How To Make a Peace Lily Bushy (10 Steps)

Bushy peace lilies are stunning. The thick foliage and blooms will make any room stand out and are most likely why the peace lily is such a popular indoor plant. If your peace lily is thin, there are several things you can do to make it bushy.

Here’s how you can make your peace lily bushy in 10 steps.

  1. Water your peace lily regularly.
  2. Use filtered water instead of tap water.
  3. Fertilize your peace lily in spring and summer.
  4. Ensure your peace lily receives adequate light.
  5. Remove old, yellow leaves. 
  6. Prune old stalks that already flowered.
  7. Cut off leggy stems.
  8. Mist the leaves regularly.
  9. Change the soil if it has been in use for years.
  10. Re-pot your peace lily.

When conditions are right, peace lilies will grow and thrive. They will become thick and produce lots of blooms. I’ll discuss conditions that affect the growth of Peace lilies and how you can make yours bushy. 

1. Water Your Peace Lily Regularly

If your peace lily isn’t growing more stems and leaves to make it thicker, you might not be watering the plant enough. Peace lilies thrive in moist soil, but you should ensure you don’t overwater them. 

Too little or too much moisture is harmful to peace lilies and will affect their growth.  

Signs of overwateringSigns of underwatering
Widespread wilting, yellowing leaves.Curled, shriveled, and wrinkled leaves.
Brown, mushy roots.Dry, brittle roots. 
Brown and dry leaf tips.Dry, brown spots. 
Soggy soil with mold on the surface.The top 1-2 inches (2.54-5.08 cm) are dry. 
Leaf spot with a yellow halo.Stunted growth.
Foul odor from the roots.Falling leaves and flowers.
Signs of Overwatering and Underwatering in Peace Lilies.

Excess water suffocates the roots, so the plant will not access the oxygen it needs to thrive. Likewise, inadequate water deprives the peace lily of the nutrients and moisture it needs. There will be no new growth in both cases, and the existing foliage and blooms will suffer. 

If your peace lily is showing signs that it has been overwatered, you should;

  • Stop watering your peace lily immediately.
  • Move the peace lily to a sunny spot, but don’t expose it to direct sunlight.
  • Check the roots for signs of damage.
  • Cut off infected roots and use activated charcoal to disinfect the roots. 
  • Treat the roots with a fungicide or potassium permanganate. 
  • Repot the peace lily using fresh soil. 

If your peace lily is showing signs of underwatering, you should;

  • Give your peace lily a good drink. If you opt to water from the top, water slowly and evenly until you see water flowing out of the drainage holes. Drain the water that collects in the pot saucer.
  • If you’re watering from the bottom, place the pot with the peace lily in a water basin and allow it to absorb enough water. Check the top 2-3 inches (5.08cm – 7.62cm). If the soil is wet, remove the pot from the basin. If it is still dry, water lightly from the top. Once the pot has drained the excess water, put it back in its usual spot. 

After the peace lily recovers, only water it when the top 3 inches (7.62cm) of soil feels dry. You should also water your peace lily when it shows signs of thirst, which usually begins with drooping leaves.

2. Use Filtered Water Instead of Tap Water

You may be watering your peace lily as you should, but it is not growing well. Chances are, the peace lily is sensitive to the chemicals in the water. For example, if the water has too much fluoride or chlorine, the leaves will get brown tips.

Instead of tap water, use filtered, room-temperature water. 

This video analyzes some of the reasons why peace lilies fail to grow and why they are not blooming.

3. Fertilize Your Peace Lily in Spring and Summer

Peace lilies are not nutrient hungry, but you should fertilize them during the growing season. The lilies grow actively in spring and summer, and then they go into dormancy in winter. 

Use medium strength fertilizer once or twice a month. If the peace lily needs more foliage, you should choose a fertilizer with higher nitrogen levels. If you would like more blooms or if the blooms are frail, choose a fertilizer with more phosphorus. 

4. Ensure Your Peace Lily Receives Adequate Light

Peace lilies need bright to medium indirect light to thrive. If the light is insufficient, the peace lily will become leggy, and the entire plant will lose its fullness. If the plant is at a spot with direct sunlight, the leaves will burn. The plant will also lose moisture quickly, which will naturally affect its growth. 

Place the plant in a location with bright but indirect light. It will get more foliage and blooms. 

5. Remove Dry Leaves and Damaged Stems

Like other plants, the peace lily will use its energy to heal damaged leaves and stems, even when they are beyond saving. The energy the plant wastes in hopeless cases, such as dry leaves and damaged stalks, would have been utilized to grow new foliage. 

You can help your peace lily by cutting the dead leaves and damaged stems. This way, the plant will use its energy to support new growth, resulting in bushy growth

This video is a guide on how to remove dead leaves and blooms from a peace lily.

6. Prune Old Stalks That Already Flowered

Pruning peace lilies is one way to encourage more growth, making them bushy. Besides pruning damaged stalks and dry leaves, you should cut off stalks that have already flowered. Ensure you cut them from the base to create space for new growth. 

Pruning allows the remaining parts of the plant to thrive. It will also help keep pests and diseases away since you would have removed weak, vulnerable parts of the plant. 

7. Cut Off Leggy Stalks

Peace lilies get leggy when they don’t get sufficient sunlight.

This is one of the reasons why they appear thin and the stalks leggy. When you identify a better spot with bright, indirect sunlight, move the plant and cut off the leggy stem. The peace lily will have new, thick growth that will quickly fill up.  

8. Mist the Leaves Regularly

Humidity is essential to peace lilies. When exposed to dry air, they lose moisture, and the leaves’ tips tend to turn brown. When the leaves turn brown, the plant will attempt to heal, which will affect its ability to grow more leaves. 

Peace lilies benefit immensely from high humidity levels. Unfortunately, air-conditioned and heated rooms do not have the humidity that peace lilies need to be healthy. Fortunately, you can increase humidity in multiple ways.

  • Use a plant humidifier.
  • Manually mist your peace lily.
  • Place the pot with the peace lily over a moistened tray of pebbles or gravel. Ensure the pot isn’t submerged in the water for long because it will encourage root rot

If you mist your peace lily at least twice a week, it will be happy and will no doubt keep producing more foliage.

9. Change the Soil if It Has Been in Use for Years

If your peace lily has been in the same pot for years, maybe it is time to change the soil. Even if your peace lily is not ready for repotting, the soil may have become compact, or the plant may have exhausted the nutrients in the soil.

The best time to change the soil is spring, just as the peace lily is about to grow after months of winter dormancy. Be sure to get a high-quality potting mix that drains well while holding enough moisture.

10. Re-Pot Your Peace Lily 

Your peace lily may not be growing because it needs a bigger pot. The peace lily likes to be root bound, so you shouldn’t rush to repot it unless the plant is ready for it. Fortunately, your peace lily will let you know when to re-pot it. 

Signs that your peace lily is ready for a bigger pot include;

  • Drooping leaves less than a week after watering.
  • Crowded, deformed leaves. 

Ensure that the new pot is not more than 2″ (5.08cm) bigger in diameter than your current pot. 

Final Thoughts

When trying to establish why your peace lily is not growing, you will need to check all factors affecting it to ensure you get the right solution. 

Sometimes, the cause is more than one, and you need to solve all the problems. Otherwise, any changes you make will offer a reprieve that will not result in a bushy peace lily.

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the principal creator of, a website dedicated to gardening tips. Inspired by his mother’s love of gardening, Alex has a passion for taking care of plants and turning backyards into feel-good places and loves to share his experience with the rest of the world.

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