How to repot a peace lily: a step-by-step guide for these popular houseplants

Our guide on how to repot a peace lily will keep these pretty plants looking their best

peace lily
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Knowing how to repot a peace lily is a worthwhile skill if you have one of these beautiful houseplants in your home.

Peace lily care is super simple, so they're well-suited to even the most novice of indoor gardeners. With their green glossy leaves and white, exotic-looking flowers (which are actually spathes) they make a lovely addition to the corner of a room, a desk, or a mantelpiece.

Repotting is a key part of keeping these indoor plants looking their best: with help from the experts, we explain how to do it.

repotted peace lily

Fresh soil will give your peace lily nutrients to help it grow

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How to repot a peace lily in 5 simple steps

In his useful video on Facebook (opens in new tab), Jamie Butterworth, an ambassador for the RHS (opens in new tab), says repotting peace lilies is fantastic for their health as the plants really appreciate the refreshed soil.

There are some telltale signs that indicate when a peace lily needs repotting. Once you've spotted them, follow these simple steps:

  1. Select a new pot that is around two or three inches larger in diameter than the current pot. Be sure to choose a container with drainage holes in the bottom – there are plenty available on Amazon (opens in new tab).
  2. Improve drainage further by placing a handful of small rocks or pebbles at the bottom of the new pot. 
  3. Gently remove your peace lily from its current pot. It's best to wear gloves when handling these plants, as they are toxic. If the roots are pot-bound (tightly wrapped around the root ball), gently loosen them using your fingers.
  4. Put a layer of fresh potting mix into the pot, then place your peace lily in the center, planting it at the same depth as it was originally planted. Fill in the gaps with more soil and firm it down gently around the roots. 
  5. Place the repotted plant somewhere bright but with indirect sunlight. Feed monthly and keep the soil moist but not waterlogged. Regular misting is beneficial.

Top tip: Stephen Webb, editor and founder of Garden's Whisper (opens in new tab) says, 'Don't water the plant immediately after repotting it, as this can cause the roots to rot. Instead, wait a few days and then water as usual.'

repotting a peace lily

Choose a larger pot with drainage holes

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How often do peace lilies need repotting?

Part of knowing how to repot a peace lily correctly is knowing how often to do so.

According to Stephen Webb, 'peace lilies generally need to be repotted every one to two years, depending on their size and how quickly they grow. However, keeping an eye on your plant and repotting it as needed, rather than sticking to a strict schedule, is essential.'

For example, if you notice that your peace lily's roots are starting to crowd the pot, it's probably time to repot the plant.

repotting a peace lily

These houseplants usually need repotting every year or so

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Can you repot a peace lily while it's flowering?

You can repot these low-maintenance indoor plants while they're in bloom but ideally, you should wait until just before they've started flowering.  

Violet Joy Miller, a professional gardener and founder of Greeny Thumbs (opens in new tab), tells us that 'anytime is a good time to repot a peace lily, but it's best to do it in the springtime, so the plant can take advantage of the extra sunlight and warmer temperatures.

'If you do repot while the plant is flowering, be sure to handle the flowers gently so as not to damage them,' she adds.

peace lily

If possible, avoid repotting your peace lily when it's in flower

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Can you divide a peace lily before repotting it?

Just like dividing perennials, splitting up peace lilies can give them a new lease of life, and is simple to do. Plus, it's a great way of getting 'new plants' for free. 

All you need to do, once you've removed the plant from its pot, is gently prise it into sections (either using your hands or a sharp, clean knife). Make sure there are plenty of roots attached to each. Repot the sections as soon as possible, following the tips above, although you'll likely need smaller pots for each clump.

'Dividing peace lilies helps them regenerate,' says John Negus, an expert from Amateur Gardening. 'It is some years since I last split mine, so each division is well established.'

So, if your peace lily is looking overly congested and a little lackluster, it's worth dividing it up when you go to repot it. But do bear in mind that some leaf drop is natural, as John explains: 'It is quite natural for them to shed some of the older and unproductive leaves to concentrate energy into young and vibrant foliage.'

Anna writes about real estate, interior design, and gardening. Her work has appeared in Homes & Gardens, Livingetc, and many other publications in the US and the UK. Before embarking on her writing career, Anna taught English at university level and is the author of a book called London Writing of the 1930s. She currently splits her time between London and the Midwest US. She is an experienced outdoor and indoor gardener and has a passion for growing roses and Japanese maples in her outside space.

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