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Anthuriums vs. Peace Lilies (5 Clear Distinctions)

Anthuriums vs. Peace Lilies (5 Clear Distinctions)

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You can brighten up any dim room with a houseplant or two. Plants like peace lilies and anthuriums are such good options, but which one should you choose?

Anthurium vs. peace lily is one of those decisions that can be hard to make. Luckily, you can still figure that out with a few pointers from the article below.

We can start with figuring out whether a peace lily is a type of anthurium.

Is an Anthurium a Peace Lily?

No, an anthurium isn’t a peace lily. They’re not even from the same genus of plants.

Technically both anthuriums and peace lilies are from the same family of plants called Araceae, or more commonly known as, aroids. Anthuriums have the same name as their genus (Anthurium) while peace lilies have a different genus name (Spathiphyllum).

The similarities between anthuriums and peace lilies stop there in terms of being on the same family tree. Their other commonalities include the following:

  • How do both plants defend themselves
  • What type of soil do they grow in
  • What their ideal temperature is
  • How much sunlight they prefer
  • How long do they bloom
  • What kind of plant they are
  • How efficient they are with purifying the air

What Is an Anthurium?

Anthuriums are originally from the Caribbean as well as Central and South America. The colors they produce give them the deserving nickname of flamingo flowers.

These plants grow well as indoor plants, although they originally grow outside in warmer places. At the same time, an anthurium can defend itself because it produces a type of toxin on its leaves and stalks.

The plant itself is usually okay to handle as long as you use gloves.

Pros of Anthuriums

  • An anthurium responds to two propagation methods
  • It’s generally a low-maintenance plant
  • Anthuriums aren’t that susceptible to pests

Cons of Anthuriums

  • You can easily overwater an anthurium
  • An anthurium is sensitive to diseases caused by fungi and bacteria

What Is a Peace Lily?

The name peace lily is a misnomer because they’re not true lilies. Coming from the Araceae family, this plant prefers warmer climates since they originate from Venezuela and Columbia.

Much like anthuriums, they’re one of the main choices for your indoor plant families. They’re such useful plants that they promote better night’s sleep through their purifying tendencies.

Pros of Peace Lilies

  • You can tell if a peace lily needs more water through the plant’s condition
  • Peace lilies can stop mildew from happening
  • These plants further filter the air by eliminating floating mold spores

Cons of Peace Lilies

  • Peace lilies are not the best as outdoor plants since they’re sensitive to too much sunlight
  • A peace lily is easily affected by spiders and other pests

Anthuriums vs. Peace Lilies

Now for the meat of this argument. Several distinctions between anthuriums and peace lilies will either benefit your home or not. Each point below explains everything you need to know about them.

1 – The Amount of Water They Need

Both of these flowering plants require consistent watering, though one more so than the other.

It’s crucial to consider watering schedules when thinking about which plant would be a better fit for you.

Anthuriums

Anthuriums generally don’t need as much water as peace lilies do.

They both can get root rot if they get too much water in their soil or at the bottom of their vases. But, anthuriums don’t dry out as easily as peace lilies do.

You can let an anthurium almost fully dry out before watering it again. Test out the topsoil if it’s in fact dry, then water the plant.

Water your anthurium again when the topsoil dries up once more.

Peace Lilies

Peace lilies need more water than anthuriums, and it shows. They get thirsty faster, which you need to compensate for whenever they dry up.

You can tell that your peace lilies need more water when they start to wilt a bit. Following this method isn’t the best way to care for your plant, however.

To be safe, test out the plant’s soil by inserting your finger below the topsoil. If the soil is dry, then it’s time to water the plant again.

2 – What’s Their Natural Environment Like?

After knowing each plant’s watering recommendations, now let’s look at what their habitats are supposed to be like.

Anthuriums

You will surely find more anthuriums up in higher ground. That’s because the higher the ground, the less humid it is.

The ground closer to the sun is drier, which it prefers. You can see anthuriums up on trees or hills; as long as those places provide sufficient drainage.

Peace Lilies

Peace lilies are the opposite of anthuriums concerning their environment. They can clamber up trees too, but that’s not what they do most of the time.

A peace lily’s ideal setting is as close to the ground as it can handle. It also wants to be within spitting distance of water sources.

Peace lilies love marshy places, like bogs, streams, and valleys along riverbeds.

3 – How Do They Propagate?

Much like all plants, you can propagate both peace lilies and anthuriums. How they propagate, on the other hand, is a different story altogether.

Anthuriums

Propagating anthuriums is by cutting part of their stalk out. Anthuriums sort of have a woody stem, making this method one of the ways you can properly propagate them.

Carefully sliver out a wedge of an anthurium’s stalk. To plant that part of the stalk, you need to help it root by setting it in compost and a bit of water.

You can propagate an anthurium using both its stalk and roots, but you can’t propagate a peace lily with its stem.

Peace Lilies

Meanwhile, peace lilies don’t have thick enough stalks to propagate them in this way. You can propagate them through their roots instead.

Propagating through the peace lily’s roots is the only option if you want your peace lily to multiply itself. The root of the peace lily forms into a ball.

The root ball is further divided into clusters. These clusters form the base of each of the peace lily’s stalks.

Simply tear out a segment of the root along with a part of the stalk. This piece of the plant will then need to be put in a new pot.

Now, you have an entirely new peace lily to care for.

4 – What Formations do Their Leaves Take?

Anthuriums and peace lilies generally have the same shade for their leaves, but that’s usually the only thing that connects the two. Look through their other differences below to tell their leaves apart from one another.

Anthuriums

An anthurium has big leaves that droop down as they grow. The shape of the leaves greatly resembles hearts, with rather shallow-looking veins throughout.

You can see these leaves pointing down to the floor. Their almost waxy coverage is bigger than the leaves of a peace lily.

Peace Lilies

A peace lily has longer leaves than an average anthurium. Instead of pointing down, the peace lily’s leaves point up, with their tips prominently high.

Its foliage can be as wide as it can get, but it still tends to be thinner than that of the anthurium’s. Their more-noticeable veins accentuate the length and narrowness of their shape.

5 – What’s the Appearance of Their Flower Clusters?

Apart from their colors, the reason why most people confuse an anthurium with a peace lily is their flowers. They both have the same structure and petal formation, but they’re still quite distinctive from one another.

Anthuriums

The flowers of anthuriums aren’t those large red leaves sticking out of the back of the protruding points. These are technically called the spathes, and they’re classified as a leaf.

Their spathes produce shades of bright violet, pink and red. These heart-shaped pseudo-flowers often lay flat, while their spikes are all out and proud.

The flower itself is the spadix or the aforementioned central spike. The spadix combined with the spathe is the flower of the plant.

Peace Lilies

A peace lily has a similar spadix and spathe structure to anthurium, with a few key differences. Instead of having a brightly-colored and flat spathe, a peace lily has a more delicate feel.

The spathe it has is typically white and less waxy. The leaf stands at attention, with the thin tip sticking out and pointing up high.

Nestling in the middle is the spathe’s spadix, also consisting of buds.

Final Thoughts

Your house will surely benefit from a few houseplants here and there. What better to choose from than between an anthurium and a peace lily?

They’re both quite similar, hence why there’s been some debate regarding anthurium vs. peace lily. Luckily, they still do have some distinctions between one another.

Cut a bit off the stem of an anthurium or segment one of its clumps of roots, and you’ll be able to propagate it just fine. You can only propagate a peace lily by separating a segment of its roots and replanting it in another pot.

Peace lilies have white spathes, while anthuriums have brighter-colored ones. A peace lily’s thinner leaves will stand up more than the anthurium’s rounder, more droopy foliage.

Before you go: Now is the perfect time to start tracking your gardening progress, and I created a garden journal to do exactly that. Click the image below to see it in action and to get your own copy.

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