Peace Lily Plants and Sunlight: The Best Light Exposure for Peace Lilies to Thrive

The Peace Lily is known for thriving in home and office environments where there is less light than usual. However, it’s not a plant that can thrive in completely dark parts of the home. Without enough light, even the dark leaves of the Peace Lily Plant will fade and lose their gloss. On the other hand, exposing this kind of plant to excessive lighting causes leaf drop and dry tips. Get the light levels just right with these tips on how much illumination is needed for the Peace Lily plant.

Peace Lily Plants and Sunlight: The Best Light Exposure for Peace Lilies to Thrive

How Much Light do Peace Lily Plants Need? – The Essentials

Peace Lily Plants (Spathiphyllum) need only a little indirect light to keep them growing healthily all year round. Place them near a North-facing window to prevent sunburn from direct light or under a relatively bright indoor light.

The Importance of Light to Plant Growth in General

The Importance of Light to Plant Growth in General

Light is the key to solid growth in plants, even for plants that don’t need much of it. It is because light triggers the process of photosynthesis in the leaves. This is how the plant creates the sugar it needs as a source of energy. 

While fertilizer and water may be a key part of Peace Lily plant care as well, a lack of light will completely stop a plant from growing. Only a few plants can handle growing without any sunlight, and they rely on parasitic relationships with other plants. Even the Peace Lily needs a minimal amount of light to trigger its efficient photosynthesis process to keep the plant fed.

As with fertilizer, too much light is detrimental to most plants. There’s no way to encourage more growth just by giving plants more light past a certain point. Plants that are sensitive to bright light levels, including Peace Lily Plants, suffer from sunburn instead of responding positively.

Limiting light levels is often the key to triggering flowering in tropical house plants as well. In fact, some plants must be placed in a closet and completely blocked off from light for several hours per day to start this process.

Some plants are hard to keep supplied with enough bright light to grow in the home environment. Choosing plants with lower light demands, such as the Peace Lily, makes it easier to supply just enough light for strong growth without adding costly plant lights. That’s part of what makes these plants so popular in many different environments.

Types of Light for Houseplants

Types of Light for Houseplants

Understanding the types of light recommended for houseplants will help you match the perfect plants to the conditions in each part of the house. 

Low light is the easiest to find in most homes and office environments. Any area where only standard light from overhead fixtures is available will qualify as this light level. Peace Lily Plants prefer these conditions. Translucent curtains over a window will help it provide this diffused light rather than direct light that could burn the leaves of sensitive plants.

The next highest level of light is filtered or mixed light. Outdoors it’s found under mature trees that let some light reach the ground below them. This amount of light usually requires some kind of plant light or a window with southern or eastern exposures. It can be tricky to achieve if there’s too much direct light during certain hours of the day. Try window films or gauze curtains to diffuse bright light.

Finally, bright light is the hardest to achieve inside the home. Yet it’s also the kind needed by many popular house plants, including succulents. Direct bright light can burn even plants that prefer high light levels. 

Indirect bright light is recommended for almost all house plants.

Typical Light Conditions Peace Lily Plants Receive in Their Native Habitats

Typical Light Conditions Peace Lily Plants Receive in Their Native Habitats

Like many other plants kept as house plants today, Peace Lilies are native to tropical parts of the world. They are found in Central America, including Columbia, Venezuela, and the rest of the upper continent. 

Some native populations of Peace Lily Plants are also found in tropical parts of Asia. They require warm and humid environments, whether they’re raised indoors or out. Since they grow in the understory of jungles and tropical areas, they don’t receive much light. The little light they receive is filtered by the dense canopy of the mature trees growing above them.

It’s easy to replicate these conditions inside the average home environment. With less light preferred rather than more, Peace Lily Plants can be placed nearly anywhere there is at least a little diffuse light. 

They don’t need a lot of natural light or placement near a window to thrive. Consider jungle plants that thrive in the dense understory like this one for those parts of the home that don’t supply a lot of natural light. A little artificial light that’s already used for brightening the room will be more than enough for this plant.

Signs Your Peace Lily Plant Is Receiving Too Much Light

Signs Your Peace Lily Plant Is Receiving Too Much Light

Keeping a close eye on your Peace Lily Plants will reveal if they’re getting excessive amounts of light. If there’s just a little too much light over time for the plant, you may see the oldest leaves turning yellow. Recently propagated, and variegated peace lily plants can be particularly susceptible.

Another symptom of long-running light exposure is curled leaves, especially as they first emerge as new growth. When the exposure is too bright and intense just for a short period, fresh leaves may turn yellow as well. These yellow leaves won’t turn green again even if you bring the plant out of the light. The affected leaves will eventually dry up and fall off, so encouraging the plant to grow replacement leaves is the best you can do after noticing yellowing. Common Peace Lily pests and diseases may be another contributing factor in addition to your plant needing to be repotted.

Signs Your Peace Lily Plant Isn’t Receiving Enough Light

Unfortunately, most of the signs that a Peace Lily Plant is receiving too little light will also seem the same as those caused by too much light. 

Leaves struggling with a lack of light will turn yellow as well, but they may start to droop first. Just a little too little light over time will lead to dry tips and mild yellowing around the edges of the leaves. 

Peace Lily Plants that look glossy and dark but refuse to flower are also not getting enough light. If the plant refuses to flower despite getting enough watering and good humidity levels, consider increasing the amount of light it receives. Diffused but steady light will trigger the white flowers to appear all year round.

The Best Light Exposure for Peace Lily Plants Indoors

The Best Light Exposure for Peace Lily Plants Indoors

When finding the right position in your home or office for a Peace Lily Plant, try to mimic what the plant experienced in its native environment. 

Low light conditions can be found throughout the indoor environment. However, these plants still need a small amount of light to keep them growing well. Try locating them near a somewhat bright source of artificial overhead light, such as a fixture with at least two 60-watt bulbs. If you can place it closer to a table lamp, a 20 to 40-watt bulb is more than sufficient. Keep the Peace Lily Plant away from any plant lights designed for bright light-loving plants.

For natural light, look for locations in the home or office facing north or east, so they don’t get any direct light throughout the day. Place the Peace Lily within a few feet of the window but where no sunlight can hit it directly. 

If you need to locate the plant near a bright south-facing window, ensure the plant is protected from any direct sunlight for prolonged periods by drawing a blind or partially closing a curtain if available. 

You may need to move your plant throughout the year, so light levels remain consistent. These plants don’t really go dormant during the winter as some plants do. They need the same light level all year round, especially if you want to enjoy their white flowers.

They can become stressed and lose leaves during the winter if you let the light levels drop too low, so make sure to move the plant closer to a light source if necessary.

Also, it’s worth noting that peace lily plants are considered toxic to both humans and pets so it’s prudent to wear gloves when handling these plants.

Peace Lily Plant Light Requirements FAQs:

Can Peace Lily Plants live in low light? 

Peace lily plants thrive best in lower light conditions, but they do need six to eight hours of indirect light from some source per day.

Can Peace Lily Plants take full sun? 

These symbolic plants can’t handle full sun at all and will lose leaves.

What kind of light do Peace Lily Plants need? 

Peace Lily needs indirect, very low light levels.

Will Peace Lily Plants live happily indoors? 

Since they need relatively little light, they can grow easily indoors as long as you supply humidity, sufficient light, regular watering, and occasional pruning.

How do you know if your Peace Lily Plant is getting enough light? 

There should be no yellow and only strong green growth with a dark glossy color to the leaves.

Wrapping Up

Peace Lily Plants deserve extra care in terms of light exposure since they can potentially bloom all year round with just the right amount of light. Once you find the right place in your home, you’ll find it easy to maintain the dark color of the foliage of these plants as well with no more yellowing or brown tips.

If you’re looking for your next Peace Lily plant to add to your collection, see our in-depth guide to the best plant shops delivering Peace Lilies nationwide.

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