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Grow lights aren’t a necessity for peace lilies – they’re plants that thrive in indirect light, and grow lights are a bit too intense.
However, they can encourage increased growth (both the speed and the size of the leaves) when used correctly or if you wish to put your plant in a particularly dark spot.
When to use grow lights for peace lilies
Don’t rush out and buy grow lights for your peace lily in order to supercharge growth. That can work for other aroids like Monstera, but peace lilies aren’t as responsive to bright light – it can even cause damage to their leaves.
That being said, there are times when using grow lights can benefit growth:
Supplemental light in winter
This is a biggy, especially if you keep your peace lily in medium light in summer and don’t have a brighter spot to move it to in the winter. Running the lights for a couple of hours in the morning and evening can help keep it looking healthy throughout the colder, darker months.
When your peace lily gets little natural light
Sometimes a dark corner is just crying out for a plant, but it won’t make it without some extra light. A grow bulb in a lamp can help brighten the corner up enough to keep your peace lily thriving.
To maintain variegation
Peace lily variegation is unstable and can revert. Now, to be completely honest we don’t really know if improving the light can stop them from reverting, but…it might.
How to set up grow lights for your peace lily
This depends a lot on the power of the grow lights that you choose. You may have to do a bit of trial and error to get your set-up perfect.
How far away to put your grow lights
Generally, with grow lights we aim to get our plants as close to the grow lights as possible without them touching, however, this could be too much for peace lilies.
If you use super-strong, professional grow lights then a couple of feet away is best. I used to keep mine under aquarium lights and they grew well. Those lights aren’t particularly strong though, so they could be super close without causing any damage.
Grow bulbs, aquarium lights, and those cheap Amazon grow lights will need to be as close to the plant as possible to have any real impact – see also normal LED lights.
How long to run your grow lights
Peace lilies like 14 hours of light a day. If your plant gets 7 hours of natural light then run your grow lights for 7 hours so it gets 14 hours total. You can do 3.5 on either side or run the grow lights the full 7 hours before/after the natural light.
You don’t need to give your peace lilies 14 hours of light a day – that’s just what’s required for maximum growth. In winter mine get around 10 hours of pretty weak light. It’s super important to keep the leaves clean and dust-free to maximise photosynthesis.
Benefits of using grow lights for peace lilies
Consistency of lighting conditions
Peace lilies LOVE consistency because in the wild the climate doesn’t vary too much with regard to light and temperature. Giving them consistent lighting can make them more resilient, so they’ll recover better if anything untoward happens, like shock or drought.
Peace lilies are reasonably tolerant of lower temperatures, but they will appreciate a bit of extra warmth in winter. Just don’t let the lights touch the leaves, because they will burn.
I don’t really want put this as a pro and a con, so I’ll just issue a warning about running grow lights in summer – check that your plants aren’t getting too hot underneath them.
Issues with peace lilies and grow lights
Peace lilies, unlike, say, Monstera deliciosa, have an upper limit when it comes to light. They can be acclimated to brighter light, but it won’t be beneficial to them. There can also be cosmetic damage to the leaves:
In my experience, putting certain aroids under grow lights resulted in significant bleaching – particularly peace lilies and philodendron. Bleaching can look pretty cool since it looks like a 100% variegated leaf, but the leaves brown and die quickly. Without green leaves, the plant will soon exhaust itself and will look sad and wilted.
Self-explanatory. Grow lights can easily burn leaves if they’re too close. Annoyingly, plants love to grow as close to grow lights as they possibly can, so you need to keep a close eye on them.
Which grow lights are best for peace lilies?
Normal LED lights
In winter, most of the light my peace lily gets is from an extremely normal light bulb. It likely has very little impact on the growth, but it’s enough to get it through winter.
Another weird bonus is that it really highlights how dusty the plant gets, which reminds me to dust the leaves.
Cheap grow lights
I wouldn’t recommend getting fancy grow lights for peace lilies – they’re too strong. If that’s all you have, put the plant next to the light, rather than directly under it. If you have no option but to have the peace lily directly in front of the light, make sure they’re a couple of feet apart.
I don’t really know why aquarium lights suit peace lilies so well, but they really do. I assume they can’t be super bright because you’d end up blinding the fish.
Grow bulbs aren’t usually very strong, but they’re significantly stronger than normal LED bulbs. Just put them in a regular lamp.
There’s not a lot of point spending a fortune on peace lily grow lights. Some cheap £20 Amazon ones will suffice.
I hope that was helpful! Peace lilies, unlike, say, succulents won’t benefit hugely from grow lights unless you have seriously rubbish natural light, so don’t go spending a fortune.
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