Guide to the Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum)
Common name: Peace Lily
Botanical name: Spathiphyllum
Difficulty level: Easy. The Peace Lily is a resilient, adaptable, low-maintenance and easy-to-care-for house plant.
Peace Lily – General Description
The Peace Lily is a gracefully vibrant and elegant perennial that features large leaves and flamboyant white flowers—similar to those of a Calla Lily. The plant is native to tropical rain forests of America, and comes in a variety of sizes: anywhere from 61-127 cm tall.
The white blooms of the Peace Lily typically appear in the spring and are more of a modified leaf than a multi-petaled flower. As such, they look a lot like white flags of surrender/peace—hence the name, Peace Lily. Plants that are well cared for may bloom again in the autumn. The blossoms typically last for around two months, after which the plant enters a non-blooming period.
Along with being beautiful, the Peace Lily helps to cleanse the air that we breathe, by removing airborne toxins. It was featured in research performed by NASA (the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration) and is recognised as one of the Top Ten Household Air Cleaning Plants.
How To Care For Your Peace Lily
Here’s some basic guidance on how to take good care of your Peace Lily.
Light. Peace Lilies thrive in low light conditions. They don’t need direct sunlight, and in fact prefer partial shade or bright indirect light from a nearby window. Peace Lilies can also tolerate fluorescent light, and have even been known to thrive in rooms with no windows at all.
Soil & Water. Provide your Peace Lily with evenly moist, well-drained soil. Watering at least once a week to keep the soil moist, is a good rule of thumb. The plant will sag when it needs water—making this part of its care quite easy.
Temperature & Humidity. Your Peace Lily will thrive indoors in temperatures that most people find quite enjoyable: Its preferred temperature range is 18-29°C, with relatively high humidity. It’s best to keep the plant away from cold drafts or temperatures below 7°c.
Nutrients & Fertiliser. Provide Peace Lilies that are growing in bright light a liquid 20-20-20 fertiliser about every six weeks. If the plant is growing in low light, then feed less frequently (i.e. every three months).
Toxicity. Peace Lilies are toxic/poisonous to both cats and dogs. If your cat or dog chews on a Peace Lily, it will cause irritation to its mouth and stomach. In most cases the animal will quickly stop eating the plant—and hence not ingest large enough amounts to cause serious poisoning. Nevertheless, these plants should be kept away from all pets and small children.
Pests & Other Problems. The Peace Lily is largely immune to insects and diseases. A regular wiping of the leaves tends to prevent aphids, spider mites, or mealybugs from accumulating. If these pests do happen to invade, spray the Peace Lily with an insecticidal soap.
Helpful Hints & Additional Care Tips
- If your Peace Lily doesn’t bloom, this likely means that it’s not getting enough light. The solution is to move it to a brighter location.
- Peace Lilies can be quite sensitive to chlorine—so if your water supply is heavily chlorinated, fill a watering can with water and let it stand overnight, so that the chlorine can diffuse before it’s used to water the Peace Lily.
- The large leaves of the Peace Lily tend to accumulate dust. To keep the plant healthy and looking beautiful, wipe the leaves periodically with a damp sponge or cloth.