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spathiphyllum wallisii

Peace Lily (spathiphyllum wallisii): Tropical, Flowering Indoor Plant

Peace lilies are beautiful tropical plants that produce showy white or off-white blooms. These shade-loving plants are perfect for indoor growing and thrive in spaces where other houseplants can't grow.

Other names for this plant...

Spath plant White flag plant White sail plant

About Peace Lily

Peace lilies are one of the easiest to grow and most popular houseplants. They're one of the few plants that will flower in low light, and when in bloom, the white flowers make an eye-catching statement against the glossy, green leaves.

Peace lily plants have also been recognized by NASA as one of the indoor plants with the best air purifying abilities. It can clear CO2 and add oxygen to its environment more thoroughly than many other houseplants, making it an aesthetically appealing and functional choice.

Botanical Name

Contrary to what the name suggests, peace lilies are not true lilies but rather a member of the Araceae family, whose notable members include the calla lily and the Philodendron.

Peace lilies are part of the genus Spathiphyllum, which includes over 40 species of flowering plants collectively called peace lilies — though often you'll see spathiphyllum wallisii used as the peace lily's botanical name. Although they will share some common characteristics, each species of spathiphyllum has unique attributes to be appreciated.

Plant Type

Peace lilies are classified as flowering herbaceous perennials. This means they have non-woody stems that die back to the ground during the cooler weather and reemerge when the warmer months of the growing season return. The roots beneath remain alive.

In the case of house plants, the foliage often remains during the winter months. Blooms and new growth, however, go dormant until the seasons change.


The shade-loving peace lily is native to the tropical rainforests of Colombia and Venezuela, where they grow protected from the sunlight under the forest's canopy.

Peace lilies were introduced to Europe in the late 1800s and have become a wildly popular indoor plant.


All peace lilies share some standard features. These include:

  • Glossy green foliage

  • White or off-white flowers.

  • A white spathe. What's commonly referred to as the flower on a peace lily is a modified leaf called a spathe. The spathe protects the flowers, which grow on a spadix or spike in the middle of the spathe.

  • The spathe protects these tiny flowers and helps ensure pollinators can reach them. Over time the spathe will go from white to light green and back to white again before it dies.

Peace lilies have large, lush green leaves and white flowers.

Types Of Peace Lilies

With over 40 species of peace lily in existence, there are many to choose from.

Among the most popular are:

  • Piccolino Peace Lily. Dwarf variety with dark green leaves and white flowers.

  • Sensation peace lily. This is the largest of the peace lilies with a mature height of 4-6 feet. Its beautiful, large leaves lend a tropical feel to any space.

  • Patricia peace lily. A compact variety with densely packed stems and leaves.

  • Little angel peace lily. This dwarf variety is compact, dense, and prolific.

  • Domino peace lily. White stripes and a ruffled appearance are featured on the leaves of this variety.

  • Jetty peace lily. The bracts (spathe) are extremely long-lived on this variety.

  • Mauna Loa peace lily. Popular and versatile medium-sized peace lily.

  • Power petite peace lily. Tiny variety perfect for small spaces.

  • Picasso peace lily. It is one of the most popular varieties due to its prolific nature and bracts that can simultaneously present in white, light green, and dark green.

  • Snowflower peace lily. This year-round bloomer produces greenish-yellow and yellow-white flowers.

Some peace lilies bloom year-round.

Peace Lily Styling 

Peace lilies are typically grown in containers with soil, but they can also be grown hydroponically (in water alone). Depending on the variety you have and size, they can be displayed on a table or in a pot on the floor.

Because peace lilies are shade tolerant, they’re commonly used to brighten up a corner that doesn’t get a lot of light. They can also be grouped with plants that enjoy similar conditions, like ZZ plants or mother-in-law's tongue.


Peace lilies are particular about their light conditions, preferring low or indirect light. Afternoon sun or direct sunlight can burn the leaves or cause them to turn yellow.


Peace lilies like moist soil and high humidity to mimic their native climate. This generally translates to weekly watering, but over-watering can be as damaging as under-watering, so getting to know your plant and its needs may take some time. The conditions in their environment (temperature and humidity) can also impact the moisture levels.

Test the moisture level by putting approximately half an inch of your finger into the soil. If the soil is damp, you have some time. If not, it's time to water.

Peace lilies will also tell you they're thirsty with their leaves. If you're beginning to see wilting, it's time to water.

However, good drainage is crucial, as sitting in wet soil can lead to root rot.


Most home environments provide the appropriate temperature range for peace lilies without making any drastic changes. Ideally, peace lilies like temperatures between 68-85 degrees Fahrenheit.


Peace lilies thrive in humidity. They prefer 50% humidity or more if possible. If this isn't possible in your home, consider a watering mat or misting your plant and regularly checking the soil's moisture.


Because moisture retention is fundamental to a peace lilies’ health, look for a potting mix that holds moisture but has good drainage. These usually contain perlite, worm castings, and compost. Adding peat moss can also help keep the soil from drying out quickly.


Peace lilies don't require regular pruning. They look best when the bushy, dense foliage grows freely. That said, spent blooms or dead leaves should be removed for the plant's health. When pruning damaged or dead leaves, remove the entire stalk by making a clean cut at the base of the plant.


Peace lilies don't generally require fertilizer. If you want to boost growth during the growing season, a standard, balanced houseplant fertilizer every six weeks can help.

Height & Growth

The size of a peace lily will vary by species. On average, they'll reach 1-4 feet at full maturity when grown indoors. However, they can grow up to six feet tall in the wild.


No part of the peace lily should be eaten. All species are considered mildly poisonous to humans and pets, and one of the most common plants for which poison control receives calls.

Each part of the peace lily - flowers, leaves, and stems - contains tiny calcium oxalate crystals. When ingested, calcium oxalate will cause lip, mouth, and throat irritation and digestive distress.


Peace lilies are toxic to pets. The reason pet owners panic about their pet ingesting peace lilies is that lilies can cause immediate kidney failure and death in cats. Many people do not realize peace lilies are NOT true lilies, so the symptoms that present, which uncomfortable for your pet, are usually not dangerous.

Common Problems 

Once a peace lily has found a good spot in your home and you've established a watering routine that keeps it happy, they become a low-maintenance plant. But getting to that point can involve some trial and error.

  • Wilting leaves. Wilting leaves are typically a watering issue and can be a product of under-watering and over-watering. Check the moisture in the soil and ensure the pot isn't too large for the root ball. An oversized pot will contain more soil than necessary and may not dry quickly enough, keeping the roots too wet for too long.

  • Brown leaf tips. This typically signifies extreme over-watering but might indicate too much direct light or over-fertilizing. Consider relocating your plant or modifying your care routine.

  • Leaf droop. Drooping leaves are most often a sign your plant is thirsty.

  • Yellow leaves. Yellow leaves are a common sign of over-watering, but it may also indicate that your plant is cold.

  • Lack of blooms. Although peace lilies can thrive in low light, they need sufficient light to produce blooms. Striking the right balance can be tricky. If your peace lily isn't producing blooms, try placing it in a brighter location.

Peace lilies can live in a variety of lighting conditions.

How To Propagate Peace Lily

Propagating peace lilies is relatively easy.

  • Remove the entire plant from its pot and gently shake off excess soil.

  • Find the natural groupings of stalks.

  • Carefully and gently separate the stalk bundles taking care not to break or tear the roots.

  • Repot the separated plants into pots only slightly larger than the root ball.

Watch your newly planted peace lilies for signs of trauma and ensure they are adequately watered. Avoid fertilizing for the two months following repotting.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do peace lilies require a lot of water?

Peace lilies like their soil to be consistently and evenly moist. They don't like to be too wet or too dry. So, understanding the amount of water your plant requires can take a few weeks. Check the moisture levels in the soil every 2-3 days until you can establish a schedule.

How long do peace lilies live?

Peace lilies can live up to 10 years, but more commonly, 3-5 years.

Can I grow my peace lily hydroponically?

Yes! Peace lilies can be grown hydroponically in water. Growing in water will allow you to see the roots and their growth patterns, but it also requires specific care. However, some claim that growing water peace lilies in water is more manageable than growing them in soil.

Why do they call the peace lily the closet plant?

Peace lilies earned the nickname "closet plants" because of their ability to thrive in low light. It's a misnomer because although the foliage will do well, peace lilies will not bloom without adequate lighting.

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