Peace lilies have long been a staple of indoor gardeners, so much so that many call this beautiful white flower the ‘closet plant.’ Unlike many other blooms, the peace lily is well-suited to the typical indoor environment, thriving with little sunlight, a moderate to high temperature, and watering on a weekly basis. Some gardeners even enjoy keeping them around because of their air cleaning capabilities, which have been recognized by NASA as being some of the most spectacular. Check out this guide to see just what you should do to craft the best environment possible for your plant and answer the common question: How often do you water a peace lily?
Because of its reputation for being an easy plant, many amateur and expert gardeners alike are quick to adopt the peace lily and add it to their household. But there continues to exist some contradicting advice about how to best care for the white flower, including just how often it needs water.
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How Often Do You Water a Peace Lily?
It is easy to tell when to water a peace lily. Unlike other plants, the peace lily will let the gardener know when it wants a drink because the leaves will begin to droop from a lack of moisture. This occurs at least once a week. It is important to keep the soil damp so there is enough water to reach and care for the roots. Always check the soil before adding more water – if it is still moist, leave the lily alone and wait another day or two before watering.
Your peace lily will need more water during the summer growing season than during the winter when it enters its own form of hibernation. The plant can be kept hydrated by watering with a regular can or spritzing the flower and soil in the pot with distilled or mineral water using a spray bottle.
If you forget to water the peace lily, don’t worry. Even if it has been longer than a week since your last hydration session, you can water and spritz right away. No matter how much the fronds have started to sag, they can recover quickly. Unlike regular lilies, the peace lily can respond well to treatment and return to normal.
As a final note, peace lilies are highly sensitive to chlorine. If you live in a region which heavily chlorinates the water on a regular basis, avoid using it to take care of your plant. Instead, use bottled or distilled water. Try to avoid using filtered tap water from your kitchen sink, as the chlorine will still remain and the lily is likely to react negatively.
How the Peace Lily Differs from Other Lilies
Although they are called peace lilies, these flowers actually aren’t real members of the same scientific family. Instead, they just resemble the flowers and are easy to grow. They are a member of the Araceae family and therefore have some differences, including high toxicity for domestic animals like dogs and cats.
Unlike other lilies, the peace lily is characterized by having a single white petal that stands vertically. It is at the top of a long, thick stem and has the majority of its leaves near the base. Peace lilies grow one petal at a time, so don’t expect more to develop until the original has passed. It is possible to grow multiple peace lilies in a single container, but it is crucial to leave enough space for the roots to stretch.
Are Peace Lilies Poisonous?
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) lists the peace lily as one of the most toxic houseplants for dogs and cats. It’s important to keep pets away from any peace lilies that are grown indoors, as they are not regular lilies and can cause a variety of concerning symptoms like vomiting, difficulty swallowing, oral irritation, and burning of the mouth, lips, and tongue.
When you water your peace lily, it’s okay to move it to better reach the soil. However, remember to place it back in a secure location so any dogs or cats at home can’t reach it. The poison is only transferred when your pet has a chance to nibble or snack on the plant, so a high place is the best choice if you have particularly adventurous cats or dogs.
How to Care for on a Regular Basis
Peace lilies have often been considered a fundamental plant for amateur gardeners because they are simple and easy to maintain. This flower requires a light, partial shade and appears unaffected by fluorescent lights, making it excellent for indoor growth. It is easy to tell when a peace lily has been overexposed to light, as the leaves start to yellow and brown. Try to keep each plant 6 to 8 ft. away from a window at all times.
Besides moderating sun exposure, it’s also important for the gardener to keep an eye on the ambient temperature. Peace lilies grow best in areas between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit and will die rapidly in cold temperatures. Try to keep the room humid and avoid the temptation to touch the thermostat.
Finally, peace lilies are some of the easiest to care for when it comes to pests. Their waxy leaves and toxic nature mean most bugs leave the peace lily alone. Even though the flower can suffer from spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs, these are pests that can literally be wiped away with a damp cloth. If they do take root in your lily, simply spray with a pesticide soap.
The peace lily continues to be one of the most enduring household plants because of its simple care and maintenance. Even if you lack a green thumb or have a history of killing the most basic of plants, you can still successfully raise a peace lily to maturation. Just remember to adjust the environment as necessary, pay attention to where you place the plant, and water as needed or on a weekly basis to get the best results.