What Does Peace Lily Symbolize? Unveiling the Meaning Behind this Popular Houseplant

The peace lily is a household plant that has grown in popularity over the years. Aside from its stunning white flowers and glossy leaves, it holds a deeper meaning that provides more than just aesthetic value. Many people choose to display peace lilies in their homes, not just because they’re pretty, but for the spiritual and symbolic significance the plant holds.

Symbolically speaking, peace lilies represent tranquility, innocence, and purity. These values are showcased through the plant’s white blooms, which are thought to emit a calming energy that brings a sense of peace and serenity to any environment. It is said that peace lilies have the ability to not only cleanse the air in your home, but also rid the space of negative energy, making it a popular choice for healing and meditation spaces.

In addition, peace lilies are also symbolic of the bond between humans and nature. The plant’s dependence on light, water, and care is much like our own dependence on the earth and its resources. By adding a peace lily to your living space, you’re not only doing your part to care for something that relies on our help, but also connecting with the deeper spiritual meaning the plant holds. No wonder peace lilies have become a beloved home décor choice for so many.

History and Cultural Significance of the Peace Lily

The peace lily, scientifically known as Spathiphyllum wallisii, is a tropical plant with lush foliage and distinctive white flowers. It is native to Central and South America and is often grown as a houseplant or in landscaped gardens. The peace lily is a symbol of peace, tranquility, and hope, and has a rich history and cultural significance.

  • History – The peace lily was first discovered in 1870 by Gustav Wallis, a German plant collector who found it growing in the jungles of South America. He sent samples to Europe, where it was propagated and eventually made its way to the United States in the early 1900s. Since then, it has become a popular houseplant and is widely cultivated for its attractive foliage and striking flowers.
  • Cultural Significance – In many cultures, the peace lily is seen as a symbol of purity, innocence, and new beginnings. This is why it is often used in religious ceremonies, baptisms, and weddings. The plant’s lush, green leaves are said to represent rebirth and growth, while its white flowers symbolize clarity and peace of mind. In some cultures, the peace lily is also associated with healing and is said to have medicinal properties.
  • Other Meanings – The peace lily is also used as a symbol of sympathy and condolence, particularly in Western cultures. It is often given as a gift to express condolences to someone who has lost a loved one, or to show support for someone going through a difficult time. The plant’s calming presence and delicate beauty can help bring comfort to those in distress.

In summary, the peace lily is a tropical plant with a long and rich history, and it holds significant cultural and symbolic meaning. Whether used as a decorative houseplant, a religious symbol, or a gesture of sympathy and support, the peace lily is a versatile and meaningful plant that has touched countless lives around the world.

Scientific classification and characteristics of the peace lily plant

The peace lily, also known as Spathiphyllum, is a beautiful and versatile houseplant that belongs to the Araceae family. The Araceae family is a diverse group of plants that features hundreds of different species. The peace lily plant is native to tropical regions of the Americas and Southeast Asia, with its natural habitat being the rainforest floor. It was first introduced into Europe in the late 1800s and has since become a popular plant as a result of its beautiful white flowers and ease of care.

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Clade: Tracheophytes
  • Clade: Angiosperms
  • Clade: Monocots
  • Order: Alismatales
  • Family: Araceae
  • Genus: Spathiphyllum
  • Species: Spathiphyllum wallisii

The peace lily plant is characterized by its lush green leaves and striking white flowers, which have made it a popular indoor plant for many homes and offices. The leaves of the peace lily plant are glossy and oval-shaped, with a pointed tip. The flowers of the plant are white and are shaped like a spathe, which is a type of modified leaf. The spathes of the peace lily plant are typically white or cream in color and can last for several weeks. The plant also produces a spike of small flowers, which are arranged on a cylindrical structure called a spadix.

The meaning and symbolism of flowers in different cultures and traditions

Flowers speak a language of their own, and their symbolic meanings vary across cultures and traditions. Here, we explore the significance of the peace lily in various cultural and religious contexts.

  • Christianity: In Christianity, white flowers, including the peace lily, represent purity, innocence, and the light of Christ. They are often used in religious ceremonies and as a tribute to the deceased.
  • Eastern religions: In Eastern religions, the peace lily is believed to bring harmony, luck, and prosperity. In Hinduism, the lotus flower, which is closely related to the peace lily, symbolizes purity and detachment from worldly desires.
  • Native American culture: In Native American culture, the peace lily represents healing and the restoration of balance. It is often used in medicinal remedies and as a symbol of peace and unity.

Aside from its cultural and religious meanings, the peace lily is also known for its ability to purify the air. It is a popular choice for indoor plants and is believed to remove harmful toxins such as benzene, formaldehyde, and ammonia from the environment.

In conclusion, flowers hold a special place in various cultures and traditions across the world. Their symbolic meanings are often deeply rooted in history and belief systems and can vary greatly from one culture to another. The peace lily is just one example of a flower that holds different meanings and significance depending on the context in which it is used.

If you’re considering adding a peace lily to your indoor plant collection, not only will it bring beauty and tranquility to your space, but it will also provide numerous health benefits. So go ahead, and embrace the meaningful symbolism of the peace lily.

Purity, innocence, and Christ’s lightChristianity
Harmony, luck, and prosperityEastern religions
Healing and restoration of balanceNative American culture

Differences between peace lily and other lily species

While the peace lily belongs to the Araceae family, other lily species like Asiatic, Oriental, and Daylilies belong to the Liliaceae family. Below are some of the differences between the peace lily and these species:

  • Size: The peace lily is relatively smaller than the Asiatic, Oriental, and Daylilies species.
  • Growth Habit: Unlike the other lily species which grow from a bulb or corm, the peace lily grows from rhizomes or tubers.
  • Flower characteristics: While other lilies have brightly colored flowers, the peace lily has white sail-like spathes that surround the yellow spike of flowers. Additionally, the peace lily’s flowers do not produce a scent.

Here is a table that summarizes the differences between the peace lily and other lily species:

CharacteristicPeace lilyAsiatic liliesOriental liliesDaylilies
Growth HabitGrows from rhizomes/tubersGrows from bulbs/cormsGrows from bulbs/cormsGrows from rhizomes
Flower CharacteristicsWhite spathes, yellow spike, unscentedBrightly coloredBrightly coloredBrightly colored

Understanding the differences between the peace lily and other lily species can help in identifying specific plants and their care requirements.

The color and appearance variations of peace lily

Peace lilies are known for their elegant and graceful appearance, which can light up any corner of a room. These plants are an epitome of simplicity and elegance, and they boast of a unique charm that sets them apart from other indoor plants. Besides their visually appealing appearance, they also come in different color variations, which adds more distinction and variation to their overall appeal.

  • Classic White Peace Lily
  • The classic white peace lily is probably the most well-known variety. With lush green leaves and stunning white blooms, this variety is perfect for those who love traditional aesthetics and clean, simple designs.

  • Variegated Peace Lily
  • The variegated peace lily features leaves that have a mixture of white and green pigments. This type adds more texture and depth to the plant, which can make it stand out amongst other indoor plants. It’s perfect for those who prefer a more distinctive and unique look for their indoor plants.

  • Green Peace Lily
  • The green peace lily is an all-green variety that features deep green leaves and a rich green foliage. Because this plant has no flowers, the focus is on the plant’s leaves, which can still be a statement piece for any space.

Besides these popular varieties, peace lilies also come in different sizes, which can range from miniature to large. They can also differ in the shape and texture of their leaves, with some having more rounded leaves, while others have more elongated, narrow leaves. This variety makes peace lilies a versatile plant that can be a perfect addition to any space, regardless of the room size or interior aesthetics.

Appearance VariationsDescription
SizeCan range from miniature to large
Leaf ShapeCan have rounded or elongated, narrow leaves
TextureCan have glossy or matte leaves

In conclusion, peace lilies are not only beautiful to look at but also come in different variations that make them stand out from other indoor plants. Whether it’s the traditional white variety or the distinct variegated or green varieties, peace lilies have something for everyone. With their ability to purify the air and add a touch of elegance to any space, they’re definitely a must-have for any indoor gardening enthusiast.

The significance of giving and receiving peace lily as a gift

The peace lily is a popular houseplant that has become a symbol of peace, harmony, and purity. It has earned this reputation due to the unique characteristics of its leaves and blooms, which make it a versatile gift for many occasions. The giving and receiving of peace lilies as a gift can represent various meanings, depending on the occasion and cultural context.

  • Healing and sympathy: Peace lilies are often given to those who are recovering from an illness, grieving, or experiencing a loss. They are believed to have calming properties and can serve as a reminder of hope and renewal. In some cultures, peace lilies are also given as a sympathy gift to convey condolences and express feelings of support.
  • Housewarming: A peace lily can be a thoughtful gift for someone who has just moved into a new home. It symbolizes a fresh start and can help purify the air in a new space. The plant is easy to care for, making it an ideal choice for busy homeowners.
  • Business and career: A peace lily is a fitting gift for a colleague or business partner to commemorate a successful project or milestone. It symbolizes growth, harmony, and collaboration. The plant can also be placed in an office to promote productivity and a peaceful atmosphere.

Peace lilies come in various sizes, from small desktop plants to large floor plants, making them easy to customize and suitable for any budget. They require only moderate care, making them ideal for busy individuals who want to add some greenery to their homes or workplaces.

Overall, peace lilies are a timeless gift that combines beauty and meaning. Whether you are celebrating a new beginning, expressing sympathy, or promoting growth and harmony, a peace lily is sure to deliver a message of love, hope, and peace.

Growing and caring for peace lily indoors and outdoors

Peace lilies are beautiful and peaceful plants that can bring serenity to any space. They are native to tropical regions of Central and South America, and they are available in different varieties, sizes, and colors. They are relatively easy to grow and care for, whether you decide to keep them indoors or outdoors. In this article, we explore what peace lily symbolizes and how to grow and care for them.

What does peace lily symbolize?

  • The peace lily symbolizes peace, tranquility, and harmony. It is often associated with purity, innocence, and rebirth.
  • In feng shui, the peace lily is believed to bring positive energy and balance to any space. It can also help purify the air and remove toxins.
  • Peace lilies are often used in memorial services as a symbol of hope, comfort, and remembrance.

Growing peace lily

When growing peace lilies, it is important to provide them with the right growing conditions to thrive. Here are some tips to help you grow peace lilies successfully:

  • Light: Peace lilies thrive in bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight as it can scorch their leaves. If you are growing peace lilies indoors, place them near a north-facing window or in areas with bright, filtered light. If you are growing them outdoors, choose a spot with partial shade.
  • Water: Peace lilies prefer moist, well-draining soil. Water them once a week or when the top inch of soil feels dry. Avoid overwatering as it can lead to root rot. If you notice droopy leaves, it may be a sign that your peace lily needs water.
  • Humidity: Peace lilies thrive in high humidity. If you are growing them indoors, you can increase humidity levels by placing a tray of water near the plant or using a humidifier. If you are growing them outdoors, make sure to water them frequently during hot and dry seasons.
  • Soil: Peace lilies grow best in a rich, well-draining soil mix. Use a mixture of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite to create a soil mix that is suitable for peace lilies.

Caring for peace lily

Caring for peace lilies is relatively easy. Here are some tips to help you care for them:

  • Fertilizer: Peace lilies do not require frequent fertilization. You can fertilize them once a month during the growing season (spring and summer) with a balanced fertilizer.
  • Pests: Peace lilies are relatively pest-free. However, they can attract spider mites and mealybugs. You can treat infestations with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
  • Pruning: Peace lilies do not require frequent pruning. However, you can trim yellow or brown leaves close to the base of the plant to promote new growth.


Peace lilies are beautiful and peaceful plants that symbolize peace, tranquility, and harmony. Whether you decide to grow them indoors or outdoors, providing them with the right growing conditions and care can help them thrive. Peace lilies are relatively easy to care for and can bring serenity to any space.

Common diseases and pests that affect peace lily and how to treat them

Peace lilies may be considered low-maintenance, but they are still susceptible to various diseases and pests. Here are some common issues that may affect your peace lily and some ways to treat them:

  • Brown leaf tips: This is a common problem for peace lilies, and it can be caused by over-fertilization, lack of water, or exposure to cold drafts. To treat brown leaf tips, you can trim the affected leaves and adjust your plant’s watering and fertilization schedule.
  • Root rot: Overwatering can cause root rot, which is characterized by mushy roots. If your peace lily has root rot, you should immediately remove the affected plant from its pot and trim the affected roots. Repot the plant in fresh, well-draining soil and adjust your watering habits.
  • Spider mites: These tiny pests can suck the sap from your peace lily’s leaves and cause them to turn yellow or brown. To treat spider mites, you can use a neem oil spray or wipe down your plant’s leaves with a mixture of soapy water and rubbing alcohol.

In addition to these common issues, peace lilies can also be affected by bacterial and fungal diseases, such as leaf spot and blight. To prevent these diseases, make sure your plant is located in a well-ventilated area and avoid overwatering. If your peace lily does become infected, you can use a fungicide spray to treat the issue.

When dealing with any disease or pest issue, it’s important to act quickly to prevent further damage to your peace lily. Regularly inspecting your plant for any signs of trouble and adjusting your care routine as necessary can help keep your peace lily healthy and thriving.

The Use of Peace Lily in Feng Shui and Other Spiritual Practices

Peace lily is not only known for its beauty and air-purifying qualities, but it is also a popular plant in feng shui and other spiritual practices. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • The number 9: In feng shui, the number 9 symbolizes completeness and spiritual growth. Peace lilies are believed to enhance these qualities due to their nine major leaves.
  • Peaceful Energy: As the name suggests, peace lilies are often associated with calming and peaceful energy. In feng shui, they are said to balance and harmonize the energy in a space.
  • Purifying Properties: In many spiritual practices, purity and cleanliness are important. Peace lilies are known to purify the air, removing toxins and pollutants, making them ideal for creating a pure and clean environment.

In addition to feng shui, peace lilies are also used in other spiritual practices, such as:

Meditation: The peaceful energy of peace lilies can help to create a tranquil atmosphere, perfect for meditating. Placing a peace lily near your meditation space can enhance your practice and create a calming atmosphere.

Reiki: Reiki is a form of alternative healing that involves the transfer of energy from the practitioner to the recipient. Peace lilies are sometimes used in reiki healing sessions to enhance the flow of energy and promote a peaceful atmosphere.

Aromatherapy: Peace lilies are believed to have a mild, sweet fragrance that can promote relaxation and calm. Some practitioners use the flowers or leaves in aromatherapy blends to enhance their therapeutic effects.

WhitePurity, innocence, spirituality
GreenRenewal, growth, balance

If you are interested in incorporating peace lilies into your spiritual practice, there are many ways to do so. Whether you use them in feng shui, meditation, reiki, or aromatherapy, peace lilies offer a range of benefits that can enhance your practice and create a more peaceful atmosphere.

Peace lily in art and literature throughout history

The peace lily is not only a beautiful plant to decorate your home with, but it has also inspired many artists and writers throughout history. The plant’s elegance and serenity make it a popular symbol of peace, love, and hope.

  • Religious art: The peace lily can often be seen in Christian art as a symbol of the resurrected and ascended Christ. The lily’s white petals are seen as a representation of purity.
  • Victorian literature: The Victorians were known for their love of symbolism, and the peace lily was a favorite subject of many writers of the time. It was often used as a symbol for motherhood, purity, and innocence.
  • Modern art: In modern art, the peace lily is a popular subject for botanical artists and photographers. Many artists are drawn to the plant’s striking white flowers and glossy green leaves, which make for a stunning composition.

Overall, the peace lily has made many appearances in art and literature throughout history. Its delicate beauty and symbolism have inspired many people to use it as a representation of love, peace, and hope.

What Does Peace Lily Symbolize: FAQs

1. Why is peace lily called a symbol of peace?

Peace lily is called a symbol of peace because of its ability to purify the air and create a serene and calm atmosphere, which promotes a sense of peace and relaxation.

2. What other meanings are associated with peace lily?

In addition to symbolizing peace, peace lilies are also associated with healing, purity, and renewal. They are commonly gifted to wish someone a speedy recovery or to show sympathy for a loss.

3. What is the spiritual significance of peace lilies?

Peace lilies are believed to have spiritual significance in various cultures. They are considered a symbol of hope, purity, and enlightenment. Some spiritual practices use peace lilies in rituals to help bring peace and harmony to the environment.

4. Can peace lilies be used for decoration?

Yes, peace lilies are commonly used for decoration due to their beautiful and elegant appearance. They can add a touch of serenity and tranquility to any indoor space.

5. How do you care for peace lilies?

Peace lilies require minimal care and attention. They thrive in moderate to bright indirect sunlight and should be watered once a week. Overwatering can cause damage to the plant, while under-watering can cause the leaves to wilt.

6. Can peace lilies be toxic to pets?

Yes, peace lilies are toxic to pets if ingested. They contain calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause irritation and swelling in the mouth and throat. Keep peace lilies out of reach of pets and children.

7. How long do peace lilies live?

Peace lilies can live for several years with proper care and maintenance. They may produce new growth and flowers throughout the year, depending on environmental conditions.

Closing Thoughts

Thanks for reading about what peace lily symbolizes. Whether you’re looking to add a touch of peace to your home or extend a comforting message to someone in need, peace lilies offer a powerful symbol of comfort and hope. Once you bring peace lilies home, be sure to give them the care and attention they need to thrive. Check back soon for more houseplant tips and inspiration!