How to Take Care of Peace Lilies

Overview

Spathiphyllum plants, known as peace lilies, are in the Araceae family and native to South America. Peace lilies, grown as houseplants for their foliage, have an upright stalk with white spathes. The flower appears after the spathes open. Peace lilies are easy to grow and maintain. According to Dr. B.C. Wolverton, a scientist who studied plants for NASA, peace lilies remove pollutants from the air, improve indoor air quality and are a top choice for houseplants.

Step 1

Keep peace lilies in rooms with a temperature between 60 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 55 to 68 F. at night. Temperatures kept on the cooler side during flowering prolongs the life of the blooms. Avoid placing peace lilies close to drafts or heat sources.

Step 2

Spathiphyllums require partial sun. Place the plants in filtered sunlight. A windowsill works well if it is free from drafts. If the leaves turn yellow, the plant needs more light. Fluorescent grow lights make a suitable supplement to natural light. Protect the plant from direct sunlight in the summer.

Step 3

Peace lilies perform best with humid air. Dry air makes the plant vulnerable to insect attack. This is a potential problem during winter months when central heating warms the house. Provide moisture by placing the potted peace lily on a tray of gravel-filled with water. Keep the tray filled with water as long as the heat remains in use.

Step 4

Repot spathiphyllums into bigger planters when the soil dries out quickly or new growth occurs. Alternately, divide the roots into smaller plants and repot. Use a high quality potting soil and a planter with drainage holes. Mix one part potting soil with one part peat moss and one part perlite. This provides improved drainage.

Step 5

Apply fertilizer once per month from spring through fall. Use sparingly in winter. Choose a fertilizer for tropical foliage plants. Follow the instructions listed on the fertilizer.

Step 6

Water enough to keep the soil moist. Do not let the soil dry out more than a quarter of an inch from the top. Place the planter in a tray of water. The water will absorb into the soil. Remove the planter from the tray when the top of the soil is moist and allow excess water to drain. If watering from the top, pour the water on and wait for excess water to drain. Do not leave peace lilies sit in standing water.

Step 7

Wipe the peace lily leaves when they appear dusty. Use a soft, damp cloth. Wipe from the stalk-end of the leaf outward. Go slow and apply gentle pressure.

Things You'll Need

  • Tray
  • Gravel
  • Potting soil
  • Perlite
  • Peat moss
  • Planter with drainage holes
  • Fertilizer
  • Soft cloth

References

  • How to Grow Fresh Air; Dr. B.C. Wolverton; 1996
  • Clemson University Extension
  • Purdue University Extension
Keywords: peace lilies, spathiphyllum plants, plants for NASA

About this Author

Kit Arbuckle is a freelance writer specializing in topics such as health, alternative medicine, beauty, senior care, pets and landscaping. She has training in landscaping and a certification in medicinal herbs from a botanical sanctuary.