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How to Prune a Peace Lily? The Things You Should know

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Peace lilies are a popular house plant, which are essentially “domesticated” tropical plants adapted to growing within the confines of a pot.

Pruning is an essential task that should not be overlooked in order to keep the plant looking good and blooming when it should.

Pruning a peace lily will require using a sterilized scissors or shares to trim brown or yellowing leaves from the plant. Leaf removal should be done at the very base of the plant so the energy gained through photosynthesis can be used where it is needed.

Pruning is an easy task; you can do it quickly once you know the right way.

This article is a detailed guide on effectively pruning the peace lily, keeping in mind all the essential things you should know.

What Does Pruning Do?

How to Prune a Peace lily

Removing foliage from a plant can feel like you are damaging the plant. However, you are actually doing the plant some good.

Pruning is when you selectively remove branches from the plant. The goal is to remove unwanted leaves, which will help improve the plant’s structure.

The plant’s structure is represented by lush green foliage and blooms (when it’s ready).

Additionally, it deters pests and diseases from spreading to the entire plant and promotes the plant’s natural shape and healthy growth.

It Aids the plant in Redirecting Energy to Where It’s Needed.

Energy is required for such healthy growth, and here is where the plant will draw nutrients from the soil.

When there are yellowing or browning leaves on the plant, the energy absorbed will also be used to fuel the dying leaves, which can deprive the foliage that need it the most.

By removing dead leaves and not-so-healthy ones, all of the nutrients absorbed from the soil can be converted into energy for producing flowers and leaves.

Pruning a Peace Lily is Important Because:

  • It encourages healthy growth and helps prevent diseases or insects from spreading through the plant.
  • It also allows for better air circulation around the base of the plant, keeping leaves dry.
  • Pruning also allows for better light penetration, which makes the plant grow faster.
  • Promotes new shoots and buds, giving your plant more chances to bloom.

How to Prune a Peace Lily Plant?

There are different types of pruners available online and offline. You can choose one based on its size, shape, and price.

A good-quality pruner must be able to easily cut through thick stems without causing damage to the plant. It should also come with a blunt tip to avoid cutting the stem too deep.

It is best to buy a pruner with a long handle because it will make trimming off the leaves easier.

You can also go for a pair of gardening gloves, as they provide better protection against cuts.

Using these tools, you can prune your peace lily plant within minutes.

Before you begin pruning, clean your tools first. Use a soft brush to wipe away dirt and debris. Wipe off excess water before you start pruning.

Steps for Pruning a Peace Lily

  1. Choose a location that has adequate sunlight but does not get direct heat.
  2. Make sure you don’t place the plant in areas where it may get wet during rainy days.
  3. After cleaning your tools, take out your pruner. A pruner comprises two parts, a blade, and a handle.
  4. Hold the pruner vertically, and hold the blade firmly between your thumb and forefinger.
  5. Gently push down on the top end of the blade until you see some resistance.
  6. Slowly move the blade down as far as possible while holding firm pressure on the top end.
  7. Continue moving the blade downward, making small strokes at a time.
  8. Once you reach the bottom part of the leaf, use the blade’s edge to lift it off the leaf gently.
  9. Repeat this process until you’ve removed all the leaves that have been chosen to be pruned.

Your peace lilies may look healthier after pruning, but you’ll notice the difference only once they’re planted in their final position.

Removal of Surrounding Shoots

Peace Lillies spread by sprouting through rhizomes, which are horizontal “stems” that grow underneath the surface of the soil.

This makes them “bushy” over time, similar to prayer-plants.

Removal of the extra leaves will help the main plant shoot flourish and get more access to the limited nutrients within the pot, while the extracted plants can be used to propagate new plants.

So this is a win-win situation.

To remove the overgrown shoots:

This would be similar to reporting the plant, except now you have the ability to see the rhizomes and selectively remove them.

  1. Water the peace lily a before repotting. This makes the soil moist and easy to work with.
  2. Fill a container about one-third full of fresh, high quality potting mix.
  3. Carefully remove the peace lily from its container.
  4. If the roots are tightly compacted, loosen them carefully with your fingers so they can spread out.
  5. Look for the attached rhizomes and make a clean cut using a cutting shares.
  6. Set the peace lily into the new pot.
  7. Add or subtract potting mix to the bottom as needed, keeping the top of the root ball should be about an inch (2.5 cm.) below the rim of the pot.
  8. Fill in around the root ball with potting mix, then firm the potting mix lightly with your fingers.

The extracted shoots can be potting into a new pot and now you have a brand new peace lily plant.

When to Prune a Peace Lily

Peace lilies are one of the most popular and beautiful plants for indoor gardening. They have long, sword-shaped leaves. They are easy to grow and maintain.

Peace lilies must be pruned as and when required to keep them healthy and best looking. But often, there remains ambiguity on the question of when peace lilies should be pruned.

Before starting, an important thing to note is that you should not wait too long to prune the peace lily. They can become overgrown and unhealthy.

The best time to prune a peace lily is in the spring or early summer before it blooms. So by pruning your peace lilies, more blooms will be produced.

Pruning should be done regularly because the plant can grow too tall and topple over. Sometimes, the leaves can get too long and droopy.

This means that the plant has not been given enough water and needs more frequent watering. When this happens, it indicates the time to prune your peace lily.

If not too long or droopy, then if the leaves have dried out, the time to prune the peace lilies has arrived.

Even yellow, brown, damaged and dried leaves are the reasons for pruning your peace lilies as soon as possible for their better and healthy growth.

Soil amendments like compost may also be needed for their repair. Whenever you see that the tip of leaves is turning brown, then immediately start pruning.

Because brown leaf tips show root problems, root issues result from overcrowding, overfertilization, or excessive or low amount of water.

Overgrown plants must be pruned off because they take up too much space.

Hence, for all aesthetical and better health purposes, peace lilies can be pruned according to the different circumstances listed in this section of the article.

Where to Cut the Leaves of a Peace Lily

Peace lilies should be pruned at the base of the plant. You should try to cut it off near the bottom as much as possible. This is to ensure the healthy growth of the plant.

While cutting the leaves of peace lily, always try to cut it wholly. Because leaving half part of the leaf in the stem won’t grow anything new.

The cleaner and closer the cut is to the base of the plant, the more you save energy for the rest of the peace lily.

Also, while planning to cut the leaves of peace lily, avoid cutting more than ⅓ part of the leaves in the plant in one go as it is seriously going to cause stress.

Don’t do the cutting in one go, do it in stages by giving them rest in between a few months. If you want to save your plant, don’t hack off the massive chunk of the leaves in one go.

How to Tell That a Peace Lily is Overgrown

If you want to know whether your peace lily is overgrown, note the following things:

The leaves of the peace lily will be yellow or turn brown if it is overgrown.

Peace lilies are often overgrown due to neglect, so if the plant is flowering profusely, it shows that it needs more light and water.

Peace lilies are often overgrown because they have been potted in too small a container. If the leaves are touching the ground or there is not enough space to grow, they need a new pot with more room.

The peace lily must be watered every two weeks or when the soil feels dry. It must also be fertilized every three months with a balanced fertilizer like 10-10-10.

Peace lilies are popular as houseplants because they are easy to care for and can tolerate a wide range of light conditions.

They also require little maintenance, but it might be time to take action if you notice that your peace lily is becoming overgrown.

What to Use for Pruning a Peace Lily

Pruning a peace lily is essential in keeping the plant healthy and beautiful. When choosing the right tool, you need to consider your safety, the health of the plant, and how much time you want to spend on pruning.

You should use sharp-edged tools like scissors to cut off long stems close to the ground. For thin stems, you may use shears or garden clippers.

Ideally, the following are the tools or things you should have beside you if you want to prune a peace lily. The tools or things required for pruning a peace lily are:

  • A sharp pair of scissors
  • Pruning shears
  • A spray bottle filled with water and diluted liquid fertilizer
  • A potting soil
  • A disinfectant

These tools can be used together effectively to prune the peace lily plant. Follow the below steps to prune the peace lily plant effectively and efficiently.

  1. Cut off dead leaves hanging down, then cut the stem back to a healthy point. You can use a pair of sharp scissors, pruning shears, or a pair of clippers.
  2. While you cut the different parts, disinfect the blades each time. This ensures that if there is any disease susceptibility in that part, it doesn’t spread to other areas of the plant.
  3. Pruning of the leaves or plant must be done at the base. Avoid cutting the half portion as there is no use for the left-out portion. All the energy of your peace plant will save that half portion that is useless. Therefore, save energy by pruning it from the base.
  4. Trim off any growing leaves on the pots, and ensure you don’t cut into the root ball.
  5. Scoop out the old potting mix as much as possible without damaging roots, and replace it with a new potting mix or fresh soil.
  6. Water the newly planted peace lily plant and give it adequate fertilizer for further nourishment.

This is how you can effectively prune a peace lily plant using these simple tools in simple steps.

Is it Ok to Cut Back a Peace Lily

Peace lilies are often given as housewarming gifts. They are also popular for their ability to thrive in low and warm temperatures.

However, their flowers can be a little overwhelming for some people. So, is it ok to cut back a peace lily?

The answer to this question is not as simple as a yes or no. The answer is more complicated, but it will depend on the situation that you are in and what you want to do with the peace lily.

If you are trying to transplant a peace lily from one container to another, it is best to cut the root ball in half so the roots can grow into their new container better.

If you are trying to make your peace lily bloom better, it might be best to cut back some of its stems so that they can have more energy and produce more blooms.

Therefore, cutting back on the plant is an excellent option to produce more blooms. But if you want the plant to grow taller, leave it alone.

Ideally, peace lily plants should be cut back when the blossoms fade or wilt, leaves are turning brown or yellow, plants have overgrown, or they are taking up too much space.

Therefore, it is possible to cut back the peace lily. It all depends upon the intended purpose of cutting back. Cut back the peace lily with caution.

Can You Remove Dead Peace Lily Leaves

The task isn’t very complicated. Yes, it is possible to remove dead peace lily leaves. They should be extracted from the plant as soon as possible. If you don’t, the plant will be more susceptible to pests and diseases.

Though these leaves are not toxic or harmful to humans or pets (except dogs and cats because of calcium oxalates), they can cause considerable damage to plants.

As dead leaves decompose, they release acids that could damage your plant’s roots and promote disease.

Hence, it becomes imperative to remove the dead peace lily leaves. They can be removed by pulling them off with your hands or by using a pair of scissors.

To cut the dead peace lily leaves more smoothly, follow the below steps:

  1. Try to remove the dead peace lily leaves by hand. Hold the stem of the leaf and follow it back to the mainstream of the plant.
  2. Pull the leaves of the plant downward to detach them from the plant.
  3. Although the leaves of the plant are removed easily by hand, if the stem resists the tug, use a pair of scissors.
  4. Cut the clip leaf stems close to the main stem with sharp scissors.
  5. Cut the leaf stems with caution. Never cut the main stem of the plant as it can cause damage to your peace lily plant.

Follow these above steps and take all the precautions while cutting the dead peace lily leaves. All of this is to ensure that there is a space for the healthy growth of the plants.

What Happens If you Don’t Cut Back your Peace Lily

If a peace lily plant is not pruned, the plant will grow and start to lose its vigor as the extra leaves (those that are yellow, with brown spots, and broken), which are not adding to its lushness, will also be still consuming nutrients which would otherwise be used by green leaves.

Plants can go long periods without being cut back, but there comes a point where the foliage can become overbearing for the support system for the plant, such as the soil, to continue to provide enough nutrients for the plant to flourish and grow healthy continually.

What Happens if you Overprune A Peace Lily

Any type of overgrowth requires constant pruning to maintain the aesthetic qualities of the plant, which greatly increases the cost of maintenance.

Excessive pruning causes an inordinate amount of interior or epicormic sprouts and diminished growth of the plant.

The peace lily will start to look frail and sparsely populated.

Plants get their energy from photosynthesis; this is where healthy leaves come into play. It’s o to remove those leaves which are yellowing and near the point of death because they will not be able to make food for the plant.

If too many of the leaves are removed, the plant will eventually suffocate and die.

Do All Varieties of Peace Lily Have to be Pruned

All peace lily plants have basically the same structure where the shoots sprout up and grow through rhizomes below the surface of the soil.

The difference between the varieties of peace lily plants is the leaf shapes and color as well as the shape of the flowers.

As a result, you can follow the same running procedure outlined in this article.

The Takeaway

Pruning a peace lily is a necessary task that must be done now and then to keep the peace lily healthy.

Knowing how to prune a peace lily is important, so you don’t kill the plant.

You must understand what happens when you do not prune your peace lily and how to avoid over-pruning without harming the plant. 

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