Peace LilyScientific name: Spathiphyllum
Synonym: Peace Lily, Spath
Spathiphyllum is a genus of around 40 evergreen species and is often grouped according to their size, with Spathiphyllum Sensation being the largest. The most common species of Spathiphyllum are known as the Peace Lily or Spath.
The Spath is an easy-care plant with large, evergreen leaves and produces elegant flowers from time to time. The Peace Lily is particularly popular for its ability to clean the air of unwanted chemicals, as well as its ability to adapt to low light conditions and its décor merits.
Blooms usually appear in early summer and will last for weeks. When the flowers start to fade, cut off the flowers as close as possible to the base of the plant. Keep the leaves dust free by wiping them down with a damp cloth from time to time.
Note: Spathiphyllum is toxic so keep it away from children and pets who may play with it or chew on it, and wash hands after handling the plant.
- Shriveled, dry leaves: This is caused by insufficient humidity levels. Supply the plant with more humidity by grouping it among others plants, misting or setting it on a tray of gravel/stones and water ensuring that the pot does not sit in water.
- Brown leaf tips: Are often caused by over-watering. Assess the plant’s environment and your watering schedule and adjust accordingly. Remember to keep the soil moist and not soggy.
- Brown leaf tips, streaks or spots: may be caused by direct sun. Move the plant into an area with filtered light if this is the case. Yellow streaks on leaves: is usually caused by too much light.
- No blooms: Although the Spathiphyllum can thrive in low light conditions it will very likely not produce any flowers in such conditions. Move the plant to an area with brighter lighting conditions to encourage it to produce blooms. If your plant is older it may need to be divided in order for it to produce blooms. Certain species, such as the Spathiphyllum Sensation rarely produce flowers at all.
- Dramatic wilting or drooping: This will happen if the plant is left to dry out too much, or under-watering. Water the plant right away and the leaves will pop up quickly.Yellow leaves and wilting: lack of water. Water your plant more regularly.
- Pests: Three insects attack Peace Lilies: Aphids, mealy bugs, and spider mites. Aphids: If your plant becomes covered with sticky slime, check for aphids. Mealy bugs: If your foliage begins to turn yellow and dry look for mealy bugs and a cottony mass between the plant’s stems and leaves. Spider Mites: Brown spots on the leaves and ‘webbing’ between the leaves are indications that you have a spider mite infection. Using a soft tissue, wipe the infected area, and treat with a good all purpose organic pesticide, such as Neem Oil.
- Origin: Tropical Americas and Southeastern Asia.
- Height: up to 90cm – 160cm.
- Light: Place your plant in bright, indirect light but keep it out of direct sun as it may scorch the leaves. Peace Lilies can also adapt to areas that have medium to low lighting conditions but may not bloom much, if at all. They do very well in fluorescent lighting.
- Water: Keep the soil around the Peace Lily moist, but not soggy and don’t let the plant sit in any water. Empty out drip trays that may have collected excess water. Use distilled water or rain water (if possible) as the Spathiphyllum can be sensitive to tap water – if you use tap water, allow it stand overnight so that the chemicals can dissipate.
- Humidity: Spathiphyllums enjoy humidity and can be misted or its leaves wiped down with a damp cloth to increase humidity in the environment. Once the plant has bloomed, try to keep water off the blooms to help the flowers last longer.
- Temperature: Average to warm temperatures of 15-29°C are ideal. Try to place your plant in an area where it will not be exposed to irregular temperature changes from draft or heat sources.
- Soil: General, all-purpose potting soilwill suit the Peace Lily just fine.
- Fertilizer: Spathiphyllums do not need that much fertilizer. Fertilize the plant once a month during spring and summer with a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted by half.
- Repotting: You should only need to repot your Peace Lily every two to three years and keeping your plant slightly root bound will cause the plant to produce more flowers.
- Propagation: Division. Divide the plant every 5 years or when necessary during spring.
If in stock, shop for Peace Lily Family here.