Can You Completely Cut Back A Peace Lily? ( Will It Survive? )

Spread the love

In the realm of indoor plants, the Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) stands as a symbol of tranquility and grace. Its elegant white blooms and dark green foliage make it a popular choice for homes and offices alike. But, like all living things, the Peace Lily requires some tender loving care to thrive. One question that often arises is, “Can you completely cut back a Peace Lily?” In this article, we’ll dive deep into the world of Peace Lilies, exploring the art of pruning, when to do it, and whether your beloved plant can survive the drastic measure of a complete cutback.

If you want to show off your peace lilies then my personal recommendation is to use a liquid leaf shine Click here to check it out on

Pruning Peace Lilies

Pruning is a horticultural technique that involves selectively removing parts of a plant to encourage healthy growth. For the Peace Lily, pruning is not just about aesthetics but also the overall well-being of the plant. By removing dead or damaged leaves and spent blooms, you can promote new growth, ensuring your Peace Lily remains vibrant and beautiful. If your peace lily has brown leaves then check out my recent article Peace Lily Brown Leaves ( Top 12 Reasons & Remedies ).

How to Prune Peace Lilies

Before we delve into the more radical idea of completely cutting back a Peace Lily, let’s talk about the basics of pruning. Pruning Peace Lilies is a straightforward process. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Gather Your Tools: To prune your Peace Lily, you’ll need a few basic tools. A pair of sharp, clean scissors or pruning shears is essential. Make sure they are disinfected to prevent the spread of diseases.
  2. Identify What to Prune: Look for dead or yellowing leaves, spent flowers, and stems that are growing leggy or out of place. These are the areas that require your attention.
  3. Snip with Care: When cutting, make clean and sharp cuts. Avoid tearing the plant tissue, as this can lead to damage and disease. Aim to cut leaves or stems as close to the base as possible without harming the healthy part of the plant.
  4. Dispose of Pruned Material: After pruning, dispose of the removed plant parts properly. Do not let them accumulate in the pot, as decaying material can promote the growth of mold and bacteria.
  5. Optional: Repotting: If your Peace Lily has outgrown its current container, this is a good time to consider repotting. A larger pot allows your plant to continue thriving.

Pruning your Peace Lily regularly can keep it looking its best and ensure it remains healthy. However, this leads us to the intriguing question of whether you can completely cut back a Peace Lily.

Can You Completely Cut Back a Peace Lily?

The Radical Approach: A Complete Cutback

Cutting back a Peace Lily entirely is a drastic measure, and it’s not something to be taken lightly. But sometimes, extreme situations call for extreme solutions. Reasons you might consider a complete cutback include severe disease or pest infestation, root rot, or overgrowth. Here’s how you can do it, step by step:

  1. Assess the Situation: Examine your Peace Lily thoroughly to confirm that a complete cutback is necessary. Ensure there are no other alternatives, such as treating diseases or pests.
  2. Prepare Your Tools: Like regular pruning, you’ll need sharp, clean scissors or pruning shears. Disinfect them to avoid spreading diseases within the plant.
  3. Remove All Foliage: Start by cutting off every leaf, stem, and bloom on the plant. It’s essential to make clean cuts, as mentioned earlier, to avoid causing unnecessary harm to the plant.
  4. Cut the Plant at the Base: After removing all the visible growth, cut the remaining plant close to the soil level. This is a make-or-break moment for your Peace Lily, as it might shock the plant.
  5. Immediate Aftercare: Once the cutback is done, immediately transfer your Peace Lily to a new pot with fresh soil. Water it well and place it in a location with bright, indirect light.

The Survival Question: Will the Peace Lily Bounce Back?

Cutting back a Peace Lily so dramatically is undoubtedly a gamble. It’s like performing plant surgery, and the outcome is not always certain. However, Peace Lilies are known for their resilience, and they often surprise us with their ability to recover.

The success of a complete cutback largely depends on the health of the plant before the procedure. If your Peace Lily was already struggling due to disease or infestations, a cutback might be its last chance at survival. But if your plant was healthy, the odds are in its favor.

Peace Lilies have an underground rhizome system, which stores energy and nutrients. This reserve can be the key to the plant’s survival after a complete cutback. With proper care and a bit of patience, your Peace Lily may begin to sprout new growth within a few weeks. If you are about to buy a peace lily then check out my recent article Peace Lily Buyers Guide ( In 4 Steps ).

Timing Is Everything: When to Prune Peace Lilies

The timing of your pruning efforts is crucial to the health and growth of your Peace Lily. While you now know that a complete cutback is possible, it’s not something you should do without careful consideration.

The Ideal Pruning Time

For routine pruning, the best time to trim your Peace Lily is during its active growing season, which typically spans from late spring to early autumn. During this time, the plant is in its prime and can recover more swiftly from any pruning-related stress.

Remember that Peace Lilies are sensitive to temperature and light changes. Avoid pruning during the cold winter months or when the plant is in a dormant phase. Pruning during these periods can be more stressful for the plant and slow down its recovery. If you want to know the difference between peace lilies and cast iron plants then check out my recent article Peace Lily Vs Cast Iron Plant.

When to Consider a Complete Cutback

A complete cutback is a last resort for a struggling Peace Lily. Only consider it when:

  • Your Peace Lily is severely infested with pests, and other treatments have failed.
  • The plant is suffering from severe disease, such as root rot, and is unlikely to recover through traditional methods.
  • The plant has outgrown its space and is becoming unmanageable.

Always explore alternative solutions first and reserve the complete cutback as a final option. This approach ensures the best chance of your Peace Lily bouncing back.