Looking for a new houseplant for your collection, but didn’t want to make it too complicated? The monocot could be the ideal choice for you. Its low light requirements and ease of growing make monocot care a breeze.
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How should you grow a monocot?
The monocot (Spathiphyllum) is a popular, low-maintenance houseplant with glossy green leaves and white flowers called spathes. Its other name is peace lily and it refers to its white flowers that look like white flags (a symbol of peace). Peace lilies are easy to grow, do not need much light and help purify and improve the air.
Grow the plant properly with the simple one-leaf care.
Caring for a peace lily indoors is relatively simple. Provide your plant with moderately moist soil and filtered sunlight, and maintain a consistently temperate climate.
- Light: Spathiphyllum can tolerate very little light, but without some brightness from a window or lamp, they probably won’t bloom much, if at all. They can tolerate anything but direct sunlight and will bloom more the more light they receive.
- Temperature and Humidity: These plants prefer moist warmth. Avoid cold drafts and temperatures below 13°C. Peaceleaf will die if exposed to low temperatures for extended periods. The ideal temperature range for peace lily is between 18 °C and 27 °C. Spray the leaves with softened or distilled water every week during the summer growing season to increase humidity.
- Soil: The monocot likes a rich, loose potting soil with a high organic matter content. These plants are native to tropical areas where the soil is filled with decaying plant material, so you will have the best success with soil that mimics this composition. Also, the plant is very sensitive to excessively moist soil, so you’ll want to choose a well-drained mix.
- Watering: if you’re trying to figure out how often to water the monocot, remember that it originated in very humid rainforests. However, that doesn’t mean it likes its soil to be soaking wet. Excessive watering and/ or lack of drainage can easily lead to root rot even in a water-loving tropical plant like this. The beauty of peace lilies is that they will tell you when they are thirsty: The plant’s leaves begin to droop. If your monocot looks less “perky” than usual, check the soil with your finger. If it feels dry, it’s time to water again.
- Fertilize: These plants enjoy frequent feedings, which will ensure a vigorous plant and seasonal bloom. Feed your plant weekly during the summer or use slow-release fertilizer early in the season. During the winter, you do not need to fertilize the plant.
- Repotting: move your monocot every few years to a slightly larger pot with fresh soil. Peace lilies actually do well when their roots are somewhat constricted. But if they keep wilting despite regular watering, it’s a sign that the plant has outgrown its pot.
One leaf care: pests and problem solving
If the plant is constantly hanging limp and does not re-bloom after watering, it may have a root disease from over watering. Repot it in fresh soil and a clean new pot, and remove any black/damaged roots. Be careful with watering after repotting.
The yellow leaves are natural, just remove them to make room for new leaf growth. Overwatering can also cause yellowing of the leaves. Let the soil dry out a bit to see if this makes a difference.
Brown leaf tips indicate that your monocot is getting too much direct sunlight. Simply move the plant to a shadier location.
Peace lilies are free of most diseases and pests that can affect houseplants. However, they can be susceptible to scale and mealybugs. Spot treatment with horticultural oil is a good strategy against these pests.
How do you get a peace lily to bloom?
Peace lilies are notoriously difficult when it comes to blooming. Sometimes even the happiest and healthiest plants will not bloom outside of their natural rainforest environment. If you want to get your indoor monocot to bloom, you need to provide it with ideal conditions.
If no flowers appear, the plant is most likely not getting enough light. So move it to a brighter location where it will receive bright, indirect light for at least a few hours a day.
Green blooms, weak-looking flowers or a general lack of blooms can also be caused by improper fertilization. If blooms are green, reduce fertilization as the monocot may be receiving too much nitrogen. If the flowers look weak or do not bloom, you should switch to a fertilizer for flowering plants. This fertilizer contains a higher percentage of phosphorus, which the plants need to bloom.