How to Keep Your Peace Lily Healthy
As far as plants that are given as gifts go, the peace lily is by far the most popular houseplant to be gifted in the UK. This is great, because peace lilies are amazing gifts and even more amazing as plants. But peace lilies are not always easy to look after, meaning that many peace lilies sadly perish each year – often needlessly.
Don’t worry though, this guide will ensure that a peace lily will never again suffer at the hands of a human again – with our complete guide to keeping your peace lily healthy.
Why Peace Lilies Make Lovely Houseplants
To begin with, here are some fun facts about the peace lily, starting with the fact it has a really silly sounding Latin name – spathiphyllum wallisii. Aside from their silly Latin name, they have some other interesting characteristics. They are native to a tropical climate and grow in the wild in central America and northern South America.
This means that they are well suited to growing in our warm and cosy homes because this is somewhat similar to their native environment. Something that is unusual for a plant that grows in rainforests is that the peace lily doesn’t need too much water to survive (more on this further down).
Peace lilies aren’t just peaceful by name, they also are among the super plants that NASA identified in their clean air study. This study was essentially to determine which plants would be best to grow in space for the purposes of cleaning air. Peace lilies were found to reduce the amount of formaldehyde and benzene in the air, both chemicals that are found in household products.
The peace lily is also NOT a lily. Lilies are toxic to pets like cats and dogs, but the peace lily isn’t nearly as toxic to our furry friends. It really does come in peace, mostly, as it will probably cause discomfort if ingested by humans or animals.
The Right Conditions for Your Peace Lily
Peace lilies are relatively easy to grow at home and the key to their care is less is more. Oftentimes well meaning giftees will put their peace lily on the windowsill in direct sunlight, which isn’t terrible, but it isn’t beneficial. Peace lilies grow in partial shade conditions and even do well in low light conditions.
Peace lilies need watering, but not nearly as much as you might expect. Normally it is best to water your peace lily every few days with the plant even being tolerant to being watered less often if it is kept somewhere humid in the house like the bathroom. In dry summer conditions or if the room is well ventilated, the plant should be watered every two days at a minimum.
The key here is to know how much water is available to the plant from the environment and bathroomlilies often get overwatered. If you notice your peace lily looks in ill health it is likely as a result of watering, so re-adjust your watering to rectify the problem.
Pruning Peace Lilies
Another reason that peace lilies die is because people prune them to cut them back or to try and encourage new growth. Peace lilies don’t need pruning, if a part of the plant dies it will fall off and the plant will concentrate on repairing itself. When pruned, this will be too much work for the peace lily to cope with and it often will outright kill your plant.
Peace Lily Flowering
Peace lilies will flower in the spring and will stay in bloom until the middle of summer. Peace lilies are evergreen plants so they will always provide colour and won’t drop their leaves. If you notice your peace lily has dropped a leaf or two, it is likely because they had died or become inefficient, and the plant will be growing new leaves.
Position in the Home
The best place to keep a peace lily is either in the bathroom or in a room that is frequented by people such as a living room. This is because peace lilies love humidity and both people and bathroom equipment cause lots of humidity. It is best not to leave peace lilies by external doors or windows because the plants don’t do well in exposed conditions.
Peace Lily Troubleshooting
If you have followed the abovementioned tips, you should be able to avoid any peace lily heartbreaks. But if you do find your plant in poor health or if you’re wondering what peace lily poor health looks like, then this list breaks down what to look for.
Peace Lily Wilting
Remember earlier we mentioned overwatering? Well, this is what is likely to be causing your wilting. The roots become overwhelmed by the amount of water and rot, which in turn causes the lily to wilt. The only way to stop death is to stop watering and hope the lily recovers, but wilting could be too far and the plant could be unsavable.
This is normally caused by being burnt by direct sunlight or the conditions in the home being too dry. Move the peace lily to a shaded part of the bathroom and it should get better.
Lastly, houseplants are prone to bugs and mites that take up residence on the lily’s leaves. A quick check can diagnose if this is an issue. If you find mites or bugs, then wipe your leaves down thoroughly and then check the plant every few days.
Pests are likely to have been carried in by other houseplants, so if you get rid of them, they shouldn’t come back.
And that’s it, all you need to know to keep your peace lily healthy, and most of it is just not to try as hard. Simple.