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Plant Care: Peace Lily

Below are some general guide lines to help you in caring for a potted peace lily.

Peace Lily Plant Care
The peace lily (Spathiphyllum) is one of the most commonly known houseplants. Peace lilies are shiny green leafed plants that bloom normally spring through summer. In warmer climates some species of Spathiphyllum are suitable for humid shade borders.

Peace Lily Care: Light Requirements
Peace lilies (Spathiphyllum) prefers bright filtered natural light. However, the peace lily is tolerant of low light levels making it an excellent houseplant. It can be used outdoors in warm humid areas with filtered light or partial shade. Exposure to direct light may cause yellowing leaves with a burnt appearance.

Peace Lily Care: Water Requirements
Peace Lilies (Spathiphyllum) prefers an evenly moist environment. For plants grown in soil, drainage is important; your peace lily pot should have drain holes. Watering your peace lily once a week is usually sufficient. However, when the plant is grown in low light levels or cooler temperatures water requirements may be less. Water requirements may increase with brighter light levels or warmer temperatures and during periods of rapid growth; use tepid water when watering or misting.
Testing the soil before watering by sticking finger in soil up to first knuckle can help you determine the need for water – if soil is moist don’t water. Placing the peace lily in high humidity or creating a humid environment is beneficial to the plant. Peace Lilies are good candidates for hydroponics. Peace lilies are susceptible to chlorine damage; let chlorine evaporate from tap water before using or use distilled water. Over-watering may cause leaves to turn yellow and under-watering may cause plants to wilt and the leaf edges to turn yellow or brown.

Peace Lily Care: Fertilizer Requirements
Peace Lilies (Spathiphyllum) do best if fertilized on a regular basis. Applying a well-balanced (20-20-20) liquid soluble fertilizer monthly works well for peace lilies. A diluted version of the monthly fertilizer used weekly is also acceptable. Leaves with brown spots may be the result of over-fertilization (concentration could be too high).

Peace Lily Care: Pests and Diseases
Peace Lilies (Spathiphyllum) are susceptible to a few insects such as aphids, spider mites, and mealy bugs. However, insect problems are very minimal with peace lilies. Insect problems can be taken care of with insecticides, insecticidal soap or by washing the plant. Root rot, leaf spot and bacterial soft rot do occur in peace lilies, but are usually the result of improper care. Diseases can be taken care with fungicides or proper care methods including good drainage and re-potting.

Peace Lily Care: Propagation and Potting
Peace lilies (Spathiphyllum) should be re-potted when the root growth has overfilled the container. Use a humus rich potting soil to repot the peace lily. To help the roots to retain soil and prevent the root tearing, re-pot the plant when the soil is somewhat moist. For determining pot size follow this rule of thumb; use a pot that is 1 ½ times the size of the previous pot. When placing the peace lily in it’s new pot, keep the plant level the same as it was in the old pot (fill the pot so that the top of the root-ball is at the same level as before). After re-potting, water slightly to remove any air bubbles that might have occurred and wait a couple of weeks before fertilizing.
You can create new peace lily plants by dividing them. Propagate by removing the peace lily from it’s container; then take a sharp knife and cut the plant from the roots to the top of the plant – this will ensure that each plants has an ample amount of roots. Take the divide pieces and follow the re-potting instructions – container will need to be same size as original container.

Peace Lily Care: Pruning
Peace Lilies (Spathiphyllum) require very little pruning. Unattractive leaves can be removed on an as needed basis; follow the leaf stem to the base of the plant and cut off. Once a peace lily bloom is spent remove the same way you would a leaf. Removing the bloom helps to encourage more blooms.

Interesting Peace Lily Facts
Peace lilies (Spathiphyllum) help improve air quality. A peace lily removes formaldehyde, benzine and carbon monoxide from the air.
Ingestion of any part of the peace lily may cause mild stomach upset and contact with the sap can cause skin irritation.

Want information on caring for other types of house plants?  Check out our Plant Care Guide.