Why won't peace lily grow?

Kansas City, MO(Zone 5a)

I got a peace lily 1 1/2 yrs ago & it grew quite a bit at first. I waited until about 2-3months ago to put it in a huge pot. It still seems healthy, but now with all the extra growing room it has it won't grow a bit, just baby leaves near the soil surface. I was hoping it would get a lot taller & fuller. My question is, do plants reach a stage where they stop growing, like people do? I know that sounds stupid, but I'm curious. Maybe I waited too long to re-pot it.
Thanks for any info.

Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

There are a couple of things that could be going on. Many plants when you first transplant them will spend some time growing new roots first, then put out new top growth. If you've got a few little leaves starting, that means it's probably starting to grow again so it's just a matter of time. Some plants also grow slower than others and putting it in a new pot isn't going to make it grow faster than it naturally would. And most plants do reach a mature size where they really don't get any taller, so your peace lily may be at a point where it's not going to get much taller, but it will probably continue to grow into a wider clump, eventually you can divide the clump and get multiple plants if you want.

The other possibility is that the pot you put it in is too big--the rule of thumb is to go up one pot size at a time, not jump from a small pot to a huge one. If you go into too big of a pot, it may take more time before you start to see top growth again, plus you run a bigger risk of overwatering the plant since there is a huge volume of soil to hold water and only a small amount of roots to absorb the water. So if that's what happened, I would go back and find a pot that's only a bit larger than the one it was in and plant it in that instead.

(Zone 1)

I totally agree with what e-crane3 says above. I have a feeling that your plant is working on growing below the soil level ... putting out new roots, trying to fill the larger pot. I have one large variegated peace lily that's been in the same pot for a number of years. I have some smaller green ones that I divided recently because they were very root bound and not happy. I just used the little 4" pots. I think you should think about definately putting your Peace Lily into a smaller pot.

(Zone 6a)

If you wanted you could always sink the small pot into the larger one.


Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Peace Lilies thrive on being pot-bound. Can you repot it back in a smaller pot? One only 1 size bigger then the one it was in? This is a common mistake people make. Some plants just like close quarters. The flounder and seem "lost" if you put them in too large a pot. It definitely will NOT help the plant!

Another re potting mistake is putting extra soil over the existing level the plant was growing at. If you replant anything in a bigger pot, you should NEVER add the extra 2" or so of soil on top. Put it on the bottom so the plant will sit at it's original level in the new pot. Then fill in the new soil around the edges.

For looks, Steve's idea is a good one.

All the rest was also already said above.

Hope this helps. Gita

Taft, TX(Zone 9a)

Look at what jumped into my basket at Lowe's today......the biggest peace lily I have ever seen....they were unloading it when it jumped out of their arms.....it is over 4 or 5 ft. tall......please, please, bloom for me in the house!!!

Thumbnail by gessiegail
Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

You have here the "Spath Sensation", the biggest-leaved variety of this plant. The care is all the same. Water well when you water and then allow the surface to get a bit dry before watering again. Do not let the pot sit in any water that drains into the saucer. If it is not re-absorbed in about 20 minutes, dump it out. Watering once a week should be good. Wipe the huge leaves off now and then, both sides, to keep them clean. A dop of dish detergent in a bucket of water is good.
DO NOT take this plant outdoors, as even complete shade outside is too bright for a Peace Lily. Inside, keep it away from any direct sun.

That is a beautiful plant! The blooms are huge as well on this one.


Taft, TX(Zone 9a)

thanks, Gitagal.....I forgot I posted here.....it is a beautiful plant from Lowe's.....

Belleville , IL(Zone 6b)

I took my Peace Lily outdoors and it sat underneath my forsythia bush all summer. It did very well outdoors and even grew. Of course it is pretty shady under my huge forsythia. It bloomed better there than indoors where I couldn't seem to get it to.

Dunedin, FL(Zone 10b)

We have Peace Lilys growing outsdie in the ground in garden beds they do great !

(Zone 6a)

I might as well join in with my peace lily, I don't know the name. Is it possibe that it could still grow large leaves?


Edited to add that those little specks on it are water drops.

This message was edited Feb 20, 2007 4:56 PM

Thumbnail by SW_gardener
Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)


I do not profess to be an expert of any kind, but I have worked for countless years in garden centers and retail stores around houseplants.

The one Bettygail posted is the "Spath Sensation"--the largest leaved one of all.

Then there are the "average" or usual ones that are also sold in fairly good-sized pots. The latest addition, in say the last 4-5 years or so, is the variegated Spath. These can be bought in 6" sized pots and up. They are nice sized plants with a well balanced look. The leaves on this will never grow to be as big as the "Sensation". They are different varieties.

The smallest variety is the "Petite Spath". These are sold in smaller pots and are what people often use in the water vases with a goldfish in it, even though I think that fad has come and gone. Petite spath is seldom sold in pots larger that 8", as it is smaller in stature and the leaves are more narrow and have deep lines in them. These can be found in 3" and 4" pots and are very popular for dish gardens as well.
I am not sure, but your pisture looks like it may be an older "Petite Spath". I am guessing, because I see the lines in the leaves. I am guessing your pot is about 8". It sure looks healthy!

Well-I am sure someone may correct me on some of this. Just thought I would share what I know.


(Zone 6a)

Thank-you Gita :)

Actualy it's a 3" pot, it seems to like it.
Also, thanks for the variety name, I'll be sure to look it up, your description of "Petite Spath" sounds like mine. All I really do for it is water with filtered water. We have one of those systems where theres a separate little tap and I just water straight from that. Keeping it moist at all times seems to cut down alot on tip and leaf browning. I also snip off any yellow/browned leaves and ones with burnt tips. It fills back in nice. For location, it's quite a bit from the windows, but bright, so it seems to like it there.

Just thought I'd share too,

Emmaus, PA(Zone 6a)

I didnt realize that Peace Lily likes to be pot bound.. Ill be transplanting mine back into a smaller pot...
Im glad i opened this thread!

Anne Arundel,, MD(Zone 7b)

happy to read about general care and the Petite Spath. I think thats what I have. Never taller than maybe 8 inches, leaf blades about four inches. It was getting to be a bigger clump, but , it just wasn't attractive to me, pot getting too big for the top. Also, it never seemd I could get it watered evenly into the midde of the clump. Looked much better divided into small pots.

(Zone 1)

Here's the link to Plant Files for the Petite Peace Lily:


Charlevoix, MI(Zone 4b)

I wonder if mine is the "Spath Sensation". It's only about 2 feet tall, but the leaves are about 12-14 inches long.

My other one that the cats attacked:

And my baby (didn't realize he was so dusty, lol)

I have never had any luck with houseplants in the past, but I've managed to keep these alive since September. Mostly. :) I've noticed on one of my plants some little fruit fly looking creatures...are these the fungus gnats that I've heard about? If so, will a Hydrogen Peroxide/Water mixture kill them?


Paxton, FL

Sometimes,when you transport a plant from a smaller pot to a larger pot,the plant isn't used to all the extra room.My suggestion is to not skip pot sizes,but go from one size to the next.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)


Your two Peace Lilies in the Hyperlinks are NOT the Spath Sensation. Just some very nice, and healthy looking regular peace Lilies.

The Spath Sensation has Huge leaves and they are, sort of, a duller, muted green. You would see the difference if you could see one. Why don't you go to a HD or a Lowes and ask someone to show you a Spath Sensation?


Dublin, CA(Zone 9a)

Like the people that work there would even know what a Spath is! LOL OK, I'm sure there are exceptions but most of the people I've run into at the local HD/Lowes wouldn't know what kind of plant it is if it had a big flashing neon sign with the name on it, not to mention their stuff is frequently mislabelled in the first place

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