The ABC's of Caring for Peace Lilies
Healthy Peace Lily.
The ABC's of Caring for a Peace Lily
The peace lily is considered by experts to be one of the top ten easiest house plants to grow. It grows well in low light and, according to NASA, does a bang-up job of cleaning the air in your house of toxic gases like benzene and formaldehyde. So why do so many people have so much trouble keeping them alive and making them bloom? Part of the problem may be that the Peace Lily is very different from other kinds of house plants. The ABC's of caring for a Peace Lily are as follows:
A. Always set your peace lily in a cool shady spot. Too much sunlight or heat can retard growth, make leaves turn yellow and keep the plant from doing well. A hot or bright location can make the plant droop, tempting the owner to overwater when the soil is already still moist. They like bright filtered sunlight about 5 to 8 feet from the nearest window. They will also survive nicely under total fluorescent lighting. This characteristic makes them popular in inside offices and north facing rooms that don't get direct sunlight.
B. Be careful how you water peace lilies. You'll know when they are thirsty when the foliage droops noticeably. It's best not to let them totally dry out. They like a lot of water, but even so, it's easy to overwater. The soil should be moist, not soggy. Watch for the slight droop in the leaves that is a cue that it's time to water. Once the lily is watered, it will spring back in a matter of minutes. Don't let the soil dry out too much or the bottom leaves will yellow and the tips will turn brown. On average a peace lily likes to be watered about once a week with room temperature water. If you live in a city where the water is heavily chlorinated, let your water stand in an open container overnight to allow the chlorine gas to percolate out of the water before watering you lily with it. They don't like chlorine!
C. Check the humidity of the room. Peace lilies like humidity and most houses are far too dry. A heated home in winter can have a humidity that matches that of the deep Sahara desert. Mist the plant a couple of times a week to keep the air around it more humid like its tropical rainforest home.
D. Don't forget the fertilizer. Peace lily plants will deplete nutrients from the soil as they go. Replenish lost nutrients by fertilizing every month or so during the growing season with a 20-20-20 houseplant fertilizer diluted to about ¼ of the recommended dilution rate. If the fertilizer you use is too strong, it can burn off the fine hairy roots that are responsible for taking up moisture and nutrients into the plants. Repot the plant every year or two. Shake some of the excess soil off the root ball and pack fresh soil around the plant in the new pot. Use a mix of peat moss, sand and loam in equal amounts to create a nice light replenished soil.
E. Evergreen plants like the peace lily enjoy attention. They don't attract many insects other than the occasional mealy bug infestation. Treat that by simply wiping the leaves with rubbing alcohol and spraying with an insecticidal soap. Peace lilies love to have their leaves dusted with a damp sponge. A peace lily with clean leaves is a healthy and blooming peace lily.
Peace Lily Care: http://houseplants-care.blogspot.com/2006/10/peace-lily-care.html
Flower Shop Network: Caring for the Peace Lily Plant: http://www.flowershopnetwork.com/pages/newsletter/NewsletterMarch2003.php
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