Peace lilies are popular houseplants known for their beautiful, dark green foliage and elegant white flowers. They are loved by many for their air-purifying properties and relatively low maintenance requirements. However, as they grow and thrive, they may eventually outgrow their pots and need to be split into multiple plants. This process, called dividing, helps to maintain the plant’s health and can provide you with additional peace lily plants to enjoy or gift to friends and family.
Dividing a peace lily may seem like a daunting task, but with some care and the right approach, it can be done successfully. By recognizing the signs of an overgrown plant and understanding the process of division, you can effectively split your peace lily, ensuring a healthy and thriving future for your plants. In this article, we’ll discuss the steps you need to take to successfully divide your peace lily and create thriving new plants for your home or garden.
Understanding Peace Lilies
The peace lily is a popular houseplant known for its lush green leaves and elegant white flowers. This hardy plant is admired for its air-purifying abilities and relatively easy maintenance requirements. Its scientific name, Spathiphyllum, comes from the Greek words for “spathe” and “leaf”, referring to the white spathes it produces in bloom.
Peace lilies thrive in the following conditions:
- Indirect sunlight: They prefer bright, indirect light but can also tolerate low light levels. Avoid direct sunlight which can scorch their leaves.
- Room temperature: Aim for a temperature range between 65-80°F (18-27°C).
- Humidity: These plants prefer high humidity levels, ideally around 60%. You can achieve this by placing a tray of water near the plant or utilizing a humidifier.
- Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist, but avoid overwatering. Water when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.
- Soil: Use a well-draining potting mix that allows the roots to breathe and prevents root rot.
Avoid these common mistakes when caring for peace lilies:
- Overwatering: This can cause yellowing leaves and root rot. Allow the top inch of soil to dry before watering.
- Underwatering: Drooping leaves are a sign of underwatering. Keep the soil consistently moist.
- Insufficient light: Although they can survive in low light, insufficient light can result in limited or no blooms. Provide bright, indirect light.
- Cold drafts: Keep your peace lily away from cold drafts, such as those from air conditioning vents, as they can damage the plant.
- Over-fertilizing: Fertilize your peace lily once in the spring and once in the summer to avoid excess salts accumulating in the soil, which can harm the plant.
By understanding the basic features, growth environment, and common mistakes to avoid, you can successfully care for and enjoy your peace lily.
Splitting Peace Lilies
Choosing the Right Time
The best time to split a peace lily is when it starts to become overcrowded, which typically occurs every two to three years. This condition is often characterized by the appearance of multiple crowns or offsets. It’s also important to divide your peace lily during its active growing season, usually between spring and early summer, when the plant is more likely to recover quickly from the division process.
Preparing the Tools
Before you start splitting your peace lily, gather the necessary tools for the task. You’ll need:
- Sharp scissors or a knife
- Newspaper or a work surface to catch soil and debris
- New pots for the split sections
- Good quality potting soil
Additionally, give your plant a thorough watering the day before dividing it to ensure it’s in good condition.
Separating the Plant
To begin dividing your peace lily, gently tip it out of its current pot and remove the potting soil around the roots. Be careful not to damage the delicate root system. Once the roots are exposed, identify the crowns or offsets on the plant. Using your sharp scissors or knife, cut through the root ball as needed, making sure each new section has an adequate number of roots and foliage attached.
Repotting Split Sections
After separating the peace lily sections, it’s time to repot them. Following these steps will help ensure a successful repotting process:
- Fill the new pots with a good quality potting soil, leaving enough space for the plant’s root system
- Gently place the split sections in their respective new pots, ensuring that the roots are well covered with soil
- Firmly press the soil down around the plant’s roots and crown, making sure not to bury the foliage
- Water the repotted sections thoroughly to help the plant settle in and encourage root growth
By following these steps, you’ll be able to successfully split your peace lily and enjoy more of these beautiful houseplants. Remember to maintain a proper care routine for your newly divided plants, including regular watering and adequate light exposure, for optimal growth and flowering.
After successfully dividing your peace lily, it’s essential to provide the proper care to help the new plants establish and grow.
Watering and Fertilizing
Water the newly divided peace lilies regularly, making sure the soil is consistently moist but not waterlogged. It’s also essential to use a well-draining potting mix to prevent root rot. Normally, fertilizing your peace lilies every 6 to 8 weeks with a balanced houseplant fertilizer will promote healthy growth. During the first month after splitting, however, it’s best to hold off on fertilizing to allow the plants to adjust.
Location and Right Light
Peace lilies thrive in bright but indirect light. Placing the newly divided plants near a window with a sheer curtain is ideal to provide the right amount of light while preventing scorching. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can damage their leaves. These plants also prefer temperatures between 65°F and 80°F, and high humidity levels. You can maintain the humidity around the plants by placing a tray filled with water and pebbles beneath the pots or using a humidifier.
Managing Pest Issues
To keep your peace lilies healthy and pest-free, make sure to inspect them for common pests such as aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites. You can deter these pests by:
- Keeping the leaves clean by wiping them with a damp cloth.
- Spraying the plants with a mix of water and a few drops of dish soap.
- Introducing beneficial insects, like ladybugs, that feed on these pests.
By following these post-split care tips, your new peace lily plants will have a great chance to thrive and brighten up your home.
My name is Daniel Elrod, and I have been houseplant love ever since I was 17. I love how much joy they bring to any room in the home. I’ve always been amazed at how a few pots of flowing leaves can turn a drab and sterile office into an inviting place where people love to work at.