Propagating Peace Lilies Successfully at Home
If you have a Peace Lily that is reaching its mature size and is no longer getting taller or wider, propagation is an excellent way to expand your houseplant collection for free. This guide will walk you through the ins and outs of how to successfully propagate peace lily plants at home.
- How to Propagate Peace Lily Plants – The Essentials
- What is a Peace Lily Plant?
- Why Propagate a Peace Lily Plant?
- Key Considerations When Propagating a Peace Lily Plant
- Peace Lily Growth Expectations
- How to Propagate a Peace Lily Plant: Options & Techniques
- Post-Propagation Peace Lily Care & Tips for Propagating Success
- Common Peace Lily Plant Propagation Problems, Questions, and Remedies
- How to Propagate Peace Lily Plants – The Final Word
How to Propagate Peace Lily Plants – The Essentials
Peace Lily plants are best propagated through division. Once a mature plant is divided, the cuttings can be grown in soil or water. They’ll usually take around 4 to 12 weeks to successfully start to develop, at which point they can be repotted and grown to maturity.
What is a Peace Lily Plant?
This popular houseplant is kept throughout the world, but it was originally native to parts of Central and South America. Some varieties also grow in tropical parts of Asia as well.
Peace Lily plants vary slightly between species, but most feature dark green foliage that grows directly from the soil on individual stems for a bushy appearance.
These plants tend to range in size between one and five feet tall and have a similar maximum width. Bright white flowers with a unique leafy appearance appear on their own stems. Peace lilies are rich in symbolic meaning and also provide a host of additional benefits.
The plant needs relatively little light, making it a popular indoor houseplant for areas where other plants can’t survive. It does however need plenty of water and prefers higher humidity than many homes generally provide.
Why Propagate a Peace Lily Plant?
Peace Lily plants require a little more work than some other houseplants to propagate. However, it’s worth the effort if you’d like to have more plants (for free) to spread throughout the home rather than just a single specimen. Propagating is also the best way to share your houseplants as well.
Key Considerations When Propagating a Peace Lily Plant
The Peace Lily isn’t hard to propagate, but it only responds to two specific methods in general. Trying to propagate it as if it was a succulent or shrub will only result in a lack of results. To avoid frustration and wasted effort, ensure you’re using root division or water propagation to create new Peace Lily plants.
Level of Difficulty
Peace Lily plants are easier than many other varieties of houseplants to propagate. This is mainly due to the foolproof nature of dividing a mature plant into new and smaller specimens.
There’s no need for a long period of waiting for growth, as with succulents and leaf cuttings. However, you’ll still need to handle the plant with care and may need some general gardening experience before attempting this process.
Can Peace Lilies Grow in Water and/or Soil?
Many houseplants can be propagated in both soil and water or prefer just one method over the other. Peace Lily plants respond well to water propagation, but to a limited extent.
They do best when planted in fresh and well-draining peace lily potting soil after division so roots can recover and quickly spread. Putting a cutting into water, even if roots are attached to the stem, can result in a happy plant that only grows to a limited size. It’s hard to transfer this cutting to soil later, but it can stay in a vase indefinitely at a smaller size.
Can You Propagate Peace Lily Plants from Just a Leaf?
The Peace Lily plant can’t establish roots from leaf cuttings. This is a common method for succulent houseplants, but it’s rare among other plants like the Peace Lily and its relatives.
Only cuttings that include substantial root segments and multiple plant stems with healthy foliage can root and grow into a new plant. Leaves that are broken off or even cut carefully for propagation will never form roots, not even with rooting hormone.
Peace Lily Growth Expectations
Some propagation methods are slower than others. Peace Lily plants get established relatively quickly since they’re usually only propagated through division.
You should notice fresh growth on the new plants within one to three months of propagating them. Within six months after dividing, they should fill out and take on a more developed appearance.
It’s good to fertilize the new peace lily plants about two to three months after they are propagated to encourage vigorous growth without risking burning the roots while they’re recovering.
If you start with very small pieces of Peace Lily, you may need to wait six months just to see new growth since it will take time for the roots to expand.
How to Propagate a Peace Lily Plant: Options & Techniques
The Peace Lily plant won’t respond well to many popular propagation methods. You can’t take a cutting of the leaf or stem alone and put it in water, for example. The one method that works well for this houseplant is the use of division. It’s a simple process that’s easy to learn, but it can be a little messy. It’s also worth noting that Peace Lilies contain compounds called insoluble calcium oxalates which can irritate the skin so it’s prudent to wear gloves when handling the plant.
Take the plant outside or to a covered work area you can clean up easily. The larger the mature Peace Lily, the better it will respond to division.
Tip the plant onto its side gently, rolling or rocking it to loosen the plant from the container it is in. You may need a flat hand trowel to slide between the root ball and the pot.
Once the soil is loose, gently lift the plant out around the base of its leaves and stems.
Set the plant on a covered bench or the ground. Use the flat hand-trowel to gently separate the rootball, leaves, and stems into two or more sections. You can break the largest Peace Lily plants into three or more divisions easily. Make sure there are at least a dozen leaves and stems per root wad.
Lift each division and place it in an appropriate-sized pot that is only about 1 inch larger than the root ball. If you prefer to use water propagation, rinse any soil off the roots and place it in a vase of fresh water.
If using soil, fill the pot with a loose, well-draining potting mix that is rich in organic material and peat moss. Pat the soil firmly and water the new plant well.
Give the plant about a week to recover before watering again since it will take some time for the new roots to form to absorb the water.
Post-Propagation Peace Lily Care & Tips for Propagating Success
It’s best to propagate this popular houseplant during its active growing season of summer and spring. Waiting until the dormant period in the fall and winter will only reduce the chances of success.
Peace Lily plants need to be kept at temperatures above 55 degrees F, especially after the shock of division. Keep them below 85 degrees F as well. Keep humidity high for at least the first few days after propagating.
Let the newly propagated Peace Lily dry out a little between watering cycles right after the process. Once growth resumes with vigor, return to the usual watering cycle.
You’ll also need to keep an eye out for any common peace lily plant pests and diseases.
For more, see our in-depth guide to peace lily plant care at home.
Common Peace Lily Plant Propagation Problems, Questions, and Remedies
How long does it take a Peace Lily to root in water?
When a rooted cutting is placed in water, new roots should form within weeks.
Can a Peace Lily live in water forever?
The plant will stay alive, but it’s unlikely to get much larger and may not flower.
How long does it take Peace Lily plants to propagate?
In water, Peace Lily plants take just a few weeks to propagate. Plants in soil may take a few months to fill out.
Are Peace Lily plants hard to propagate?
Peace Lily plants are easy to propagate but require patience.
Can you grow a Peace Lily plant from a broken leaf?
This houseplant won’t respond well to trying to grow from a single leaf.
Why is my Peace Lily not rooting?
Common issues include root damage, overwatering, and improper soil mix.
How to Propagate Peace Lily Plants – The Final Word
If you have a spare few minutes and a stunning Peace Lily plant, you can use these simple propagation tricks to grow even more of them at absolutely no cost. Make a few new Peace Lily plants out of one with root division. Place the divided material in water or soil to create plants you can give away or keep. Enjoy!
If you’re looking for your next peace lily plant without propagating, see our guide to the best plant shops delivering peace lilies nationwide.
Andrew is the Editorial Director at Petal Republic. He holds a BSc degree in Plant Sciences and has trained professionally at leading floristry schools in London and Paris. In amongst overseeing a global editorial team, Andrew's a passionate content creator around all things flowers, floral design, gardening, and houseplants.