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Split Your Old Peace Lily Into Two New Plants

Ask the Expert: Peace Lilly out growing pot
I have a peace lilly and have had it for about 11 years (one of the few I haven’t killed) and I have it in a huge pot but it seems to be growing close in I want to know how can I separate the plant, it has a huge root ball and replant to give it more room to grow to it’s full potential? Sandy

Reply:
Although peace lilies like to be a little root-bound, you should re-pot or split them when the roots overflow the container. It seems your peace lily is definitely overgrowing its container. In your case, I would split the plant rather re-pot it. You will need:

  • Pot (around the same size as the one it is now)
  • Potting Soil (a good houseplant potting soil)
  • Large Serrated Knife

Begin By removing your plant from the container. Don’t worry about tearing the roots or losing a few leaves. Lay the plant on its side. This will give you a view of the root system as well as the foliage attached to the rootball. Now you are going to cut the plant into two pieces.

To do this, take the knife starting at the bottom of the rootball and work it back and forth until you have made a cut all the way to the foliage. Now you should have two separate peace lilies. Each one will have foliage attached to a portion of the rootball.

Now place one of the peace lilies in the center of the original container. Be sure the rootball is at the same depth it was before the plant was split. Then add soil to close the vacant space in the container. Be sure to water it when done. This will get rid of any air pockets that have formed around the roots.

Now pot the other peace lilies in the new container. Once again, make sure the rootball is planted at the same depth as it was in the original pot. Fill in the vacant space and water.

These plants will go through a little transplant shock and may wilt. Resist the urge to pamper them. Instead, place them in the same environment as before and water accordingly. In a couple of weeks, you will have two thriving peace lilies.

Good Luck and keep me posted.

Comments

  1. Karen Thomas says:

    I have a 9 year old peace Lilly that has bare stalks that now droop. Can I repot it ? If so, do I cover the stalk or use a stake to support the new plants after separating?

  2. Karen,

    When repotting never plant it any deeper than it is in the existing pot. However, instead of repotting the whole plant you might want to divide it into two plants and pot each of the division – again no deeper than the original plant. As the new growth forms it should come from the bottom and no support should be needed.

  3. Hi,
    I recently tried to re pot my peace Lilly and it broke off from the stem. However I did re pot the stem that broke along with the roots. Will it still survive or die?

  4. Simran,

    Yes, you can repot the stem and roots and with the proper care it will grow into a new plant. Read this article about Caring for a Peace Lily for further care instructions.

  5. Thanks a ton.

  6. Hi I got a peace Lily from my dad’s funeral as well as a Ruger begonia. Obv since they’re the only thing I have left of my father I want to keep them healthy and living as long as possible. I’ve split up the begonia already into 2 diff plants around a week ago. I was trying to split it into 3 but when I was trying to separate the 2nd part I almost messed up and had I kept at it I’m pretty sure one of the parts would have died so I stopped and just kept it together. The begonia has gotten too tall and needs to grow outward instead of up..I know I should cut back some stems and I have cut some back but should I cut off some that still have flowers on the ends? The peace Lily is HUGE , so I want to split it up too as soon as I can get more soil, but I haven’t taken it out of the original pot it was in so I don’t know what the roots look like. I noticed people who were wanting to split the heir peace lilies up all said the roots were overtaking the pot, so I’m wondering.. If the roots on my plant aren’t, shouid i not attempt separating it? Thank you!

  7. Jamie Woods says:

    Hi Heather,
    Sorry for the delay in response. Usually, when begonias are getting leggy and growing upward, it’s because they aren’t getting enough light. To try to get it to split and grow outwards, try pinching it back. To pinch your begonias, you pinch off the growing tip of the stem where the next leaf would come out. Just make sure you pinching after three nodes. As far as pruning, you can prune your begonias almost all the way back. Just make sure to leave 3 inches from the stem of the plant. You should be fine to prune them even if there are flowers still on the stem.

    For your peace lily, even small plants are usually okay to be split. Just make sure when you split it up, that each section has foliage with roots attached.

  8. Roseann Nymeyer says:

    My husband accidentally tipped over my peace lily that I got from my 101 year old friend before she died.It was getting crowded and I was going to repot it. Two of the best parts broke off with some stalk attached.One was blooming! Can I get some roots to start in dirt or water? Will a peace lily leaf start roots in water like some other leaves or stems will?

  9. Jamie Woods says:

    Hi Roseann,
    You can start new plants from your existing plant. Each new plant will need roots and two or three leaves to have a good start. There are normally natural crowns or separations that you would cut to start the new ones. This could be what broke off. Plant them in soil, and care for them as usual. They may wilt some at first due to transplant shock, but should perk up after a week or two.

  10. I have a peace Lily from 1989, my mother’s funeral. It stopped flowering and only grows a few leaves at a time. I moved from California to Texas and she made the trip, thank goodness.
    I recently was told the dirt is to old and I needed to depot her in same pit new dirt. I did it yesterday.
    Do you think I did the right thing. Now I’m scared to death will won’t make it.
    Thank you
    Kathy M.

  11. Jamie Woods says:

    Hey Kathy,
    I think you probably did the right thing. Just be aware that it may go into shock for a little while, but if you continue to care for it as usual, it will probably be fine.

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