Peace Lily or Closet Plant (Spathiphyllum)
Pretty But Poisonous
Beautiful and effective in the removal of chemicals in the air, the Peace Lily is anything but peaceful (to eat) — this lily is poisonous to all your loved ones. Do not leave in reach of children or pets (especially cats).
The Peace lily excels in the removal of alcohols, acetone, trichloroethylene, benzene and formaldehyde. Just don’t eat it. Nor touch its sap. Nor look at it sideways, etc.
To compensate for its poisonous proclivity to form oxalates that bind to calcium in your blood and render its victims ill with eye- and throat-catching oxalate crystals, the Peace Lily boasts a high transpiration rate. That makes everything all better, yes…?
Your Peace Lily will produce beautiful white spathes. The flower may be cut (with no damage to the plant) to prevent the release of pollen.
More Insight About Peace Lilies
Peace lilies are tropical, evergreen plants that thrive on the forest floor, where they receive dappled sunlight and consistent moisture. Replicating these conditions in the home is the key to getting your peace lily to be happy and healthy.
With enough light, peace lilies produce white to off-white flowers starting in the early summer, and will bloom throughout the year in the right conditions.
Most household varieties of peace lily grow up to 16 inches tall, but larger outdoor cultivars can have leaves that reach up to 6 feet in height. Peace lilies are not cold-hardy plants, so they can only be grown outdoors in warm, humid climates (USDA Zones 10, 11).
Peace Lily Care
This plant likes semi-sun to semi-shade, but not extended periods in direct sunlight. Remember, this plant is used to living on the forest floor and receiving filtered light through the above canopy.
Do not place your plant in direct sunlight; direct sunlight can damage the Peace lily’s foliage. Yellow leaves signal too much exposure to direct sunlight or underwatering; move the plant to a less-lit area and mist the leaves.
- Thriving in lower lighted areas, the Peace Lily can thrive in most indoor environments.
- Place it within 5 to 8 feet of a window for optimal results.
- Water heavily once a week or when leaves slightly droop. Let the soil dry between waterings. If the plant is too dry, lower leaves may yellow — remove them. Mist the leaves and wash them with a damp cloth, especially in the dry air of winter months, to prevent insect attacks.
How Long Do Peace Lily Flowers Last?
It’s normal for the flowers of peace lilies to turn green as they age. It gives them a dignified look, don’t you think?
Though long-lasting, the flowers of a peace lily don’t last forever. Spent flowers can be cut off when they turn brown, removing the flower stalk at its point of origin within the leaves.
Well-grown plants will continue to produce new flowers, with the bulk of these in the spring to fall months. Spaths need medium to bright light, but they aren’t used to direct summer sun.
Lack of light is a frequent cause of poor bloom on plants that appear healthy otherwise.
Normal home temperatures are comfortable for spaths, but don’t place them near heat ducts or other sources of hot, dry air in winter, or by air conditioning vents during summer, as they dislike low humidity.
Again, spaths like moisture, but you need to allow the soil to dry some between waterings; don’t let your plant sit in standing water. Feed with a standard houseplant fertilizer as per the fertilizer directions, from spring through fall. Discontinue in winter if there’s no new leaf growth.
Do Peace Lily Blossoms Recover After Blossoms Discolour?
Peace lily blossoms don’t recover after turning brown, so carefully remove them with a sharp cutting tool. When the flowers wither and die, the stems remain tough and wiry; trying to pick or twist fading flowers off by hand can damage the plant, so prune the flowers off with pruning shears.
How-to: Prune the stems at the base where they emerge from the leaves, taking care to clean the pruning shears with rubbing alcohol or a similiar disinfectant before and after use. Remove any leaves that have turned yellow or brown at the same time to give your plant energy to develop its other are.
If your pets or children ingest this lily:
- Rinse the mouth thoroughly with water and call for medical assistance (veterinary or human).
- Give the subject some calcium-rich food (yogurt, for example) to prevent the oxalates from fully binding with and therefore removing calcium in the blood.
- Encourage the subject to drink lots of water to flush out the oxalate crystals.