On account of its unique structure and easy maintenance, peace lily is one of the most popular indoor plants. Here are a few tips to help you in taking care of peace lilies.
Did you Know?
Peace lilies symbolize peace, prosperity, tranquility, solitude and purification. Feng Shui recommends placing of peace lilies at home or workplace, to balance all the energies.
Every part of the world takes pride in its natural gift of flora and vegetation. However, the nativity of peace lilies is still unknown and leads to a lot of speculation. This evergreen tropical plant is widely found in South America, Central America and Southeast Asia. A few decades back, German horticulturists introduced more than a dozen new varieties of Spathiphyllum in the American greenhouses. It is yet to be seen if these free flowering varieties shall take precedence over the original resilient peace lily version. Let us now understand these beautiful flowers in a bit more detail.
Botanical Class of Peace Lilies
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Division: Angiosperms
- Order: Alismatales
- Family: Araceae
- Sub-family: Monsteroideae
- Genus: Spathiphyllum
- Spathiphyllum is a member of the Araceae family, which contains about 40 species of monocotyledonous flowering plants. These plants are herbaceous, evergreen, and perennial.
- The peace lily flower is a single white leaf called spathe, partially wrapped around a finger-like knobby spadix.
- The spadix may vary from white to off-white to yellow in color.The spadix is usually 4 to 6 inches long. Its glossy leaves are about 12-65 cm long and 3-25 cm broad. They are produced on foot-long petioles from branched rhizome, which is a creeping stem growing horizontally at the soil surface. All the plants grow in a clumped fashion.
Resemblance to Peace Flags
- Peace lilies are said to resemble a white peace flag, which is a universal acknowledgment of a truce during battles. The spadix represents the pole while the white spathe that encloses it denotes the flag.
- The flowers first appear when the plant is mature. It may bloom every couple of months if the plant is healthy. A limited number of flowers appear during each blooming season.
- The blooming of flowers is not restricted to any one season and is often erratic. In Spathiphyllum, the hormone gibberellic acid (GA) causes the seasonal flowering. Cultivators control flowering precisely by using GA spray, and flowers appear about two months after its use.
Peace lilies are no-fuss plants, since they do not require a great deal of attention. With a little effort, these plants can grow beautifully and can adorn your home for several years.
Resemblance to Nautical Sails
- Peace lilies are sometimes known as ‘White Sails’. This is because, their spathe resembles the sails of a ship.
They are commonly found on the forest floor of rain forests in tropical America. As a result, they have a natural ability to cope with the poor lighting. This makes them excellent indoor plants for your home and office. However, they do not flower if they are permanently kept in low levels of lighting.
It is recommended that you place these plants in areas bright enough to read a newspaper or with filtered sunlight. This helps to keep them healthy. Peace lilies must be kept in a warm environment of about 68 °F to 85 °F daytime temperature and must be kept away from cold drafts.
While regular soil will do, the plant will benefit from the use of good commercial soil comprising peat moss, bark, and sand. The plant should ideally be re-potted every 2 years, when the container begins to get crowded. This also helps to rejuvenate the soil of its lost nutrition.
A careful balance needs to be maintained, by allowing the soil to dry out between two watering sessions. The plant will look healthy and fresh as long as the soil is moist. Regularly check the soil for moistness during summer and dry season. Too much drying will result in wilting and yellowing of the leaves. At other times, a weekly watering should suffice. The plant should be watered with room temperature water only. Never leave this plant in standing water, which may lead to root rot.
Diluted liquid houseplant fertilizers may be applied every month during summer and spring. However, one must practice caution while doing this, as over-fertilization can cause tips and roots to burn.
For a plant to stay healthy and attractive, it is important to wipe the leaves with a damp cloth on a regular basis. This helps take off the dust and enhance its appearance, as well as remove any pests that may have gathered on the underside of the leaves.
A NASA study placed it among top ten plants that improve the quality of the air surrounding it. This is because, peace lilies cleanse indoor air by absorbing environmental contaminants such as benzene, formaldehyde and other pollutants. On the other hand, peace lily are mildly toxic in nature. However, this does not pose a problem, unless you have pets who like to feed on house plants.