Peace Lily Repotting – Learn How And When To Repot Peace Lilies
Repotting Peace Lily (Lilium longiflorum) is one of the most common and popular garden plants. They are easy to grow and require little attention other than regular watering. A single plant will produce flowers which bloom for only a few days each year.
The Peace Lily is native to Asia, Africa and Australia but it was introduced into North America during the early 1900’s. There have been reports of them being grown in California since the 1950’s. Today they are still commonly found throughout Southern California where they thrive in full sun or partial shade.
They are hardy perennials and can survive dry periods. Their roots need moisture regularly but do not seem to mind if the soil dries out too much. If repotted properly, they will continue to grow well even when completely dried up.
How To Repot A Peace Lily?
A good way to determine whether your peace lily needs repotting is by looking at its growth pattern. If you notice that the stems or leaves are growing towards the sky rather than towards the sun then it is a sign that it needs more room to grow.
The best time to repot your peace lily is during spring and summer, which are times when the plant is actively growing.
You should choose a pot that is at least one and a half times wider than its previous pot. This allows the roots to have more room to grow. If this is not possible, then you should prune about one third of the roots. Fill the bottom of the pot with drainage material like small rocks or broken clay flower pots. This will prevent the pot from becoming waterlogged and help drainage.
After filling in the drainage material add your potting soil. The potting soil you use should be sterile and free of any weed seeds that may inadvertently kill your lily. Your best bet is to head to your local garden center and buy their prepackaged potting soil for peace lilies. The correct soil-to-water ratio is five parts soil to one part water. Water thoroughly.
After the potting soil has been added and the plant is in place, you need to stake it. This will keep it straight and upright so that light can still reach all of its leaves. Use a wooden or metal stake that is thin and strong. The wire used for tying the stems should be galvanized as this prevents rusting. Galvanized wire can be found at any hardware store.
After the lily has been staked, water it thoroughly and then wait for a sunny day when the temperatures are above freezing before transplanting it back outside. It will take several weeks for the roots to re-establish themselves before growing again.
If the plant has outgrown its pot, then you should consider repotting it into a larger decorative pot. There are several types of decorative pots that you can use. Clay or concrete pots work well as do glazed ceramic ones so long as they have good drainage. You should never place a plant with wet roots in a plastic container as this may cause the roots to rot and kill the plant.
Peace lilies are common in hanging planters. These work well because the roots like to hang down and the pot can be placed high enough so that people don’t walk under and crush them. Many nurseries sell these pots with built-in hooks so that they can be hung from a beam or over cross-boards.
If you happen to grow multiple peace lilies then it is wise to stake them as this prevents them from breaking under their own weight and falling over.
You should place your potted lily where it will receive at least five hours of direct sunlight daily. Some plants can survive in shadier locations, especially if the soil is regularly watered, but these types of plants grow faster and fuller with more sunlight.
The ideal soil for a peace lily is loose, well drained, and slightly acidic. You can create this type of soil by combining equal parts of peat moss, dried grass clippings, and cow manure. Your local nursery or hardware store will probably carry bags of soil that is labeled as being suitable for peace lilies. This soil should be mixed with an equal part of sand.
Fertilize your potted lily monthly with a water-soluble fertilizer that is made for flowering plants. These can typically be found either at your local nursery or at your local hardware store where the gardening supplies are sold. Follow the directions on the packaging for the correct amount of fertilizer to use per gallon of water.
Water your potted lily whenever the soil appears dry. Do not let the plant stand in water. Let the soil dry out before watering it again.
After a peace lily blooms it will develop a bulb-like structure at its base. This is called a rhizome and is essentially the plant’s way of reproducing itself. The rhizome can be dug up and separated into smaller pieces and these will grow into entirely new plants. Plant the rhizomes so that just the top third is above the soil and then water them well.
These plants are poisonous if eaten and should be kept away from pets and small children. The sap or juice from the leaves and stem can cause skin irritation in some people so it is wise to wear gloves while handling the plant.
Sources & references used in this article:
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Potted-plant/growth media interactions and capacities for removal of volatiles from indoor air by RA Wood, RL Orwell, J Tarran, F Torpy… – The Journal of …, 2002 – Taylor & Francis
Growing Healthy Houseplants: Choose the Right Plant, Water Wisely, and Control Pests. A Storey BASICS® Title by DG Hessayon – 1996 – Sterling Publishing Company, Inc.
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