Peace Lily Repotting – Learn How And When To Repot Peace Lilies

By: Mary H. Dyer, Credentialed Garden Writer

When it comes to easy indoor plants, it doesn’t get much easier than a peace lily. This tough plant even tolerates low light and a certain amount of neglect. However, repotting a peace lily plant is occasionally necessary, as a rootbound plant isn’t able to absorb nutrients and water and may eventually die. Fortunately, peace lily repotting is easy! Keep reading to learn how to repot a peace lily.

When to Repot Peace Lilies

Does my peace lily need repotting? Peace lily is actually happy when its roots are slightly crowded, so don’t rush to repot if the plant doesn’t need it. However, if you notice roots growing through the drainage hole or circling around the surface of the potting mix, it’s time.

If the roots become so compacted that water runs straight through the drainage hole without being absorbed into the potting mix, it’s time for an emergency peace lily repotting! Don’t panic if this is the case; repotting a peace lily isn’t difficult and your plant will soon rebound and grow like crazy in its new, roomier pot.

How to Repot a Peace Lily

Select a container only a size larger than the peace lily’s current pot. It may sound logical to use a larger pot, but a large amount of damp potting mix around the roots may contribute to root rot. It’s much better to repot the plant into gradually larger containers.

Water the peace lily a day or two before repotting.

Fill a container about one-third full with fresh, high quality potting mix.

Remove the peace lily carefully from the container. If the roots are tightly compacted, loosen them carefully with your fingers so they can spread out in the new pot.

Set the peace lily in the new pot. Add or subtract potting mix to the bottom as needed; the top of the root ball should be about an inch below the rim of the pot. Fill in around the root ball with potting mix, then firm the potting mix lightly with your fingers.

Water the peace lily well, allowing excess liquid to drip through the drainage hole. Once the plant has completely drained, return it to its drainage saucer.

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Read more about Peace Lilies

Peace Lily Plant Profile

The peace lily is a tropical species that is a favorite flowering houseplant. A striking plant when used in mass display, the peace lily blooms in spring with long-lasting flower stalks that hover gracefully over the foliage. A well-grown peace lily may bloom twice a year, resulting in several months of flowers. The plant has glossy oval leaves with points that emerge from the soil.

Peace lilies are indisputably terrific as houseplants. Small varieties look attractive on a tabletop and bigger ones can occupy a nice-sized spot on the floor. They filter more indoor pollutants than most other plants, so are great for bedrooms or other frequented rooms. Inside the tropical plant's pores, toxic gases like carbon monoxide and formaldehyde are broken down and neutralized. Peace lily can also be grown outdoors in warm climates, where it can tower as much as 6 feet high.

Despite their name, peace lilies are not members of the lily family. The peace lily is a member of the Araceae family of plants, known collectively as aroids. It is related to the philodendron, anthurium, and alocasia—also very popular as houseplants.

Botanical Name Spathiphyllum
Common Name Peace lily, spath lily
Plant Type Flowering tropical plant
Mature Size Up to 3 feet tall indoors up to 6 feet tall outdoors
Sun Exposure Medium, indirect light
Soil Type Peat-based potting mix with perlite, sand, or bark
Soil pH 5.8 to 6.5
Bloom Time Spring
Flower Color White or yellow
Hardiness Zones 11 to 12, USDA
Native Area The rainforests of Central and South America

Root-bound Peace Lilies

Although peace lily roots benefit from some crowding, severely overcrowded roots cause the plant to suffer from water stress. If the peace lily wilts frequently between waterings, rarely flowers or has roots that are growing out of the soil or through holes in the bottom of the container, the roots are likely overcrowded. The peace lily will benefit from repotting into a slightly larger container or division to create multiple, smaller plants. Repotting to give a peace lily more space for roots to grow is best performed in spring. This timing encourages subsequent root and foliage growth and flowering and is warranted every one or two years.

Prepare the Pot

If you're using an older pot you had stored, wash it out with a diluted bleach solution of 1 part bleach to 9 parts hot water, and scrub away any moss or mold. To keep the soil in the new pot from running out, place a piece of fine mesh, a handful of leaves, or a single layer of small pebbles over the drainage hole. Fill the pot about halfway with the rich, organic soil that peace lilies prefer or with a commercial potting soil, and press down gently on the soil.

Soil Compaction

As we have already learned, peace lilies prefer frequent watering. Because of that, people often have issues with soil compaction.

Regular aeration can help with this problem, as it gently loosens the soil. However, frequent aeration can damage the roots of your peace lilies.

That is why you should make your soil a fast-draining one. There are a few ingredients that can help you avoid this problem, listed in the table below.

VermiculiteA mineral ideal for peace lilies because they need frequent watering. Not only does it help with the soil aeration, but it also holds and releases minerals when the plant needs them. Because of the additional nutrients it provides, I prefer to use this one for my peace lilies.
PerliteAnother great ingredient that improves aeration. It is a rock material that provides amazing drainage. Its purpose as a soil additive is not to provide nutrients, but simply to help with drainage and aeration.
SandCoarse sand is one of the cheapest ingredients which you can add to your soil to improve drainage. It is light-weight, it doesn’t compact and it breaks up the soil clods.

You shouldn’t add all the ingredients listed to your soil. Choosing one or mixing sand with perlite or vermiculite would be enough. You still want your soil to hold some moisture. (Source: Extension Gardener | NC State Extension)

You can consider repotting houseplants into decorative pots without draining holes by using strategies that will allow your plants to drain water properly.

Even though proper draining pots are still better, these strategies may work with certain plants, in certain environments.

Here are the 4 simple solutions I propose in my article on this particular subject, (the article has pictures to give you a visual idea of what I am talking about)

  1. Place plant in a draining pot inside a decorative non-draining pot.
  2. Place plant in a draining pot with a saucer inside a decorative basket.
  3. Place plant in a draining pot with draining pebbles in a decorative non-draining pot.
  4. Create a draining layer inside your non-draining pot

I do not recommend these strategies for all plants. It works well for slow growing plants that don’t require much watering, like Haworthias, small Sansevierias, and Jades.

Watch the video: How to repot a Peace Lily

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