Peace lilies are some of the best plants to have in your home. They are fairly resilient, are easy to care for, and can effectively clean the air in your house. With all these wonderful benefits you may be wondering about peace lily propagation and how to produce more plants. That’s what we’ll be looking at in this article.
Unlike other popular houseplants, you cannot propagate a peace lily using cuttings. The method that you need to use is called division. This is where you split the plant into smaller parts and repot them in new containers.
This makes peace lilies the perfect plant to share with your friends. It is commonly associated with the ideas of sympathy, peace, purity, prosperity, and innocence. They are also meant to symbolize beauty, rebirth, and positivity.
When should you divide a peace lily?
If your plant begins to show signs of being rootbound, you should consider dividing or repotting it. This will allow the plant to have a larger area to grow into and more soil to absorb nutrients from.
If your plant is growing roots out of the drainage holes, or out of the upper surface of the soil, this suggests it is rootbound. If you remove the plant from the pot, the roots will appear tightly packed and very cramped.
If your plant is rootbound, this means that there is not much soil compared to the root system. This can cause the soil to quickly lose nutrients, and the plant’s growth will be stunted. As well as this, the soil will not be able to hold water for very long. The roots will not be able to absorb enough water and the plant will become very dehydrated.
How to propagate a peace lily plant
Peace lilies grow multiple bunches of foliage from the same pot of soil. It is not the kind of plant where all the branches come off of a central stem. You are able to divide a peace lily multiple times without killing the plant.
1) Remove from pot
To do this, you will need to remove the entire plant from its pot. This can be a messy process so cover your table with newspaper or do it outside! Tip the plant pot onto its side and grasp the peace lily firmly at the base, close to the soil. Gently rock the plant from side to side to loosen the soil, and the plant should come out with ease.
2) Divide the plant
Once the plant is out, take a closer look at the soil and root system. You’ll see that the plant has several ‘crowns’, which are separate sections of foliage with its own root system. Gently prise apart the crowns depending on how many new plants you wish to create.
This can be as simple as splitting the mass in half, or you can pull off as many separate sections as you like. The important thing is that the stems remain connected to a root system. Without roots, your new plant will not grow. The video below demonstrates this division process.
Peace lilies grow roots in a ball-like manner. This means that it can be tricky to separate off smaller sections without causing damage to the plant. If the plant is younger, you will probably be able to do this gently with your fingers. If the plant has become rootbound, or is older, you may have to take tougher measures. Use a serrated knife to cut the root ball into smaller areas. Start from the base of the ball and slice upwards. This may damage some parts of the root system, although the plant should be able to recover.
To grow your new peace lily, place each section of the plant in a separate pot. The new pots should be an appropriate size for your cuttings. The mother plant can be replaced in the original pot, and it will now have more room in which to grow.
The new plants can be placed into new pots containing fresh potting soil. A container that is too big means that excess water can be trapped in the soil and not used by the plant. This can cause root rot.
Here’s a trick to keep your houseplants clean. Cover the drainage holes at the base with a coffee filter to prevent the soil from falling out. Fill the plant pot with soil so that the roots will be completely covered. If your soil is too deep, this can also cause root rot.
Peace lilies are known to be dramatic plants, so you should not worry too much if it wilts after being divided. This is due to ‘transplant shock’ and is quite common. With proper care it should recover in time.
How to revive a peace lily
If you have been able to divide your peace lily and the flower is still looking remarkably wilted, there are some ways to revive it. When a peace lily wilts and begins to die, this is usually due to a stressful change of environment such as low humidity and underwatering. The biggest indicator of this is when the leaves begin to curl, with the tips turning a brown or yellow color.
An effective way to revive an under-watered peace lily is to fill a basin with several inches of water and allow the peace lily to soak up the moisture for around 10 minutes. Then, make sure to keep an eye on the soil and water when the top of the soil is dry. You can also regularly mist the leaves with water, as peace lilies thrive in a humid environment.
Keeping your peace lily hydrated is essential after the dividing process, as it will give your new plant a chance to retain the moisture and therefore grow properly. However, be careful not to overwater it, as this can lead to damaging root rot. Always stick your finger about an inch into the soil to check if it needs watering to avoid overwatering.
Keep a close eye on your new plants after you have divided them. Ideally you should keep them in similar conditions to the original plant, such as being in the same room with similar lighting conditions and watering regime. This will reduce the amount of stress on the plant.
By following these recommendations, you should be able to propagate a peace lily into two or more plants. These make ideal gifts for friends and family.