'Mauna Loa Supreme,' the standard midsize peace lily, makes an excellent floor plant.
Laurey W. Glenn (Styling by Alan Henderson)
Care Is Easy, Easy, Easy
Unlike many houseplants that we inevitably end up killing, peace lilies like growing indoors. They don't need direct sun, preferring bright, indirect light from a nearby window. They'll grow just fine across the room from a window but won't bloom well in such low light and may also become leggy. Give them evenly moist, well-drained soil and temperatures of at least 55 degrees. If peace lilies wilt every two to three days, repot them in larger containers, which don't need watering as often. Fertilize plants growing in bright light about every six weeks with a liquid 20-20-20 product. Feed plants growing in low light half as often. About every six months, take them outside, and flush them with water to remove salt buildup from fertilizer.
I'll end with a few more housekeeping hints. First, peace lily foliage tends to accumulate dust, so periodically wipe the leaves with a damp sponge or cloth to keep them looking nice. Second, cut off at the base all spent flowers and dead or yellowing leaves. Third, if you don't like white pollen showered all over the leaves, cut off the spikes several days after they appear, and allow the beautiful spathes to remain on display. Finally, don't send your old married boyfriend or girlfriend a peace lily. Not everyone is as charitable as I.
PEACE LILY PROBLEM SOLVER
Problem: Peace lily doesn't bloom.
Cause: The plant has insufficient light.
Solution: Move it into a brighter location.
Problem: Pale green foliage has burned leaf tips.
Cause: Hot direct sun damages foliage.
Solution: Move plant out of direct sun.
Problem: Deep green leaves develop brown tips and edges.
Cause: You've let the soil get too dry.
Solution: Maintain evenly moist soil.
Problem: The plant suddenly collapses when the soil is moist.
Cause: Overwatering and poor drainage are to blame.
Solution: Empty the saucer beneath the pot, and let the soil drain.
Problem: Plant collapses when soil is dry.
Cause: Wilt is due to lack of water.
Solution: Water plant thoroughly, and beg it for forgiveness
"The Perfect Houseplant" is from the February 2006 issue of Southern Living.