How To Prune A Peace Lily For Better Growth

As houseplant fans, we should all learn how to prune a peace lily. It’s easy to do and an occasional little trim will keep it shapely and healthy.

peace lily in a black plant pot by a window
(Image credit: Alamy)

How To Prune A Peace Lily: Everything You Need To Know

If you love indoor plants, you probably already have this popular houseplant in your home, but do you know how to prune a peace lily? Peace lilies rank high among the most popular plants for growing indoors. Their large, glossy foliage adds dramatic color and vitality to a room.

Under ideal conditions, you can expect a peace lily to quickly fill its container in only a few years and then need to be divided. But in the meantime, how do you prune a peace lily? Do these lovelies need to be trimmed or cut back? This article will discuss all you need to know about how to trim a peace lily plant.

Why Should You Prune a Peace Lily?

Properly pruning peace lily plants will keep them healthy and looking their best. Although pruning is only seldom needed, if you do want to cut back a peace lily it will help it to produce new growth. Peace lilies can also be pruned to maintain the desired size and overall shape of the plants.

Best Time to Prune a Peace Lily

It’s best to prune potted peace lilies during their periods of active growth to help them produce new flowers, buds, and foliage more efficiently. Plants grown outdoors can also be pruned at this time to maintain the appearance of your flower beds and prevent disease. If your peace lily is overgrown or has become unmanageable, it may also be pruned back in the fall, but this aggressive technique is seldom needed for plants that have been well-maintained.

How to Prune a Peace Lily

Pruning a peace lily plant begins by determining which parts of the plant should be removed. With a focus on the plant’s health, start by removing any dead or decaying foliage. This includes any leaves that have started to yellow or show signs of damage or disease. Peace lilies should also be deadheaded throughout the season. Removing old or faded flower stalks from the plant prevents the production of seed.

To begin pruning you need a sharp pair of pruners, or secateurs, and a pair of gloves. Peace lily plants are toxic, so take precautions when handling them. Each leaf you plan to remove can be followed back to the soil level where you can snip and detach the foliage from the plant.

Note: Peace lilies are toxic to dogs and cats. Be sure to remove any pruned leaves and stems from the area and position the plant where your pet isn’t able to contact it.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Far Back Can You Cut a Peace Lily?

Take care to only trim back to the base of the petiole. While some experts suggest avoiding severe pruning, you can use this technique to revitalize plants that have been neglected or have become overgrown.

Can I Trim Brown Tips Off My Peace Lily?

It is not uncommon to find that one’s peace lily plants have become tipped with brown. There are several reasons that this may occur, most relating directly to cultural conditions. Stressors, such as improper watering, are most likely to be the culprit. To remove brown tips, remove the entire leaf or simply cut away the damaged segments from the foliage.

Check out our Complete Guide to Houseplants.

Liz Baessler
Senior Editor

The only child of a horticulturist and an English teacher, Liz Baessler was destined to become a gardening editor. She has been with Gardening Know how since 2015, and a Senior Editor since 2020. She holds a BA in English from Brandeis University and an MA in English from the University of Geneva, Switzerland. After years of gardening in containers and community garden plots, she finally has a backyard of her own, which she is systematically filling with vegetables and flowers.