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How to Grow and Care for Peace Lilies


A Peace Lilly is a beautiful plant that has a secret.  What is this secret?  Well, it is the fact that it is one of the top ten plants for cleaning the indoor environment.  What this actually means is the plant takes in toxins, like carbon monoxide and neutralizes it.

Another plus this plant has is it will tell you when it needs to be watered.  How does it do that?  The secret is in the leaves.  The leaves themselves will sag slightly when your Peace lily needs a drink. If you miss the signal though, do not worry.  This plant is very forgiving, unless you forget about it for a couple of months.

Since this plant is so easy going it is a great plant to start with when you are first creating your interscape.  But to help you along your journey with your Peace lily, here are a few growing tips.

Light as far as the Peace lily goes can be a little tricky, but do not worry.  The first thing we will talk about is light and placement in a room.  This plant loves indirect light and when I say indirect I really mean indirect.  I know I am making a big deal about this but too much light can cause all sorts of damage, which includes yellowing of leaves that is an indication of too much light and brown spots or streaks that can be caused by scorching from the sun.  The best type of light for a Peace lily is a medium light that is indirect.

If you do not have that or really do not understand what that means, do not throw your hands up in the air and give up.  Believe it or not Peace lilies do fine under florescent lights and/or in rooms with no natural light at all.

While the amount of light is very important, the placement of the plant in a room is just as important and misplacement can cause as much damage as what occurs from the sun.  The best location for your plant if you are going to depend on natural light is in a room that has a north or west facing window.  This direction, while not providing direct sunlight, will allow sunlight to hit the plant in a more consist rate but having said that do not just sit the plant on the windowsill.   To maximize the sunlight without scorching the plant, move the Peace lily out six to eight feet from the window.

Since the Peace lily is a tropical plant, it does not like cold and as a matter of fact a temperature 45 degrees Fahrenheit or lower will kill it. In doing so, the plant will need to be placed in an area that is draft free and kept indoors when temperatures drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Now that we know what will kill it, what temperature is ideal to keep this plant alive?  Well, the best temperature is one that is also comfortable for humans and that is 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. 

When it comes to feeding, this is really up to you but………..if you want a lot of blooms then it is recommended that you feed your plant.  What do you feed it and when is very important.  The Peace lily needs a balanced fertilizer such as a 20-20-20 but do not make the mistake of feeding it this full strength.  It is much better to dilute it by one half to even a quarter.  Once that is done, only feed your plant once a month and only during the months of March through August. 

When it comes to water, you will need to do a little extra work.  Peace lilies are very sensitive to the chlorine in many water supplies.  No, you do not have to buy special water.  Instead, take a pitcher and let it sit out overnight uncovered.  This will give the chlorine time to evaporate out of the water.  The next day the water is ready to use.

To prevent overwatering, many gardeners just wait until the leaves start drooping.  While this approach is fine, just keep in mind that during the spring and summer months the plant will need to be watered at least once a week.  On the other hand, during the fall and winter, cut back on the watering slightly. 

Watering is very important but there is another step that will help keep your Peace lily looking its best.  This step is simple to do and can be done when you water.  What is this step?  The step is to simply mist the leaves with water.  This will help keep the leaves clean while creating a little humidity around the plant. 

Beyond the air cleaning ability of this plant, the Peace lily produces beautiful white blooms that enhance any indoor environment but how do you get it to bloom.  Most Peace lilies will bloom in the spring.  The blooms will remain on the plant for two months or longer.  Once the blooms are spent, the plant will normally not bloom again until next spring.  The flowering itself is simply brought on by a natural process but if the plant is cared for perfectly, then you do have a chance to see it bloom again in the fall. 

In the summer, many individuals will move their Peace lilies outdoors.  While this can be a little tricky, the sunlight and fresh air can do wonders for your plant.  But when moving your plant outside, keep these tips in mind.  First, the Peace lily is a tropical plant.  This means it likes it hot and humid.  If you live in a desert environment, do not consider placing your plant outside.  While the temperature is correct, the humidity level is too low.

On the other hand, if you live in an environment that sees daytime temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit along with high humidity then move your plant outside. But do not just put your plant on the porch.  Expose it slowly to the outside environment.  This is easily done by first exposing it to the outside a few hours a day.  Continue this process until you work up to a 24 hour period.  To keep it looking its best, do not forget to place it in a shady location and water often or when the plant droops.

You may find that your plant needs more water after it has been place outside.  While this is not a problem, there is a simple technique that one can follow to reduce the number of times a week you will need to water.  The technique is easy and only requires a little land and mulch.  To help your plant conserve moisture starts off with digging a hole.  The hole needs to be the same size as the pot the Pease lily is in.  Once the hole is dug, place the pot in it and cover with a good amount of mulch.  The latter part of this technique will aid in moisture conservation.

While Peace lilies can look hard to grow, they are really very easy plants to grow even if you are plant challenged.


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