You’re in luck if you’ve ever wanted to grow a peace lily without getting your hands dirty!
Peace lilies are wonderfully resilient indoor plants that adapt well to water culture.
Growing a peace lily in water can make your plant healthier, as it can reduce the risk of root rot and other soil-borne diseases.
Plus, it gives you a unique-looking houseplant that requires minimal maintenance.
What You’ll Need:
- A healthy peace lily variety
- A transparent vase, jar or glass container large enough to accommodate the roots of your peace lily
- Room-temperature water (ideally rainwater or distilled water)
- A clean workspace
- A pair of sharp and sterile garden scissors or pruners
Steps to Grow Peace Lilies in Water
Choose a healthy peace lily
You need a healthy peace lily plant with vibrant green leaves and no signs of disease or pests.
If you already have one growing in soil, we’ll cover how to transition it to water later in this article.
Pick an appropriate vase
Clean your chosen vessel carefully.
This is important to remove any dust or residue that could negatively impact your plant’s health.
We recommend using a glass container rather than a plastic pot so you can see your plant’s root system and water clarity.
Prepare your peace lily for repotting
Remove the peace lily from its current pot, then rinse the roots gently to remove any soil attached.
This is also an excellent time to check for signs of root rot (black, mushy roots).
If you spot any, trim these sections off with your sterile scissors or pruners. A healthy root should be creamy white and firm.
Remove the peace lily plant from the pot
Just like repotting a peace lily, carefully remove your plant from its current pot.
Be very gentle to avoid damaging the roots.
Rinse the roots
Rinse the roots gently under lukewarm distilled water.
The aim is to remove all the soil without damaging the roots.
A gentle stream of water can help in this process.
Inspect and trim the roots
Look for any signs of root rot and cut them off with a pair of sterile scissors or pruners.
The healthier the roots, the more successful your transition will be.
Position your peace lily in the vase
Only the roots should reach the bottom, and the leaves and stems should stay above the waterline to prevent rotting.
Add water to the vase
Fill the container with room-temperature distilled or rainwater until it covers the roots.
Don’t let the water touch the stem or leaves, as this could cause them to rot.
Acclimate the peace lily
Fill a container with a mix of water and a bit of the soil it was initially planted in.
Over the course of a week, change the water and use less soil each time.
Do this until the peace lily is growing in water only.
This gradual change can help minimise transplant shock.
Continue caring for your peace lily
Once your plant is accustomed to its new environment, care for your peace lily as you usually would.
Put the plant in indirect sunlight and consider adding a few drops of liquid fertiliser to give your plant more nutrients.
Maintain your peace lily
Keep your peace lily in a well-lit area but away from direct sunlight, which can be too harsh.
Refresh the water every 1–2 weeks or whenever it begins to look cloudy.
Also, check for any signs of distress and trim off any dead or dying leaves to keep the plant healthy.
Benefits of Growing Peace Lilies in Water
There are several benefits to growing peace lilies in water, which makes it a popular choice for many plant enthusiasts.
There’s no need to worry about the right soil mix, and you can forget about regular repotting.
The plant only needs occasional water changes and cleaning of the vase or container.
Prevents soil-borne diseases
Growing peace lilies in water minimises the risk of soil-borne diseases and pests.
Root rot is less likely to occur in water-grown peace lilies because the roots have continuous access to oxygen — unlike in soil, where they can become waterlogged.
Growing a peace lily in water creates a unique and eye-catching display.
The contrast of the white flowers and green leaves against the clear water can be quite stunning.
Plus, the roots in water create a fascinating visual that’s not seen in traditionally potted plants.
Easier monitoring of plant health
It’s easier to see potential problems when a peace lily is grown in water.
Indoor air purification
Peace lilies are excellent at purifying indoor air, removing toxins like benzene, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide.
Growing them in water doesn’t hinder this ability, so they continue to improve the air quality in your home or office.
Root growth observation
You can see the development and health of the plant’s roots with a clear vase, making it not only fascinating but also educational.
How to Take Care of a Peace Lily in Water
Caring for a peace lily growing in water is relatively simple, but there are still a few important considerations to remember.
Peace lilies prefer indirect light. Direct sunlight can scorch their leaves, while too little light can prevent them from flowering.
Find a spot that receives bright, indirect light for your peace lily. If natural light is limited, fluorescent lights can also work well.
How often to change water
Peace lilies grow best in soft water, such as rainwater or distilled water.
Hard water or tap water with high chlorine content can damage the plant.
Since you will grow it in water, you won’t need to water peace lilies like potted plants.
Replace your peace lily’s water at least once every 1–2 weeks or whenever it looks cloudy.
Regularly providing fresh water means your peace lily plant has access to the oxygen it needs to survive.
When you change the water, clean the container and gently rinse the roots to remove algae or potential bacterial growth.
Temperature and humidity
Peace lilies prefer warm and humid conditions.
The ideal temperature range for growing peace lily plants is between 18°C and 27°C.
Avoid placing the plant in draughty areas or near air conditioning or heating vents.
Regularly inspect your peace lily for dead or dying leaves and remove them.
This helps the plant direct its energy to new growth. Always make clean cuts and avoid tearing the leaves.
While peace lilies can grow in water alone, they may benefit from a diluted water-soluble fertiliser or a specially formulated liquid fertiliser for water-culture plants.
Use the fertiliser about once a month, and always follow the product’s instructions.
Check for disease
Check your peace lily for any signs of disease or pests.
Yellow peace lily leaves can indicate too much light, while brown tips can mean the air is too dry.
You may need to inspect your plant if there is a significant or sudden leaf drop, as it could signal a larger problem.
FAQs on Growing Peace Lilies in Water
Do I still need to water peace lilies if I grow them in water?
When you grow a peace lily in water, you eliminate the need for traditional watering as you would with a soil-grown plant.
Instead of watering them, you will need to maintain a consistent water level in the container in which the peace lily plant is growing.
Can I use tap water to grow my peace lilies?
No. Peace lilies are sensitive to chemicals found in tap water, such as chlorine.
How long can a peace lily live in water?
Peace lilies can live in water indefinitely, given the right conditions.
It can thrive in water for many years as long as the peace lily plant receives proper care.
Can a peace lily grow with betta fish?
Yes, betta fish and peace lilies can coexist in the same environment because they can benefit each other.
The peace lily’s roots absorb the ammonia produced by the fish, providing a sort of natural filtration for the water. And in return, the fish waste provides nutrients for the plant.
This creates a mini ecosystem known as an “aquaponic” system.
Will semi-hydro work for peace lilies?
Yes, peace lilies can successfully be grown in a semi-hydroponic system.
Semi-hydroponics or semi-hydro is a method of growing plants using an inorganic and inert growing medium and nutrient-rich water.
The water wicks up into the medium (e.g., Lightweight Expanded Clay Aggregate or LECA), providing consistent moisture and nutrients to the plant roots while allowing for good airflow.
Is repotting a peace lily into water the same as propagation?
Nope! While both processes involve water as a medium, propagating a peace lily is about creating new plants, whereas repotting into water is about transitioning an existing plant from soil to water culture.
Ditch the Dirt! Grow a Peace Lily Hydroponically
Peace lilies are known for their aesthetic appeal and adaptability to various growing conditions — in soil, water or a semi-hydroponic setup.
With patience and appropriate care, anyone can successfully cultivate these lovely plants.
The key lies in understanding its needs and responding accordingly, which can make you feel like a professional gardener in your own right.