How to care for your Peace Lily

The peace lily is one of the most unique plants around.

Its lush green leaves and delicate white flowers are not only beautiful, but they hardly need any care and will be just as radiant if you forget to water them or if they hardly get any light.

you can even enjoy it as an aquatic plant if you decide to set up an indoor pond or take advantage of its purifying properties!

Let's talk about the care of the spathiphyllum, which is neither too much nor too complicated:

Peace lily: description, cultivation and care

The peace lily, whose technical name is spathiphyllum, belongs to the Araceae family. This magnificent plant with its evergreen leaves is native to certain tropical areas of the American continent. Its presence in the home as a houseplant is more than justified by the beauty of its abundant, shiny fronds and its beautiful white flowers.

One of the main characteristics of the spathiphyllum or peace lily is its lack of stems. The leaves sprout directly from a rhizome. This rhizome has buds at the upper end and roots at the lower end, which would be like the root of the plant and at the same time its reproductive organ. The leaves sprout directly from the rhizome.

The white part, i.e. what for us would be the flower, is actually a bract (leaf mutated to protect and envelop the flowers), called a spathe. This acquires its characteristic white colour when it reaches maturity. As it ages, the white colour turns pale green. The inflorescences, male and female, are attached to a kind of rigid stem, called a spadix, which is a distinctive yellow colour.

How to grow the Peace Lily

There are currently 60 known species of spathiphyllum. The most widespread and cultivated variety is the spathyphyllum wallisii, which comes from the tropical areas of Colombia, Costa Rica or Panama. It is of great ornamental value, thanks above all to its flowers, which bloom continuously from spring to autumn. This variety, with its intense green leaves and white inflorescences, attached to an elongated petiole, lives for many years and is very easy to care for.

  • Location: there are two elements to which peace lilies are really "allergic": draughts and stuffy/smoky environments. It is therefore advisable to place them in places sheltered from draughts and to ventilate regularly to renew the air. During the hot months, you can take it outside, as long as the place where you place it is shaded and protected from draughts.
  • Soil: the ideal substrate for the peace lily is a mixture of peat with a part of bark shavings and coarse-grained sand, so that it is slightly acidic.

  • Light: Spathiphyllum like both summer and winter light, as long as the sun's rays do not fall directly on them. A corner with moderate light is ideal.
  • Temperature: the ideal temperature is around 18-25º. If temperatures remain within this range, the plant will be in constant bloom from spring to autumn. Sporadically, it can withstand temperatures of up to 30ºC, as long as it maintains its humidity level. On the other hand, they do not tolerate cold or temperatures below 15º.

General care

  • Watering: during the summer months, watering should be abundant so that the compost always has some humidity, although avoiding waterlogging. In the colder months, it is sufficient to hydrate the plant moderately, simply to keep the substrate moist.

This plant is very grateful if you spray its leaves with water to keep them moist and lush. The water should be at room temperature and not contain too much lime. If the water in the area is too chalky, it is best to use distilled water, or better still, rainwater.

To maintain the humidity level, it is very practical to place a layer of pebbles or clay pellets between the pot and the saucer. This will ensure good drainage of excess liquid and prevent the plant from coming into direct contact with water.

  • Fertilisers and fertilisers: from early spring until well into autumn, the plant should be fertilised a couple of times a month. In winter it is not necessary to fertilise.

The most recommended type of fertiliser is a mixture rich in potassium and containing nutrients and minerals such as iron, molbidene, potassium, copper, zinc and phosphorus, among others.

By ensuring the right doses of watering, substrate and fertiliser, the peace lily will produce flowers constantly, from early spring until well into autumn.
  • Transplanting: Transplanting should be done every year in early spring, once the plant has outgrown its 20 cm diameter pot. If necessary, remove the plant from the pot and repot it into a larger pot, adding fresh compost in the same proportions of soil, sand and bark as previously mentioned.

Symptoms of problems

Here's how to spot the most common pests and diseases of the peace lily:

  • Wilted leaves: this is a symptom of water shortage. In this case, immerse the pot in a container of weather water until the plant regains vigour. Then let the excess water drain off and your plant will be radiant again.
  • Spots on the underside of the leaves: this could be a symptom of cottony mealybug. Their misty shape and white colour are unmistakable. They can be removed with methyl alcohol soaked in a cloth, or with soap and water. In the case of large plants or large infections, use specific insecticides.
  • Yellowish spots: the appearance of these brown/yellowish spots, together with the presence of a kind of spider's web on the underside of the leaf, is usually evidence of an attack by the annoying and harmful red spider mite. To eradicate it, increase the humidity level and increase the frequency of watering, as this type of mite makes its appearance due to dryness. If you prefer, you can use a specific chemical product.

Pruning and propagation

  • Pruning: The peace lily is not usually pruned. Simply remove the leaves as they wither or dry out, to prevent them from becoming a source of pests and diseases.
  • Multiplication: spatifyllium is very easy to multiply by division of rhizomes. Proceed as follows: In the spring, cut the rhizomes with a sharp, disinfected knife. Each cut piece should have several leaves and good roots. To prevent the cut pieces from being invaded by fungus, use a sulphur-based product sold in gardening and DIY shops.

Next, plant each of the portions in used pots using the same type of substrate as explained above. Place the pots in a shady spot, at a temperature of about 21º. When the new shoots start to emerge, this is a sure sign that the plant has rooted well. You can then treat them in the same way as any other adult plant of the same species.

The peace lily will not only add a touch of beauty and serenity to your home. It will also cleanse the air you breathe of impurities. What's more, it doesn't require much care or time to maintain its beauty and lushness.

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About the author
Yvonne Briones

There is something that plants and content creation have in common: natural geometry. I love creating visual content and managing Be.Green campaigns.

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