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Peace lily

Peace lily

 The peace lily, comprising several varieties of the plant Spathiphyllum is a very popular houseplant. It may be called the closet plant because it needs little light, and in fact does best in low light areas of your home. The peace lily blooms every couple of months when it is healthy, producing white flowers with a long stamen, similar to a calla lily. A peace lily is a common gift to people at funerals and memorials, and care of the plant can assure you a healthy peace lily for years to come.

The peace lily is tropical in origin, and depending on its variety may have leaves up to a foot in length (.31 m). The foliage is a deep, shiny green and the plant, when in bloom, can be as tall as four feet (1.22). The plant does grow well, and should be repotted every couple of years or even separated. The more rootbound the plant becomes in its pot, the more likely it will require greater amounts of water.

Watering the peace lily is usually a topic of debate. Many suggest watering the plant once weekly. Other gardening experts suggest that you can best check water supply by seeing if the soil is moist. The soil should always feel moist, but the peace lily should not sit in a tray of water. You might want to empty the plant tray of extra water and definitely wait to water again for a week when this occurs. If you pay attention to the plant, slight drooping in the foliage also signals that the plant may need a bit of water.

To ensure blooming, gardening specialists recommend fertilizing the plant every 2-3 months. If the peace lily refuses to bloom, it may be rootbound, exposed to drafts, or may be in too much light. Trimming excessive foliage can also spur a blooming cycle.

Since the plant is indoors it does not commonly attract pests, although the occasional peace lily will have a mite infestation. You can prevent most infestations and diseases of the plant by wiping down the leaves every few weeks with a damp cloth. Also, the peace lily should never be in temperatures colder than 40 degrees F (4.44 C) for any extended period of time.

Environmentalists have celebrated the peace lily for its ability to clean the air, removing chemicals like formaldehyde and carbon monoxide from the air. NASA conducted a study on houseplants and named the peace lily among the top ten plants for removing indoor chemicals and keeping the air “greener.” Despite its benefits, the peace lily is not for every home.

The main care requirement for your Peace Lily is water. This plant requires heavy watering, but you must allow the soil to dry out in-between watering to a point as well. This houseplant will let you know when it needs water. The leaves will begin to droop. Allowing the foliage to droop slightly in-between watering has turned out to be successful for me. However, do not let it droop severely. Once the plant is watered the foliage will spring back up. If you allowed it to dry out too much, some of the lower leaves may yellow and need to be removed.

This plant also loves higher humidity levels, so providing it with a nice misting a couple times a week will help the plant remain beautifully healthy.

The plant is toxic. Ingested by children it can cause mouth ulcerations, and vomiting. A small amount of leaves chewed by a dog or cat is even more dangerous and potentially lethal. If you suspect a child or animal has eaten peace lily, you should contact poison control immediately. For the safety of all residents in your home, it’s suggested that you do not keep peace lilies if you have children or animals.

 


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