‘Avoid’ tap water to hydrate ‘sensitive’ peace lilies – what to use

How to care for a peace lily

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Peace lilies are known for their glossy green leaves and white flowers, called spathes. They can help to purify the air, making them great bedroom houseplants which generally need very little care as they don’t require lots of light. However, according to an expert, owners should steer away from using tap water when watering this indoor plant.

With winter just around the corner, the majority of houseplants will enter a dormant period, where they need to rest.

They will also need watering less than in the summer months, with it recommended reducing their routine to once every two weeks instead of one.

Overwatering is one of the biggest killers when it comes to houseplants as many can suffer from root rot or diseases brought on by too much water.

Some can also be sensitive to tap water. Natalie Devereux, product specialist at Serenata Flowers, told Express.co.uk: “Peace lilies are considered easier than some other plants to look after in the winter when there are fewer sunlight hours.

“Despite being a tropical plant, they grow well in moderate to low lighting conditions. They will flower in spring if a minimum temperature of around 15C is maintained in the home throughout winter and their soil remains moist in a pot with good drainage.

“It’s worth remembering that they enjoy a humid environment, and humidity in the air significantly reduces in the home when the central heating is on, so we always recommend misting regularly to counteract this.”

Peace lilies don’t like being overwatered and owners should not water on a “schedule” during the winter months, according to the experts.

The expert added: “Where possible, use filtered water and avoid tap water which can contain fluoride, which peace lilies are sensitive to.

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“In winter, bring the water to room temperature before watering as water too cold can shock the plants.”

Rain water is also loved by peace lilies and it actually contains many minerals which can help them thrive all year long.

Owners could try leaving an empty bottle outside their windows to catch raindrops if they don’t have a water butt in the garden.

Misting the houseplant with tepid water can also help to boost its humidity levels and keep it hydrated. 

In a bid to help houseplant owners care for their plants, Hammonds Furniture recently analysed Google search data to find out which plants are the most popular in the UK.

According to the research, the peace lily is one of the most “difficult” houseplants to care for.

They explained: “Experts at Hammonds Furniture said: “When it comes to humidity and temperature, the peace lily needs a more particular set up.

“They should be kept away from cold draughts, and will do best in a humid room, such as a bathroom.”

If the conditions for a peace lily aren’t right, they may suffer, including being more susceptible to pests, such as fungus gnats.

Fungus gnats thrive in moist compost, so owners should water less frequently to break their lifecycle.

Other common problems include mealybugs and scale. Mealybugs are one of the most common pests owners may encounter, but they are also the hardest to control.

Owners can use an insecticidal soap spray or neem oil to fight off the pests. Dish soap mixed with water can also help to kill pests and keep them away.

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