Peace Lilies

SPATHIPHYLLUM SPECIES

The distinctive flower of this plant evokes an understanding of its common name, peace lily. The spathe is a pure white bract that encloses true flowers. Sometimes more than four inches wide and six inches long, it unfurls to form a softly curved backdrop for the central column of these tiny, closely set flowers. The blossom clearly resembles its relative, the anthurium. Spoon-shaped leaves on long stalks surround the flower and mirror its shape.

 

When not in flower, spathiphyllum makes a very attractive foliage plant, especially in a shady location.

 

This is one of the easiest large flowering plants to grow, especially under limited light conditions. A few hours of bright indirect light daily, normal to warm house temperatures, and regular waterings and feeding is all that is needed to bring this plant to bloom. Cold drafts will harm the plant. Wash plant occasionally to protect the plant from scales and mites.

 

Light – Survives in low light--a good practice is to keep your peace lily 6-8 feet away from a window. In fact, if you want flowers to appear but have none, try moving the plant into a darker room. If you discover your peace lily has yellowing leaves or leaves with streaks, or if you plant has brown spots on it, try moving it away from the light--Peace lilies love shade.

 

Water – Keep very moist during growth and flowering; at other times, allow to dry between waterings. The best practice is to water your plant very well, and then let it dry out well, and repeat. Also, do make sure to house your peace lily in a container that drains well, as they can contract root rot.

 

Temperatures – Peace lilies like warmer temperatures, so make sure to not let your plant get too cold--temperatures ranging from 65-80 degrees F will do. Also make sure to keep your plant safe from drastic changes in temperature or cold drafts.

 

Fertilization – Fertilize with organic fertilizer in the spring and summer growing seasons to get the best blooms.

 

Repotting – Repot infrequently--only when you notice that your plant is drinking up the water within a few days.

 

Fun Fact: NASA studies found that the Peace Lily is effective in controlling the levels of formaldehyde, benzene, and carbon monoxide in the air. It is also great at removing alcohols, acetone, and trichloroethylene from the air.