There’s nothing quite like a nice peace lily to help make a space more calm. These dark-loving plants are easy to maintain and add pops of colour to any room. They’re also fantastic air purifiers!
If you’d like to cover your whole home in these gorgeous greens, it’s easier than you might think to propagate them. In this guide, I’ll show you how – and what you’ll need to do to take care of them once they’re on the grow.
Is propagating a peace lily easy?
Creating a whole legion of peace lilies is actually fairly straightforward – however, you need to know what you’re doing! Most of us indoor gardeners are used to propagating plants using leaves or stem cuttings, but that won’t do the trick with a peace lily. Instead, you have to divide the plant in most cases.
Simply getting to the root of the plant and tearing it apart won’t do the trick either! And, unless you follow each step perfectly, you could end up killing your plant altogether.
Believe me – when I first started propagating peace lilies for real, I was surprised at some of the preparation required. Once you know how, of course, you’ll find it a cinch.
The best thing you can do before dividing the plants is to prepare them well for propagation.
Preparing peace lilies for propagation
To best prepare for your peace lily propagation, timing is everything. Since peace lilies are propagated through division, you need to ensure that the main plant is primed.
Ideally, you should choose to divide the plants only when it is warm. For indoor peace lilies, that can be pretty much at any time, but if you happen to keep yours outside, wait for warm spring to summer to roll around.
To thrive through division, your peace lily must also be mature. You can easily spot a mature peace lily by one large clump of stems (at least), surrounded by multiple smaller clumps.
To get started, consider bringing together a butter knife, another straight knife that’s easy to control, and a clean pair of scissors for the division process.
The propagation process
The great thing about division is that you will be propagating a plant with its own root system. So, unlike using cuttings or stems, you do not have to worry about taking the time to complete a rooting process. This makes propagating peace lilies pretty quick and easy!
With all divisions, you must remove the peace lily from its pot and gently remove any excess soil around it. During this process, you may find different shoots naturally coming apart. This is perfectly fine and, in fact, a huge bonus for you as it means you won’t have to do any cutting and can simply take what the plant gives you!
On the other hand, if the plants all seem pretty tight and stuck together, you’ll have a bit more work to do.
Start by cleaning a straight knife, ideally using rubbing alcohol to reduce the risk of infection. Then, using the knife, start separating the clumps vertically, going through the base and the root ball.
Each section should have its own roots. It’s really not the end of the world if they don’t. You can root them, but it takes a long time and can be very difficult. So, save yourself some time and energy in the future, and try leaving each clump with its own roots!
Once you have the divided sections, you can choose how you want to propagate them – using water, soil, or perlite.
Propagating a peace lily in water
If, on the off chance, you happen to separate a peace lily clump with no roots, you can always use water to propagate it.
Choose a clear glass or vase so that you can easily see the plant’s progress as it starts to grow in time. Fill up the glass or vase with water (ideally dechlorinated), then place the peace lily inside so that only the very bottom of the plant is underwater (i.e., the part that was initially under the soil).
Then, place the pot in a light area but out of direct or indirect sunlight. It can take your peace lily plant about a week or two to root during the summer and will naturally take a bit longer during the winter.
Once the plant’s roots grow to an inch or two inches long, the plant is ready to be repotted.
Propagating a peace lily in soil
If you separate the sections with their root systems, propagating the plant in soil is the easiest way to go.
Choose a pot or container with a good series of drainage holes at the bottom. Mix some houseplant potting soil with about 25% perlite or bark and place it into the pot. This is the perfect airy, well-draining mixture to help the new plant thrive on its own.
Putting some coconut coir or peat moss in the soil is a great idea if you can. This helps the mixture retain moisture a bit longer, keeping the plant well-hydrated.
When you have the pot and mixture ready, plant the sections in the soil and moisten the top layer gently to help it set. Don’t overwater it from the start; the roots will not yet be ready to take water up well. Give them some time, and let them adjust to their new home first!
Once you see new foliage on the plant, you’ll know that the propagation has been successful.
Propagating a peace lily in perlite or LECA
If you feel like trying a slightly more expensive but fun experiment, then propagating semi-hydroponically is always interesting. It is a more beneficial way of propagating than water and reduces the risk of losing the plant to root rot which is always possible with soil.
Using LECA (a type of clay aggregate), all you need to do is fill a pot with sterilised balls, but ensure that the pot does not have drainage holes before you do. Place the peace lily inside and fill the pot about a third of the way with a mix of water and LECA fertiliser.
You can repeat exactly the same process using perlite instead of LECA. You may not get the best results straight away, but if you can spare a piece of peace lily, it’s a really interesting experiment.
Peace lily care: a few quick tips
One of the best things about peace lilies is that they are so easy to maintain. They need rich, well-draining soil and plenty of organic matter – and you’re golden.
In most cases, terracotta pots are great for peace lilies as they help to absorb excess moisture, which can easily cause root rot to the plants.
However, newer peace lily plants that have just been propagated do better in pots that won’t take too much moisture from them, so keep the terracotta for more mature specimens.
As mentioned above, peace lilies like being in the shade. They do need some light, but ideally, it needs to be staggered. For example, spending a few hours in the morning in indirect sunlight would do them a lot of good!
If you notice that the leaves start scorching, then the peace lily has taken in too much sun, and needs to be moved to a darker spot. The same applies if you spot curled or even pale leaves. Find a darker spot for it and let it recover.
When it comes to watering, less is more. Wait for the top two inches of the soil to be completely dry before watering the plant again. In dry environments and during the summer, it’s best to spray or mist over your peace lilies to maintain their humid environment.
During the winter, your peace lilies need time to rest. Therefore, it is best to stop fertilising it during this time and only water it when the top two inches of soil are completely dry.
A final point on the watering is that peace lilies like a schedule. Don’t leave them dry for too long or water them too frequently. Try to keep a regular watering schedule, and you will see that the plant thrives.
And, when it comes to fertiliser, more is best! Peace lilies need good nutrition, so feeding them every week to two weeks using houseplant fertiliser from spring to autumn will go a long way!
If you’d like to know more about caring for peace lilies, check out our complete guide to peace lily care.
Who doesn’t want more peace lilies, honestly? Patience is key if you want to propagate them – but thankfully, if you follow my simple steps above, you’ll have your army ready to go in no time.