Plant of the Month

Spathiphyllum

Spathiphyllum, Spath, Peace Lily
Spathiphyllum
Light Level: Low
Water Level: High

Spathiphyllum is a member of the Anthurium genus. The plant has spoon-shaped leaves in a wide variety of sizes that can be green or variegated. The "flowers" are actually a white bract (this is the spath) that encloses the actual flower. Planterra uses several cultivars.

Of the smaller cultivars, 'Petite' is one of the smallest used. It is about 12 to 18 inches tall with narrow, ridged leaves. There is also a variegated dwarf spath called 'Domino.' S. wallisii is medium with narrow medium green leaves appearing on tall thin stems. 'Mauna Loa' is a larger sized cultivar that has broad, blue-green deeply ridged leaves and stands about 3 feet tall. The largest, 'Sensation' can grow over 5 feet tall and wide; it has huge deeply ridged leaves.

Country of Origin: Central and South America

Maintenance Tips

Cold drafts will harm this plant. Wash leaves occasionally to protect plant from scale and mites. Pick off yellow leaves at the base of the plant. Remove spent flowers to ensure continued blooms. Plant will not re-bloom if the spent flower stems are not removed from the plant.

Use this method to remove spent flowers:

  1. Cut the flowering stem about 1-2 inches above the point where the leaf meets the flowers stem. This will leave a small stub which you will leave until it dries out.
  2. When the stub turns brown, gently pull on it. If it releases easily from the base, pull the dried flower stem out and discard. If not, leave it in the plant and wait another week or two and repeat step 2.

Fertilize only during its growing season. Regular fertilization will ensure continued blooms. If blooms emerge green, the plant has been over-fertilized.

Tolerates low to medium light, depending on cultivar. Will survive in low (reading level) light. Will bloom poorly if light is too low.

Poor drainage, too-frequent watering, or standing in water will cause root rot. Black leaves mean the plant was over-watered.

Pests and Problems. Scale, mites.

Cylindrocladium spathiphylli is a fungal root rot disease often caused by overwatering.

Myrothecium roridum is a fungal leaf spot disease is characterized by concentric rings in the spots on the undersurface of the leaf.