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How to Maintain Peace Lilies

The peace lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii) or closet plant is characterized by shiny broad green leaves and long-lasting white blooms that resemble sea shells held aloft by long upright stems. The peace lily is a good choice for a house plant because it is easy to care for and can live for many years in low-light situations. The beautiful foliage and flowers make the peace lily a popular gift for sympathy occasions.

How to Maintain Peace Lilies

Plant your peace lily in a pot that has drainage holes in the bottom so you can provide moisture without leaving the plant to sit in water for a long period of time. Peace lily roots will rot if too much moisture surrounds the root system while planted in soil. Use commercially prepared potting soil to plant your peace lily rather than garden soil because garden soil can contain insects and fungal spores that can attack the peace lily or spread to other house plants in your home or greenhouse.

Locate the peace lily in a bright spot in the house. The more light the plant receives, the more it will bloom. However, do not place a peace lily plant in direct sun, even indoors. Diffuse light is always best for a peace lily plant. Avoid areas next to a doorway where the plant gets extremely cold or hot drafts from outdoors. Also, locate a peace lily away from air-conditioning or heating vents that can dry out foliage.

Water your peace lily whenever it begins to dry out. You will know when the leaves become slightly wilted, but the plant has not completely collapsed. This helps prevent fungus and mold from growing around the base of the plant and keeps fungus gnats, which thrive in the top inch of moist potting soil, from establishing a new population. Before watering is always a good time to clear any old leaves or plant debris from around base of plant. Occasionally, put the peace lily outside and water thoroughly letting the water wash through the soil to remove accumulated fertilizer salts. Peace lilies do not mind an occasional misting to increase humidity levels around the plant.

Fertilize a peace lily once a month using a water soluble fertilizer that is diluted to half strength. Full-strength fertilizer will not kill the plant right away, but using full strength water soluble fertilizer can allow fertilizer salts to build up more quickly in the soil and that can kill the plant or the toxicity can show up as a brown or burned appearance on edges of the leaves.

Remove flowers by cutting the entire stem when the flowers begin to shed pollen and start to turn green or brown. Remove brown or dead leaves by cutting where they join the plant at anytime to freshen the appearance of the plant.


Occasionally wipe dust off leaves with a soft damp cloth. The peace lily does not mind being root bound, but can be easily divided and replanted at any time.


Peace lily foliage is poisonous if consumed by humans or pets. Peace lilies cannot handle full sun or temperatures over 90 degrees Fahrenheit without collapsing and possibly dying. Never let your peace lily completely wilt.

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