How to Increase Your Peace Lilies Longevity
Peace lilies are one of the most gifted houseplants in the indoor plant space. And it isn’t hard to see why. They are the epitome of beauty, with tall, slender pure white flowers shooting up from their glossy deep green foliage. It is natural to question their longevity, as with most beautiful things in our lives. More specifically, how long do peace lilies live? Can they live forever?
You can expect to enjoy its company for an average of three to five years, providing you care for your peace lily houseplant by nourishing it with water, light, and food. We understand this may not be the news you were hoping for. The good news is there are reports from other gardeners who claim to have had peace lilies for over a decade. And we’ll discuss ways you can extend the longevity of your peace lily; more on that later.
Welcome to today’s feature article at the Garden Bench Top. We’ll explore peace lilies and their life expectancy indoors and outside in the garden. You can also expect to discover:
- peace lilies and their average lifespan,
- methods for extending their longevity, and
- examples of older peace lilies (to give you some inspiration).
So grab a coffee and get comfortable because we’re about to get intimate with peace lilies.
How Long Do Peace Lilies Live Indoors?
As we mentioned earlier, peace lilies have an average life expectancy of 3-5 years indoors. This is assuming you are doing your part in the process, ensuring plenty of water and light, and feeding it with a good all-purpose fertilizer every six weeks.
By reputation, peace lilies are considered easy-to-care-for houseplants. And in truth, they are. However, easy-to-care doesn’t translate to neglect. They still require regular attention and maintenance if you want to get the most out of your peace lily.
How Long Do Peace Lilies Live Outdoors?
The life expectancy of a peace lily living outdoors is slightly harder to predict.
Traditionally, peace lilies are associated with a houseplant as they are a sucker for consistency in their environment. They are extremely sensitive to changes and can quickly go from a contented plant to looking like they are on death’s doorstep overnight.
This is why peace lilies are often referred to as drama queens in plant communities and forums.
Now imagine how often the temperamental weather changes outside. Where we live, it isn’t uncommon to experience four seasons in one day!
As you can appreciate, sudden weather changes can detrimentally impact outdoor peace lilies. This can often result in peace lilies shriveling and dying within a short time.
However, if a peace lily is in a well-protected position away from wind tunnels and surrounded by other ground-dwelling plants, all its base requirements are met (light and water). A peace lily can thrive, often outliving an indoor peace lily plant.
Oldest Peace Lily – Examples
To give you some hope and inspiration, we thought it would be nice to showcase some examples of world gardeners with peace lilies that have outlived their average lifespan.
10-Year-Old Peace Lily
The aunty must be doing something right! Check out this 10-year-old peace lily at a Reddit user’s (sharifood) aunty’s house. It has doubled the average life expectancy of an indoor peace lily house plant and rewarded its owner with a bounty of blooms.
9-Year-Old Peace Lily
Here is another photo from the Reddit forum shared by user FluffyBeethoven. This stunning peace lily belongs to another relative, but a bit closer to the family tree, FluffyBeethoven’s mother. What this peace lily lacks in blooms makes up for in size. It has to be close to 3 feet in diameter!
30-year-old Peace Lily
We’ve saved the best for last. Check out this magnificent effort by Reddit User Intelligent-Taylor27. This proud peace lily owner claims to have a peace lily that is 30 years old! They deserve a medal or a certificate, at the very least. And check out how tall those peace lily flowers are!
Of course, they could be lying, but we did ask ourselves what they could gain by lying. Even if they are massaging the truth, it is an impressive specimen, and we’d be proud to own a peace lily like the one in the image above.
How to Get Your Peace Lily to Live Longer
It may be stating the obvious, but the best way to ensure your peace lily stays a member of your home is to care for it like it is your baby.
But to ensure you’ve got all your bases covered with your care regiment, here are our recommendations for keeping your peace lily alive for a long time.
One of the most critical elements to get right with peace lilies (or all plants in general) is they are set in soil suitable for their needs. Peace lilies insist on well-drained soil. They are susceptible to root rot, a fungal disease that thrives in overly wet and soggy soil.
We recommend using soil high in organic materials such as peat or sphagnum moss. These materials are perfect for retaining enough water for your houseplants, but at the same time, allow any excess water to flow freely out of the drainage holes of your pot.
Check out the recipe we use for our indoor plant’s soil HERE.
Water – Not too Much, Not too Little, Just Right.
Yes, keeping peace lilies well-watered is like satisfying Goldilocks. We are starting to see how they earned their drama queen reputation.
Signs that your peace lily needs more water are:
- When their leaves begin to droop or become limp, or
- the topsoil is dry when you stick your finger into the first inch of potting mix (don’t know how to do the soil moisture finger test? Check out the steps HERE).
Using the right soil (above) will also help satiate these fussy plants’ water needs.
Light – Glorious Light
The other critical piece of the puzzle to keep your peace lily living longer is getting the lighting conditions perfect.
Peace lilies require an abundance of indirect light. Direct sunlight is too intense for these delicate souls and will likely burn the leaves or dehydrate them by evaporating the water content from the leaves and soil.
There are many resources around claiming peace lilies will live in low light conditions. It is true they will survive in low light. However, they will not thrive. And in the end, if your goal is to keep your peace lily to live as long as possible, only the optimal conditions will do.
Peace lilies require plenty of indirect sunlight.
Let’s Get Humid
Humidity also plays a crucial role in keeping your peace lily around for longer. As tropical evergreen plants, peace lilies love a bit of humidity. Maintaining a medium humidity level of 50-60 percent on a hygrometer will keep your lily happy.
Like the peace lily, tropical plants generally thrive under warm temperatures between 68-85° Fahrenheit (20-29° Celsius). Temperature also plays into the humidity factor. When temperatures drop, humidity also tends to fall.
Avoid temperatures below 45° Fahrenheit (7° Celsius), as this is far too cold for a peace lily, which will quickly weaken and die.
Use an all-purpose liquid fertilizer and feed your peace lily once every six weeks while watering. You can increase your feeding during the blooming periods of the year, around early summer.
Peace lilies are not fussy eaters, so that a general fertilizer will provide all the nutrients they require to stay strong and healthy.
Regular Inspection Required
Stay on top of your peace lily’s health by inspecting them on a regular basis.
We always give them a good once-through when we water them. This includes checking under leaves and inspecting the topsoil by rubbing it between our fingers (go on – get your hands dirty!).
Performing regular inspections will pick up any pests that may be lurking in your peace lily. It will also identify any diseases early on, meaning you can treat your peace lily promptly.
In our books, prevention is the best strategy to ensure your peace lily enjoys a long, peaceful (excuse the pun) life.
Re-Pot Every Year
Okay, we know re-potting every year can sound daunting, but if you are serious about keeping your peace lily around, this is a step that must not be overlooked.
Re-potting your peace lily allows you to inspect the root ball and ensure no root rot is developed (a disease peace lilies are prone to).
We recommend re-potting in spring so you set your peace lily up for a bumper growing season.
How Long Do Peace Lilies Live – Common Question
Can a peace lily live longer than five years?
Absolutely YES – if a peace lily is provided with the essential base requirements, it can last well over a decade. Base requirements include plenty of indirect light, well-watered, regularly fed, and housed in a well-drained quality potting mix.
What do you do with a peace lily after it dies?
If the unfortunate has happened, and your peace lily has died, we recommend you give your beautiful houseplant a proper send-off. You can choose to compost it or lay it beneath a tall tree to decompose naturally. Return it to where it once began, the ground, so that that other plants may benefit from its demise.
Can peace lilies live forever?
No – like all beautiful living things, there is but one guarantee – they will die. Give your peace lily the best and most extended life by caring for it like a family member. Coddle it, sing to it and do everything in your power to ensure it has a good long life.