Apartment plants

Spathiphyllum - Spathiphyllum


To the spathiphyllo genus belong 4-5 perennial herbaceous plants, originating in Central America. The most commonly cultivated is S. wallisii; it produces long dark green leaves, shiny, slightly arched, pointed, carried by a long, slightly rigid petiole. It produces particular inflorescences consisting of a long white spade, rolled around a cob of white flowers. The flowers last several weeks, turning green before they are completely withered. To obtain a healthy and luxuriant plant it is advisable to remove the ruined leaves and the withered flowers.
The spatula It is an indoor plant characterized by long leaves generally lanceolate. If grown in the right conditions it produces "modified" leaves of white color, called spate.
This feature, in addition to a certain ease of cultivation and fast growth, makes it one of the most widespread plants in apartments.
It is also ideal for those who want to approach the world of green for the first time.
It belongs to the Araceae family.

Lily of peace

Abroad it is also known as "lily of peace" or "flower of the moon". It is spontaneous in areas characterized by hot and humid climate, given that most varieties come from the forests of Central and South America.
The most widespread in cultivation is it spatula Wallisii, originally from Colombia.
Freshly imported into Europe it quickly became popular due to its strength and fast growth. In fact, it can quickly exceed 30 cm in height, even if on average the specimens range from 60 to 1 meter, when they reach adulthood.
Another feature that has favored the spread is certainly the beauty of the leaves, very elongated, shiny and of a lively and brilliant green. The layout of these also gives the whole a dynamic and modern appearance, suitable for city settings.


In our country the Spathiphyllum are cultivated exclusively as houseplants, as they fear the cold, and prefer nighttime minimum temperatures above 12-15 ° C. They can withstand unsuitable growing conditions, such as dark or shady locations, but to obtain lush plants and abundant blooms it is necessary to provide at least a few hours a day of filtered sunlight, avoiding that the sun's rays hit the plant directly.
This plant, at our latitudes, is cultivated mainly as an indoor vegetable or in any case to be withdrawn during the winter months. It can therefore be kept only in a vase.
To grow well, it needs an environment that is warm on average, quite bright and possibly with good atmospheric humidity.
To grow with its own vigor, the spatifillo needs a very bright exposure, but the light, especially from spring to summer, must never be direct. If it is excessive, it can cause burns.
Ultimately we can say that in interiors it is good to place it near a window, perhaps shielded with a light curtain.
Always keep in mind that the part of the spaty knife most exposed to light grows faster. To keep the specimen balanced it is good to remember to rotate the pot every 15 days.
If during the summer we want to move the specimen outside we can place it under a pergola or in the shade of a deciduous tree.
However, it must be pointed out that it can also live in environments where the light is more scarce. It generally reacts rather well, only slowing down the growth and, of course, flowering a little less.


Water all year round regularly, leaving the soil to dry slightly between one watering and another. In nature the Spathiphyllum grow on the edges of ponds and streams; It is however advisable to avoid over watering the specimens grown in pots.Each 25-30 days provide fertilizer for flowering plants, in half the quantity recommended on the package.
For it to grow vigorous and healthy it must never suffer from thirst. It should therefore be irrigated regularly throughout the year. Generally an adult plant with average temperatures of 20 ° C requires 2-3 weekly interventions.
In any case we avoid the use of saucers and indeed, we let the water flow freely from the drain holes.
An excellent method to irrigate this type of plants is by immersion: just fill the sink in half and insert the jar, leaving it there for about 10 minutes. Finally the water is run off and the excess water is allowed to drain for a while before placing the plant back in its initial position.

Spathiphyllum flower

The flowering of this plant is almost continuous. Clearly there are periods when spats are produced more copiously (especially in the summer months), but if the temperatures and ambient light in the apartment allow it, production will only be slowed down during the bad season. The flowers are pure white and very erect, on fine stems. They are similar to those of the anthurium (belonging to the same family) and in fact in some countries it is also called "false anthurium". The spadix is ​​instead of cream color. Their growth, compared to the leaves, is rather slow.


Spathiphyllum prefer rich and soft soil, which may slightly retain moisture and even slightly acid; we can use balanced soil mixed with a little shredded bark and a good dose of soil for acidophilic plants. For an adequate development of the plant it is advisable to cultivate it in large containers, so as to leave room for the new leaves. Repotting is done in late winter or early spring.
The substrate must always be rather wet, but never watery. The permeability and perfect drainage must therefore be guaranteed. The ideal is to arrange a draining layer on the bottom of the container with materials such as glass marbles or expanded clay.
We can then use a special compost for green plants, in any case with a good amount of peat and maybe a bit of perlite or pumice. We always leave a few centimeters between the surface of the ground and the edge of the vase. In this way the water will not debord.

Spathiphyllum multiplication

Spathiphyllum in nature propagate by seed; indeed for us it is much simpler to propagate them by dividing the clumps of leaves, to care to maintain some well-developed roots for each portion practiced. The new plants thus produced are immediately dwelling individually; this operation is carried out in late summer or late winter.
How to split it?
Proceed to the beginning of spring and it is an operation that should be carried out generally every 4 years.
- First of all, the earth loaf is extracted and the roots are opened with the aid of a pen and acting gently.
- We slowly separate the portions formed by stems and roots and insert them in different jars.

Pests and diseases

Excessive watering or the prolonged permanence of ground bread in stagnant water may favor the development of root rot; often these plants are hit by mites. Spathiphyllum is a very healthy herbaceous plant, but it can happen that it is attacked by insects or mites. In the first case (aphids can occur) a pyrethrin-based insecticide can be distributed.
Mites are defeated by increasing humidity through vaporization or (in more serious cases) with specific products

Rusticity of the spathiphyllum

Yes, maintenance is very simple and moreover often proves to be very resistant even to situations that are not exactly ideal. It can grow fairly well even in dark environments and does not suffer immediate damage if for example we are distracted and from time to time we forget to water it. It is also particularly easy to propagate it and to obtain, over time, other plants to give away or to use other rooms in our house.

Spathiphyllum species and variety

Being a much loved vegetable, breeders have striven to create new varieties that can satisfy amateurs.
At the time of purchase it is always a good idea to carefully observe the vase to make sure that, for example, ground bread is not excessively wet. In that case, there is a risk of buying a specimen of a spatilla with the already compromised root system. It will then be very difficult to recover.
We always choose a plant with beautiful bright and vivid leaves and at least one flower (so we can check that we like it).
In all, the known species of spathiphyllum are 27, all originating in tropical America, except one that is endemic to Malaysia. Furthermore, a very interesting Mauna Loa hybrid has been created that is larger than a meter, suitable for scenic settings in entrances or large halls.
Here are the cultivars and species that can be found most commonly on the market.

Repathing spathiphillum

The best time for this operation is undoubtedly between the end of winter and the beginning of spring. This is the moment in which it is at least partially in vegetative rest and therefore will suffer less of our maneuvers. If, however, problems arise (such as, for example, root rot) you can also intervene during the rest of the year. With some foresight, the operation will succeed very well, even if the plant probably needs more time to recover.
Generally it is necessary to proceed once a year, when the roots begin to come out of the drain holes. Initially, the plant grows very quickly and then stabilizes.
It is important to point out, however, that the larger the plant, the more it produces.

Environmental humidity

As for all the plants coming from tropical areas for the spatifillo it is not only important the water present at the level of the roots, but also that available in the air. Only by increasing it can we have truly splendid specimens.
We can proceed in different ways
- Spraying the leaves from time to time, possibly with demineralized water
- Use a saucer filled with expanded clay and water. (we avoid however that this enters in contact with the roots in order not to cause rottenness).
- Insert the jar in another, larger container filled with wet peat.


Cool temperatures are always ideal.
During the winter he lives well in a room where there are between 16 and 18 ° C. The minimum temperature so that it is not damaged is around 13 ° C.
During the summer, however, the averages must be around 20 ° and never exceed 27 ° C. If it is very hot it is good to increase the humidity of the air.
The air currents are much to be feared. We therefore try to place the specimens away from doors and windows.

Why doesn't my spathiphyllum bloom?

Surely this problem is caused by errors in the care of the plant. Generally it is sufficient to increase humidity and expose it better.
It may also be useful to administer a specific fertilizer on a fortnightly basis, perhaps with a reasonable potassium content.
If the plant is very large it may need repotting or to be divided.

Spathiphyllum - Spathiphyllum: Spathiphyllum cleaning

We will have to intervene with the scissors only if there were dry or damaged leaves. We cut at the base making sure that the scissors are clean and sharp.
Watch the video
  • Plant similar to calla

    The spatifillo is one of the most widespread plants in apartment cultivation in Italy; it is a herbaceous plant,

    visit: plant similar to calla






Pure white spade flowers, very slender

It has long, thin, lanceolate leaves

Growth is rapid. It is the most common variety on the market

Mauna Loa

The flowers are more oval and curled, cream-colored that become green

Wider leaves, 1 meter high, fragrant flowers

Brighter environment


Very rustic

Generally it does not exceed 30 cm in height

Very compact and dense with foliage

Sweet Benito

All soils, except those that are too compact

Narrow leaves


Spate stretched. The spadix is ​​very short and round, slightly wavy

Spate very large and very white, sharp and turning green when ripe
The leaves have darker ribs

There is also a variegated cultivar

Sweet Loretta

Short green-yellow spadix

Very large leaves


Spata green and cream and elongated spadix of darker color

The foliage is cream stained. The main rib can take on a white color