The Best Potting Mix for a Peace Lily

As soon as people find out that I sell houseplants, I am usually asked the same handful of questions. One of those questions is almost always, “Can you help me save my Peace Lily?” (Or something along those lines.) So I figured I’d start my plant blogging journey with some help for all those Peace Lily parents out there. And since one of the most frequent questions I get about Peace Lilies is, “What type of soil should I use for my Peace Lily?” I figure that’s a great place to start. (Head to the very bottom of this article for the simple percentages of this potting mix recipe.)

One of the most important things to know about Spathiphyllum (that’s the scientific name of a Peace Lily) is that their root systems are very sensitive and can be burned by any potting mixes that have fertilizer already mixed in them. Now, I’m not saying that your plant will die if you use these types of potting mixes. They most likely won’t. But I will tell you that they will not be very happy and you will be running the risk of root damage and all the bad things that can follow. I don’t want your plant to be unhappy and most likely, you don’t either!

So let’s get to the recipe! You will need Coco Coir, Perlite, horticultural/Orchid Bark, horticultural Charcoal and Worm Castings. Yum! (I don’t know why, but as I typed the word “recipe” and then the words “Worm Castings” I just got this gag reflex thing going. Teehee.) I will include an affiliate link with each of these items in case you are interested in the specific brands that I use.

Begin with the Coco Coir. If you buy this in a block or brick, you will need to add water. It’s really cool like a science experiment! The Coir will absorb a LOT of water. Start with a small amount and you can add more as needed. The Coir will equal about 50% of the potting mix.

Next is the Perlite. This is an important step because the perlite will help prevent the coir from compacting around the roots of your plant. I generally add about 25% perlite. Is this an exact science? No. In fact I feel a little like a mad scientist when I am stirring up my potting mixes.

Orchid Bark comes next at about 15% of the mix. As you can assume from its name, orchid bark is used as a potting medium for orchids. We will be using it to add even more oxygen to the root zone of our Peace Lily. The bark pieces will trap oxygen near the root zone, they will prevent the potting mix from compacting around the roots and will also provide nutrients to the soil as the pieces of bark begin to break down.

Almost done! Next we will add approx. 5% horticultural Charcoal. Yes, it is important to use a charcoal product that is listed as horticultural. I add charcoal to my potting mixes when I know that the soil will be kept pretty moist. Charcoal works to remove impurities from the potting mix and also keeps it from smelling yucky.

Last, we will add in the Worm Castings at 5%. (In case you were wondering, worm castings is a nice way to say worm poopy.) Remember back in the first paragraph when I told you that Peace Lilies have roots that are sensitive to fertilizers? Well, worm castings are a gentle, yet effective way to give your plant a boost of nutrients. Also, I have found that some people are strongly opposed to using worm castings because they are essentially an animal byproduct. If you feel strongly against using worm castings, just leave that ingredient out of your potting mix. And yes, your potting mix recipe will only equal 95%.

Mix these ingredients well and you are all set to repot your beloved Peace Lily. If you would like to see this in a video format, click the link and it will take you to my YouTube video.

If you have read through this recipe and don’t feel like you can do this mix, let me recommend a potting mix that you can purchase ready-made. (Even though this potting mix is a really good one, I would still add more perlite. But that’s entirely up to you.) The Fox Farms Bush Doctor Coco Loco potting mix is a great choice. It uses coco coir as its base and not peat moss which is very important in my opinion.

I am aware that many of you who are looking for care tips for a Peace Lily are doing so because you have received this plant upon the death of a loved one. I want you to know that I take that knowledge very seriously, my friends! I do understand what a plant can do for someone who has lost a beloved family member or friend. I have used this mix for the last two years on my own plants with great success. I wish you all the best with your plant!

Mercy, peace and love be multiplied to you.

Products I use and (therefore) recommend:

Planty friends – Feel free to use these links to the products that I use for my houseplants.  I receive a small percentage of any sales through these links, so feel free not to use them if that bothers you.

Horticultural 1/4” pumice – https://amzn.to/2KfcNPT

Horticultural perlite – https://amzn.to/3f9wwvE

Coco coir – https://amzn.to/2UBBiZF

Orchid Bark – Extra small chips – https://amzn.to/38OXWWJ

Orchid Bark – Small chips – https://amzn.to/3kA8HOU

Earthworm castings – https://amzn.to/38TRkGw

Coco Loco potting mix – https://amzn.to/2UHV3OY

GE Balanced Spectrum grow light bulb – https://amzn.to/3fdeAAu

Monios L LED grow lights – 2 ft. – https://amzn.to/391NmeS

Bonsai scissors – https://amzn.to/33a6F29

Hygrometer (humidity monitor) – https://amzn.to/32WtiqO

Moisture meter sticks – https://amzn.to/35FR7Vk

Horticultural charcoal – https://amzn.to/2UKOv25

Organic houseplant fertilizer liquid – https://amzn.to/3pIb7ij

Insecticide/Miticide – (many bug sprays don’t kill spider mites, this one does) – https://amzn.to/3pHKREw

Systemic houseplant insecticide – https://amzn.to/36MuoX8

Full disclosure – the last three product links will be much cheaper if you can find them in your local garden center.  I’ve put them here so that you can see what they are called and what they look like, but I’d advise that you buy from these links only as a last resort.

Potting Mix for a Peace Lily Recipe

30 thoughts on “The Best Potting Mix for a Peace Lily

  1. Thank you so much for linking products in the recipe!! I often spend a lot of time stressing about which company’s items will be better for my plant, and it’s really reassuring to get your recommendations.
    (comment entry for giveaway)

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  2. Luckily I grow the Peace Lily successfully but am fascinated to learn how sensitive their roots are. Thanks so much for that useful piece of information that I will try and tuck away in my brain. I always learn from you – thanks!

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  3. I love peace lillies, thank you for showing me why the recipe works! It’s so important to understand the complexities that feed your leaves 🌿🌿

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  4. Can I use small pumice instead of the perlite? I really hate how perlite “floats” to the top of the soil. I also LOVE coco coir. I just love how it will readily soak up the water, unlike dried out peat moss! 🙂

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  5. I watched your youtube video about this. I agree that with peat moss, it feels very destructive. I felt guilty buying potting mix so I put it back and bought a brick of coco coir to start making my own soil recipe. It’s very exciting. Question about the recipe, can you substitute compost for worm castings? Thanks!

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    1. Great question, Marla! Adding compost to indoor potting mix is a somewhat controversial topic. Many are against it because it’s so difficult to know exactly what is in your compost. If it hasn’t reached a high enough temperature, it could potentially be harboring harmful bacteria and or insects.
      So my advice is this…use compost only if you feel confident that you know what is in the compost. I personally compost but I’m too afraid to use it in my own potting mixes 🙂 Hope this helps!

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  6. Thank you for sharing this recipe! I’m not the best plant mom and recently made a goal to bring more into my home. I have a few questions for you:
    1) I have 2 snake plants and 1 aloe that need to be repotted. Can I use the peace lily mix? If so, should I adjust the perlite composition?
    2) For all 3 plants: peace lily, snake plant, and aloe, do they need additional fertilization on a regular basis? If so, what fertilizer and how often do you recommend?
    Thank you, in advance, for answering my questions. There is so much info out there that seem to contradict each other that I don’t know what to follow. I greatly appreciate your help.

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    1. Hi Wendy! Your Snake plants and Aloe can all have the same potting mix which should have lots of Perlite and/or crushed pumice. The perlite and pumice will help the “soil” to dry out quickly after the plants have been watered. So yes, you could simply adjust the peace lily mix by adding more perlite. Since you have stated above that you are a new plant parent, I will also encourage you to make sure to choose pots that are only one size up for your plants. (So a 4 inch planter is moved up to a 5 inch planter.) This is a really important part of maintaining healthy root systems and therefore healthy plants.
      As for fertilizer, yes, all of your plants will benefit from some fertilizer since potting mixes provide little to no nutrients to our plants. I would recommend following the directions on the label of whichever fertilizer you choose, but then using only half strength. So, if it says use 2 Tablespoons per gallon of water, add only 1 Tablespoon per gallon. Then use this diluted fertilizer every time you water throughout the growing season. Give your plants a rest from fertilizer from November through February and resume fertilizing in March.
      I hope this helps!
      Thanks for commenting and make sure to subscribe to this blog so that you will continue to have houseplant care articles delivered to your inbox 🙂

      Bridget

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      1. Thank you, Bridget, for thoroughly answering all my questions. I will follow your suggestions and hope for some good results.

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  7. Bridget, one more question: My peace lily is in a 6″ pot right now. I would like to divide it into two. In what sized pots should I repot the 2 divided plants? Thank you!

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    1. Hi! The pot size will depend on the sizes of the root balls after they have been divided. Peace lilies actually don’t always divide into even sizes, sometimes one piece will have most of the roots and the other may have a very small root ball. So maybe you can have a few different sizes so you’ll be ready. If they divide into fairly even pieces, I’d go for two 4 inch pots. Hope this helps!

      Liked by 1 person

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