Peace Lily Care
The peace lily (Spathiphyllum) is an iconic houseplant that deserves attention for it’s almost indestructible nature, beautiful dark green leaves and pure white spathes that float about the foliage like sails.
It’s been labelled the peace lily due to its white flowers that are seen as white flags – a symbol of peace. Although named a lily, it is in fact from the arum family of plants and hails from tropical South America.
With very few rules they grow well in the home. Find a brightly lit area out of direct sunlight, water regularly keeping the soil moist but not waterlogged and feed in spring and summer every 2 weeks with a liquid plant food. Deadhead any spent blooms and keep the leaves free from dust with the occasional wipe. They like humidity, so you can supplement drier conditions with misting regularly.
Although, as mentioned, these plants are easy-to-grow and mostly trouble-free, do look out for any of the following to get the best out of them.
Peace lilies are heavy feeders so it’s important to feed regularly, twice a month, to keep them in good shape.
You will find that they do well in bathrooms but perhaps do not flower as well, as the area is usually too dark for them. They need light to flower properly, so it’s best to move them into a better lit area, with at least 2 hours or more of bright light a day.
Every few years, peace lilies will need to be repotted into a pot another size up or even divided into sections and potted to make new plants.
Pests and diseases
One of the popular pests that infect these plants is mealy bug. These sucking insects will cause the plant leaves to yellow and die off. They are usually found on the underside of leaves where they leave their eggs and a white cottony secretion. Treat with rubbing alcohol or a suitable insecticide for use on this pest. Follow up every month until the problem is eradicated.
If the plant is getting too much water or the drainage is poor, the leaves may wilt. Reduce watering to only once a week and make sure the water drains freely from the pot before placing back in position on trays or saucers. If the soil is not draining well, then repot into fresh potting soil with added coconut peat, perlite or vermiculite to improve drainage.
Peace lilies are grown by LVG Plants and are available from retail outlets and nurseries.