Houseplant Girl

Peace Lily House Plant: Spathiphyllum

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The Peacy Lily house plant is the option for all seeking clean air, easy to care for plants and of course, some peace. These are a beautiful species, offering your home a break from the mundane green on green on green that many of the other flora and fauna offer.

History

First arriving in Europe in 1824 the lily was discovered by Gustav Wallis, a German plant collector, in the jungle of Colombia. He’s still remembered today for his discovery. The latin name of the flower is called S. Wallis in his honor. It’s been said that he discovered over 1000 species of plants.

 

Gustav Wallis

Gustav Wallis

NASA Approved

According to NASA, the Peace Lily house plant made the top 10 list of plants that clean and filter the air! They’re are able to remove benzene (a carcinogen) and acetone as well as break down and neutralizes toxic gasses like formaldehyde and carbon monoxide through its pores. Talk about some science fiction.

Think about it, in modern times, our homes are tightly sealed for energy efficiency leaving us to breathe in all the microscopic toxic solvents and air particles that accumulate over time from cleaning products, construction, and average wear and tear. We are breathing in countless amounts of unhealthy air particles and don’t do anything about making sure our air is fresh and clean. This is where plants come in.

Plants function like air pumps (especially the leaves) giving us filtered air to breathe in and removing all the toxic substances that are unseen to the naked eye.

Benzene is known as a carcinogen connected to leukemia… and is everywhere. It’s also a skin and eye irritant causing inflammation and dryness. The Peace Lily has been shown to filter out Benzene. But wait, it also filters out formaldehyde, a chemical even more abundant than benzene. Another carcinogen and irritant, formaldehyde is in everything from cleaning products to carpets to adhesive binders!

An Intuitive Species

But wait, there’s more! The peace lily not only looks nice, but it’s resilient to our poor caretaking skills. Woot! What’s great about this plant is how it’s able to almost gesture you when it needs water by sagging its petals. Communication at its best.

Lighting: Consider placing the plant in a north or west facing window but around 6 feet away from the actual sill to help keep light levels consistent. These plants are great because they thrive in low light conditions and even artificial lighting conditions, so don’t worry if your home doesn’t get a lot of rays.

Water: This plant is amazing as it will droop letting you know that it needs water. Use this intuitive watering cue to give it the right amount of water. In general, watering will take place about once per week and make sure to spritz its leaves throughout the summer. It will need less water in the winter. Peace lilies can be sensitive to chlorine, so if your filtered water is heavily chlorinated, allow the water to stand overnight so the chlorine can leach out. Watch the great video below showing the Peace Lily perking up after being watered.

Temperature: The Peace lily enjoys the same indoor temperatures we do of around 65 degrees to 80 degrees. Keep it away from cold drafts and non-insulated windows.

Dogs and Cats: Because Peace lilies aren’t actually lilies, you don’t have to worry about poisoning your pets. However, at first bite, it will irritate their mouths and stomachs. But don’t worry, your dog Fido should get the clue after his first bite that the lily doesn’t taste as good as it looks.

Re-Potting: Re-pot the Peace lily every year or two, or when you notice it starts to suck up the water after only one or two days.

Pruning: You only need to prune when the leaves are yellow.

Flowers: You can expect this plant to flower several times per year if it is well taken care of, perhaps around one to three flowers at a time. But don’t feel bad when after several months the flowers fall off and it becomes another green thing in your living room. Many nurseries take diligent and “unique” care (putting something called Gibberellic acid on it), creating an environment for them to bloom like crazy in the beginning. Don’t expect that to last.

Propagation: You are able to propagate your plant when you re-pot it, but that’s up to you.

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After finishing her masters degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, Michelle wanted to share her love of plants and all things medicinal. With her knowledge of Chinese herbs and household plants, she decided to create a site sharing her love of indoor plants.

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