Why do I like Peace Lilies?

Garden Clippings for December 22, 2018

There is no such thing as a houseplant.  A houseplant is actually a tropical plant that has been taken out of its natural comfortable environment, forced into a house, and expected to survive.

Tropical plants love their own native environment where there is a perfect blend of light, moisture, humidity and heat.  Many tropical plants are so finicky that they won’t grow anywhere but their own native surroundings.

A good number of tropical plants are flexible, resilient and will tolerate the transplant from their comfy native environment into our dark and dry houses. These tropical plants are nursery grown by the thousands in the southern half of Florida and then trucked up the I-75 to south-western Ontario and beyond.

One of the most adaptable and dependable houseplants is the Spathiphyllum, commonly called Peace Lily.  Here’s why Peace Lily ranks as one of my all-time favorites:

Peace Lilies have their own built-in moisture alarm systems.  As soon as my Peace Lily becomes dry, it begins to wilt.  I get the message and water all the tropicals in the house.  On occasion I have gone away for a long weekend only to find most of the leaves drooping over the side of the pot and resting on the floor.  In a panic I added a bucket of water and within a few hours my Peace Lily is fully recovered.

Peace Lilies are not fussy.  Almost any indoor environment will do the trick.  Peace Lilies are not keen on constant direct sun and will not survive long in a dark location.  Mine sits in a south facing window.

Peace Lilies offer a delightful splash of white colour.  They will invariably flower in spring, then sporadically throughout the rest of the year.  Their pure white flowers are not really flowers but are leaf bracts that wrap around a central spike.  The flower sits on a stem that extends above the leaves, remaining white for up to two months.

Peace Lilies are practically disease and pest free.  The books say that Peace Lilies can get spider mites, aphids and mealybugs, but I can’t recall if I have ever come across these issues.  Sometimes brown edges appear on the leaves, an indication of over or underwatering.  Peace Lilies have a habit of losing one or two of their oldest leaves which can easily be clipped off as necessary.

Peace Lilies are poisonous, but not to worry.  The leaves of Peace Lilies contain oxalates which may cause irritation to the mouth and stomach of a cat or dog.  But because the irritation accompanied by foul taste comes at first bite, the pet will wander off find something else to munch on.

Peace Lilies are one of the finest houseplants to purify the air.  We all know that tropical plants enhance our living environment.  Peace Lilies’ big leaves and lush growth make them a top choice for office and home environments.