How to care for a Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily)

In English this plant is also called Peace Lily or White Flag. Why? Probably something to do with the white flowers. Since it's for peace AND clears the air, it's better than a peace flag, right?

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  • Frequent
  • Once every three years
  • Bright, no direct sunlight
  • Toxic
  • In summer

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  • In the wild, the Spathiphyllum occurs mainly in Central and South America and parts of Southeast Asia.
  • In addition to its exotic appearance, the Spathiphyllum has another bonus: it also acts as an air freshener! The Spathiphyllum is high in the list of air-purifying house plants, mainly due to its large leaves. Not only does it produce a lot of oxygen, it also removes harmful substances such as benzene and formaldehyde from the air. What else could you ask for?
  • Unfortunately, the Spathiphyllum is slightly toxic. Make sure that children and pets do not nibble on its leaves.
  • In the Amazon region, where the Spathiphyllum comes from, the rivers regularly flood. The plant can then be flooded for a few weeks and then be just as beautiful as before. That actually says enough about the Spathiphyllum's water requirements. It's important to keep the soil of the plant moist, which in practice means watering at least once a week in the summer and once every two weeks during the winter months. It won't even be a problem for the Spathiphyllum if a layer of water remains at the bottom of the pot, something unusual among house plants. You will also notice that if you don't give it enough water; the leaves hang limp. Fortunately, they quickly rise again when they get a good drink.
  • Use the Goldilocks approach to lighting for this plant: not too much and not too little. The Spathiphyllum doesn't like direct sunlight and will quickly get brown leaves. But for flowering, it needs lots of light, so completely in the shade is also not optimal. If you only have a spot in the shade, this plant can still look great, but it will not blossom. Thus, a window in the north or next to a window on the east / west is ideal for the Spathiphyllum. In the winter, make sure you don't place this plant near a heat source and give it ample spritzing. It is used to the high humidity of the rain forest.
  • The Spathiphyllum grows reasonably fast and can therefore use some extra food in the summer. Think about once a month; just use standard plant food. Extra nutrition is not required in winter.
  • Spathiphyllum will become too big for its pot after about two to three years. This can also happen earlier, but you will notice that soon enough because the roots deform the pot. Always choose a new pot that is at least 20% wider than its predecessor and re-pot preferably in the spring.
  • The Spathiphyllum is known for its white flowers in the shape of a half chalice. Provided you take good care of it, it will be in bloom for about two months and then take three months to rest before producing new flowers again. However, the old flowers remain on the plant and slowly but surely turn green and eventually brown. The best thing to do is cut them off with at the stem, as low as possible to the soil.
  • If the humidity is too low, which is especially common in winter, the Spathiphyllum is prone to spider mites. You can prevent this by spraying the plant regularly with water and not placing it in a drafty spot.

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