Plant Profile: Spathiphyllum wallisii

The Spathiphyllum wallisii, (also known as peace lily) is among the most commonly owned and adaptable evergreens in the plant community. The glossy dark green leaves of this plant are accompanied by white blooms in the spring and sometimes all year long. This is a beginner plant that can be easily found at almost any indoor nursery. The Spath is one of the more giving plants and has come so far to make it onto NASA’s top ten air purifying plant list!


Before the Spathiphyllums were seen in our offices and living rooms, they could be found in places like Columbia and Venezuela. The Spathiphyllum is a genus of 40 plants from the plant family Araceae. It was first introduced to Europe in the 19th century and derives its name from the greek words “spath” for its sword shaped leaf. The nickname “Peace lily” refers to the fragrant white blooms that make this plant unique. Although the term lily can be confusing, the Spathiphyllum wallisii is an aroid and has similar characteristics to the anthurium and philodendron plants.


The Peace lilies are one of those rare houseplants that desire its soil to remain slightly moist between watering. To keep your plant properly moist, you will want a balance of loam, peat, and sand in your soil. By utilizing a more loamy soil this will ensure that your roots retain moisture but still allow them to breath. Using organic ingredients will also help create a more acidic soil overtime that the Peace lily desires (specifically between 5.8-65. for those using a pH meter). Anyone who has ever owned one of these plants will know that it will have no hesitancy in telling you that you are not keeping up to its soil moisture level by dramatic drooping leaves!


When potting your Peace lily, aim for a container no more than 2-4 inches larger than its current pot. A pot only slightly larger will ensure that your plant is still getting that water and nutrients it needs in order to thrive. If you’re wondering about your current Peace lily, repotting your plant is necessary if you see that your roots have started to make their way through the drainage holes. During the spring and summer months you will need to water this plant once a week a bit less during the winter. To encourage more blooms, use a fertilizer that has an NPK of 3-1-2 in the spring and fall.


This plant originates from the rainforests floors of the tropics and therefore can acclimate to shadier places. However, you don’t want to skimp on the warmth and humidity when it comes to the Peace Lily. Without higher humidity or warmth, the Peace Lily may survive but will begin to show signs of discomfort through browning tips and less blooms over time. You will want to avoid this plant from enduring cold drafts and maintain temperatures between 65-85 degrees fahrenheit. Using a humidifier or mister during the dryer months will help to maintain the moisture in your home which should be above 50% for this plant.


Amending a friendship with an old pal? Wishing someone good luck and fortune? You can (quite literally) raise the white flag with a friend by gifting them this plant. The white blooms symbolize truce and peace when gifted to someone. With its air purifying abilities and luscious foliage, it’s not hard to see why this plant has remained the best gift for plant lovers throughout the years.

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