Peace Lily Care – Spathiphyllum Plant

Featured Photo Credit: MasterTux via Pixabay

Peace lily is a popular houseplant. It’s a very forgiving plant when it comes to being cared for, and has excellent adaptability to low light settings and air cleansing properties. This remarkable plant flourishes in the deep shade of the humid tropical rainforest understory, despite pests, wherever it is found. There are several cultivars in production now, which may be divided into large, medium, and tiny types.

Quick Growing Guide

Botanical Name: Spathiphyllum

Botanical Family: Araceae

Also Called: Mauna Loa Peace Lily, Spathe Flower, White Sails

Colours:

Blooms:

Sun / Shade:

Water: Before the leaves droop


What Are Peace Lilies?

A member of the Araceae “aroid” family, the Peace Lily calls the Philodendron, Pothos, Anthurium and Colocasia cousins. The Peace Lily is frequently referred to as a “spathe flower” or simply “spathe.” This category includes about 30 distinct plant species as well as dozens of hybrids. They are endemic to the Americas’ tropical regions as well as southeastern Asia.

With their modest water and lighting requirements, these evergreen plants make appealing and great houseplants. The leaves of the spathe plant are 12-18 inches long and three inches broad on average. Their blooms have a lovely white ellipsoid shape with a white, yellow, or green stamen.

According to a study conducted by NASA, Peace Lilies to be among the best houseplants for purifying indoor air. Spathiphyllums are extremely useful in the house for neutralising hazardous chemicals including benzene, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide. Add to that the fact that the Peace Lily is a hardy and carefree option, and it’s simple to see why so many people enjoy having these lilies in their homes and offices.


Low And Easy Peace Lily Care Is Not “NO” Care

Though Peace Lily can be forgiving for lack of care, it requires good location, the right quantity of strong light, and to be kept in a reasonably temperate environment.


Why Does My Peace Lily Get Brown Tips?

Brown tips appear on leaves for a variety of reasons. Overwatering, too much heat, too much fertilizer, or any combination of these and other conditions.

Watering Peace lily

Your peace lily pot or container must have drainage holes. Water peace lilies when the top half of the potting soil is dry, careful to water before the leaves begin to droop. Thoroughly water till the water drains out the drainage openings. When submerged in water, peace lily is prone to root rot; take care to use well-draining potting soil.

Set up a schedule of weekly watering and misting, or you can wait until your plant begins to droop a bit and then water. Drooping leaves are a way that the plant talks to you; it’s simply saying, “Hey, I’m thirsty; may i have some water please?” Either way, it works fine. Use distilled water or rainwater if possible, as these plants can be sensitive to chemicals found in tap water. If you must use tap water, allow it to stand overnight so the chemicals can dissipate. This also brings the water to room temperature, making it less likely to shock the root system.

Peace Lilies grow well in self-watering pots.

You can extend the blooming time of your spathiphyllum by keeping water off of the blooms. If you mist your plant, take care to keep the mist on the leaves and off the flowers.

If you must be gone for an extended period of time or ignore your plant for other reasons, give it some water and mist, and you might be amazed to see it come back to life!

Peace Lily Flowers Dying

Spathiphylliums exist in a variety of shapes and sizes. This is also true of how some of the blooms perish. Some types blossom for a long time and may have white flowers that appear and disappear at the same time. Others may blossom with one or two flowers and then wither away.

Flowers begin to die off at the end of their cycle in one of two ways. Either, the white hoods begin to discolor and get brown spots, much like you see with cut flowers. Or, the flowers can also slowly begin to turn green in color. You may also experience both of these conditions on the same plant. We usually find the creamy white flowers turning green once pollinated and seed has set. If you don’t remove the dyig flowers, it can cause the new leaves to come out smaller.

Spathiphyllums make excellent foliage plants even without flowers. Enjoy your plant while blooming and then enjoy this tough indoor plant for its foliage.

Why Is It Possible Your Spathiphyllum Won’t flower?

Usually, your plant probably simply needs more light. It gets its energy from sunlight.

The Best Light

Remember that your Peace lily is a shade plant when deciding where to place it. Look for a spot with the most and brightest indirect light. A west or north-facing window is typically optimal for getting consistent indirect sunlight for a certain amount of time each day.

If exposed to direct sunlight for an extended period of time, peace lilies can sunburn.

They can also thrive in fluorescent lights, which is why they are commonly employed as indoor plants in offices. Your plants will grow all year with excellent artificial light, even in a windowless workplace.


How To Tell If Your Spathiphyllum Plant Is Getting The Right Amount Of Light?

For too much light, keep a close eye on the leaves. Yellow streaks in the leaves are the first indication that your spathe is receiving too much light. If you notice dark streaks and blotches on your plants, pay close attention. Direct sunlight may be striking the leaves at some point in the course of a day Simply move the plant to a better location to help protect it from further harm.

For not enough light, keep an eye on flowering. Flowering energy come from light and temperature. If your peace lily is not flowering, or flowering poorly, it may not be getting enough light. Your plants should have a nice dark green color and look healthy, and not be receiving enough light to flower.


What Is The Right Temperature For Peace Lily?

Your plants will thrive if you maintain your house, workplace or microclimate between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (18 and 25 degrees Celsius). Place them away from entrances to avoid chilly draughts, especially in winter. Also, keep your plants away from any uninsulated openings.

Peace lily should be kept away from cold and extremely hot conditions. Plants may suffer harm if the temperature in your home or workplace falls below 45 degrees Fahrenheit, or 8 degrees C.


What About Peace Lily Fertilizer?

Peace lily does not often require fertilizer. And over-fertilizing can be harmful. If you want to fertilise your peace lily, use a balanced (20-20-20) liquid houseplant fertiliser diluted by half or quarter on a monthly basis during the spring and summer.

Keep fertiliser treatments to a minimal throughout its non-blooming phase, even though it will continue to grow and flourish. After the blooms have faded back, stop fertilising and do not restart until the blooms appear in the spring. If you fertilise your plant excessively, it may develop a lot of green leaves.


How Big Will My Peace Lily Spathiphyllum Get?

This all depends on the variety of Spathiphyllum you own. You’ll find small varieties (Spathiphyllum Wallisii or Starlight) – full grown – in 6-inch pots. Other mid-size plants (Supreme & Lynise) reach the 18-30 inch size, and still others (Sensation) ranging in size from 3 to 5 feet.


Do Spathiphyllum Plants Need Pruning?

These indoor plants do not require lots of “pruning” more basic cleaning of leaves and grooming would better define the practice.

  • Pinch back the bloom stamens when pollen begins to fall.
  • If the bracts begin transitioning to a green shade, simply pinch or cut these blooms off. This will also help the plant conserve energy.
  • Remove old leaves when they become yellow.

Anytime you prune leaves, be sure to use sharp, clean blades and trim as close to the level of the soil as you can.


Repoting Peace Lily Plant

When you see roots poking through the drainage holes or the plant simply seems to be bursting out of the pot, it’s probably a good time to repot.

Likewise, if your weekly watering just never seems to be enough, it may indicate your plant’s roots need more water.

Even if you don’t see these signs, you should repot annually or biannually so your plant can benefit from fresh soil and more space.


What Type Of Soil Is Best For Spathiphyllum?

Use a light well-drained soil mix like a potting soil made for African Violets works well or a simple mix of peat moss and perlite. Mix 6 parts peat moss and 4 parts perlite.


What Are The Steps For Repotting Spathiphyllum?

  • Cover the bottom of the pot with about an inch or two of gravel for good drainage and to prevent potting soil from coming out of the drainage holes.
  • Put a layer of potting soil over the gravel to support the root ball of the plant. The layer should be enough to make the existing surface of the plant’s soil, even with the top of the pot.
  • Gently remove the plant from its original pot. If stuck, gently encourage it with a trowel and or soak it for a while to help it slip out of pot.
  • Center the root ball on the layer of soil and fill in the empty space around it with fresh moist potting soil.
  • Water lightly around the edges to help the new soil settle and add more soil as needed to bring the soil level even with the top of the pot.
peace-lily-root-system-02292016

NOTE: Make sure to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling your Peace Lily. The oxalates in the plant can irritate your skin.

The image above shows a healthy root system on a “Peace Lily.” Before you buy any plant… knock it out of the pot and look at the roots. The roots will tell you a lot about the plant and your future success!


Toxicity to People and Pets

Oxalates found in Spathiplyllum plants can irritate mucous membranes and the stomach lining. If a cat, , or person consumes any portion of the Peace Lily, they will salivate profusely. If consumed, it will cause severe stomach discomfort. As a result, treat them with caution and keep pets and children away from them.


Can You Divide The Peace Lily?

Generally, I’d advise against trying to divide plants. However, if you’re inclined, annual repotting provides an ideal time to separate these crowns from the parent. Here’s how:

  • When you remove the parent plant from its original pot, lay it down flat on a layer of newspaper or, if the weather is mild, on the grass .
  • Locate the new crowns.
  • Carefully separate the roots of the crown from the roots of the parent plant. This can be a time-consuming and painstaking process if you manually break down and separate the roots. Some growers use shears to simply cut through the roots and separate the plants.
  • Repot your new, young crowns in small pots (six inches) using as much of the soil from the original pot as possible, along with proper spathe potting mix.
  • If necessary, stake and tie your young plants to prevent them from falling over.

Don’t be alarmed if your transplants wilt a bit at first. They should recover within a couple of weeks. Don’t fertilize these youngsters for at least three months, as fertilization may burn the roots.


Can Peace Lilies Live Outdoors?

If you live in a warm, humid area of the US, such as Hawaii or Florida, you may very well plants these outdoors quite successfully. In any other areas of the US, you must carefully consider the outdoor weather during warmer times of year. You may be able to set your plants outside (under shade) during the spring and summer if the weather permits.

If mild, temperate conditions prevail during the warm months of the year, you can keep your Peace Lilies outdoors during these months and then bring them in during the colder months.

Personally, I like to keep plants inside or outside not move them back and forth. In my opinion, plants undergo too much stress moving back and forth.


What Pests Attack Peace Lily Plants?

Three basically attack Peace plants. Aphids, mealy bugs and spider mites. Follow these instructions to detect and eradicate these pests:

  • Aphids – If your plant becomes covered with a sticky slime, check for Aphids. Additionally, ants (which like to eat this slime) may be present on your plants. If this happens, wash the plant (don’t scrub) with a strong stream of room temperature water. Follow this up with a thorough spraying using insecticidal soap or neem oil aphids sprays. This should control any remaining aphids and prevent reinfestation.
  • Mealybugs – Mealybugs like to hang out between your plant’s stems and leaves. Additionally, foliage may begin to turn yellow and dry. Look for mealybugs and a cottony mass. To control them, wipe them off with a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol. Follow-up by spraying with insecticidal soap or neem insecticide to prevent reinfestation.
  • Spider Mites – Small microscopic pests known by the symptoms they cause. If your lily begins to exhibit brown spots on the leaves, and you notice webbing between the leaves you’re probably looking at a spider mite infestation.

Treat them as you would aphids by giving your Peace Lily a vigorous shower and following up with a dose of insecticidal soap or neem sprays.


Does Spathiphyllum Have Any Problems?

Unfortunately, leaf discoloration and a number of other symptoms caused by problems other than pests.
Environmental issues may also cause these signs of trouble. If you’ve treated for pests to no avail, there are a few other scenarios you should investigate.

  • Yellow leaves caused by lack of water. This is especially true if your plant is also wilted. To address this issue, repot as described above, water and mist on a regular, weekly schedule.
  • Brown Peace lily leaf tips are caused by too much water and/or too much fertilization. Additionally excessive humidity can cause this problem.
  • Try skipping fertilizer for a month and be sure to allow your plant to wilt a bit before watering it again. Remember to prune off brown leaves promptly to present the development of fungus.
  • Wilting caused by lack of water, or conversely it may be caused by too much water. Examine your plant’s soil to determine the problem.If you find it soggy, it’s very likely that excessive water has killed the roots. To address this problem, you must repot your plant. Be sure to cut off any rotten or decayed roots and wash all of the old soil off to get rid of any fungus that may have developed.Use potting soil especially prepared for Peace Lilies because good drainage is of the utmost importance in this case.
  • Poor blooming or lack of blooms may result when your spathe does not have enough nourishment. Be sure to select the right type of fertilizer for your plant and follow directions carefully throughout the blooming season.
  • Black leaves are caused by exposure to frost. If your plant is too near a non-insulated window or door or is kept outside, remove the black leaves with a sharp blade and move the plant to a more protected area for special care.

In Conclusion

A good collection of Peace Lilies in your house or office can enhance the air quality and brighten your indoor living area and workspace,

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