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How to care for a peace lily properly: complete guide for beginners

How to care for a peace lily

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Outlines how to care for a peace lily correctly, with advice and tips for location, light, soil, watering, humidity and how to deal with pests.

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Peace lily overview

Peace lilies (Spathiphyllum), also known as sheath leaf, leaf flag or single leaf, is a genus of plants from the Araceae family. The genus Spathiphyllum consists of around 50 to 60 species, almost all of which come from the tropical regions of America or the western edge of the Pacific. When purchasing and considering how to care peace lily, it is worthwhile to have a look at the characteristics of some of the more popular types. Also read how to care for a Venus fly trap.

The peace lilies are cultivated for their striking, shiny leaves and their durable, distinctive flowers. The peace lilies cultivated in residential culture are mostly hybrids. Since some species are cultivated as ornamental plants, there are also overgrown stocks of these outside their natural range. The species Spathiphyllum wallisii is only known from culture and from its overgrown occurrences.

Name: Spathiphyllum
Family: Arum family (Araceae)
Growth height: 40 to 80 cm
Flowering time: March to September – Available in shops all year round because the nurseries can influence the flower formation.
Use: flowers and ornamental fruit plants.
Difficulty: easy to care for

In addition to the most important species — Spathiphyllum wallisii with hybrids and varieties — there are a few others that are less known, e.g. B. S. cannifolium view picture , S. cochlearispathum. Different varieties have also emerged from these species through crossing. One of the most famous is ‘Mauna Loa ‘. It is floriferous and blooms richly and for a long time.

Spathiphyllum ‘Clevelandii’

Spathiphyllum ‘Clevelandii’ is a floriferous variety with a long-stalked, white, up to 18 cm long spathe. The pendulous, glossy leaves, reaching up to 45 cm in length, are elongated-lanceolate in shape

Spathiphyllum floribundum

How to care for a peace lily

Spathiphyllum floribundum, is commercially available under the name Big leaf flag, Plank, Big Spath flower or Empire Flowering leaf flag offered. Spathiphyllum floribundum grows as a herbaceous, basal plant with rising, elongated-lanceolate, dark green, glossy, long-stalked leaves. The cream-white inflorescences with a large, round, white bract grow from the leaf sheaths of the plant, which can reach a height of 50 cm.

Spathiphyllum wallisii varieties & hybrids

How to care for a peace lily

Spathiphyllum wallisii , sold under the names of small leaf flag , single leaf , spath flower, dwarf leaf flag , is one of the most popular species. The approximately 7 cm wide and 20 cm long leaves of this rhizome-forming, herbaceous plant are formed on approximately 15 cm long stems. The distinctive, delicately scented flowers form in spring and again in late summer if the conditions are good. The flower stem reaches a length of 25 cm, the cream-colored flower bulb grows upright from the base of the approximately 10 cm long and 5 cm wide bract. There are numerous hybrids of the Spathiphyllum wallisii with different flowers.

Spathiphyllum wallisii ‘Mauna Loa’

How to care for a peace lily

Spathiphyllum wallisii ‘Mauna Loa’ is a well-growing, compactly growing, rhizome-forming perennial. The plant forms about 20 cm long, lanceolate, glossy dark green leaves. In spring and summer, the pretty inflorescences form with an oval, 10 to 15 cm long, pure white spathe.

How to care for peace lily so it blooms more

It is very easy to learn how to care peace lily, becayse the plant forgives many care mistakes. All peace lilies grow with a very short stem that does not or only slightly protrudes from the ground, from which elongated or lanceolate, dark green leaves develop in clusters.

The flowers of a peace lily tower on long shafts and protrude far beyond the dark green leaves of the plant. The inflorescence consists of a large, white bract, the so-called spathe, which surrounds an upright, white, cream-colored or green-colored flower bulb. The flowers usually form in spring and summer, but they can also form at other times of the year.

The flowers, which are fragrant in most species, are only white for about a week. Then the bract slowly turns light green and looks pretty for another 5 to 6 weeks.

Location and light

Peace lilies should be kept in a bright location. However, the plants must be protected from direct sunlight, otherwise the leaves will be damaged.

Even with little light, a peace lily will thrive in locations that are too dark or shady for most other indoor plants. However, it is nicer to enhance dark corners of the room with a plant lamp. Illuminated peace lilies with their attractive flowers are an eye-catcher. The plants will also thank you with stronger growth if you give them artificial lighting instead of the lack of daylight. The minimum illuminance for the peace lilies is around 500 lux.

The peace lily thrives better when the humidity is slightly increased. Spray the plants more often with low-lime, stale water. How do you measure the lighting at the location?

Watering peace lilies

A peace lily should be watered evenly, the upper layer of soil is allowed to dry a little between the individual waterings. At temperatures below 15 ° C, the amount of irrigation water should be limited and the soil only slightly moistened. Caution, the substrate of the peace lily must never become completely dry. Severe wetting of the substrate and waterlogging should also be avoided.

How to care for a peace lily: Humidity

Medium to high humidity, 60 to 75%, is beneficial for all peace lilies. If the humidity is sufficiently high, the plants will thrive healthily and develop splendidly, provided that the other care requirements are adequately met.

Temperature

Normal home temperatures are suitable for maintenance. The minimum tolerable temperature is around 15° C. The plants from the tropics are very sensitive to dry air. It is therefore best to place the pots on sub-bowls filled with water and stones. When the temperature drops below 18° C, the growth of the peace lily slows down significantly.

The specified temperatures should not be exceeded or undercut in how to take care peace lily. Extreme temperatures and temperature fluctuations lead to heat or cold stress. If the temperatures have risen above the beneficial level, this is expressed by yellow and withered leaves. If the care is too cold or after a strong cold shock, e.g. B. Excessive ventilation in winter makes the leaves softer, limp, and sometimes translucent.

Hibernating a peace lily / resting period

Peace lilies are cultivated in one location all year round, but during autumn and winter the plant goes into a resting/hibernation phase, and should be watered a little more sparingly and fertilized very slightly every 4 weeks. Temperatures should not drop below 16 ° C during this time.

How to care for a peace lily: Summer care

During the warm season, the peace lily can be cared for in a protected, light to partially shaded location outdoors, provided the temperature does not fall below 18° Celsius.

How to propagate a peace lily

In spring, a peace lily can be propagated by dividing the dense clusters of leaves or by removing young side shoots. To do this, take the plant carefully out of its container and separate the rhizomes into several parts. Each section should have at least 3 leaves. These sections are individually potted into the recommended soil mixture. The freshly placed peace lilies should not be fertilized for the next 3 months.

Soil / substrate

A weakly acidic soil with a pH of 5.0 to 6.0 is ideal for caring for the peace lily. The plants also thrive in simple, commercially available compost-based potting soil. The pH value is stated on the packaging and should be within the tolerated values. If the pH value is wrong, a peace lily will not be able to develop healthily.

A well-drained, humus-rich substrate with the addition of clay-containing soil and some quartz sand is ideal for caring for the peace lilies. Simple potting soil from the hardware store, garden center or nursery are only recommended to a limited extent, as some requirements for buffering power, water and nutrient regulation, etc. are not permanently guaranteed.

If you want to plant the peace lily in a well-balanced substrate, you mix it yourself. It’s not difficult to make. As a reward you get a permanently healthy and vigorous plant that is well resistant to diseases and pests, provided that the remaining care requirements for light, water, temperature and nutrients are also met. Since your own substrate, unlike simple potting soil, does not collapse and compact over a long period of time, you can do without annual repotting.

Substrate mixture for peace lilies

A peace lily is planted with the addition of soil in a peat or humus substrate with the addition of various foreign substances.

  • 5 parts of peat substrate (humus substrate) = conventional potting soil
  • 1.5 to 2 parts of arable soil with clay
  • 1 part quartz sand

The soil pH value of 5.0 to 6.0 is adjusted with the addition of more or less soil. What is important for this is the mixing ratio of soil to acidic peat substrate (note the pH value printed on the packaging). Everything has to be mixed together well. The pH value of the finished mixture can be determined and corrected if necessary with a pH meter or indicator strips.

Peace lilies are often offered for sale in normal peat or potting soil, mixed with a few styrofoam beads. This simple potting soil should be exchanged for a substrate that is more suitable for these plants.

Repotting a peace lily

Each spring, the plants are moved to larger pots until they reach their maximum size of around 15 to 20 cm. To repot, the old soil is shaken out of the roots and any dead roots of the plant are cut off. A well-repotted plant recovers quickly and will soon continue to grow.

Fertilizing / nutritional requirements

During the main growing season, the peace lily should receive a commercial fertilizer for indoor plants according to the manufacturer’s instructions with every third to fourth watering process. During the winter, fertilizer is used less often… between November and March (northern hemisphere autumn and winter) one or two fertilizers are sufficient.

Pests and problems

The peace lily is considered an air-purifying indoor plant. However, peace lilies can be toxic or cause severe allergies for some people. The pollen does have an allergic potential.

The common spider mite can appear on the peace lilies, especially when the air is too dry. Spider mites appear as tiny moving dots to the naked eye. These tiny arachnids feed on plant sap, first leaving a slight stippling on foliage before their numbers grow and greater leaf discoloration appears. The cobwebs are easy to recognize by the leaf margins. Spraying water makes the webs particularly visible.

These pests are most problematic when conditions are hot, dry and dusty. Regularly wiping dust off of leaves or washing the peace lily with a strong spray of water will achieve adequate mite control. If necessary, multiple applications of plant oil extracts, insecticidal soaps or bifenthrin also address mites.