Also commonly known as the peace lily, spathiphyllum is a highly popular variety of houseplant which originates from the tropics of south-east Asia and America. The plant is loved for its beautiful and long-lasting flowers, which bloom most commonly in spring, but which can be forced into a second winter blooming.
Spathiphyllum has glossy and shiny leaves, which emerge directly from the soil and bear white-green spathes which grow from the plant’s leaf-stalks. These fade to a yellow shade over time.
Most commonly grown as a houseplant indoors, some varieties of spathiphyllum can be trained to bloom twice a year, with the plant having flowers in bloom for several months at a time. Be careful to protect it from scale and mites, which will damage the plant. The plant prefers a growing temperature of 15 to 29 degrees Celsius.
The young plants are available from seed or tissue culture and propagation offers growers the benefit of selected and named varieties, year-round availability and a more uniform crop. This crop is supported by various breeding programs, offering a consistent provision of new cultivars.
Spathiphyllum is the genus of c. forty species of monocotyledonous plants in the araceae flowing family. It is an herbaceous, evergreen perennial plant, with leaves of 3-25 cm in breadth and 16-65 cm long. These are produced in a surrounded spadix, with yellowish, greenish or white spathe of 10-30 cm long.
As this indoor plant is a fan of shade and requires little light, it’s wise to avoid putting spathiphyllum in any area which is strongly exposed to direct sunlight. However, some sun-loving varieties of the plant do exist and these can easily withstand direct sun. Be sure to water the plant well in summer, or in a warm home, as it will thrive in soil of high humidity. Aim to keep the soil constantly damp to ensure strong growth. Watch out for extreme variations in temperature – these can damage spathiphyllum, which grows best in moist and humid climates which are neither too cold or hot. You can increase humidity by adding gravel to the plant’s drainage pot.
Did You Know?
Spathiphyllum is strongly associated with gifting at Christmas and is also known for its excellent air purification qualities.