Native to the jungles of Central America, spathiphyllum (Spathiphyllum spp.), also called the peace lily, is one of the most popular indoor plants in the foliage industry, according to the University of Florida Extension. Their flowers are similar to both calla lilies and anthuriums. A spathe that is shaped like a sail and surrounds a spike-like spadix is indicative of the flowers of these members of the Aroid family. The leaves are poisonous and will produce a burning sensation in the mouth if eaten.
Grown primarily for use as a houseplant, spathiphyllum produces a pot full of deep green, lance-like leaves that remain nearly vertical as they grow from a basal rosette. They produce cream-colored, calla lily-like flowers that last for months on the plant.
Spathiphyllums grow well in bright, indirect light and thrive in locations where other houseplants grow well. Keep them away from exterior doors as they are sensitive to drafts, but do not place them near an indoor heat source as they prefer cool but not cold temperatures. Do not place them in a sunny south-facing window or their foliage may fade or burn.
Spathiphyllums are available in varieties that are table top size and larger varieties suitable as interior landscape floor plants. The variety "Petite" is an example of a small, table sized spathiphyllum and "Mauna Loa" and "Sensation" are varieties suitable for interiorscapes.
Care and Culture
Keep the soil of your spathiphyllum consistently moist but not soggy to help keep the leaf tips from turning brown. The entire plant will wilt and the leaves will droop if the soil is allowed to dry out. Feed them monthly with a water-soluble indoor plant food mixed at half the strength recommended by the manufacturer. Don't repot them too often; they should not be repotted until they have definitely outgrown their pots and very little soil is visible. Spathiphyllums are good candidates to summer outdoors in the shade and plants treated this way are more likely to produce flowers. Bring them indoors before the average daytime temperatures fall below the 50s.
Pests and Diseases
Spathiphyllums are susceptible to spider mites and mealy bugs, especially if they spend the summer outdoors in the shade. Control these insect pests by spraying with insecticidal soap, following the instructions of the manufacturer.