Peace Lilies 101

A line of peace lilies.

Peace lilies are gorgeous household plants that can adapt to just about any environment. These perennials require almost no maintenance to survive, making them an ideal plant for beginners. If you are in need of a low-maintenance plant that can infuse a bit of life in your house, here is a quick guide on everything you need to know about peace lilies.

What Is a Peace Lily?

A peace lily is a low-fuss plant with white flowers that are akin to calla lilies. Although they are lilies by name, the peace lily actually belongs to the Araceae family. The flower of this common houseplant includes a white sheath-like covering called a spathe. These plants can grow upwards of 3 feet tall and feature large leaves that can help filter the air in your home. Between their graceful look and added benefits, peace lilies make a great addition to any house.

What Do Peace Lilies Symbolize?

A boquet of peace lilies.

Peace lilies symbolize several different things. A peace lily is often given to a person who loses close friends or family members because it symbolizes rebirth and transcendence. The peace lily is a perennial plant that blooms once, sometimes twice, a year, hence the rebirth symbolism. These lilies, of course, also stay true to their name and symbolize hope and peace. In some religions, peace lilies represent purity because of their white flowers. They also represent psychic balance and proper energy flow in Feng Shui.

Where to Plant a Peace Lily

Peace lilies are usually bought as floor plants because they grow so high. The average peace lily can grow anywhere from 24 to 50 inches in height. If you care for it correctly, you can get two blooms every year, with each bloom lasting a few months. You can plant peace lilies just about anywhere in your home, including bedrooms, offices, living rooms, and kitchens. These plants do not need a lot of light to survive, making them an ideal plant for your home. In fact, peace lilies are one of the easiest household plants to take care of.

Caring for a Peace Lily

A hanging peace lily.

Caring for a peace lily is super easy. These plants enjoy partial shade and can live under fluorescent lighting conditions. If the flowers of your peace lily start showing yellow, then it is getting too much light. The leaves will turn brown when they are burned by the sun. You should be watering about once every week. The plant will start drooping when it needs water, so it is really easy to tell when you should water it. You should water more in the summer and less in the winter when the plant is not in blooming season. Peace lilies should not be placed outdoors if the temperatures dip under 45 degrees Fahrenheit.


Peace lilies hold up well against common plant diseases and insects. Although they do get mites and other bugs from time to time, you can combat these pests by wiping the leaves on a regular basis. You can usually tell if the plant is suffering from an insect invasion if it starts to turn pale and wilt. But on the whole, peace lilies are not known for attracting pests like other household plants, such as roses.

Pet Allergies

A peace lily surrounded by green leaves.

Peace lilies are toxic to dogs and cats and should be kept well out of their reach at all costs. The plant is only toxic to dogs if they eat it. If that happens, contact your local vet, who will likely put your pooch on a tight regime of anti-inflammatory drugs to counteract the calcium oxalate crystals found in the plant. With a cat, these oxalates can irritate their stomach and mouth. Fortunately, most cats will stop eating once they have a bite. Still, peace lilies should be kept away from cats and dogs.