly in an east-facing window. Unobstructed eastern windows receive a couple of hours of soft morning sunlight, and indirect light the rest of the day. 


A standard, all-purpose potting mix is sufficient for peace lilies. If you tend to over water plants, consider adding some extra drainage material, like perlite or orchid bark to aerate the soil. 

Add perlite to your soul to help with drainage and water management.


Peace lilies are happiest when the temperature stays between 68 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature dips below 60 degrees, the plant will likely sustain cold damage. 

Watering Peace Lily

Peace lilies have somewhat of a reputation for being “drama queens” when it comes to their watering needs. They like to stay moist and will let you know when it’s been too long between waterings with severe wilting. 

watering can
Peace lilies will let you know if they are drying out – but it doesn’t hurt to check the soil too.

The tricky part about their watering needs is that peace lilies are also prone to root rot when overwatered. So striking a balance between too damp and too dry is essential.

Watering on a schedule is not ideal, since pot size, humidity, air circulation, and temperature fluctuation can affect how often a plant needs water. For example, your peace lily might take 2 weeks to be ready for another watering, while your friend’s plant wilts if it goes more than 1 week without water. 

peace lily plant
A peace lily in a small pot with good drainage might need watering more often in a dry house.

To figure out whether your peace lily needs to be watered, gently drive a wooden chopstick into the soil until you reach the bottom of the pot, and then remove it. The color of the wood will tell you how wet the soil is, with the darker area being the wettest.

If the top inch of the soil in the pot is dry, it’s time to water. If not, hold off and check again in a day or two. 

Once you get to know your plant and its individual needs, you can use the weight of the pot as another water indicator. Your plant will be at its heaviest right after watering and will get lighter as it dries out. Eventually, you’ll get a feel for how light it feels when it’s ready to be watered. 

Fertilizing Peace Lily

Peace lilies don’t have high fertilizer needs. Indoor potting soil typically includes fertilizer, which should be enough for your plant.

If you’d like to supplement, you can use a standard liquid fertilizer for houseplants every 6-8 weeks.  You should only fertilize a houseplant when it’s actively growing – and not if your plant is unwell.  

Join 1000+ gardeners to get access to news, tips, and information.

Delivered right to your inbox – once per week.

Pruning Peace Lily

When it comes to maintaining their growth, peace lilies are very low-maintenance.

Remove spent flowers and get rid of dying leaves when you prune a peace lily.

Here’s what you need to know about pruning them: 

  • Remove spent flowers: Once a flower turns brown and shrivels up, cut the stalk close to the soil level. Each stalk only produces one flower, so there’s no need to keep it around. Removing it may encourage it to produce more. 
  • Get rid of damaged/dying leaves: Hanging on to dead and dying leaves takes energy from your peace lily. Remove those leaves once you notice them so that your plant can channel its resources into producing new, healthy growth. 
  • Go with your aesthetic preferences: As long as you’re not removing too much at a time, feel free to trim your peace lily to the size and shape you prefer. As a general rule, you shouldn’t remove more than ⅓ of a plant’s growth at a time.

Do Peace Lilies Need To Be Pruned Every Year?

No, peace lilies do not require yearly pruning. To keep your plant looking its best, simply remain diligent about removing dead leaves and spent blooms. 

On a related note, a common misconception about peace lilies is that they need to be repotted each spring. As long as your plant seems healthy, is growing well, and the soil seems to be in good shape, it’s unnecessary to repot it every year.

peace lily pre flower
You do not need to repot a peace lily every year.

In fact, peace lilies produce more foliage and flowers when the roots are snug in the pot. 

Peace Lily Propagation

Since peace lilies don’t reproduce by taking stem cuttings, the best way to propagate them is to divide them into sections. As long as each section has about 2-3 healthy leaves, it can be placed in its own separate pot. 

To divide your peace lily, remove the mother plant from its pot. You’ll notice separate clusters or crowns of leaves – the more mature a peace lily is, the more crowns it will have.

peace lily flowers
You can propagate peace lily by division (stem cuttings won’t work).

Separate the crowns and their roots from each other, depending on how many separate plants you want. Don’t be afraid to get a little rough if you need to – peace lilies are pretty hardy. 

Take each section of the plant and put them in their own small pots – only an inch or two larger than the size of the root ball. For the next month or so, increase the humidity and water them slightly more often than you watered the mother plant. This will encourage the roots to establish themselves. 

Peace Lily Diseases & Pests (Plus Remedies)

Peace lilies aren’t known for being pest magnets or prone to disease. However, there’s always a chance – especially if your plant is in poor health or it’s near another infested plant.

Here are some of the more common problems you may run into, and how to treat them:

  • Fungus gnats: These bugs are attracted to wet soil. They are often found crawling on your plant’s soil or flying nearby. Adults lay eggs in the soil, and the larvae feed on decaying material in the soil. They are mostly a nuisance and won’t cause significant harm to a peace lily in minor infestations. The best way to remove fungus gnats is by making a “tea” with BTI (Bacillus thuringiensis israelensis) and watering the plant with this solution for the next several waterings. 
  • Spider mites: Tiny webs spreading from leaves to stems are a telltale sign of spider mites. These minuscule mites suck the sap out of leaves, causing them to yellow and die in more severe infestations. To treat spider mites, you can stick your plant right in the shower, making sure to spray the underside of the leaves to wash away their webs. For good measure, you can spray your peace lily with insecticidal soap. 
  • Mealybugs: Mealybugs are small white insects that move slowly on a plant’s leaves, feeding on its sap. To remove them, dip a cotton swab in rubbing alcohol and wipe each bug away. 
  • Root rot: This is the most common disease in peace lilies, and is typically caused by overwatering. When the soil stays wet for too long, the roots aren’t able to absorb the water quickly enough, leading to a lack of oxygen. The first signs of root rot are yellowing, droopy leaves. If caught early enough, you may be able to save the plant by removing all brown, slimy roots, rinsing them off, and repotting the plant in fresh soil. Advanced root rot is often fatal. 
root rot
Soil that stays wet for too long denies plant roots the air they need. The result is root rot, which causes brown, mushy roots.


Based on their reputation, you might find peace lilies intimidating. But as long as you set your plant up for success by giving it proper growing conditions and are careful with your watering, it will easily thrive.

If you are interested in drought-tolerant houseplants, you can learn about coneflowers here – or find a list here

To find books, courses, seeds, gardening supplies, and more, check out The Shop at Greenupside!

Join 1000+ gardeners to get access to news, tips, and information.

Delivered right to your inbox – once per week.

If you want to read some of my most popular posts, check out the “Best of GreenUpSide” page here.  Enjoy!


About the author:
Kathryn is a plant enthusiast and freelance content writer who specializes in home and garden topics. Based in New York, you can get in touch with Kathryn at https://kathrynflegal.journoportfolio.com/.

Kathryn F.

Jon M

Hi, I'm Jon. Let's solve your gardening problems, spend more time growing, and get the best harvest every year!

Recent Posts