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Before I get into making my own seed starting mixture there are a few things I have to do regarding my houseplants! When I can’t work outside in the garden I tend to focus on my houseplants and take care of them. I’ve already transplanted my orchids and my aloe but one plant still to take care of is my peace lily.

spathuphyllum tango, houseplants, repotting

My peace lily before repotting.

Many people have a peace lily (spathuphyllum tango) in their home; it is very easy to care for and produces wonderful flowers. They thrive in indirect bright light. They like heavy watering but also like to dry out in between watering. Do keep pets and children away from this plant, as it is one of the many poisonous houseplants. Although they prefer a more compact root ball every other year or so I divide the plant, which seems to keep it pretty happy. When the active growth slows down or the leaves become smaller it is time to repot. My plant is flowering less and less and it is extremely crowded so I know it’s time to re-pot.

Repotting is rather easy. You can divide the plant into a number of new plants; perhaps you have a friend you would like to share with?

First fill a slightly larger pot that has drainage holes halfway with potting soil. Choose a pot only slightly larger because the plants grow well in crowded conditions. Make a small space in the middle of the soil for the divided peace lily plant.

houseplants, repotting, potting soil

I have a new pot ready, filled with potting soil.

Loosen the dirt around the roots of the peace lily. Use a gardening spade to loosen the soil, and then carefully lift the plant out of the container. You can also tilt the container on its side and squeeze on it to loosen the soil from the container. I gently pull the plant out of the pot over some newspaper, usually in the garage.  Today it was too cold for such a project in the garage so I made a huge mess over a sheet on my kitchen floor. When you start pulling the plant apart you will realize it is made up of many plants. You could actually put each plant in it’s own pot! After separating the plant I set aside the ones that will get re-potted. Rinse the dirt off the roots and run the roots of the plant under cool water.

repotting houseplants, plants

You can see the many baby plants.

houseplants, root bound, repotting

My peace lily is really root bound.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

houseplants, repotting, prudent living

Separating the plants I want to repot.

washing roots, repotting

Selected plants ready for a root washing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place the peace lily in the new container. Fill it with potting soil, and pack it down around the roots. Water the peace lily to keep the soil moist. I usually give the leaves a wipe with a damp cloth as well. I now have two plants and a pile of discarded plants for my compost pile!

repotted peace lily, houseplants

In a few weeks this plant will start to fill out again.

repotted peace lily

Repotted peace lily.

 

Once my peace lily is re-potted I can now focus on our spring vegetable garden. I have placed my seed order and as soon as my seeds come in I will be starting certain varieties inside. I look forward to having my kitchen filled with baby seedlings, a sure sign that spring is coming!

58 comments on “My Garden – Repotting a Peace Lily

Elizabeth on July 24, 2015 6:57 pm

My step brother passed away last September and step dad and mother brought a big peace lily home. The leaves have started to have brown tips and a few have turned yellow. I have soil and a larger pot, also few smaller ones. Can I repot now? Should I divide it or just repot? Thank you.

Nancy Wolff on July 24, 2015 7:12 pm

Elizabeth,
I am so sorry for your loss. One of the reasons the leaves may be turning brown on the tips is from over watering.Peace Lilies don’t like to be really wet but they also don’t want to dry completely out! I usually wait until my Peace Lily is really compact before trying to divide it and repot. Is your plant pot bound? If not I would just keep an eye on how often it is watered. You can also pull off the leaves that turn yellow and die. Hope this helps.

holly on October 27, 2015 4:27 pm

I have a peace lily that is in a 20″ diameter pot and I have no idea HOW to separate and repot, or if I should. I would like to send a picture of it so I can get the best advice.

Nancy Wolff on October 27, 2015 10:13 pm

Holly,
I would be glad to look at your peace lily and give you advice!

Ella Brown on November 19, 2015 5:20 pm

Hi Nancy,
I got a Peace Lily when my grandmother passed away 3 years ago and I struggle to keep it going. right now the plants appear to be about 4 vines with the traditional plant on the end. What do I do? should I add more dirt to cover the vines? cut the vine at the soil line so it will sprout? All help is appreciated.
Thanks,
Ella Brown

Nancy Wolff on November 19, 2015 9:07 pm

Ella,
Do you have cell phone? Can you take a picture of the plant and send it to me? I will send you an email. I’d be concerned if you cut off the vine at the soil line that it might not sprout!

Erin on December 8, 2015 2:33 pm

My cat has completely destroyed my peace lily that I got from my grandfather’s funeral. Can I snap a pic and send it to you for advice on how to get it back?

Nancy Wolff on December 8, 2015 3:42 pm

Erin,
By all means send me a photo, hopefully the roots are still intact and the plant can be resurrected!

Sue Vandiver on August 25, 2016 1:09 pm

Erin

Please keep your pets away from the lily as they are extremely deadly your pets!!!!

Nancy Wolff on August 25, 2016 5:49 pm

Sue,
Thanks for mentioning this!

Allison on December 24, 2015 3:29 pm

Hi Nancy
I received a Peace Lily from my grandma’s service back in February. It looked great at the time
I repotted it into a larger pot over the summer, and since then the leaves have been turning brown/yellow and dying off. I took it into a local nursery and found out I had repotted it too low and covered up too much of the top with soil. It was repotted again, and I was sent home with a liquid fertilizer to add to the water
The plant is still not doing well, and I feel awful for letting it get this bad
I think I need to repot it yet again back into a small container with more drainage holes in the bottom
Just wanted to check to see if you recommended a certain brand of potting soil to use that would help bring this plant back from almost death!
Thanks so much in advance

Nancy Wolff on December 24, 2015 7:27 pm

Allison,
I often use the potting mix that has miracle grow in it. Don’t give up on your Peace Lily yet, they are pretty resistant, if you transplant it again and give it some time it should do ok. The leaves do die back, just cut them off and new ones should appear.

Kellie on March 17, 2016 6:10 pm

Nancy,

I have adopted a plant because I am the new receptionist at my job. I have never taken care of a peace lily before. The leaves are turning brown in spots on the edges and the roots are showing. It is in a 13.9in diameter X 10.75in height pot. I don’t think that it is too big for the pot maybe just needs to be repotted. I did find out that it doesn’t like direct sunlight. It sits on my desk by a window that has a shade down all the time so I don’t think that is the cause. I don’t over water it, if anything I might be under watering it. The plant is important to the company and I would like for it not to die on me. If you can help me with this that would be great. Thank you in advance.

Nancy Wolff on March 17, 2016 10:57 pm

Kellie,
I have sent you a private email with some information which I hope will help you!
– Nancy

Jessica on July 27, 2016 6:51 pm

I’m in the same situation as Kellie, May I have some advice too?

Nancy Wolff on July 27, 2016 11:09 pm

Jessica,
Gently force the roots apart as best as you can. often putting the roots in water can help you pull them apart. If you don’t separate the roots it will still be root bound only in a new pot!

Lauren Gangaware on April 3, 2016 1:35 am

My boyfriend and I received a peace lily form his mothers funeral. Neither one of u have a green thumb. The tips of some of the leaves are turning brown and drying up. I usually cut them off. I water about once a week but sorry it will start to droop by water day. I’m also thinking I should repot it. And advice or info would be helpful. This pant is very important to us. Please help!

Nancy Wolff on April 4, 2016 12:32 pm

Lauren,
I would re-pot your peace lily first and then maybe start watering every six days instead of once a week. Perhaps where you have the plant is drying it out quicker. In the winter when our wood stove is burning our home is very dry and I have to remember to water my plants more often!

Sandy on April 3, 2016 12:02 pm

Should I be fertilizing a peace lily? I have one thst is over 10 years old. It was from an employee who died. Our office was bought out and no one wanted to take it. I am not the plant person but I couldn’t stand to see it die. We call this plant Cheryl. So I am going to separate and repot it. I read where you said to use potting soil with fertilizer. Is that the only tip I need?

Nancy Wolff on April 4, 2016 12:30 pm

Sandy, I am very bad at fertilizing my inside plants which is why I like to use a potting soil that has some nutrients in it.

Christi on April 8, 2016 10:33 pm

I am really struggling with my Peace Lily I have had it since Dec.12,2012, T(the day my fiance and I were suppose to be married but instead laid him to rest that day) it really hasn’t gotten much bigger it only bloomed right after I got it and not since. I re potted in with Miracle grow soil last week and it seems not very happy with that. The tips are brown and the leaves are turning yellow… PLEASE help. I have to keep this alive!!

Nancy Wolff on April 9, 2016 10:27 pm

Christi,
I hope you received my email! Please let me know how your lily is doing in another week or so!

Christi on April 9, 2016 11:47 pm

Yes, I did thank you!! I sent you a reply only a couple moments ago, thank you for your help!!

Nancy Wolff on April 10, 2016 11:14 am

Christi,
Thanks I will look for your email!

Vernell Williams on May 17, 2016 2:01 pm

Hi! I had my Peace Lilly for about three years now. The leaves are beginning to wither and the tips are turning brown. It has been in the same pot for the past three years. What should I do?

Nancy Wolff on May 17, 2016 2:06 pm

Vernell,
It sounds like your peace lily may need to be transplanted. Of it may be that it just got over watered? You can always cut off the leaves that the tips are turning yellow (cut at the base) and look for signs of new growth. Make sure the plant is not in direct light too. They like bright light but not direct sun. Hope this helps!

pat on May 24, 2016 1:45 pm

Nancy I separated and transplanted my peace lily 2weeks ago and it has not recovered . One plant is drooping and has not been recovering. The mother plant was looking pretty good and then the last few days some of the leaves are turning yellow and the plant is beginning to droop. one of the other transplants is doing well. I don’t know if the yellowing is from over or under watering. I appreciate any advice you can give. Thank you.

Nancy Wolff on May 24, 2016 2:26 pm

Pat, sometimes it does take a while for a Peace Lily to recover from a transplanting. Look for signs of new growth. Is the soil wet or damp? You can remove the yellow leaves as long as the plant still has some other leaves. It sorties takes several weeks for a plant to perk up and start growing again after being transplanted.

Stella Coleman on May 28, 2016 9:20 pm

The flowers on my peace lily looks unhealthy. They have dark spots on them. The leaves are doing great. What would you suggest that I do?

Nancy Wolff on May 30, 2016 11:19 am

Stella,
Flowers don’t last forever make they just need to be clipped off? Have they been blooming a long time?

Jennifer on July 8, 2016 11:29 pm

My peace lilly is turning brown and trying to die. I have tried many different areas of my home and its not working. What can I do on trying to save it?

Nancy Wolff on July 9, 2016 1:00 pm

Jennifer,
I sent you an email regarding your peace lily. Have you tried transplanting it?

Renee on July 18, 2016 2:22 am

I was given a peace Lilly by my boyfriend from walmart. It already had Brown tips Brown spots on some of the leaves and yellow leaves so I repotted it with fresh soil and watered it. Its now sitting at the patio door I open the blinds up maybe a quarter and my apartment stays at 67°- 70°. Am I on the right track. This my 1st time with a live plant

Nancy Wolff on July 18, 2016 12:16 pm

Renee,
I sent you an email with more info! Sounds like you’re off to a good start! Have fun!

Alyssa on July 21, 2016 4:37 pm

I really need your help. I got a peace lily just a couple weeks ago and I can’t keep it alive. I’ve been keeping the soil damp and it’s in a room that has light but not direct. It just won’t stay alive. All the leaves are drooping. Some are brown and yellow. The flowers are brown and dried out… I don’t know what I’m doing wrong.

Nancy Wolff on July 22, 2016 1:41 pm

Alyssa,
I sent you an email with more information. Cut off the dead and dying foliage and don’t keep the Peace Lily damp, they really don’t like wet soil. They can be little tricky to figure out exactly where they need to be and how much water but once you find their happy spot they will do wonderfully!

Teresa on July 22, 2016 6:43 am

Hi, my peace lilly is HUGE!! I have transplanted it, but never split it. The plant itself is at least 3ft tall and if I were to guess 6 ft round. I’ve let it get too big and I was wondering if there is a way to split it into a bunch of plants, but the foliage is too tall to leave. I want to use it to start new smaller plants. Is it possible and how do I do it? Thank you

Nancy Wolff on July 22, 2016 1:38 pm

Teresa,
Yes by all means transplant your peace lily! Spread some newspaper and carefully remove the plant from it’s pot. You will be able to see the individual plants and will be able to separate them. Leave the foliage and it may take a month or so for the plant to look really good again but it will happen!

Teresa on July 22, 2016 3:53 pm

Thanks, but I want it small peace lillies. It’s 3ft tall. Do I just cut it down?

Nancy Wolff on July 22, 2016 7:26 pm

Teresa,
You just don’t want to cut back all the growth! If there are some new shoots I’d leave them!

Teresa on July 23, 2016 2:13 am

Thank you!

Nancy Wolff on July 24, 2016 9:04 pm

You’re welcome Teresa!

Kelli Payne on July 23, 2016 11:04 pm

My peace lily is root bound so tight I am having trouble getting it to separate. I stopped for now. Can I just replant as is or can I force it apart?

Nancy Wolff on July 24, 2016 9:03 pm

Kelli,
I would try to gently force it apart, maybe put the toots in water, that might help!

Diane Fejes on July 28, 2016 12:57 am

Hi Nancy
My peace lily is about 20+ years old and was very happy! Every summer I put her outside for fresh air. I neglected to put her in a protected place and a tree branch fell and broke most of the stems so my question is…..should I cut all of the stems back to the soil since I know these will never stand up again or will this do more damage?
Thanks
Diane

Nancy Wolff on July 28, 2016 11:41 am

Diane,
I would be a little concerned about cutting back all the stems unless there is signs of new growth! Maybe just cut off the really broken ones. Sounds like it was a very healthy plant so hopefully it will survive!

Diane Fejes on July 30, 2016 2:39 pm

Thanks Nancy. Will do what you suggest and keep my fingers crossed
Diane

Nancy Wolff on July 31, 2016 5:57 pm

Diane,
Let me know how it turns out. Give your lily some time to recover too! 🙂

Trish Franks on August 2, 2016 5:14 am

I have 2 Peace Lilies. Both have yellowing and browsing. One on them I have had since 7/13 and the other one I got earlier this year. The older one when I looking in the pot I an see the shoots and produced flowers since I brought it home. I normally water them when they start to droop. What should I do repot them? I really do love these plants.

Nancy Wolff on August 2, 2016 10:44 am

Trish,
If the plants have been growing well where you have them located and you have never transplanted them my first suggestion would be to transplant them. They may be root bound!

Suzanne Young on August 15, 2016 2:17 am

Hi Nancy,

I have a peace lily that was given to me when my son was born, he’s now 16. I have absolutely no green thumb, but somehow I’ve managed to keep this guy alive.

A few years ago I mentioned to my father in law that I was thinking of breaking it up in to two plants. He thought he was being helpful, but the replanted one has never really thrived. I’ve always kept a close eye on it until recently.

I’ve been away for several weeks due to my father being ill. When I came home yesterday my lily was very wilted. I watered it and went back a few hours later to see it hadn’t perked up at all. When I mentioned this to my husband he told me he’d watered it too.

I was worried it might have root rot since I’ve had to leave it’s care to my husband and son while I’ve been away so I re-potted it tonight. The deep stringy roots were brown, but firm and soil was damp, but not wet and the bottom of the plant just above the root were similar to your picture above.

I used potting soil and perlite and put rocks on the bottom to make sure there was plenty of drainage this time. I filled the pot with soil, but I didn’t pack it down. I didn’t run the roots under water just watered the soil once planted.

Is this ok or should I start over? This plant means so much to me I hope I haven’t killed it!

Thanks

Nancy Wolff on August 15, 2016 3:20 am

Suzanne,
It sounds like you have done a great job, I would leave it and just keep an eye on it. Give it some time to recover and it should be fine!

Luz on August 23, 2016 4:35 am

Hi!!! Found this super helpful. I have had my peace lily for a month, and it has already bloomed and withered its flower.i keep it in a low light room and I don’t think I over water because I usually wait until soil is no longer moist. I repotted my peace lily about 2 or 3 weeks ago. But I did not unbind the roots. Not sure if it’s because of this but I did start to notice a lot of small leaves and I also noticed a black dry shriveled edge on an older leaf. Is that normal? Should I attempt to repot again, this time separating roots?

Nancy Wolff on August 24, 2016 12:23 pm

Luz,
Rather than stress the plant by transplanting it again give it some time and see how it does. sounds like you have the plant in the right conditions. A dry shriveled edge on an older leaf s not unusual, I usually just cut the older leave off at the bottom of the stem! If you are noticing new growth don’t worry. If the plant isn’t doing well after a month or two then I would transplant it and separate the roots.

Karen MIllard on September 14, 2016 3:27 am

I just want to share with everyone that I discovered years back that if you put old tea grounds or water that you soaked the old grounds in, in the soil of your peace lily that it really encourages beautiful blooms on them!

Nancy Wolff on September 14, 2016 1:14 pm

Karen,
Thanks so much for the helpful hint!

Sally Reymers on September 22, 2016 5:06 pm

Hi Nancy,
I got several Peace Lilies last April when my husband died. They were – and still are – in containers, not pots, as part of a mix of plants. There is a plastic liner in all containers. They all seem to be doing well, but I’m sure I should get them into pots with better drainage. The biggest one – and maybe the only one I’ll keep – is in a basket and is about 15″ high and wide. The plastic “bowl” that it is in is 13″ x 11″ x 4 1/2″. All the other plants that were with it have died except for one Ivy. They both look beautiful. (I try put most of the water on the Lily side so that the Ivy doesn’t get overwatered. And I, too, put leftover tea and/or coffee in the water)

My question is, since the Lily is looking so good, how critical is it that it be potted up right now? Could I wait until next spring, or until the plant starts to look less lovely? And regular potting soil will be okay?

Nancy Wolff on September 22, 2016 7:17 pm

Sally,
If your Peace Lily looks happy I would leave it alone for now. Wait until spring or wait until the plant is starting to not look so happy! Regular potting soil would be fine when the time comes!

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