Whenever you buy a plant, its lifespan should be a big consideration of yours. Knowing how long the plant is likely to live for will help you to judge whether it is a good buy, whether you can commit the time to look after it, and what to expect. Peace lilies are immensely popular houseplants, so how long do peace lilies last?
On average, peace lilies that are well cared for will last between three and five years. These plants are quite tough, but they are not particularly long-lived plants. Some may last for longer than five years, but this should give you an idea of what you are likely to get from your plant. They are hardy, but good care will help to improve their expected lifespan.
How Long Does A Peace Lily Live?
You should expect a well cared for peace lily to live for up to five years in good conditions. If you are looking after your peace lily properly, it should certainly last for three. They are not particularly long-lived plants, however.
That might upset you because they are beautiful and bring a wonderfully calm ambiance to the home. If you are feeling disappointed by that estimate, let’s look at how you can help your peace lily to survive for longer and improve its life expectancy.
What Can You Do To Improve A Peace Lily’s Life Expectancy?
So, what can you do to make sure that your peace lily lasts for as long as possible and is at peak health at all times?
Remember, peace lilies will usually survive even if you are unable to provide these levels of care, but they may not stay particularly happy or healthy, and they will probably not live for as long if you don’t look after them thoroughly.
We are going to cover the two major areas you need to think about next.
All plants have basic needs that must be met if they are to thrive. Attending to your peace lily’s basic needs is an important aspect of making sure that your plant lives for a long time. Consistency is key; if you look after it sometimes but not always, it will get stressed, and this will shorten its life expectancy.
You might find that it helps to make a chart of how often you need to do things to meet your peace lily’s basic needs and use this as a guide going forward. We’re going to look at the things you should do to keep your peace lily happy.
Watering: your peace lily needs watering when the soil on the surface of the pot and to about a quarter of an inch down feels dry. These plants like to be kept quite damp, although over-watering can lead to problems too – so be careful.
Don’t water your plant on a set schedule, because this will change depending on the humidity in the room and the time of year. Instead, make a note to check whether it needs a drink a couple of times a week. If it is starting to wilt, check whether it is thirsty.
Fertilizing: you can fertilize your peace lily once every few weeks with a diluted, balanced fertilizer. You probably won’t need to fertilize during the winter, but in the summer, give your plant a food boost every month to two months. You can use a schedule for this.
Light: your plant should consistently have bright but indirect light. People always say that peace lilies will grow regardless of how little light they get and this is true (to a degree), but it won’t make for a very healthy plant.
Peace lilies enjoy bright but indirect light. They are rainforest plants, so they will not tolerate direct sun (as none naturally falls on them on rainforest floors). However, they do need light in order to grow, flower, and reach their peak health.
If you cannot provide adequate sunlight for your plant, consider installing a grow light or placing it near artificial lights. These are not as good, but they are preferable to a dark corner.
Humidity: as rainforest plants, peace lilies like lots of humidity. You might want to mist your plant as often as once a day, depending on what part of the world you live in. Peace lilies like humidity levels between 50 and 60 percent, and a hygrometer can be a great way to measure this.
Temperature: a cold peace lily will soon be a dead peace lily. These plants have no resistance to the cold, and will quickly die if they get to temperatures below 45 degrees F. Keeping your peace lily reasonably warm and away from drafts will extend its life expectancy.
So, those are the main needs that you must meet. Consistently doing so will result in a healthy, happy plant that is more likely to last for years. What else should you do?
Look Out For Problems
Although meeting your peace lily’s basic needs is important, the other thing that you need to think about is watching out for issues that could damage your peace lily. What might these be?
The first is rot. Because peace lilies prefer damp soil and damp leaves, they are at major risk of fungal infections and rotting. Over-watering your peace lily could lead to root rot, which will kill the plant very quickly. Misting it too heavily will lead to fungal infections in the leaves.
How do you cope with these problems? There are a few things you can do.
Firstly, make sure that your plant enjoys some good airflow. This does not mean drafts (which peace lilies dislike), but instead means that you do not overcrowd your plant. Don’t put lots of other plants or items nearby. Allow the air to circulate.
Secondly, let your peace lily dry out a little from time to time. This will help to reduce the appeal to fungi, which need consistent moisture to thrive. Although your peace lily won’t appreciate being dry for long, a little period of dryness every week or two will help to reduce its risk of fungal infections and rot.
Thirdly, mist in the mornings only. Nighttime temperatures tend to be cooler, so your plant’s leaves will stay wet for longer at night, and that will make them more vulnerable to infections. If you mist in the morning, the leaves should be dry or close to dry by evening. This will help to keep the plant alive.
Fourthly, always check that your plant needs a drink before watering it. If your peace lily is left sitting in water, it will die from root rot. Good drainage in the pot and watering as needed, rather than to a schedule, will reduce this risk.
Next, you need to keep an eye out for any pests, as these will damage your plant’s leaves, steal its resources, and stress it out – all of which can affect its life expectancy.
You should make a habit of regularly checking your plant for any pest problems. Inspect the undersides of the leaves, look out for spider webs, and check for sticky spots that could indicate aphids or scale insects have moved in.
Common peace lily pests include:
Spider mites: microscopic little insects that will leave brown spots and tiny webs on your plant’s leaves. You can remove these by washing the leaves with soap and water.
Aphids: slightly bigger winged insects that feed on the plant’s sap. They will bite holes in the leaves and drink the liquid inside, leaving the plant weaker and more vulnerable to infections. These can also be removed with soap and water.
Mealybugs: appearing as a white, cottony mass on the undersides of leaves, these also drink the plant’s sap. They can be removed with soap and water, but they spread quickly and can be hard to control.
Scale insects: appearing as brown, flat ovals on the undersides of plant leaves and the crevices of stems, these are annoyingly hard to get rid of. They drink the sap and can be detected through the sticky residue they leave. You will need to wipe the plant’s foliage down with vodka to get rid of these.
You can help reduce the spread of pests by keeping your plants spaced out and isolating an infested plant as soon as you notice it. Treat it thoroughly and wait for a few weeks to check that the problem has been resolved before putting it back.
Staying on top of the pests that could attack your peace lily will ensure it enjoys a longer and happier life. Don’t leave your plant suffering if you notice that insects have taken over.
Although peace lilies naturally only live for about five years, providing them with plenty of care and attention will help to ensure that they do achieve this lifespan. You should always be on top of your peace lily’s primary needs, and on the lookout for problems that may be starting.