With wide dark green leaves and splendid white blossoms, a peace lily, or Spathiphyllum, is a valuable plant to keep inside of a home. Noted for its natural air filtering properties, the plant holds a spot on NASA’s list of the top houseplants that keep the air clean in a home. As indicated by the office, the plant expels benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, toluene, and alkali from the air. Caring for the resilient peace lily is easy and requires only proper placement in the home, an adequate container, and minimal water.
Scientific Name: Spathiphyllum
Common Name: Peace Lily
How to maintain Peace Lily plant:
Light and Shade :
Like most plants, peace lilies need the right balance of light and shade in order to thrive. One of the reasons peace lilies make excellent house plants is because they prefer shady areas along with limited amounts of indirect light. The ideal spot for them indoors is 5 to 7 feet away from a north- or east-facing window. Watch the plant for signs of overexposure including yellow or brown spots on the leaves.
Peace lilies are tropical plants that need temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Avoid exposing them to drafts or drastic temperature changes, as they do not tolerate cold weather and die when the temperature falls below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Except for the occasional spider mite, aphid, or mealy bug, peace lilies do not attract many pests. Wiping the leaves regularly and using a mild insecticide at the first sign of bugs reduces the chance of an infestation.
Soil and Containers :
Peace lilies grow well in plastic and ceramic pots. When selecting containers, look for those that have adequate drainage and give the plant room to grow. In most cases, a 10-inch pot has sufficient space for a growing peace lily and lasts for several years
Peace lilies develop root rot if the soil retains too much water for an extended period of time. For this reason, the indoor plants must have excellent drainage. Make sure the pot has a hole in the bottom to let water drain or put a layer of pebbles under the soil if the pot is impermeable. Pay attention to the plant’s leaves and inspect the roots if the plant wilts. Ideally, the roots have a firm touch. Soggy roots indicate that the plant has too much water.
When the plant shows signs of distress or outgrows its container, divide the plant or move it to a bigger container. These signs include leaves that droop within a few days of watering, or leaves that appear crowded or deformed. To divide the plant, remove it from the container and cut through the root ball with a sharp knife. Place each half of the original plant in a new container.
Water and Fertilizer :
Peace lilies do not require excessive amounts of water and actually prefer infrequent watering. When the soil is dry to the touch or when the leaves droop, the plant needs water. Spritz the leaves with water at least once each week and give the plant a shower annually to keep the leaves clean. Add an organic fertilizer to the soil immediately after the annual shower. Those who live in communities with highly chlorinated water need to let the water stand overnight before watering the plant.
Few pest problems are associated with this plant. Mealybugs are probably the most common insect indoors. Because of the wide foliage, cleaning the leaves regularly with a damp cloth to remove dust will help not only in appearance but also in removing some pests which tend to gather under the bottom of the leaves.