How beautiful is a healthy peace lily (Spathiphyllum sp.) in full bloom?! This aroid houseplant has been a classic for decades, and for good reason. Completely understandable, then, if you’re looking to multiply yours and wondering how to propagate peace lily. The more the merrier!
Let’s go into everything you need to know about propagating peace lily and the different methods you can try.
Dividing a peace lily
Although in very select cases you will be able to propagate a peace lily by means of stem cuttings, by far the most common method is division. It’s very easy and if you do it right, it’s also quick: all sections will already have their own root system. This means you can skip the rooting step associated with propagating by means of stem cuttings.
Alright, so: you’ve got a nice peace lily, but you’d like a few more. What do you do? Well, as you can see if you look at the base of your plant, this aroid has a clumping growth pattern. A healthy Spathiphyllum expands horizontally, popping out new shoots next to the mother plant.
These shoots can be separated. Here’s how you do it:
- Take your peace lily out of its planter and gently remove excess soil. This way, you can see what you’re working with here.
- At this point, different shoots may actually already start to come apart. Great! This way you don’t have to make any cuts, reducing the risk of infection or rot.
- If the whole thing is firmly stuck together, clean a knife with some rubbing alcohol and separate clumps by cutting vertically through the base and root ball.
- Make sure each section has some roots of its own; it’s not disastrous if they don’t, but rooted clumps just bounce back a lot more easily.
In the next sections, we’ll discuss how to get the peace lily sections you’ve just obtained growing into full-fledged plants. No worries, it’s very easy.
Tip: Propagating houseplants in general is best done during spring or summer. It will work in winter, but cuttings and clumps are much slower to establish because of the lower temperatures and reduced light levels.
How to propagate peace lily in water
If you accidentally separated a peace lily clump from your mother plant that has no roots of its own, you can consider propagating in water. It’ll root a bit more quickly this way than in soil, and you’ll be able to see if it’s progressing well.
All you’ll need to propagate peace lily in water is a section of plant and an adequately sized glass or vase. Fill up the container, preferably with distilled or tap water, and place the peace lily in there in such a way that only the very bottom (the part that was under the soil) is submerged. Put the whole thing in a light (but not sunny) location and be patient.
As long as it has at least one growth point (which looks like a little nub), the peace lily section will root. This can take just a week or two during the active summer growing months. In winter it may be much longer. You can pot up the plant once its roots are an inch or two long.
Want to know more about growing your Spathiphyllum in water on a permanent basis? Have a look at the guide to growing peace lily in water.
Question: Can you propagate peace lily from a leaf? That would be great, but unfortunately this isn’t one of the plants that has the capability to regrow from a single leaf. That’s limited to Begonia, Peperomia and a few select others.
How to propagate peace lily in soil
As you’ve probably concluded at this point, propagating peace lily in soil is just the easiest way to go about things in most cases. Sections are usually already rooted, so they can continue growing just fine in a planter of their own.
Always choose a pot that has a drainage hole in the bottom. I like plastic nursery planters for propagation, as they allow excess water to drain quickly and don’t dry out as fast as terracotta.
As for soil, your brand new peace lilies won’t need anything overly complicated. You can mix a normal houseplant potting soil with 25% perlite or bark to create an airy and well-draining mixture. Some also like to mix in a little coco coir, sphagnum moss or peat to retain a bit more water.
Gently plant the sections and very lightly moisten the soil. No need to drown the plants, as their root systems will be somewhat out of whack for the next few weeks due to the move. They won’t be able to take up water as well, which also means that the leaves can look a little droopy while they adjust. Worry not! They’ll bounce back once new hair roots have had the chance to form.
You’ll know your Spathiphyllum propagation attempt has been a success once you see the first signs of fresh foliage on the new plants.
How to propagate peace lily in perlite, LECA or sphagnum moss
Propagating semi-hydroponically is popular with more expensive houseplant cuttings. This is because these mediums offer more support than pure water, but lower chances of rot than soil. LECA and perlite can be sterilized, while sphagnum moss offers an acidic environment that is not favorable to bacteria.
Although it’s not commonly done, there is no reason not to propagate peace lily in LECA, perlite or sphagnum. I won’t go into too much detail because LECA in particular deserves an entire eBook, but here are the basics of how it works for propagation:
- How to propagate peace lily in LECA: Fill a container without a drainage hole with sterilized LECA balls. Carefully position the peace lily section in such a way that it stays upright and fill about 1/3 of the way with water mixed with special LECA fertilizer.
- How to propagate peace lily in perlite: Pretty much the same as above!
- How to propagate peace lily in sphagnum moss: Wet the moss until it’s damp but not soaking. Pop it into a planter and insert the plant in such a way that it won’t fall over. Keep the moss lightly moist.
These methods are fine for both rooted and unrooted sections. LECA especially is a popular permanent solution for houseplants.
Peace lily stem cuttings
Most peace lily propagation guides state that this plant can’t be propagated using the stem cutting method. Although it’s true that you’ll rarely be able to do this, or even want to, it can technically be done in some cases.
You see, mature peace lilies do actually grow a stem above the soil eventually. And that means you can behead one, root the top and plant it. The beheaded bottom bit will regrow in most cases, although it’ll look pretty sad for a good while. Not the most efficient method, but hey, I still wanted to mention it!
Peace lily care
Got those peace lily sections all potted up? Great, once they’ve passed the sulky stage (which can take a few weeks) you can provide normal peace lily care. Not sure what that looks like? No worries! Just have a look at the full peace lily care guide.
Basically, you’ll want to keep in mind that these are tropicals that like indirect light, high humidity and warmth. They love water and will droop dramatically when thirsty, but some houseplant enthusiasts find the ‘sweet spot’ difficult to pinpoint and end up overdoing it. If things aren’t going well, I also have a peace lily troubleshooting guide that you can check out.
If you have any more questions about how to propagate peace lily or if you’d like to share your own experiences with this classic flowering houseplant, don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!