Peace lilies are a popular houseplant among home gardeners. Their elegant white blooms and dark green leaves bring a calming sense to a space, so much so that they’re often given as sympathy gifts and to bring tranquility to the home. They’re native to tropical environments, which means they prefer warmer temperatures and fairly low-light environments. But chances are you don’t live in the rainforest—so how can you help this plant best adapt to your indoor space? It’s easier than you might think! Keep reading for our best tips and to learn how to grow more of these beauties from your original plant.
Sometimes it can seem like every houseplant is the same. Maybe you’ve reached the point where you have a huge collection and you find yourself asking, “Well, what are peace lilies good for?” After all, what’s the point if it’s just another flower?
Growing peace lilies indoors actually comes with a few benefits (besides their beauty):
- They purify the air. Peace lilies, like many other plants, can filter out certain pollutants like benzene, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, and xylene from the air in your home. They’ll help move you toward a cleaner, fresher space.
- They can absorb acetone. Although all those chemicals you use help keep your home looking its best, they can leave harmful vapors in the air. Peace lilies can filter out acetone and alcohol particles from things like paints, rubbing alcohol, and varnishes, in addition to other pollutants.
- They remove mold spores. Perhaps best of all, peace lilies help eliminate mold spores from your home (which is nice if you live in a particularly damp climate). Mold exposure, especially for those with allergies or asthma, can cause coughing, eye and throat irritation, and sneezing. Having a peace lily in your home may help reduce those effects.
Outside of their native tropical environments, peace lilies are most often seen as houseplants. If desired, you can move them to an outdoor space like a patio or balcony during the summer months; however, they should be brought back indoors before temperatures start to drop. Peace lilies are highly sensitive to cold, and lower temperatures can damage the plant.
Peace lilies grow at a moderate rate, taking at least three years to reach maturity. When you get a new one, you’ll have some time to find the best spot in your home, which should either be one that can accommodate the plant’s mature size or one you can easily move it from when your peace lily needs more room to grow.
Light needs: Bright, indirect or filtered lighting; avoid direct light to keep from burning the leaves
Water needs: Water when the top inch of the soil is dry; under-watering is better than overwatering
Soil needs: Use a rich, loose, well-draining potting soil with lots of organic matter
Where should you place a peace lily in your home?
Because peace lilies prefer bright, filtered light when grown indoors, you’ll want to place them near a window that gets a decent amount of sun. Take care not to place them directly on the windowsill—they don’t like direct sun, and that amount of light could end up burning the leaves. Just like us, plants don’t like getting sunburnt, either! Keeping your peace lily on a table or plant stand near a south-facing window is ideal.
Why your peace lily isn’t blooming
Although peace lilies can reach their mature size within three years, they can be quite difficult to get to bloom when grown indoors. Even the happiest, healthiest of potted peace lilies just don’t grow flowers, largely because they’re outside their natural habitat. It’s hard to meet the conditions of a tropical environment when you live in a temperate area, and even harder when you keep the plant indoors.
The best way to help encourage your peace lily to bloom its elegant flowers is to provide consistently ideal conditions, which includes higher humidity and fertilizer. Consistent care—for any houseplant—always produces the healthiest growth and fullest foliage.
If you find yourself wanting more than one of these beautiful plants, you can propagate them! Peace lilies can be propagated by dividing the offshoots from the parent plant during repotting, which can be done at any time of year (though if you can wait to repot once the growing season has started, the plant will have plenty of time to continue growing strong and establishing roots).
To remove the peace lily offshoot from the parent plant, you can gently tug it to see if it will come off easily, or you can use a sterilized knife to separate the shoot from the parent plant. Make sure the baby plant has at least two leaves and roots attached. If it doesn’t, it’s best to let the offshoot grow a bit more before removing it (don’t worry, this won’t harm the parent plant!). Once the baby plant has been removed, you can plant it in a 6-inch pot with fresh soil and water so that it’s moist. The newly potted plant should be placed in a similar location as the parent plant for best growth.
That said, you don’t have to remove the offshoots if you don’t want to! Letting the baby plants grow alongside the parent plant means you’ll need a bigger pot, but it will also let your plant grow a bit fuller, adding to the peace lily’s already beautiful appearance. With the right care and attention, you can keep them alive and happy for many years.
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