The Complete Guide to Variegated Peace Lilies

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Ok, not a complete guide, because there’s precious little information out there about them, but I have a variegated peace lily and I’ve, er, seen others.

Different types of variegated peace lilies

There are a few different types of variegated peace lilies. There isn’t a lot of information about the actual genetics of the plants, but I’m pretty sure that there are a few different types of variegation and several names for each one. If three tissue culture labs come up with three different (but also the same) types of variegated peace lilies at the same time, they’ll all call it something different. TECHNICALLY they are all different, but they’re also basically the same.

The most common variegated peace lilies you’ll come across are:

  • Peace lily domino
  • Peace lily silver streak
  • Peace lily picasso
  • Peace lily jessica
  • Peace lily diamond

There isn’t a standard for the type of variegation. Sectoral variegation is pretty rare – it’s usually similar to the flecked parts of Thai Constellation OR it looks like someone’s been erasing the green, leaving a muted green mark.

There are also a lot of variegated peace lilies being sold as ‘sensation’ or ‘white sails’. Sensation is actually a species of peace lily (the freakin HUGE ones) and white sales is a common synonym for all peace lilies.

There is NO regulation about naming peace lilies, so if you’re after one with specific variegation, buy one in person, or make sure you’re buying the one in the photograph.

Is variegated peace lily care different to regular peace lily care?

Variegated peace lily care is pretty much the same as regular green peace lily care. The only difference is that variegated peace lilies are a little more sensitive than normal ones.

Light

Variegated peace lilies burn more easily than green ones BUT they also need more light to maintain their variegation (I think anyway – it’s a contentious issue).

The light rules for peace lilies are long hours of crappy light, and variegated ones are no different. A north or east-facing window is perfect.

Temperature

This is probably the biggest difference – variegated peace lilies won’t tolerate the cold as well as green ones – the plant will be fine, but you may find that it starts producing green leaves.

In my experience, once a peace lily starts reverting it won’t stop, BUT bear in mind that I only have one plant. You may have more luck.

Humidity

Again, variegated peace lilies don’t NEED high humidity, but you may find that the white parts go a bit crispy if they’re exposed to super dry air. In my experience, they’re fine in humidity levels of 50% and above with no crispy tips or edges.

Water quality

I’ve never had an issue with peace lilies and water quality, variegated or not. Mine all get tap water and don’t seem to mind. If you have particularly nasty tap water then you might need to give them filtered, but they’re not as particular as, say, a Maranta.

Watering frequency

Variegated peace lilies brown faster than green ones if they’re left to brown, but they also wilt prior to that, so as long as you look at your plant every few days, you shouldn’t have any issues.

Soil/pot type

No different to a regular peace lily – avoid terracotta, and tailor your potting mix to your watering style. I use pure, uncut store-bought houseplant potting mix.

Pests

Touch wood, they seem as impervious to pests as regular peace lilies. Pests just don’t seem to like them.

Are variegated peace lilies rare?

No. They probably are in the wild, but they’re bred to widely and in massive numbers that it didn’t take long for variegated peace lilies to go from being pretty unusual to being pretty standard.

Prices

You can buy baby ones for a few quid, but a large, variegated spathiphyllum sensation could st you back about £50. They’re certainly not commanding variegated Monstera prices, probably because they’re quite unfashionable and a bit granny-ish.

I’ve never seen an adult with this much variegation, so I assume they’ll grow out of this super-white phase.

Availability

Widely available in houseplant shops, but they don’t seem to have moved into supermarket territory quite yet. It won’t be long though, because supermarkets ALWAYS love to sell peace lilies.

(Though having said that, there are rarely variegated orchids in supermarkets).

I spend an hour or so researching variegated peace lilies and there are a LOT of scams out there, so as I said before buying in person or from a big supplier like Grow Tropicals is a better idea than hitting up Etsy.

BEFORE YOU GO

I’m gonna assume you like peace lilies, in which case, you might like these articles:

Caroline Cocker

Caroline is the founder and writer (and plant keeper) of Planet Houseplant

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