The peace lily requires probably the least amount of general maintenance out of all the blooming house plants. In fact, compared to many house plants, it tolerates typical interior conditions of the average home much better. It’s the kind of plant that benefits its plant parents as well. Spathiphyllum wallisii is one of the greatest plants for enhancing indoor air quality. It is excellent at cleaning indoor air of pollutants including formaldehyde, ammonia, and carbon monoxide.
In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know about this incredible plant, from its classification to its appearance to how to grow it.
Spathiphyllum Wallisii: Classification
The peace lily is classified as Spathiphyllum wallisii and is part of the family Araceae. In general, any of the 47 species under the genus Spathiphyllum are considered peace lilies or spaths. However, Spathiphyllum wallisii is one of the more popular and common species used for aesthetics and as houseplants. It is known generally as the peace lily, but may also be called the white sail, Mauna loa supreme, or spathe flower. As a member of the Spathiphyllum genus, this plant is closely related to the snowflower, the Spathiphyllum cochlearispathum peace lily, and a number of other very similar plants.
The peace lily (pictured) is easily identified by its unique white spathe and pod-like flower, as well as its rich green leaves.
Spathiphyllum Wallisii: Key Identifying Features and Appearance
The peace lily is a herbaceous perennial plant that bears flowers with the usual aroid structure: a single, sizable spathe covers a tightly packed inflorescence known as a spadix. Two spathes can occasionally be created, with the upper spathe being smaller. When young, the spadix is often cream or ivory. As it ages, it becomes green. Typically, the spathe is white or white with green nerves that extend beyond the edge and become green with aging. It boasts basal, glossy, slightly deeply veined, oblong, and acuminate leaves. The leaves have long, beautifully arched petioles. At the base, the plant develops offsets, which develop into a thick cluster over time.
This plant’s leaves can grow up to 12 inches long and six inches wide. The flower and spathe can reach about two-and-a-half inches long, though can grow quite larger in some scenarios. The plant as a whole can grow up to three feet tall. It also boasts roots with rhizomes that are the source where its leaves and flowers will grow.
The spathe of the Spathiphyllum wallisii is what makes it unique. Many look at this plant and think the spathe is part of the plant’s flower. Rather, the actual flower is the small yellowish collection of buds within the spathe. The spathe itself is not a flower petal, but rather an evolved leaf that is designed to protect the plant’s actual flowers. The flowers, spathes, and bright-green leaves are what make this plant so popular among collectors and houseplant enthusiasts.
Spathiphyllum Wallisii: Where They Grow
This plant is native to Central America and is primarily found in Venezuela and Columbia. It usually grows in the wild underneath the canopies of large trees in the continent’s tropical rainforests.
Due to the peace lily’s native habitat, it is vital for home growers to be mindful of location when keeping this plant. Replicating the native habitat of the peace lily is the key to keeping it alive in your home. The peace lily is one of the rarest houseplants that can tolerate trimming and does well in dim areas. Its setting must be warm, somewhat shaded, and most importantly, out of direct sunshine. The leaves will scorch or develop leaf edge discoloration if it is excessively sunny. In its native Central America, these plants would grow in dappled sunshine underneath the canopies of trees, so shade is a must.
The peace lily enjoys indoor environments that are between 64 and 77 degrees F in temperature. The temperature should not fall below 60 degrees F throughout the winter. Just as well, higher air humidity has advantages for this plant all year round. For this reason, many people also grow peace lilies in greenhouses or make sure they position them close to windows that face north. They also do well in bathrooms with windows, as the high humidity and low sunlight replicate its natural habitat.
Spathiphyllum Wallisii: How They Are Used
In general, the peace lily is used as an ornamental or decorative house plant. However, it is not only used for being pretty. This plant can purify the air of the indoor space it is placed in, reducing benzene, carbon monoxide, and formaldehyde by up to 60%. It is also capable of absorbing acetone vapors. The peace lily is excellent at absorbing excess moisture, and it can reduce the growth of mildew and mold spores because of this. Because of its air purification properties, it is also used as a “sleep plant” that can help improve one’s restful sleep when kept in the bedroom.
The peace lily is also used in Feng Shui. It is strongly advised to place a peace lily plant in your home office since, according to feng shui experts, it transforms negative energy into good ones. As a low-light indoor plant, the peace lily does best in filtered light or very mild partial shade. It is a fantastic plant for establishing a more tranquil environment because it can endure fluorescent lighting and turn an otherwise harsh environment into a more pleasant one.
The life cycle of the peace lily (pictured) involves the growth of the spathe, which turns white at maturity.
©iStock.com/wahid hasyim asyari
The Spathiphyllum Wallisii Life Cycle and Behavior
Many people believe that the typical peace lily lifetime is between three and five years. However, the lifespan of this plant depends heavily on the conditions it is kept in. Peace lilies grown indoors have been known to live for twenty years or more. Repotting and propagation of peace lilies are best done in late winter or early spring.
The Spathiphyllum wallisii life cycle is quite fascinating. The seed, germination, growth, reproduction, pollination, and seed dissemination phases are crucial to the life cycle of any flower, including the peace lily. The monocot is the seed of a peace lily. It only contains one cotyledon, which will eventually grow into the seed’s first leaf. The hard outer layer of the seed, known as the seed coat, shields the embryo. If maintained cold and dry, certain seeds may be capable of growth even after many years.
Warmth and water are required for the growth of a peace lily seed that has fallen to the ground. After being exposed to the proper circumstances, the hypocotyl (or stem) eventually pushes through the soil with the cotyledon. It is known as germination or sprouting at this stage. In this stage, the little root digs down and spreads out in search of water and food. The cotyledon separates shortly after, and the first genuine leaves emerge.
The peace lily’s root system will keep expanding as the plant gets older. The root system secures the plant to the soil and creates root hairs that facilitate the absorption of water and nutrients. The stem is in charge of moving water and nutrients from the roots to the leaves. The stem grows longer the nearer it gets to sunlight. New leaves are added to the stalk’s apex. By helping plants absorb more sunlight, the peace lily’s foliage will improve photosynthesis.
In the wild, peace lilies use their blossoms to reproduce. It is the portion of the plant that reproduces sexually. The blossom emerges from the plant as a gradually rising, pencil-thin, tightly-coiling flower bud. Light-green, immature blossoms become snow-white as they mature. The blooms might take up to a week to completely blossom. The leaves will have a yellowish swelling region when the bud first forms. Watch it as it slowly takes shape in front of you. If you manage to see your peace lily in action, this might be a pretty exciting experience!
The male and female parts of a flower are represented by the stamen and pistil, respectively. Reproduction and seed production require pollination to take place. Within 24 hours of the plant blooming, two distinct peace lily flowers must pollinate one another. Insects like bees and butterflies spread pollen from one flower to the next in order to pollinate plants in the wild. The flowers will start to grow a few weeks later when the seeds start to develop. If the peace lily plant receives adequate pollination, the stem will be loaded with seeds in a few weeks. The last phase of the flower’s life cycle is seed distribution, sometimes referred to as dispersal. Typically, the wind and animals disperse the seeds of peace lilies.
This plant’s behavior is also interesting. It is often known as a “dramatic” plant, as most Spathiphyllum species are. If they are suffering from overwatering, underwatering, poor soil, lack of fertilizer, or pest infestations, they will dramatically droop their leaves and refuse to flower. This can be a good thing, as your peace lily will let you know if it needs something!
How to Grow Spathiphyllum Wallisii
Growing a peace lily is quite easy! To start, ensure you’re using the right soil. A substrate that has high humus content and common potting soil is sufficient for peace lilies. For increased aeration, you can also add some expanding clay, sand, or clay granules. Additionally, aeration material makes it easier for the water to drain out, as waterlogging can kill your peace lily. Spathiphyllum wallisii also thrives in hydroponic systems.
The root ball of peace lilies should never totally dry out, and the substrate should constantly be moist. Use tap water that is lime-deficient and temperature-controlled wherever feasible. Water the soil seldom but consistently. It is good to sometimes wet the plant’s leaves when the air in the room is extremely dry or when it is hot outside.
During the blossoming season for flowering plants, give the peace lily a little dosage of liquid fertilizer once a week. In the winter, minimally fertilizing every three weeks is sufficient. Keep in mind that excessive fertilizer results in discolored leaf tips on peace lilies. When it comes to fertilizer for peace lilies, less is most definitely more!
As stated before in this guide, keep this plant’s temperatures under control and always set it in a location with lots of shade and indirect sunshine. Although pruning is not necessary per se for peace lilies, it is nevertheless a good idea to frequently remove any withering leaves. To do this, cut the stems at their very base using clean shears.
The peace lily, when grown in the right conditions, demonstrates its ability to be a low-maintenance and easy houseplant. It is therefore regarded as the ideal beginner plant and poses very few issues even for plant enthusiasts without a green thumb.
Spathiphyllum wallisii is a truly beautiful plant that requires little maintenance in order to thrive in indoor conditions. However, it’s worth noting that this plant does require that little bit of maintenance in order to survive. If you can commit to a regular watering schedule, ideal temperatures, and the right positioning of the plant, you’ll be able to enjoy your peace lily for up to two decades!