Tips On Selecting And Taking Care Of Peace Lilies

Tips On Selecting And Taking Care Of Peace Lilies

Whether a seasoned plant enthusiast or a novice green thumb, understand the selection and care essentials to ensure their longevity and vibrancy

Sujal ChawatheUpdated: Thursday, February 01, 2024, 08:42 PM IST
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Today, we’ll start our species-specific learnings. Let’s discuss peace lilies (Spathiphyllum spp.) Renowned for their elegant, glossy leaves and delicate white blooms, making them a cherished addition to homes and offices worldwide. Beyond their aesthetic appeal, these plants are celebrated for their air-purifying qualities and relatively undemanding care requirements. Whether you are a seasoned plant enthusiast or a novice green thumb, understanding the selection and care essentials for peace lilies is key to ensuring their longevity and vibrancy in your space.

Selecting the perfect peace lily

When choosing a peace lily, opt for a plant with lush, vibrant leaves and no signs of discolouration, spots, or drooping. Look for those with healthy roots by gently inspecting the bottom of the pot – roots should be firm, whitish, and spread evenly throughout the soil without being overcrowded.

Ensure the plant is well-proportioned with a healthy, upright posture, indicating its overall health. Avoid specimens with yellowing or wilting leaves, as these might indicate stress or improper care. Consider the size of the plant concerning the space you have available. Peace lilies come in various sizes, from compact tabletop versions to larger floor plants, so choose one that fits your intended location.  

Optimal care

March

Light: Peace lilies thrive in indirect, bright light but can tolerate lower light conditions. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight, which can scorch their leaves. Placing them near north or east-facing windows often provides the ideal light balance.  

Watering: Keep the soil consistently moist but not waterlogged. Water your peace lily when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Ensure proper drainage in the pot to prevent root rot – allowing excess water to drain away is crucial.  

Humidity: These tropical plants appreciate higher humidity levels. You can enhance humidity by misting the leaves regularly or placing the pot on a tray filled with pebbles and water. Grouping plants together also aids in increasing ambient humidity.  

Temperature: Peace lilies thrive in average room temperatures ranging from 18°C to 27°C. Avoid exposing them to sudden temperature fluctuations or drafts, as they can be sensitive to these changes.  

Fertilisation: Feed your peace lily with a balanced, water-soluble fertiliser once a month during the growing season (spring and summer). Dilute the fertiliser to half-strength to prevent fertiliser burn and apply it to damp soil to avoid shocking the plant’s roots.

Repotting: Peace lilies prefer slightly tight quarters, so repot only when the roots have outgrown the current container, usually every one-two years. Choose a pot that’s slightly larger than the current one and use well-draining potting mix.  

Pruning and maintenance: Regularly remove any yellow or brown leaves and spent flowers. This encourages new growth and keeps the plant looking tidy. Wipe the leaves with a damp cloth occasionally to remove dust, allowing better absorption of light.  

Troubleshooting

Yellowing leaves: Overwatering or inadequate light can cause yellowing leaves. Adjust your watering routine and relocate the plant to a brighter spot if needed.  

Brown tips: Dry air or excessive fertiliser might lead to brown tips on the leaves. Increase humidity levels and reduce fertilisation to solve this issue.

Pests: Keep an eye out for common pests like spider mites, aphids, or mealybugs. Treat infestations promptly with insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Peace lilies, with their striking foliage and serene blooms, are not only aesthetically pleasing but also beneficial for indoor air quality. By selecting a healthy plant and providing adequate care – including proper lighting, watering, and maintenance – you can ensure your peace lily thrives and brings an enduring sense of tranquility to your home or workspace. Embrace the beauty and simplicity these plants offer, and enjoy the serene ambiance they bring to your surroundings.

(Sujal Chawathe is a CA by education but a gardener at heart. Her venture Indoor Greens helps urban offices and homes, add and maintain plants)

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