How to Care for Indoor Plants and Peace Lilies

Overview

Unique among houseplants for their ability to produce flowers in low-light levels, peace lilies are easy to care for and provide joy for years to come. With time, these plants can grow to a height of 4 feet. Gardeners should provide regular water, light and fertilizer to keep peace lilies and other houseplants happy. The best way to care for an indoor plant is to know what type of care it needs, since not all plants have similar needs.

Step 1

Place your indoor plant in an area where it receives the right amount of light. Peace lilies do well in low-light and moderate light, so they don't need to be placed in a window and can be kept in darker interior rooms. Your indoor plant should come with a plant tag that informs you of its light and watering needs; if you're in doubt, ask at the garden center when you purchase the plant.

Step 2

Keep the temperature ambient to keep indoor plants happy. Plants dislike fluctuating temperatures, and most houseplants—including peace lilies—will suffer in drafty rooms. Avoid keeping plants too close to a drafty door or window.

Step 3

Trim off dead leaves and flower stalks with scissors to keep the peace lily or other houseplant looking neat.

Step 4

Water most houseplants when the soil becomes dry to the touch. Stick a finger 1 to 2 inches into the soil; if this feels moist or wet, withhold water. If the soil there feels crumbly, water until it becomes wet. If your indoor plant does not have a saucer, carry an indoor plant over to the sink to water without making a mess. Peace lilies prefer to be kept slightly damp; their soil should not be allowed to become crumbly. Give a peace lily more water when the soil becomes barely moist and a few crumbs of dirt stick to your finger when you insert it into the soil.

Step 5

Scan your plants for signs of pests. Evidence of pests include holes in plant leaves, blotches on the leaves, sticky trails along the stems or leaves. Should you encounter evidence of pests, spray your houseplant with an insecticidal soap. Colorado State University Extension provides images of basic houseplants pests and control procedures; consult this reference to diagnose and treat a houseplant pest. If your plant leaves turn yellow or brown, this is likely an indication of too much light.

Step 6

Fertilize indoor plants and peace lilies to ensure sufficient nutrients. Clemson University advises giving peace lilies 20-20-20 fertilizer every two to three months, following the manufacturer's recommended dose range (based on the size of the plant). Use a water soluble fertilizer and combine the dose with water, then water the plant to disperse the nutrients.

Step 7

Repot indoor plants when they grow too large for their container, evidenced by roots growing out of the container or plants having less than 1/4-inch of space on either side. Increase to the next container size and repot with balanced potting soil. Always choose containers with drainage holes.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Scissors
  • 20-20-20 fertilizer
  • Container
  • Potting soil

References

  • University of Illinois: Caring for Houseplants - Watering
  • University of Illinois: Caring for Houseplants - Fertilizing
  • Clemson University: Peace Lily
  • Texas A & M: Outstanding Interior Plants—Peace Lily
  • University of Missouri Extension: Caring for Houseplants

Who Can Help

  • Colorado State University: Managing Houseplant Pests
Keywords: peace lily care, growing peace lilies, indoor plant care

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.