Plant Speed Date: Spathiphyllum

(Plant Speed Date is a series in which I attempt to introduce you, the reader, to as many plants as possible in a short period.)

Hello, My Name Is: Spathiphyllum spp.

My Friends Call Me: Peace lily

Turn ons: Medium to rich well-drained soil, high humidity, shade

Turn offs: Full sun, dry air, crowded roots

What I Do For a Living: Hang out in your house, bask in the tropical shade (USDA Zones 10-11), improve your air quality, look pretty

My Best Features Are: It’s a toss-up between my lovely white flowers and my striking dark green foliage, darling. But you don’t have to choose – keep me happy and I’ll give you both.

My Exes Would Tell You I:

  • Poisoned their cat. Like all the worst lies, this one is half true. Despite my common name, I’m unrelated to those dreadful Liliaceae – that family of cat murderers. I’m one of the Araceae family and proud to be so. That said, cats that dare to chew on my lovely leaves tend to experience some stomach upset. It’s best for both of us if we’re kept apart, really.
  • Am a diva about dryness. True, if harsh. I love my humidity. The closer to 80 percent, the better. Also, if I don’t have enough to drink, I’ll simply become too limp to stand. It’s not drama, it’s communication, dear.
  • Don’t mind being rootbound. I absolutely do. What do you think I am, a common hoya? Just divide me out every spring and share my glory with your friends.
  • Scratched their DVDs. I’d put them back in the case if I had opposable thumbs, STEPHANIE.

How to Make Me Yours: Many local nurseries and florists carry my kind. Or find a friend with one and ask for a bit. (I do not take well to being “propagated,” like some members of my family. Pothos, I’m looking at you.)


Fund future plant speed dates here.