Spathiphyllum, commonly known as Peace Lily, is a popular indoor plant that is native to tropical regions of South and Central America, Asia, and Africa. The genus name, Spathiphyllum, is derived from two Greek words, "spath" meaning spathe, and "phyllon" meaning leaf, which refers to the white or yellowish spathes that surround the flowers.
Origin and Habitat
Spathiphyllum is a member of the Araceae family, which includes other well-known plants such as Philodendron and Monstera. In the wild, Spathiphyllum plants grow in shaded or semi-shaded areas in tropical rainforests. They are known for their unique ability to adapt to low-light conditions, making them a popular choice for indoor environments.
Habit: Small to large evergreen plants that produce a rosette of narrowly to broadly lanceolate to elliptic leaves that are usually green to dark green but can also be variegated with green and white or green and yellowish-green. The inflorescences are produced out of the centre of the leaf rosette and grow taller than the leaves topped by the typical aroid flower with a white or rarely green spathe that may be sweetly fragrant or not.
Temperature: Plants grow best between 20 to 25ᐤ C but are tolerant of temperatures between 5 to 37ᐤ. Avoid placing plants in windy or drafty locations which can lead to less attractive plants as the leaves can get tattered.
Light Exposure: PSpathiphyllum plants prefer bright, indirect light but can tolerate low light conditions. Direct sunlight can cause leaf burn, so it's best to keep them away from windows or use a sheer curtain to filter the light. Plants with darker green leaves are able to withstand lower light locations but regardless of, all plants will benefit from rotating a quarter to a half each week to keep plants balanced and avoiding them becoming lopsided.
Watering: Peace Lilies like a moist growing medium but not soggy; water only when the top 3 to 5 cm of soil feels dry to the touch. Always check the soil moisture first but as a rule of thumb watering once a week in the rainy season, once every two or three weeks in the cold dry season and usually twice a week in the hot dry season. In addition, regularly misting the leaves in the hot dry season will help keep the foliage looking great.
Humidity: Spathiphyllum plants prefer high humidity levels, so it's best to keep them in a bathroom or use a humidifier to increase the humidity around the plant. Alternatively, you can place a tray of water near the plant to create a humid microclimate.
Fertilising: Plants need to be fertilised with a well balanced fertiliser at half strength only once per month. Plants can be damaged by over fertilizing so one must be careful not to feed plants too much or too often as prescribed.
Pruning/Repotting: Remove yellowing and dead leaves and spent flower stalks as necessary. Peace Lilies can withstand a moderate level of being root bound but will need to be repotted when plants begin to wilt more frequently even after being watered or if offsets have started to crowd out the mother plant. In such a case, separating out the offsets and potting them up separately increases the vigour of the mother plant.
Pests/Diseases: Spathiphyllum plants are relatively pest-resistant, but they can attract spider mites and mealybugs. Regularly inspect your plant for any signs of infestation, such as webbing or small white bugs on the leaves. If you notice any pests, remove them by wiping the leaves with a damp cloth or using an insecticidal soap.
In conclusion, Spathiphyllum plants are a great addition to any indoor space, with their unique ability to thrive in low-light conditions and their attractive white flowers. By following these simple care tips, you can ensure that your Spathiphyllum plant thrives for years to come.