The peace lily is a favorite among most homeowners due to its exceptional adaptability to low light conditions, and its air-cleaning qualities.
The peace lily is adored for its abundant glossy, dark-green foliage, and more for the way it adorns itself with white flower stalks. Given the elegance that it carries, it is often taken for a difficult plant to grow and care for; when in fact it is not so. Here's how you can care for this white beauty...
✿ The peace lily should not be exposed to direct sunlight, otherwise it may burn its foliage.
✿ An indication of the plant receiving too much sunlight, is its leaves turning yellow or brown. In such a case, it is better to move the plant to a less lighted area.
✿ Indirect sunlight can be provided by placing the plant under a window that is covered by a transparent curtain. However, places that receive medium to low light exposure are suitable for its growth, such as the north or west window.
✿ For better results, you can keep the plant at a distance of 5 to 8 feet from a window.
✿ Peace lily is a thirsty plant and so it requires water abundantly. However, it must be ensured that the plant gets ample time to dry out in between its 'watering sessions'.
✿ If you see the plant's leaves drooping or wilting, then it indicates a dearth in the water supply, and that it requires to be watered immediately.
✿ It is a good practice if you can determine how long after watering, the leaves start drooping. This way you can water the plant a day before the wilting starts. Do not let the leaves droop up to a severe level, as it may be harmful to the plant.
✿ The soil that you choose to grow your peace lily in must be a peat moss based potting mix. This type of soil can hold enough moisture for the plant, but not so much that it gets soggy.
✿ The soil must also be aerated, and must drain well.
✿ The peace lily does well in a humid environment. Humidity helps the plant stay fresh, and maintain a beautiful and healthy look.
✿ The plant can be humidified by misting the leaves 2 or 3 times a day with a fine mister. Regular misting prevents browning of its leaves and infestation by red spider mites.
✿ An indication of the plant receiving inadequate humidity is its leaves turning brown.
✿ Keeping the plant on a tray of water and pebbles also helps. This way the roots need not stay in the water and run the risk of rotting, and at the same time receive enough humidity by evaporation.
✿ Another method to help the plant stay hydrated is to keep it in places such as near the shower or kitchen sink.
✿ Moderate fertilization is another vital factor to be adhered to for this plant's care. It must be fed only during its growing season, in the spring and summer; once every two weeks.
✿ A balanced liquid fertilizer is recommended. This process helps compensate for the soil depletion that occurs over time. However, always be cautious about the recommended dosage of the fertilizer.
✿ Over fertilization is indicated by the leaves turning brown.
Pests, Insects, and Diseases
✿ Unlike many houseplants, the peace lily is immune to most insects and pests. While spider mites, aphids, and mealy bugs may bother the plant occasionally, the problem can be treated by spraying the plant with insecticidal soap or wiping it with rubbing alcohol.
✿ Given the broad surface area of the plant's leaves, they can be regularly wiped with a damp sponge to remove any insects or their eggs. This also helps get rid of dust and dirt that usually accumulate on the leaves' surface.
✿ At times, your peace lily may also have to endure mild fungal infection. The problem usually begins with tiny white specks on the upper portion of some of the leaves. This infection is known as powdery mildew. With time the fungus may spread, and cover the entire foliage; the plant may look like as if it has been dusted with flour. To manage this condition, here are a couple of home remedies you can try:
- ✔ Mix equal parts of a mild detergent, cooking oil, and baking soda. Add water, and spray the solution on the affected leaves three times a week.
- ✔ Another effective remedy is using neem oil. The oil is extract from the leaves of the neem tree (Indian Lilac), which is a natural fungicide. The product not only helps eliminate powdery mildew, but it also prevents future infestation.
The peace lily is known for its excellent air-purifying qualities. The Clean Air Study conducted by NASA revealed that it is listed among the top ten plants equipped with air-cleaning qualities. Some of its species are known to remove formaldehyde, benzine, and carbon monoxide from the air. It is also effective in eliminating ammonia, acetone, ethyl and methyl alcohol, ethyl acetate, trichloroethylene and xylene from the surrounding atmosphere
To sum up, peace lily not only adds to the beauty of your house with its eye-catching foliage and admirable pretty blossoms, but also helps keep the environment clean. So with so many benefits, you must not have any second thoughts on bringing this pretty plant home.