The Spathiphyllum, also known as the peace lily, is a genus of about 47 species of evergreen perennial plants that have relatively large leaves and are quite popular across the globe.
The flowers produced by this plant are in spadix, and are generally surrounded by spathe that can be up to 30 cm long. Not only that, but the color hues generally vary from white to yellow or even green as well.
Several of these species are considered house plants too and you can easily place them indoors or outdoors depending on your requirements. The plant lives best in the shaded areas and does not need a lot of sunlight to thrive.
If you are interested in buying plants for your house, especially the peace lily, there are a few important considerations you need to take into account.
First and foremost, you should know that indoor houseplants require a bit of care. If you leave the plants unattended for long periods of time, hoping that they are going to remain healthy on their own, you are doing it wrong.
There are a host of different things that you need to worry about, and it’s important that you take care of your plants.
Many people have difficulty in raising houseplants on their own, especially because they are not sure how the plant is going to survive. If you are a beginner when it comes to raising indoor houseplants, the peace lily might not be your first choice.
However, you should know that as long as you care for the plant, it’s going to grow just fine.
But, like any other living thing, your plant will require care on your part. Like most plants, the peace lily also has a specific set of requirements that must be met.
The peace lily plant first came to Europe in 1824, when Gustav Wallis discovered it growing in a serene Colombian jungle.
The plant is now fairly inexpensive and widely propagated, and you can find it at virtually every gardening center or shop in the area. Many people consistently rank this as one of the top five houseplants in the world.
Over the years, the popularity of this plant has grown by a considerable margin.
People love this houseplant for a variety of different reasons. First and foremost, the plant is easy to raise and care for; there aren’t many instructions that you need to go through and there aren’t any specific things that you need to keep in mind.
On top of that, another reason why so many people love this houseplant is because it is capable of filtering out the surrounding air and getting rid of the toxins in your house.
Not only that, but the plant is also incredibly good-looking. The white flowers create a striking contrast with the dark green leaves of the plant, and the flowers tend to hold their own beautifully. The plant also looks just as attractive and beautiful in almost any setting that you like.
If you are in the market for a beautiful plant that you can care for and grow at your place, the peace lily is the best option.
Now, let’s talk about the proper care and upkeep of this plant. You will want to make sure that you know all about its proper care and upkeep.
Growing Peace Lilies
Some people don’t like buying grown plants from the nursery and propagating them indoors. Instead, they prefer growing the plants all on their own, directly from seeds.
So, we first need to focus on how to grow peace lilies the right way. If you are planning on growing peace lilies on your own, it’s best if you find some space in your garden or your backyard.
Peace lilies are best grown in the ground, and they prefer outdoor areas like you would find in tropical habitats. For instance, you will find lots of peace lilies growing throughout many parts of Hawaii and even Florida.
However, you can also grow them in potted plants if you like.
If you have bought a few potted peace lilies, you might want to consider moving them outdoors during the summer months.
As the temperature starts to cool down, you can always bring them in the house. When you grow the peace lily in a pot, you need to make sure that the soil remains moist.
However, a common mistake that many people make is that they let the soil be too soggy, and their plant eventually succumbs to root rot. You will notice this as the leaves start to turn yellow.
The peace lily doesn’t need access to direct sunlight, but you need to make sure that it does get a lot of filtered, bright light. Just keep the plant in partial shade throughout the course of the day.
Since it hails from tropical areas, the plant generally likes warm conditions, so if you expose the plant to temperatures that lie below the 40°F mark, you can expect a seriously bad reaction. In most cases, the plant will usually die.
Many people are confused about whether the peace lily is an indoor plant or an outdoor plant. The answer is simple: it’s both. The plant does great indoors because it doesn’t like direct sunlight.
A partial shade is just what the plant needs to thrive, and as long as you care for the plant in the right way (as described below), you will be able to do good!
The plant will also thrive very well outdoors, especially if you live in an area that is relatively hot or humid. Now that you know the basics of the peace lily and what the plant is all about, it’s time to focus on other important things, such as how to care for the plant properly.
There are a number of things that you need to keep in mind when it comes to properly caring for and raising a houseplant like a peace lily.
Here is a complete guide for proper peace lily care.
A common misconception that many people have regarding the peace lily is that the plant grows just as well in dark places. While this statement isn’t generally wrong, you need to understand that it’s slightly misleading.
First of all, we need to clear out an important confusion. Just because a plant is able to survive and remain relatively happy in a darker environment, it might not be able to thrive in these conditions. A surviving plant is different from a thriving one.
You will be able to see the differences within a few days only. Leave a plant in dark conditions, and within a few days, you will notice the leaves drooping.
Give it a little while longer, and the leaves are going to start falling off. Before you know it, the plant will start to look like a shadow of its former self.
It might not die, but you won’t see any new growth either, and even if you do, it won’t be healthy.
On the other hand, a healthy plant needs regular pruning and must be cared for. You are probably going to notice new leaves growing and you will notice a bloom from time to time as well.
The peace lily is just like these plants. If you put the plant in a bright spot that doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight, the plant is going to grow at a much quicker pace. The growth will be robust, the leaves will be fuller, and the peace lily that sprouts every now and then is going to be bigger and better.
On the other hand, if you place the pot in a darker area of the house, you will find it difficult to grow the plant accordingly.
When kept in the darker areas of the house, the plant is going to take a bit of time to adapt and then learn how to survive, so you might not notice as much growth as you would otherwise. The plant will survive, and the plant will grow, but you might not be able to see it growing in a healthy manner.
If you are looking to keep a plant in the dark corner of the house and aren’t really concerned with how it turns out, you could do far worse. The peace lily is a great choice all around, and will do just as well as long as you care for it properly.
If you can’t provide direct sunlight to the plant, there are several artificial light bulbs that simulate sunlight that you can use.
These bulbs are quite commonly found at gardening centers and will provide the necessary amount of sunlight that your plant needs to survive.
As long as the conditions remain favorable, you are going to get an amazing amount of peace lilies throughout the course of the year. These gorgeous flowers tend to float above the plant, looking like beautiful white clouds.
It’s a really stunning sight to see, and it’s going to add a touch of class and elegance to any room in the house that it’s kept in. You have to make sure that you let it grow and care for it. But, lighting isn’t the only thing that you will need to worry about.
There are other issues as well.
Water is an essential requirement for all living things. But, in the case of plants, it’s important for you to provide an adequate amount.
Some plants need more water, some plants need less. It also depends on the kind of soil that you have. When it comes to the peace lily, the watering requirements are slightly different.
Some people tend to water their houseplants after every few days, while others provide a bit of water on a daily basis. However, if you have a peace lily, you need to balance your watering schedule in a way that the soil remains moist at all times.
Thankfully, the plant also has a pretty clever trick up its sleeve to tell you when it needs water, and you need to keep a lookout for that.
When the plant is happy, it generally looks good. When you take a look at the plant, you will notice that the leaves are upright and the plant looks healthy. However, when the plant doesn’t receive any water, the leaves will flop over.
A simple thing that you can do to keep the plants in prime condition and make sure that they remain healthy is to ensure that it doesn’t sit in the water for a longer period of time.
Soak the plant as thoroughly as you can, but don’t leave the water in the soil. A series of problems have been reported by people who own peace lilies, and virtually all of these can be resolved if you are able to master the watering technique for the peace lily.
First of all, it’s best to use a watering can and soak all the leaves properly. If you want, you can also use a spray bottle to mist the plant in the best possible manner. As mentioned above, this plant likes to grow in tropical regions, so humidity is an essential requirement for the plant.
If you live in an area where the air remains relatively dry, you need to seriously think about purchasing a humidifier and keeping it close to your plant.
Thankfully, there are a bunch of different plant humidifiers that you can choose from, which are quite affordable and easy to use. Keep them near your peace lily, and you will be treated to a wonderful blossom throughout the course of the year.
If you don’t want to spend any money on a humidifier, there’s another method as well. You can use a spray bottle and mist the leaves on a regular basis, thus keeping the plant in prime condition.
The best thing about these plants, as we have already talked about, is the fact that they inform you when they are low on water. This way, your chances of missing out on the watering are going to decrease considerably.
There’s another way to tell whether you need to change your watering routine or not as well. You should look for brown spots (sometimes even yellow) on the leaves. If you notice a few, it’s a clear sign that the plant is getting more water than it should.
On the other hand, if the leaves are drooping, it’s an indication that the plant is getting less water.
Soil, Fertilizer, and Drainage
These three things are also equally important for making sure that your plant survives and grows in a healthy manner.
Like most other plants, peace lilies are susceptible to root rot. But, as long as your soil has good drainage, you can get rid of this problem. When you repot the plant, make sure that you put it in a pot with a sizable drainage hole.
If the soil hasn’t been aerated in a while, you need to do that as well. When you receive a flower lily from any nursery, you should know that they compact the soil considerably before sending it to you. So, before you first give water to the plant, it’s important that you aerate the soil in the best possible manner.
Also, a simple way to ensure good drainage and prevent the soil from getting waterlogged is to ensure that the soil dries out properly between each watering. If you water the plant without checking the soil, you are probably going to end up putting too much water in it.
To ensure that the drainage of the plant isn’t affected, you should consider adding a series of other ingredients.
For instance, horticultural bark, coconut coir fiber, and compost are all excellent additions to the potting mix. These are designed to improve the drainage within the plant, and prevent the soil from getting excessively waterlogged.
From time to time, you should also take a look at the roots of the plant. Just check the bottom of the pot and you will be able to see the roots of the plant. If the plant is healthy, the roots are going to be lightly colored, and when you touch them, they will feel firm.
However, if you notice the roots are all brown and soggy, you might want to fertilize the plant a little and let it dry out between each watering.
The peace lily does require a bit of effort on your part, especially if you want to make sure that the plant grows without any problems. If the roots seem too crowded or if you think they have taken over the soil completely, you should consider repotting the plant.
When the roots get too big, they tend to drink up all the water from the plant, and this becomes a major problem in the long run. You might want to consider watering the plant first before you decide to repot it.
Also, make sure you keep a proper drainage tray underneath so that all the water can be allowed to escape in a convenient fashion.
The peace lily grows quickly, so you will want to hire a gardener to prune the plant for you. Or, you can also do it yourself; just remove the brown or yellowing leaves to ensure good, healthy growth.
You also need to add fertilizer to the plant at least once a month. Fertilizer is readily available from local gardening centers and other stores, so it’s not going to be a problem for you.
But, it’s important that you buy the right fertilizer for your peace lily. Just like the requirements for water, your peace lily will inform you when you are getting things wrong. If you add too much fertilizer to the soil, the leaves are going to start turning brown.
In the beginning, you will notice brown spots appearing on the leaves. If the amount of fertilizer that you add is too little, you will notice a serious undergrowth.
The peace lily won’t bloom at all (which is a pretty clear sign in itself since this plant loves to show off its white flowers!) and the growth will begin to slow down as well.
If the light conditions are bright and you are not adding the appropriate amount of fertilizer, you might see stunted growth.
To prevent the situation from getting out of hand and the plant sustaining an excessive amount of damage, you might want to consider feeding the plant with a relatively simple solution at least once every two weeks.
Liquid fertilizer is something that many gardeners swear by, and it’s a pretty popular choice for peace lilies as well. You can easily find it at any local store, and adding it in the mix once every two weeks will help you bring the plant back to its original condition.
The peace lily doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, but you need to be on time and careful about maintaining the plant. If you are not particular about these simple things, the plant is going to start suffering.
If the peace lily is pot bound, you might want to think about removing it and repotting it. We have already talked about the repotting process, but some people believe that a plant that is slightly constricted might be able to flower better.
However, it hurts the overall health of the plant, and it’s generally not a wise idea on your part to keep the plant restricted in this manner. Ideally, you should consider repotting the plant during the spring if you can.
There are no special requirements for repotting, but you will need a bigger pot in which you can keep the plant. Once you have repotted the plant, there’s no need to add any fertilizer.
Most people add liquid solutions to the mix, but that’s not a wise move. In fact, leave the plant as it is for at least six months, and you are going to notice it fill up the bigger pot much quicker than you might have thought.
Just make sure that the lighting conditions remain adequate at all times!
Common Problems and Diseases
The peace lily is susceptible to a wide range of problems and you will want to make sure that you treat these issues as quickly as possible.
The plant is native to the jungles in Central and Southern America, and it’s designated for hardiness zones 11 and 12. But, it can attract a host of different bugs and pests over the passage of time, especially if you are not careful.
Let’s talk about a few of the different kinds of bugs and pests that might attack your plant, and what you can do about them.
Bugs That Produce Honeydew
Female aphids hardly dine alone. All kinds of female aphids carry eggs in their bellies from the time they are born, and on a daily basis, they give birth to around three to six daughters in a day.
As you can understand, it doesn’t take a long while for an entire colony of aphids to form and grow. These aphids are all able to give birth within a few days of each other, so it’s often a race against time for you to help get rid of the problem.
You will most likely find colonies of these aphids under the back of the leaves, or near the growth of the plant. Mealybugs, for instance, are the most common example of aphids that can cause extensive damage to your plants if you are not careful.
You need to take action as quickly as possible to get rid of them before they start eating your plants.
The best way to identify an infestation is to take a close look at the leaves. If you see a bunch of aphids huddled on the back of the leaves, you should know that the plant has been infested.
Similarly, you might also notice a white honeydew on the leaves. This is a residue left behind by these bugs when they feast on the plant.
Before long, the plant is going to die if you are not careful. This sap attracts ants to the mix, and eventually turns into black fungus with a greasy texture. As you can understand, the peace lily does not like that.
Thankfully, you can use insecticide fertilizer to get rid of the problem. It really doesn’t require more than that. In some cases, using rubbing alcohol is a great idea too.
Another problem is spider mites. These eight legged mites tend to feed on the plants and don’t produce any honeydew either.
You might want to check for an infestation first by using a white paper and shaking the leaves. If you notice an infestation, it’s time to act right away.
Get some high quality insecticide spray from your local gardening center, and apply it on the plants. You will notice the spider mites running away soon.
These are just a few ways to care for the peace lilies in your house!
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.
Thursday 24th of November 2022
Very informative article. Thank you for sharing.