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Share to PinterestLight and Your Peace Lily: All You Need to Know
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Light and Your Peace Lily: All You Need to Know

By Staff Writer
Share to PinterestLight and Your Peace Lily: All You Need to Know

Peace lilies offer a lot in the way of home decor, with deep green, sometimes variegated, foliage and bold vertical blooms. Better still, this plant is easy to maintain, so it's great for beginners or people who lack a green thumb.

Like any flower, lighting plays a key part in the overall health and growth of peace lilies. Though they're adaptable, it's important to provide your plant with the ideal habitat. Sunlight vs. artificial light, indoor vs. outdoor growing: each has certain requirements to achieve success.


Positioning your plant indoors

Share to Pinterestblooming peace lily in a ceramic flowerpot
Maksym Ponomarenko / Getty Images

Common sense dictates that the closer a plant is to a window, the more sun it will receive. But peace lilies don't do well with direct light, so you'll need to find an area that isn't too harsh.

Southern exposures have strong light, while northern exposures have less intensity. Keep this in mind when seeking out your plant's location. You may have to test out a few locations before you find the perfect spot.


Seasonal lighting: spring and summer

Share to Pinterestpeace lily plant
Sofia Garavano / Getty Images

Some peace lilies have a seasonal cycle, while others bloom more frequently; however minor, the seasons do play a part in your plant's life. As a general rule, peace lilies do well with low or moderate amounts of sun in the warmer months. The more indirect light, the more likely you are to see optimal foliage growth and bountiful flowers.


Seasonal lighting: autumn and winter

Share to PinterestWoman Holding a Houseplant (Spathiphyllum)
FreshSplash / Getty Images

Your peace lily is even more forgiving once the weather gets cooler. It'll be fine maintaining the same type of light as the warmer months provide, but it'll be equally at home in a northern window or another area with minimal lighting. Just be aware that the sun is lower in the winter, so spots that got good indirect light in the summer may not offer enough sun during the shorter days.


Quirky factors that affect light

Share to PinterestSpathiphyllum home plant in straw pot stands on a windowsill
Тодорчук Екатерина / Getty Images

What type of curtains or blinds do you have? When was the last time you cleaned your windows? Does your room have mirrors? What colors are your walls? All of these factors come into play when you're investigating ideal lighting conditions for your peace lily (and any other plants).

Mirrors and white or pastel walls will create additional light. A sheer curtain or streaky window can diffuse the sun. Every little thing counts, so take this into consideration when evaluating your plant's environment. A good test method for natural lighting is observing shadows: the sharper the cast, the more direct the light.


Surviving in shade

Share to Pinterestgreen spathiphyllum house plant
senata / Getty Images

Some people refer to peace lilies as "closet plants" because they can survive in low- to no-light situations. But surviving and thriving are two different things: flowers will not bud without light, and the leaves will also appear somewhat lackluster.

There are dozens of varieties of peace lilies, with several known for their stunning foliage. Some owners choose to focus their attention on this part of the plant versus having it expend incredible energy flowering. If you want to emphasize the leaves and devote full attention to their beauty, you can play around with positioning, ambiance, and low-lighting to find a suitable environment.


Artificial light: LEDs

Share to PinterestWooden shelves in the form of boxes with built-in LED lighting for indoor plants and the blooming flowers of Spathiphyllum in it

LED lights provide the red and blue wavelengths that plants require. They're an excellent source of artificial lighting when used properly. They're also energy-efficient and can be controlled for the right brightness, amount, and intensity of light.

Use a high-quality product for the best results. Monitor your plant's position and adjust as needed, remembering to periodically rotate the pot. Keep a timed schedule so your peace lily has an established routine.


Artificial light: fluorescent

Share to PinterestSpathiphyllum
Natalia Kokhanova / Getty Images

More efficient than incandescent, fluorescent lighting produces the ideal amount of ultraviolet rays for a peace lily. This is why the species makes such a great office plant! Whether you have overhead lamps or are using bulbs in a greenhouse or other area, keep the peace lily 6 to 12 inches away from the bulb for maximum growth potential.


Outdoor light: potted plants

Share to Pinterestwhite flower of plant Spathiphyllum (aka Spath or peace lilies)
tg50 / Getty Images

When keeping peace lilies as houseplants, it's perfectly okay to give them some outside time. While the weather is warmer, they'll enjoy what nature has to offer, as long as the right conditions are met.

Your peace lily should be kept in the shade. Porches, sheltered patios, and under trees are ideal spots. Your plant will receive indirect sunlight without the threat of being scorched. But keep in mind that if the weather gets chilly, your plant won't be happy. When the temperatures dip, it's time to bring your flower inside to avoid harm.


Outdoor light: planted peace lilies

Share to Pinterestpeace lilies

If you live in USDA hardiness zone 11 or 12, you can grow peace lilies outdoors. They thrive in this warm and humid climate, but the same sunlight rules apply. Make sure to plant them in an area that doesn't get hit by full or even partial sun. Shady spots will allow your peace lilies to receive a low but steady dose of indirect light.


Signs of too much light

Share to PinterestOne yellow withered leaf on decorative home plant called Spathiphyllum.
AHatmaker / Getty Images

Like many other plants, peace lilies display illness or distress in their leaves. What makes things complicated is that these signs can mean a number of things, so plant owners have to play detective to figure out what's going on.

After learning about lighting, learn to determine if your flower is receiving too much sun. Indicators include brown or yellow leaves, curling foliage, stunted growth, and blackened, necrotic spots. If your peace lily has any of these outward signs, move it immediately to an area with less light. Then, monitor your plant to see if it improves over the coming days and weeks.



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