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Peace Lily Pruning | A How-To Guide for Beginners

Peace Lily Pruning 1
Evergreen plant spathiphyllum. White flowers and green leaves

Peace Lilies don’t only bring a sense of tranquillity and beauty to your home, but they are also suitable for novice as well as well-versed plant owners. Pruning a peace lily can help you unlock the plant’s full potential. 

When should I cut back my peace lily? With regular pruning, you can expect more growth, a longer lifespan and a gorgeous looking plant. A good prune also decreases the chance of pests living amongst the leaves and bringing disease into your home

The leaves on your peace lily can turn shades of green, yellow and brown. These colours tell us a lot about the plant and its health. Below is a complete guide on how to prune your peace lily correctly.

Trimming Lilies: How to Prune a Peace Lily Flower

Peace lilies have iconic, white bracts. Most people think this is the flower, but it’s actually modified leaves, called spathes. The spathe surrounds a small cluster of flowers in the centre. 

The white leaves are said to look like a white flag of surrender, hence the plant’s name. These leaves go through a natural lifecycle, change colours and die.

Pruning your peace lily will either encourage new blooms or new shoots to grow. This depends on how you prune it. Cutting off the wilted flowers at the base of the stem makes space for new stems to grow, creating a fuller, leafier plant. 

If you leave the old flowers, the plant will spend energy on developing the seeds and the stem will eventually turn brown. But deadheading right under the wilted flower causes the plant to focus energy on blooming again. This will give your plant more, aesthetically pleasing spathes.

But beware, peace lilies are toxic to cats ard aren’t the best choice for feline owners. Instead, have a look at these cat-friendly house plants

Peace Lily Green Flowers

When the plant blooms, the spathes and flowers are white. The peace lily flower turns green and starts drooping – this is normal. This change happens at the end of the plant’s life cycle. It’s completely natural and means the flower lived to its full term.

Peace Lily Care: Brown Flowers

Wondering what to do when peace Lily flower’s turn brown? Once the flowers have bloomed, the lily stalk and flower will turn dry and brown. The peace lily’s brown flowers indicated that that stem’s time is over. 

If you leave the peace lily’s flowers brown, the plant won’t be negatively affected. Eventually, the brown stem will just fall off. 

These brown stems, leaves and flowers can ruin the appearance of the plant. You can simply cut them away to bring out their beauty. While Peace Lilies don’t have a maximum stem count, trimming back the stems will allow more room for new stalks to sprout.

Trimming Peace Lily: Deadheading

Pruning is an important step in the maintenance process. Most flowers and plants lose their beauty and draw as the flowers die. The deadheading method is recommended to prune a peace lily.

Deadheading is the gardening term used to describe the removal of faded or dead flowers from plants. This technique can be done at the top of the stem or right at the base. 

Before you start chopping up your lily, make sure you sterilize your pruning tools between each shear. Disinfecting prevents spreading disease from one stem to another.

The first step to deadheading is identifying all spent flowers. From there, simply pinch or cut off the brown flowers at the top of the stem, just below the flower’s base. Repeat this step on all the spent flowers on the lily.

This gardening chore may seem tedious but is worth the effort. Alternatively, you can deadhead your lily by shearing it back completely. Cut just a few inches from the top of the plant, cutting off all the spent flowers. 

Be sure to check for new buds that may be hidden amongst the foliage. If you find new buds, shear just above them, and soon you will see them bloom.

You can also deadhead the wilted flowers at the base of the stem. This method eliminates all brown foliage and flowers, presenting an overall neater plant. Cutting the stem off at the bottom gives more space, encouraging new growth from the plant’s base. 

When Should I Cut Back my Peace Lily?

When to cut back your lilies? The best time to start your deadheading is late spring when a few flowers have begun to fade. From this point, trimming your plant should be done every few days. Making pruning a regular part of your plant care will reward you with a full, lush and beautiful lily. 

Should I Cut the Yellow Leaves Off of My Peace Lily?

Usually, peace lilies have long, dark green stems and oval leaves. But sometimes your peace lily can turn yellow. Either the whole branch will turn yellow, or the leaves will get yellow/brown tips. 

This yellowing is caused by how much water the plant is getting. It either means your lily is getting too much or too little water. 

Another reason why your plant is turning yellow can be from a mineral build-up. Since peace lilies are common indoor plants, tenders usually just use tap water to feed them. However, the mineral calcium is present in this water, and the accumulation can cause your plant’s roots to suffocate. 

You can prune these damaged leaves using the technique mentioned above. But the problem will keep occurring unless treated at the source.

To treat yellow leaves and brown tips, flush your peace lily out with bottled water. This boujee hack allows the minerals in bottled water to wash away the calcium, along with other suffocating crystals. 

After this, keep watering your plant as usual, but only with clean water. You can get a shower head filter that prevents mineral build-up from soft and hard water so that you don’t need to keep buying bottled water to feed your plant. 

Peace Lily Lifespan

The healthier a plant is, the longer it will live, but some plants just have a biological time clock. These plants typically live for 3-5 years, but some owners report their plants living to over 20 years. 

You will know when your plant’s life cycle has come to an end because the leaves will start drooping and dying, even though the plant has everything it needs. At this point, it’s time to say goodbye to your friend and start thinking about your new addition.

Final comments on Pruning a Peace Lily

Pruning your peace lily is not only crucial for the appearance of your plant but is a gratifying gardening chore. There is nothing more rewarding than watching your carefully tended plants bloom into beautiful bouquets. With the how-to guide, you’ll have the happiest peace lily on the block.

But don’t worry if your leaves turn yellow, grab a bottle of water – you know what to do!Now that you know how to prune a peace lily, what are you going to master next? Pruning a ZZ plant?


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