Sunday, 14 December 2008
One of the easiest and most common house plants is the Spathiphyllum. Often known only by its common name of Peace Lily, there are many cultivars of Spathiphyllum which are essentially quite similar. Some claim to have larger leaves, glossier leaves, longer lasting leaves, better flowers and other attributes, but apart from one that produces a green flower and another that has variegated leaves, they all produce white flowers.
Spathiphyllum is a native of South America and the Indo-Malaysian archipelago. It's a member of the Araceae or arum Family, which also includes Anthurium and Philodendron.
Quick reference guide:
Spathiphyllum is ideal for the darker spots in the house, as its light requirements are quite low. In fact, do not put this plant in full sunlight - it won't like it!
Most indoor plants are killed by either too much water, too little water or too much fertiliser and Spathiphyllum is no different. Only water plants when they are drying out. The best method for testing if your indoor plant needs water is to stick your finger in the soil to check!
Do not allow the potting media to totally dry out as this can quickly cause plant wilting and death. However, my Spathiphyllum was able to bounce back from being totally wilted and near-death. What I did was simply stand the pot in a container of water, halfway to the pot.
Its fertiliser requirements are quite low. Weakened solutions of liquid fertiliser (follow the instructions for indoor plants) can be applied a couple of times per year when it is actively growing.
Regular spraying of foliage with a mist of water will keep the humidity a bit higher around the plant, which is important in the dry conditions of air conditioned environments. Old, dead leaves should be removed.
Spathiphyllum is an excellent toxin remover in the house and office. Simply place desktop sized Spathiphyllum near computers, to help clean up those volatile chemicals.
Spathiphyllum is mildly toxic to humans and animals when ingested. So don't eat it, no matter how hungry you are!!!