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Peace lily (Spathiphyllum sp.)
Photo: Jardin botanique de Montréal (Josée Bouthot)
Spathiphyllum sp.
  • Spathiphyllum sp.
  • Spathiphyllum wallisii



Origin and description

Spathiphyllum is a herbaceous plant that grows naturally in the understorey of the tropical forests of Central and South America. Its large, leathery, lance-shaped leaves with their long petioles grow in clusters directly from a short rhizome. The mildly fragrant flowers consist of a flower spike surrounded by a white or petal-like bract (spathe).

Species, cultivars and related plants

Spathiphyllum 'Mauna Loa' has large attractive leaves. It produces an abundance of flowers in bright light. Spathiphyllum wallisii is a small species that grows to about 30 cm.


Spathiphyllum contains substances that may irritate the skin and mucous membranes. Keep this potentially toxic plant out of the reach of children and pets.

Common name

Spathiphyllum / Peace lily / Spathe flower

Latin name (genus)

Spathiphyllum wallisii 'Clevelandii'

English common name

French common name

Botanical family

  • Araceae

Growing conditions

Spathiphyllum tolerates low light but prefers bright indirect light in summer and very bright light in winter. It does best near a west- or east-facing window. Temperatures of 18 to 20ºC are ideal. Maintain high humidity especially when temperatures are above 15ºC, or place the pot on a saucer filled with gravel and water.

Easy to grow?

Spathiphyllum is easy to grow. This tolerant plant adapts very well to our indoor conditions. It can flower year round if the conditions are right.

Watering and fertilizer

Water to moisten the soil but avoid over-watering. Allow the soil surface to dry out between waterings. Cut back on watering when light levels or temperatures are lower. Fertilize during the growing period with a balanced indoor plant food or an all-purpose fertilizer like 20-20-20.

Pruning and maintenance

Plant care generally involves removing damaged leaves and spent flowers. Shower off dusty plants in lukewarm water or wipe the leaves off with a damp sponge.


Spathiphyllum does not tolerate repotting well. It goes into shock and can take a few months to recover. Repot if necessary in spring in a humus-rich potting mix such as a well-draining tropical plant potting mix.


See also

Pests and diseases
Physiological disorders

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