Spathiphyllum (group)
Common Name: peace lily
Type: Herbaceous perennial
Family: Araceae
Zone: 11 to 12
Height: 1.00 to 6.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 5.00 feet
Bloom Time: Flowers freely
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Part shade to full shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy
Leaf: Evergreen
Tolerate: Heavy Shade

Culture

The soil for the peace lily should be kept moist but not soggy. Let the soil dry between waterings, but do not allow to wilt; this causes the leaves to yellow. When watering, use water that is at room temperature and has been allowed to sit so that the chlorine can evaporate. Spathiphyllum grow very well with sub-irrigation. These plants do well in lower light situations, but prefer bright filtered light. Do not place in direct sun. When grown indoors, Spathiphyllum have very low fertility needs. Apply fertilizer at one quarter of the recommended strength. Over fertilizing can produce burning of tips and roots. Peace lilies enjoy warm conditions between 68 and 85F during the day and a 10 degree drop at night. Cold, and drafty conditions in the 40’s and 50’s will slow growth considerably. Extended periods below 40 can damage leaves, stems and roots. The plant requires a large pot and should be kept somewhat potbound. Repot, if necessary in February or March.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Spathiphyllum is Greek for leaf-spathe, referring to the character of the spathe, which is the bract or leaf surrounding or subtending a thick, protruding flower cluster. This easy care plant has beautiful glossy green leaves and the unusual ability to blossom in medium light. The pure white flower changes to pale green after 10 days and then remains lovely for at least another month.

Genus name comes from the Greek word spathe and phyllon meaning a leaf from the leaflike spathe.

Problems

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.

Garden Uses

In recent years, peace lilies have gained a reputation for their ability to remove vaporized solvents from the atmosphere. Because of this, along with their ability to flower with fairly low light levels, they are widely used as pot plants in shopping malls and offices.