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I got a Peace Lily plant that means a lot to me. I took really good care of it during my major move to a new state. Once in the new home, the blooms turned brown. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. After researching and trying different things I finally figured out the secret. I want to share it with you since Peace Lily plants are extremely finicky.

(If you want to skip the story and go to the direct info click “more” in the line below.)

After my husband Paul passed away from COVID, the National Kidney Foundation of Illinois send our family a Peace Lily plant. It was a beautiful gesture by them to honor Paul. The message reads; “The NFKI Board and Staff wish to convey our deepest sympathies on the passing of Paul Temcio. We are grateful for the time and dedication Paul gave to the foundation and to the kidney patients throughout Illinois. Wishing your family healing during this time.

When Paul was invovled with NKFI, he helped with initiatives, fundraising and spreading awareness. Paul and I attended the annual Kidney Gala and silent auction. We went to events where the NKFI vehicles came to provide free screenings for kidney disease. We went to golf outings and heard speakers tell their inspirational stories. We attended many walks in Chicago to bring awareness to kidney disease and donation. It was an honor for Paul (and myself) to be involved with a cause so close to our hearts. What a kind and supportive gesture for the NFKI board to send a Peace Lily plant to our family in honor of Paul.

Before moving from Illinois to Arizona after Paul’s passing, I gave away all my beloved houseplants. I could not bear giving up the Peace Lily though. I kept it alive during our time in extended stay hotels. I cared for it in the car on the cross country drive from Illinois to Arizona.

Once in my home in Arizona though, the delicate petals of the plant began to brown. I tried to regulate the light, water and temperature to make the plant happy. Basically, the information on the web says that it could be too much water or not enough, too much sunlight or not enough. An area is too drafty or not the right temperature.

So many variables made it tricky to figure out.

These are the different things involved in keeping a Peace Lily houseplant happy.

Important Growing Tips for Peace Lilies:

  • These plants grow best under florescent light or indirect sunlight. (mine is in preferred lighting: the middle of a room near a skylight with filtered light)
  • Plant roots need drainage at the base of their pot so they are not exposed to sitting water at the bottom of the pot. (This advice goes for most every house plant though.)
  • Have to stay moist (sorry for offending people with that word) and never get dried out. (When soil pulls away from the sides of the pot it is too late).
  • Figure out your own watering schedule that keeps your Peace Lily’s soil constantly watered but not too wet. (Providing a little water every three days keeps it consistently watered. Some people offered the suggestion of using ice cubes to slow water, but in Arizona it is too hot. Yes, even indoors!) 
  • Use potting soil with plant food/fertilizer mixed in to provide nourishment. (But too much causes burns from over use of chemicals/salts.)
  • Peace Lilies prefer 70-80 degree temperatures and do worse in cooler temperatures.

Here is the most important thing that I learned. It is the secret to what was happening to mine. (I want to credit Plantophiles for the information).

Peace Lilly flowers have a growing pattern. The winter months trigger growth and the blooms are plentiful during the spring. (Mine started turning brown in the middle of summer when the blooming season was over.) At this point the brown flowers are normal because they don’t live forever. It is suggested that the stem of the dead flower be trimmed off at the base of the plant. Peace Lily flowers are green, then bright white, then a more creamy color and then turn brown. This is a normal cycle and if you are following the other tips above, only have to do with growth and not with plant care. Hooray! I wasn’t killing this plant after all. It was just going though its process. I trimmed the dead flowers and surprise, a new one popped up!

I am so glad that my plant is still healthy and thriving.

Do you have a favorite houseplant with a story behind it?

Now that you know the secrets to taking care of them, you can get your own Peace Lily at plants.com