As the name suggests, the peace lily is a beautiful, peace-inducing plant that is sure to bring relaxing vibes and serenity to any space it graces.
Propagating a peace lily is a great and easy way to grow your little green community and spread its air-purifying properties to other spaces within your home or office. Trust us, you’ll want as many as you can get your hands on—they’re easy to care for and thus low-commitment. As long as you show them some love and care, they’ll uphold their side of the deal!
Keep reading to learn all about propagating peace lilies.
What is Propagating and Why Do It?
In the greater agriculture world, plant propagation is the process of increasing the size of a plant species of cultivar. There are many ways of doing this, like the natural or man-made dispersal of seeds, as well as asexual propagation like grafting or dividing.
When it comes to propagating peace lilies, the easiest way to turn one plant into more is by dividing crowns from the mother plant—but we’ll get to that in a moment.
Man-made methods of propagation are an important agricultural task because it is an easy solution to the survival and enlargement of a particular species in the face of common risks. Think invasive species, extreme weather, pests, and diseases, as well as more extreme situations such as extinction.
Imagine if a particularly cold winter wiped out half an apple orchard. If all those trees had to be grown from seed again, that would take a very long time. Methods like grafting make recuperation much easier.
Now, what about in terms of our peace lily? For home growers, propagating peace lilies is a great way to gain more flowering plants without having to grow them from seed or buy them at the nursery. You can even give them away as gifts!
How to Propagate Peace Lilies?
In the same vein of low-commitment care, propagating peace lilies is also as simple as it gets.
Propagating peace lilies can’t be done by using cuttings or grafting branches, but dividing works very well with this great plant. All it takes is waiting for the peace lily to grow large enough to separate its crowns from the mother plant and then repotting everything in separate pots. Voilà!
But let’s look at the process in more detail.
1. Identify the Mother Plant and Crowns
Before separating crowns from the mother plant, it’s important to identify which part of the greens is the mother plant versus the crowns so you don’t accidentally injure the plant.
The mother plant in a peace lily is the largest and thickest stem of the plant. It will usually be the first stem to have grown from the original seed, which means it should be located towards the center of the plant.
Crowns are, in essence, everything else: other groups of stems that are separate from the mother plant. Logically, young plants will have fewer crowns than older plants. Each crown should have at least a couple of leaves.
If you carefully part the leaves and look at where the stems grow out of the earth, you should spot natural separations in the greenery. That’s where you’ll be diving the plant!
2. Divide the Crowns from the Mother Plant
Now that you’ve identified the mother plant, the next step in propagating peace lilies is actually separating the crowns from the mother plant.
Remove the peace lily from the pot by tilting the pot sideways and gently shaking or squeezing it to dislodge the root ball. Once you’re holding the root ball in your hand, remove any extra soil that is likely clumped on it.
Be careful not to damage the roots themselves. Using your fingers, carefully separate the crowns from the mother plant. Each should have its own root ball and at least a couple of leaves worth of foliage.
You might need to use a gardening blade to help this separation and try not to rip the roots too much because that might cause growth problems for the plant later on.
At this point, we suggest laying the separated parts of the propagated peace lilies on some old newspaper or cardboard while you prepare new pots for them.
3. Repot the Propagated Peace Lilies
Congratulations! You’ve now got yourself three or more peace lilies. The next step is to plant each peace lily in its own pot. Depending on the size of the mother plant and the crowns, you can start with a six-inch pot. Make sure to use a well-draining peat-based potting mix.
While you’re working with your plants, check the foliage to keep an eye out for brown tips. If you spot any, pluck the offending leaves off.
And voilà! You have successfully learned how to propagate peace lilies!
4. Caring for Your Propagated Peace Lilies
Now, whether you’ve propagated your peace lilies or not, it’s important to know how to care for this beautiful, air-filtering plant.
The surprising truth is that water lilies are much more drought-resistant than they are rain-resistant. Because of this, we advise you against watering your plants on a schedule, but to instead make a habit of pressing the tip of your finger into the top layer of your peace lilies soil a couple of times a week to test its moisture.
The soil should be moist but never soggy!
In fact, a common mistake that happens with peace lilies is overwatering, from which they suffer severely. Some people even go as far as only watering their peace lilies once the leaves have started to visibly droop, from which they always recover after being watered.
The great thing about potted plants is that you can change their locations with ease. Peace lilies like bright, warm spots with plenty of indirect light, where they have the best chance of growing strong and healthy.
Peace lilies are hardy, low-commitment plants, even when it comes to fertilizing. They actually don’t need frequent fertilizing. Just use a balanced, high-quality fertilizer brand once or twice a year, and you and your plants are set!
Though pruning isn’t as elaborate a process for house plants as it is for some bigger bushes and trees, it’s still important to cut spent flower spikes at their base and remove any leaves with yellow or light brown spots.
Did you know that peace lily leaves are dust magnets? While this isn’t an immediate problem, your plants will suffer from it in the long term because the layer of dust will start to block the sunlight.
But don’t worry, the solution to this problem is a quick fix. Just wipe the leaves with a wet cloth or even directly beneath the water faucet (with a gentle water flow, of course) at least once a year.
We suggest you avoid using commercial leaf cleaning products because this might clog your plants’ pores, and it just costs you extra money!
FAQs about Propagating Peace Lilies
Where Can I Buy Peace Lillies?
To propagate peace lilies, you have to have a peace lily plant to start with! Visit your local nursery or browse through reputable online plant vendors to get one delivered right to your door!
Remember to wait until the plant is big enough to clearly see the separation between the mother stem and the crowns before propagating them!
Why Propagate Peace lilies?
Peace lilies are excellent plants for your home, workplace, or any other space in which you spend a significant amount of time. This is because of its aesthetic appeal but also because of its surprising air purification powers.
So now that you know why peace lilies are so awesome, why wouldn’t you want to have more if you could? By propagating them, you avoid having to grow additional plants from seed or spending money at the nursery to buy more adult lilies.
Is Propagating Peace Lilies Difficult?
Not at all! Peace lilies are low-commitment plants to begin with, and you can expect propagating them to be just as easy. Make sure to clear your work area and use a tablecloth or some old newspapers to cover your table to avoid getting soil everywhere.
The rest is a breeze—just remember to be careful about not ripping roots!
Where Should I Keep Peace Lilies After Propagating Them?
Peace lilies love bright indirect sunlight, so make sure to pick a warm spot that doesn’t get direct light!
Are Peace Lilies Dangerous to Pets?
Peace lilies can cause an upset stomach and even tongue swelling in some cases when ingested, so it’s always better to keep them away from curious children and naughty pets!
Propagate Your Peace Lilies!
Propagating peace lilies is an easy and inexpensive way to divide your lovely air-purifying plant and spread its serenity in all your home and office spaces. Just make sure you have pots ready for your new guests to be repotted when they’ve been separated from the mother plant.
Loved learning about propagating plants? Then check out our other flower page for more guides, inspiration posts, and more!