02 Jan Caring for Peace Lilies
By Heather Rhoades at gardeningknowhow.com
Peace lilies (Spathiphyllum) are a popular choice for offices and homes. When it comes to indoor plants, peace lily plants are some of the easiest to care for. But, while peace lily plant care is easy, proper growing conditions are still important. Let’s take a look at the care of peace lilies.
Growing Peace Lily As Houseplants
Peace lilies make excellent houseplants for the home or office. These lovely plants not only brighten up a living space, but are also excellent at cleaning the air of the room they are in. Most commonly, these plants have dark green leaves and white “flowers.” But what most people think of as the flower is actually a specialized leaf bract that grows hooded over the flowers.
Like many popular indoor plants, peace lilies enjoy medium to low light. Which kind of light you need to provide will depend more on what you want your peace lily plant to look like. Peace lilies that are placed in more light tend to produce the lovely white spathes and flowers more, while peace lilies in low light will bloom less and will look more like a traditional foliage plant.
Peace Lily Plant Care
One of the most common mistakes in the care of peace lilies is overwatering. Peace lilies are far more tolerant of underwatering than overwatering, which is one of the most common reasons for a peace lily to die. Because of this, you should never water peace lily plants on a schedule. Rather, you should check them once a week to see if they need to be watered. Simply touch the top of the soil to see if it is dry. If it is, water your peace lily. If the soil is still damp, the plant does not need to be watered. Some people will go so far as to wait until their peace lily is starting to droop before watering their plant. As these plants are very drought tolerant, this method does not harm the plant and will prevent overwatering.
Peace lilies do not need frequent fertilizing. Fertilizing with a balanced fertilizer one to two times per year will be enough to keep the plant happy.
Peace lilies also benefit from repotting or dividing when they outgrow their containers. Signs that a peace lily plant has outgrown its container include drooping less than a week after being watered and crowded, deformed leaf growth. If you are repotting, move the plant into a pot that is at least 2 inches larger than its current pot. If you are dividing, use a sharp knife to cut through the center of the rootball and replant each half in its on container.
Since the wide leaves on peace lilies tend to be a dust magnet, you should either wash or wipe down the leaves at least once a year. This will help it process sunlight better. Washing the plant can be done by either setting it in the bath and giving it a short shower or by placing it in a sink and letting the tap run over the leaves. Alternatively, the leaves of your peace lily plant can also be wiped down with a damp cloth. Avoid using “leaf shine” products, however, as these can clog the pores of the plant and harm it.