How to care for a peace lily

Updated February 21, 2017

The peace lily is grown for its bold, shiny green foliage in stemless crowns. Although the leaves are the main attraction, they are complemented by white or yellow flower stalks. Unlike many houseplants, peace lilies do not require a winter rest and need consistent care throughout the year.

Keep the plant away from direct sunlight. Direct sun burns the leaves of the peace lily. Filtering the sun with a transparent curtain is acceptable, but the peace lily will grow best in the medium to low light of a north or west window.

Watch for browning leaves. Leaves will brown if the peace lily is not getting enough humidity. Humidify the plant by misting the leaves with water and keeping the plant on a tray of pebbles. Misting also washes away red spider mites, which commonly infest peace lilies.

Let the plant dry in between waterings. The plant will wilt if it needs water. When this happens, water as soon as possible and the plant will not be harmed. Note how long after a watering the leaves wilt, and water one day before wilting starts.

Repot the peace lily every spring into the next size pot until the plant is in a 25 cm (10 inch) pot. The roots of a lily will fill their pot in the first year, but do not usually require a pot larger than this.

Look for tiny spider webs on the plant, which is a sign of red spider mites. Remove the leaves they are growing on and treat the plant with pesticide or a solution of mildly soapy water.

Use caution with chemical fertiliser. Peace lilies will benefit from a fertiliser mix of 20-20-20, but too much, especially when applied to dry soil, will damage the roots. Fertilise the peace lily only in the spring and summer with a half or three-quarter dose. Also, always fertilise when the soil is moist.


Give a peace lily in bloom as a sympathy gift; the flower symbolises sympathy.

Use organic fertiliser instead of chemical fertiliser on a peace lily. Organic fertiliser is less damaging to the roots.

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