In nature, peace lilies are grown outdoors in tropical climates. Yet, most of us, who do not live in tropical places, know them as potted plants. I will teach you how to make the best possible soil for these lovely plants, so you can give them the life they deserve.
Soil with excellent drainage and aeration capacity is best for indoor peace lily. Besides drainage capacity, the soil needs to retain enough moisture for the root system to function properly. Also, the soil should be capable of meeting the nutrient requirements of a peace lily.
Get ready to become an expert on peace lily soil. Throughout this text, you will learn what are all the necessary requirements to make one. I will explain the whole process and guide you through it, step by step.
- Peace Lily Soil Requirements
- Peace Lily Soil Composition
- Soil Compaction
- Best Peace Lily Soil
- How to Make Peace Lily Soil (DIY)
- Repotting Peace Lily Soil
Peace Lily Soil Requirements
Peace lilies thrive in soils that drain well but stay moist. I recommend you water your peace lily and let the water drain out of the drainage holes, out of the plate.
Once the top part of the soil is dry, it is safe to water it again. That way you will keep the soil damp, but not soggy.
When it comes to pH levels in soil, peace lilies prefer acidic to mildly acidic soils. Too alkaline or acidic soil makes the nutrients unavailable to the root system.
If your pH tester reads anything between 5.5 to 6.5, keep it that way and your peace lilies will thrive.
For peace lilies, the soil needs to be damp at all times. That way, the roots have enough water to keep the plant healthy. Damp soil will let your lilies grow their beautiful white blossoms and keep the leaves shiny.
You should be careful, however. Too much water can make the soil soggy, which can lead to leaves turning brown.
Here is an article on how to fix overwatered peace lily. It will walk you through step by step process.
It is important to loosen up the soil from time to time and let the air flow before watering it.
Loosening up the soil allows a better distribution of water and keeps the soil moist.
Aerating your peace lily’s soil should be simple. The best way to do it is to poke a few holes in the soil with a chopstick, water it and let the water drain out completely. Your peace lily will love you for it.
The best kind of soil for peace lilies would be the one that is rich in nutrients. They thrive in the soil which is rich in nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. Fertilizers containing these nutrients would be the best option for your peace lilies.
You could buy the premade liquid fertilizer, or make your own out of natural ingredients.
Homemade compost or even grass clippings would enrich the soil with the right nutrients. Yes, it is that simple and your peace lilies will thrive.
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Peace Lily Soil Composition
Before choosing the best kind of soil for your peace lily, it is important to know the right components. Your peace lily’s soil should include some of the following:
- peat moss or coco coir,
- clay pebble,
- mineral components,
- leaf humus,
If you can’t find some of the components, don’t worry. Any soil for houseplants will work fine, but make sure that it can hold moisture and drain well.
You can also add some of the components from the list into the ready-made soil you bought. Gardening has no strict rules, so get creative and have fun.
As we have already learned, peace lilies prefer frequent watering. Because of that, people often have issues with soil compaction.
Regular aeration can help with this problem, as it gently loosens the soil. However, frequent aeration can damage the roots of your peace lilies.
That is why you should make your soil a fast-draining one. There are a few ingredients that can help you avoid this problem, listed in the table below.
|Vermiculite||A mineral ideal for peace lilies because they need frequent watering. Not only does it help with the soil aeration, but it also holds and releases minerals when the plant needs them. Because of the additional nutrients it provides, I prefer to use this one for my peace lilies.|
|Perlite||Another great ingredient that improves aeration. It is a rock material that provides amazing drainage. Its purpose as a soil additive is not to provide nutrients, but simply to help with drainage and aeration.|
|Sand||Coarse sand is one of the cheapest ingredients which you can add to your soil to improve drainage. It is light-weight, it doesn’t compact and it breaks up the soil clods.|
You shouldn’t add all the ingredients listed to your soil. Choosing one or mixing sand with perlite or vermiculite would be enough. You still want your soil to hold some moisture. (Source: Extension Gardener | NC State Extension)
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Best Peace Lily Soil
We have covered all the bits and pieces of peace lily’s soil needs. Now, we can combine them into one perfect soil mix recipe.
The most important thing to remember is that peace lilies need well-draining soil. Adding sand, vermiculite, perlite, or any other component which improves drainage is a must.
Peace lilies thrive on slightly acidic soils, so keep the pH levels anywhere from 5.6 to 6.5. To make the soil acidic, it is best to use peat moss. If your pH meter reads less than 5.6, you can use lime to reduce the acidity.
For a natural fertilizer, you can use home-made humus. Adding humus to your soil mixture can help your peace lilies grow as it feeds them with the right nutrients.
A great way to keep the soil moist, but still allow the roots to breathe, is adding coir to the mixture.
Not only does it help with controlling moisture and airflow, but it also reduces acidity. Coconut fiber also helps with nutritional value. It is a great component and I highly recommend adding it into your mixture.
Overall, the most important thing is to make one layer of the soil out of the material that doesn’t hold water.
You should do this even if you choose to use ready-made soil mixtures. It will allow your plant to breathe and it will get rid of the excess water.
Ready-made Soil Mix
If you have no time to spend on making your own soil mix, or just want an easy way out, I’ve got you covered.
Here are two of my favorite ones that I have used for my peace lilies, so feel free to choose one and try it yourself.
Succulent & Cactus Soil Mix: this is the one I use the most and highly recommend to everyone who is trying to find a good mix. It is made of non-organic components.
Because of that, it provides perfect drainage and water retention. Not only that, but it allows airflow and is rich in nutrients. Doesn’t that sound like a dream come true for peace lily lovers?
Organic Succulent and Cactus Soil Mix: this is another great mix. This one is 100% organic and well-draining. It provides the right degree of moisture and prevents root rot. It is optimized for a pH of 5.5, which makes it a good option for peace lilies.
How to Make Peace Lily Soil (DIY)
If you are still confused about how to make the soil for your peace lily, it is perfectly normal. There are a lot of things we have covered, but I will guide you through the process of actually making the soil.
Gather all the necessary ingredients and tools, and let’s make your peace lily’s home together. Here is the step by step guide on how to make the best peace lily soil.
1. Choose the right pot.
For your peace lily to survive, you will need a pot with drainage holes. This is essential because water must be able to drain from the pot completely.
That way you will avoid root rot which could lead to your plant dying. Any material would be fine. Peace lilies can survive in clay, ceramic or plastic pots.
This step is important as coco coir and peat moss hold moisture. When plant roots need water, peat moss will release the moisture for them.
It is also great for holding nutrients so they don’t rinse out once you water your peace lily. The same goes for coco coir.
Whatever you choose to use, it should make up around 50% of the total volume of the mix.
3. Add components that improve drainage
No matter if you choose vermiculite, perlite, or sand, now is the time to add your component of choice into the mix. It will help the air flow through the soil and improve drainage.
It should make up about 30% of the soil, but don’t be afraid to add more. I prefer using vermiculite to improve drainage. It provides peace lilies with additional nutrition, but any choice would be fine.
4. Add nutrition to the soil and mix together
No fertilizer can replace the nutrients from the soil. Peace lilies take nutrients from the soil, so this step is crucial for the overall health of your plant.
Add home-made humus or worm castings into your soil mixture for nutritional value. It should make up the remaining 20% of the mixture. After that, it is time to mix everything together.
Adding a layer of charcoal is an optional step. I prefer to do it because it helps with the odor and toxins. It also helps improve the drainage capacity and retain necessary moisture.
If you don’t have charcoal, it’s completely fine. Your mixture is good as it is and your peace lily will thrive either way.
6. Pour the mix and plant your peace lily
Your soil mix is ready to use! Add it into the pot and gently place your peace lily in it. Be careful not to damage the roots and make sure to cover them completely.
Water your plant and check if the water drains out of the drainage holes. If it does, congratulations! You successfully made soil for your beautiful peace lily.
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Repotting Peace Lily Soil
There are several indicators of your peace lily being ready for repotting. For example, if the roots are sticking out at the surface of the soil, the pot became too small for your plant.
The best way to check this would be to slide your plant from the pot and check the roots. If they are root bound, your peace lily will need a bigger home.
If your plant is not severely root bound, it would be best to wait and repot it during spring. If you’re dealing with a serious case of root bounding, any time of the year is fine.
Root bounding is not the only reason why your peace lily might need repotting. There are several reasons why that might be the case, and I will explain some of them.
Nutrient leaching occurs when the soil is too sandy. As the water drains, it rinses out the nutrients from the soil. This is often the case with pace lily soils. That is why it is important to include components that help hold moisture, as well.
If it does happen, you need to repot your plant. Do not use the same components as in the previous one. Consider adding a more organic matter this time. It holds water and nutrients much better than sandy soil.
When your peace lily’s soil is compacted, it is harder for it to take water and all the nutrients it needs. This leads to poor growth and wilting.
Compacted soil also blocks the airflow and makes it almost impossible for water to pass through. Both of these things are crucial for peace lilies to survive. That is why it is important to repot your plant as soon as you notice compaction.
Salt build-up occurs when you over-fertilize your peace lily or use the wrong watering technique. If this is the case, you will notice white substance at the top of the soil.
Be sure not to over-fertilize your peace lily and to water it properly. Peace lilies get their nutrients from the soil. Because of that, minimal fertilization will be enough.
Changing up your fertilization and watering technique should help with the white matter. If it doesn’t, you should definitely repot your peace lily and start fresh.
Over-watering and poor drainage often lead to root rot when it comes to peace lilies.
Yellow, wilted leaves are one of the main indicators that your peace lily might be having root rot. This condition could be fatal for your plant if not treated immediately.
To treat root rot, it is best to trim off the parts of the root which are affected. Using the fungicide solution, gently disinfect the remaining parts. After that, your peace lily is ready to be repotted.
Here is another article which will walk you through easy to follow and step by step process to fix peace lily root rot.
When repotting, make sure to use a fresh soil mix and a new container. The one previously used is already infected. Re-using the soil mix or container would cause the same issue all over again.
Does peace lily like moist soil?
In nature, peace lilies grow in tropical places and enjoy humidity. Because of that, they need their soil to be constantly moist.
It is important to keep it moist, but not soggy. Too much water could cause root rot. When the first inch of the soil is dry, it is safe for you to water your pace lily.
Mixing together ingredients such as coir and sand helps with keeping the moisture. It also allows the excess water to drain out, which is ideal for peace lilies.
Can I use succulent soil for peace lily?
Succulent soil would be a great option for your peace lily. Succulent soils are made of ingredients that do not hold a lot of water but still keep the soil moist. They improve aeration, another important factor for a healthy peace lily plant.
If you are not sure how to make your own peace lily soil, don’t worry. Ready-made succulent soils have all the right components to serve as a perfect soil for your peace lily.
You can use cactus or succulent soil for your peace lily. To learn more check out my article on this.
Does peace lily like acidic soil?
Peace lilies prefer soils with pH levels varying from 5.6 to 6.5. Anything under 7.0 is considered acidic. To answer the question – yes, peace lilies prefer acidic to mildly acidic soils.
There are many ways to make your peace lily soil acidic. My favorite method is using the coffee grounds.
Adding them to the soil makes it slightly more acidic, but not too much. Since peace lilies prefer lower levels of acidity, I find this method works the best.
If your meter reads lower pH levels, you should reduce the acidity. Mixing lime with water and adding it to soil should help you keep the pH levels in check.