How to Care For a Spatiphyllum Plant

Overview

The spathiphyllum plant, more commonly known as peace lily or white sails, produces fragrant white flowers similar to calla lilies and bold, dark-green foliage that rises directly from the soil. Reaching heights of up to 4 feet, the plant tolerates low light and some neglect, though it will not perform in cold temperatures. Native to South and Central America, the spathiphyllum plant craves warmth, and gardeners in America usually grow the plant indoors. A popular houseplant, the sturdy peace lily improves indoor air quality and also thrives in shopping malls, office buildings and other low-light areas where many plants fail to flower.

Step 1

Place the spathiphyllum plant in a location that receives bright, filtered light throughout the day, such as a south- or north-facing window. Never place in direct sunlight, or the plant will burn. Maintain a temperature of 68 to 85 degrees F during the day and 58 to 75 degrees F at night.

Step 2

Water the plant once per week during spring, summer and fall to keep the soil consistently moist, but never soggy, as the peace lily doesn't like to stand in water. Reduce watering frequency to once every 10 days during winter, when the plant is not actively growing.

Step 3

Clean spathiphyllum plant's foliage once every two to four days to keep the leaves free of dust and prevent pests from gathering on the undersides of leaves. Use a cloth soaked in lukewarm water to avoid shocking the plant and wipe the leaves gently to avoid causing unnecessary harm.

Step 4

Feed the plant once every two to three months using a complete 20-20-20 NPK liquid houseplant fertilizer, which provides plenty of nutrients for flower and foliage formation. Apply according to the directions on the package for the best results.

Step 5

Remove any damaged or diseased foliage whenever possible to improve the plant's overall health and aesthetic appeal. When necessary, remove stems at their point of origin to minimize damage and disease vulnerability.

Step 6

Re-pot spathiphyllum plant once every two to three years, or whenever it outgrows its current container. Increase the size of the new container by at least 4 inches and provide fresh potting soil to ease the shock of transplanting. Water immediately after re-potting to compact the soil and provide moisture to the roots.

Tips and Warnings

  • Never allow standing water to accumulate around spathiphyllum, as it will cause the plant to rot. Promptly pour away any excess moisture after each watering.

Things You'll Need

  • Cloth
  • Fertilizer
  • Container
  • Potting soil

References

  • Clemson University Cooperative Extension: Peace Lily
  • University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture: Plant of the Week -- Peace Lily, Spath
  • "Beyond the Windowsill"; Jon Carloftis; 2007
Keywords: Spathiphyllum plant, peace lily, white sails

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including Gardenguides.com.