How to Prune a Peace Lily So It Looks Its Best

Pruning a peace lily properly is key to keeping it looking its best. With the right technique and timing, you can maintain a lush, healthy plant. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to prune a peace lily for optimal growth and beauty.


Peace lilies, or Spathiphyllum, are one of the most popular houseplants due to their easy care, air-purifying abilities, and elegant white blooms. Native to tropical rainforests, they thrive in shady and humid conditions indoors. Pruning is an essential part of peace lily care, helping the plant produce new growth and blooms.

When done correctly, pruning encourages the plant to put energy into new leaves rather than old, damaged ones. It also removes crowded and unsightly growth to keep the peace lily shapely and tidy. Follow this guide to learn when and how to prune your peace lily for the best results.

When to Prune a Peace Lily

Timing is important when pruning a peace lily. Here are the best times to give your plant a trim:


Early spring is an ideal time for pruning. Remove any dead or damaged leaves and stems to tidy up from winter dormancy. This clears the way for fresh growth as light and warmth increase.


Prune lightly during summer to remove faded blooms and any yellowing leaves. This encourages new blooms and keeps the plant looking fresh. Avoid heavy pruning in summer heat.


As growth slows in fall, prune back leggy stems and any dead foliage. This shapes the plant before winter dormancy.

Avoid Winter Pruning

Avoid pruning in winter when light levels are low. The shock could stunt spring growth. Remove only dead or dying foliage if needed.

How to Prune a Peace Lily

Follow these simple pruning steps for a healthy, well-shaped peace lily:

Step 1: Remove Dead or Damaged Growth

Examine the plant and use clean, sharp scissors or shears to remove:

  • Brown, yellow, or wilted leaves
  • Stems that are broken or rotting
  • Flowers that have faded or turned green

Removing dead growth prevents disease and pests.

Step 2: Cut Back Leggy Stems

If stems become elongated and unsightly, cut them back to an outward facing leaf node. This encourages bushier new growth.

Step 3: Shape and Contain Growth

Pinch or cut back stems as needed to shape the peace lily. Remove crowded stems to open up the plant. Keep it from becoming unbalanced or too wide.

Step 4: Clean Up Pruning Debris

Remove all clippings from the soil to prevent mold and pests. Wash pruning shears in soapy water to disinfect.

Step 5: Allow Recovery Time

Give the plant a week or two after pruning before fertilizing or repotting. This reduces stress and allows regrowth.

How Much to Prune a Peace Lily

When pruning a peace lily, remove no more than 20% of leaves and stems at one time. Anything more can shock the plant. Focus on strategically removing damaged and crowded growth.

Here are signs your peace lily needs pruning:

  • Overgrown, tangled stems and foliage
  • Leaves turning brown or yellow
  • Wilting or limp stems and leaves
  • Damaged, broken, or rotting stems
  • Faded flowers and flower stalks

Pruning Tips for Healthy Peace Lilies

  • Use clean, sharp scissors or garden shears for clean cuts
  • Prune just above leaf nodes for optimal regrowth
  • Remove spent flowers to prolong blooming
  • Maintain a balanced, rounded shape
  • Prune in morning hours when the plant is hydrated
  • Avoid pruning too heavily right before blooming

With proper technique and regular pruning through the seasons, your peace lily will reward you with a lush, elegant appearance year after year.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pruning Peace Lilies

Can I cut off all the leaves on my peace lily?

No, it’s best not to cut off all the leaves at one time. Removing more than 20% of leaves at once can shock the plant. Prune lightly and often for the healthiest growth.

How far back can I cut a peace lily?

You can cut stems back by one-third to one-half their length to control size and shape. Cut back to just above an outward facing leaf node.

Should I prune my peace lily after it flowers?

Yes, it’s best to prune off faded or browning flowers. This encourages the plant to produce more blooms.

Do I need special tools to prune a peace lily?

Clean, sharp scissors or gardening shears are ideal. Disinfect tools between plants to prevent disease spread.

How can I encourage my peace lily to bloom again?

Regular pruning, plenty of indirect light, and optimal watering and feeding will promote blooms. Avoid Drafty areas as well.


Pruning is a simple yet important task that keeps your peace lily looking its best. By removing dead, damaged, and overgrown foliage at strategic times, you encourage new growth and blooms. Follow the tips in this guide to promote a lush, healthy peace lily with graceful shapes and beautiful flowers. With the right pruning approach, this easy-care houseplant will flourish for years to come.