The Beautiful Red Peace Lily: Adding Color and Cheer to Your Home

Red peace lily via @home4theharvest

Adding a touch of color and texture to your home doesn’t have to be complicated, especially if you’re not an expert gardener. A red peace lily plant is a perfect solution. This delightful houseplant offers numerous benefits, from its lush foliage that brightens any room to its long-lasting blooms that bring joy for weeks on end.

A Unique Flowering Plant

Red peace lilies (Anthurium species) are exquisite flowering houseplants that effortlessly enhance any home decor. Originating from Mexico and tropical South America, these plants belong to the Anthurium genus in the Araceae family.

With over a thousand species, Anthuriums are native to the Americas and are distinguished by their brightly colored flowers, which predominantly come in shades of pink, white, or red. The glossy, green, arrow-shaped leaves further contribute to their beauty. While very few species naturally bear red flowers, most anthurium plants with red blooms are bred from the Anthurium andraeanum and occasionally the Anthurium scherzerianum species.

Anthuriums are often referred to as “Flamingo flowers” when their flowers are pink. On the other hand, when the flowers display shades of red, they are commonly known as “Red peace lily plants.” These plants enjoy widespread popularity as houseplants and are also used as cut flowers or in outdoor landscaping projects within tropical climates.

The most notable feature of the red peace lily plant is its striking blooms, which resemble hearts. These flowers are typically arranged in a spike-like structure called a spadix, surrounded by a large, brightly colored bract known as the spathe. Not only are the flowers long-lasting, but they also add a touch of romanticism, making them a popular choice for Valentine’s Day gifts.

Care Tips for Red Peace Lilies

Red peace lily plant

Caring for red peace lilies is relatively simple, as long as you follow a few basic guidelines:

Light Requirements

Red peace lilies thrive in indirect sunlight, although they can tolerate low-light conditions. While they can do well in various positions, it’s best to place them near a window or in a corner away from direct sun exposure to ensure they receive several hours of indirect sunlight each day.

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Watering

Regular watering is essential for red peace lilies. Use room temperature water and allow the soil to dry out between watering sessions. Overwatering can lead to root rot and other health issues. To determine if your plant needs water, simply insert your finger into the soil up to approximately two inches deep. If the soil feels moist, the plant doesn’t require additional water yet.

Fertilizer

During the growing season (spring through summer), it’s advisable to fertilize your red peace lily every two weeks. Use a balanced fertilizer diluted to half strength, following the package instructions for optimal results. This regular fertilization will help keep your red peace lily healthy and vibrant.

Temperature and Humidity

Ideally, red peace lilies prefer temperatures between 65°F – 85°F (18°C – 29°C) to thrive during their active growth period. During the fall and winter, when they go dormant, slightly cooler temperatures of around 55-60°F (13-16°C) are suitable. Additionally, these plants enjoy high humidity levels. Misting them occasionally aids in maintaining humidity and prevents dust buildup on their leaves. However, make sure to avoid misting the flowers directly to prevent damage or discoloration over time.

Pruning

To keep your red peace lily looking neat and tidy, prune any dead leaves or stems throughout the year. Cut just above where new growth begins on the stem to encourage fresh foliage to grow.

Repotting

Consider repotting your red peace lily every two years or when necessary. Choose a pot with good drainage holes to allow excess water to escape easily, preventing potential root rot issues. While red peace lilies enjoy moist soil, it’s crucial to avoid stagnant muddy conditions.

Red peace lilies at the garden center (anthurium)

Benefits of Red Peace Lilies

Red peace lilies are not only visually stunning but also low-maintenance houseplants that inject color and life into any home or office space. Their aesthetic appeal is coupled with air-purifying qualities that help remove toxins from the air, resulting in improved air quality.

The vibrant flowers of red peace lilies add a cheerful pop of color wherever you choose to place them, whether in your living room, on your bedroom windowsill, or even on your work desk. With proper care, these blooms can last up to four weeks.

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Another advantage of growing red peace lilies is their resilience. They can survive through periods of neglect, thanks to their hardy nature. While it’s not recommended to forget about your plants, occasional forgetfulness won’t cause significant damage.

Lastly, red peace lilies make excellent gifts due to their various sizes, allowing you to find the perfect fit for any occasion. Give someone special a gift that keeps on giving!

Common Plant Care Problems

While red peace lilies are relatively resilient, a few common problems may arise:

  • Overwatering: Overwatering is one of the most common issues faced by red peace lilies. Waterlogged roots can lead to wilting leaves and, eventually, the death of the plant. To avoid this problem, ensure the soil has dried out before watering again. Use a moisture meter or probe to assess the soil’s moisture level if needed.

  • Spider Mites: These tiny pests feed on the sap from the leaves and stems, causing yellow spots or stippling. To control spider mites, regularly spray your plant with an insecticidal soap solution or neem oil spray every two weeks until the problem is resolved.

  • Moist Soil Attracting Small Flies: Moist soil can attract small flies, such as shore flies and fungus gnats. Mulching the surface with dry sand or gravel can help, and using beneficial nematodes can target fly eggs before they hatch.

  • Mealybugs: These small white insects also feed on the plant’s sap and can leave behind sticky honeydew secretions. This can attract ants and cause sooty mold fungus growth on the foliage. Apply an insecticidal soap solution directly onto affected areas once per week until the mealybugs are gone.

  • Aphids: Aphids can cause stunted development or distorted leaf shapes in severe infestations. Control aphids by applying a horticultural oil spray directly onto affected areas once per week until they disappear.

  • Leaf Spot Disease: Leaf spot diseases, caused by fungi or bacteria, can manifest as brown spots surrounded by yellow halos on foliage surfaces. Prevent leaf spot diseases by avoiding overhead irrigation, promptly removing infected leaves, providing adequate air circulation, and applying organic fungicides as needed.

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Red peace lily plant vs white peace lily plant - side by side comparison

Differences between Red Peace Lilies and Regular White Peace Lilies

The red peace lily (Anthurium species) and the regular peace lily (Spathiphyllum species) are both beautiful plants. However, they differ in several notable ways. While both belong to the Araceae family and share the unique spadix-and-spathe inflorescence, each possesses its own charm.

The Anthurium species showcases flat red or pink flowers, while the Spathiphyllum species dazzles with upright, curled white flowers. Additionally, the leaves of anthuriums have more triangular heart or arrow shapes, while peace lilies exhibit more oval and lance-shaped foliage. Furthermore, many Anthurium species are epiphytic, growing on the surface of other plants, whereas Spathiphyllum species are terrestrial perennials that grow in the ground.

When it comes to care, both plants are considered low maintenance. They prefer bright, indirect light and should be kept away from direct sunlight. Consistently moist soil is ideal for both species, although the Anthurium may require more frequent watering.

Anthurium plant right beside a peace lily showing foliage and flower differences

Frequently Asked Questions about Red Peace Lilies

Q: How can I grow red peace lilies successfully?

A: Growing red peace lilies is easy and rewarding. With the right care, you can enjoy these beautiful plants for years to come. Make sure to provide them with adequate light, water them regularly without overwatering, and maintain proper humidity levels. Prune when needed and repot every two years or as necessary.

Q: Can I give red peace lilies as gifts?

A: Absolutely! Red peace lilies make excellent gifts due to their beauty and resilience. Whether for birthdays, anniversaries, or special occasions, red peace lilies are a thoughtful and long-lasting gift.

Resources

  • 30 lily varieties to consider growing
  • How to grow lilies
  • Seasonal timing to plant lily bulbs and tips
  • How to plant lily bulbs in your flower garden
  • Types of lilies, including species and floral divisions

References


Ames Farm Center