The peace lily (Spathiphyllum wallisii) is a beautiful evergreen perennial herbaceous plant of the genus Spathiphyllum. Flower of these plants has a unique shape which makes this plant more extraordinary in appearance. The flowers are small and arranged in a stem-like structure which is known as spadix. Further, the spadix is covered by a white or greenish-white leaf-like long curved bract scientifically known as a spath. Peace lily benefits include purifying indoor air reported as by NASA’s study on indoor plants (1). The name Peace lily meaning is also very unique and soothing. Its spathe-like flowers are white and resemble a white flag — often representing peace and spirituality. Thus keeping these plants in the house also adds to the tranquillity of the surroundings.
Interesting Point: The flowers that appear white are not single but are a group of many flowers which is arranged in a special inflorescence form known as spadix.
Benefits of the Peace Lily
Great indoor plant
The peace lily is a wonderful indoor plant with beautiful flowers. Indoor plants not only give a soothing touch to the rooms but also make the surroundings more sophisticated. So decorating the house with plants reflects the hobby and interest in nature. Hence this is a great way to make nature close to oneself.
The peace lily is a perennial plant and simply potting the plant in an attractive ceramic pot makes it a huge statement decoration to the room. A small peace lily plant can be kept anywhere like in the corner of the room, on the tables and shelves.
Air purifying plant
Besides an indoor beautiful houseplant, one other property of Peace Lily is that it also purifies the indoor air. As per studies done by NASA, it was found that Peace Lily keeps the surrounding air clean by removing benzene and formaldehyde from the environment. Therefore peace lily adds beauty along with clean air to our indoor environment. The harmful effects of formaldehyde and benzenes are as follows.
Harmful effect of formaldehyde
According to WHO studies Indoor wooden furniture with formaldehyde resin paints are the main source of formaldehyde pollution. Smoking, heating, cooking, candle and incense burning, cosmetics, paints, wallpapers, etc are the other sources of formaldehyde (2). Formaldehyde is considered a carcinogenic that on exposure may cause cancer and irritation of the nose and eyes. Experiments on certain animals also prove the genotoxicity of formaldehyde.
The harmful effect of benzene
According to WHO major sources of benzene are automobiles from attached garages, heating and cooking systems, and solvents (3 & 4). Exposure to benzene causes nausea, headache, and vomiting. It’s also considered a carcinogen, long-term exposure to benzene causes leukemia in adults. In the case of pregnant women prolonged exposure also leads to miscarriage.
How to take care of a peace lily plant?
Following are the simple steps for how to take care for a peace lily indoors. Peace lily care involves low light, moderate water, and good soil.
1. Proper watering
Depending upon the moisture level of soil the plant requires about three times water a week. It is most important to note that the soil should be well-drained to avoid waterlogging.
2. Soil type
Soil preferentially with proper aeration is most important for peace lily growth. Sand and coco peat 1:1 ratio is best for peace lily planting.
Cleaning of the leaf is necessary as the dust accumulation may cause leaf necrosis that is the leaf gets damaged or dry due to hindrance in photosynthesis. Therefore spraying water weekly or cleaning the leaf with the sponge keeps the plant more healthy.
Indirect sunlight is required for the proper growth of peace lily. The completely dark place is not suitable for the plants as it causes pale pigmentation of the leaves. Direct sunlight is also not preferable for the plant.
Houseplant fertilizers fortified with nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium (N: P: K 20:20:20) are enough for good growth. Water-based fertilizers should be used for peace lily. Proper irrigation is necessary after fortifying the soil with fertilizers for its uniform distribution.
Propagation of Peace Lily
Peace lily propagation is done both by seeds and rhizomes. Rhizome propagation is comparatively the most widely used method than seed propagation. Peace lily propagation is therefore very simple divide the mother plant along with roots and grow in a different pot.