One very common houseplant loved by all is the peace lily. Also called Spathiphyllum, this foliage plant is also known for its long-lasting, jack-in-the pulpit-like white flower. While mostly kept as houseplants, peace lilies can also be planted in the landscape in warmer areas. Keeping your peace lily in top condition is easy and rewarding!
A peace lily requires bright, but indirect sun – no direct sun. Direct sun will burn the leaves and cause it to decline. While this plant has some drought tolerance, it has no salt tolerance, and its foliage will burn when exposed to salt spray. Peace lilies prefer soil rich in organic matter – water as needed to maintain moisture but provide good drainage. While peace lilies can be planted in the landscape in shady locations in the warmer parts of our region – hardiness zone 10 B – frosts/freezes or even temperatures reaching thirty-five degrees F. can cause damage. However, peace lilies planted in large containers can be moved indoors during a cold snap for protection.
Spathiphyllum have a number of cultivars available of various sizes. Ranging from ‘Little Angel’ a dwarf, compact cultivar that only gets twelve to fifteen inches tall, to ‘Sensation’ that matures at six-feet tall and wide, there are many selections to fit your needs. There is even a variegated variety called ‘Domino’ growing up to thirty-inches wide. Beyond the dark green glossy foliage is the namesake flower. The classic white flower is actually an inflorescence made up of a spadix, the central fleshy stem holding the actual flowers, and the spathe, the colorful bract that makes up most of the flower structure typical of the arum family. This jack-in-the pulpit-like flower is long lasting but will eventually turn light green as it matures. Peace lilies naturally set flowers in response to short days/long nights and lower temperatures.
Although the peace lily is mildly toxic when eaten and should be kept out of the reach of children and pets, it is also noted by NASA as a plant which can help purify indoor air of certain pollutants. I have a Spathiphyllum, ‘Sensation’ growing in large seven-gallon pot under the dappled shade of a tree which is flowering right now. While the plant itself is over four and one-half feet tall, the flower is about one foot long and magnificent! For more information on all types of tropical flowering plants, or to ask a question, you can also call the Master Gardener Volunteer Helpdesk on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 1 to 4 pm at 764-4340 for gardening help and insight into their role as an Extension volunteer. Ralph E. Mitchell is the Director/Horticulture Agent for UF/IFAS Extension – Charlotte County. He can be reached at 941-764-4344 or email@example.com . Connect with us on social media. Like us on Facebook @CharlotteCountyExtension and follow us on Instagram @ifascharco.
Henny, R. J. & Chen, J. (2019) FLORIDA FOLIAGE HOUSE PLANT CARE: SPATHIPHYLLUM. The University of Florida Extension Service, IFAS.
Henny, R. J. & Chen, J. (2019) Spathiphyllum Flowering—Keys to the Future. The University of Florida Extension Service, IFAS.
UF/IFAS Gardening Solutions (2015) Peace Lily. The University of Florida Extension Service, IFAS.
Chase, L. (2023) Peace Lily – Spathiphyllum spp.South-Florida-Plant-Guide.com.
Spathiphyllum Common Name(s): Mauna Loa Peace Lily, Peace Lily, Spathe Flower, White Sails. North Carolina Extension Gardener Plant Toolbox.
Wikipedia (2023) – Spadix. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spadix_(botany).
Curcuma flowers are exotic and unique, 2. Curcuma features a cone-like flower 3. Tulip-like colorful bracts enclose the true flowers