The single leaf is not a classic among houseplants for nothing. We’ll tell you how to plant and care for the decorative and at the same time easy-care peace lily.
Thanks to its elegant and timeless appearance, the peace lily (Spathiphyllum) fits into any room. Even for hobby gardeners who are still a little inexperienced, the one-sheet is ideal. But did you know that different varieties differ in terms of height and leaf color? We reveal how to properly care for Spathiphyllum , also called sheath leaf or leaf flag, and in which location the single leaf feels comfortable.
Single leaf: flowering and characteristics
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The single leaf grows in the form of a clump with a height of 30 to 150 centimeters, depending on the variety. The houseplant has decorative flowers and leaves. The leaves show themselves in a rich dark green, a beautiful sheen on the upper side, and an elliptical shape. The varietal, bright white to cream-colored flowers stand out on the dark green leaves.
The white leaf is a bract that surrounds the actual, piston-shaped inflorescence. This flower shape is typical of the arum family (Araceae) like the single leaf. Flowers can usually be expected between June and September. Depending on the variety and timing, the flowers can exude a pleasantly light and sweet scent.
The most beautiful Spathiphyllum species and varieties
The types and varieties of the vaginal leaf differ both in their height, as well as in the shape and color of the flowers. The genus Spathiphyllum includes over 50 different species. The most popular are the mono-leaf species Spathiphyllum floribundum and Spathiphyllum wallisii .
The varieties of the species Spathiphyllum floribundum are characterized by particularly large flowers and a stature height of over 50 centimeters.
If you are looking for a much more compact plant, you are right with varieties of the species Spathiphyllum wallisii. The varieties of this species have much smaller flowers and reach a height of 30 centimeters. Most of the mono-leaf plants sold are hybrids, i.e. crosses of different species.
Spathiphyllum floribundum ‘Chopin’
Spathiphyllum floribundum ‘Chopin’ is exactly the right variety for those looking for a simple and elegant peace lily. This variety has dark green leaves and the flowers are adorned with a bright white bract. Overall, the ‘Chopin’ variety can reach a maximum height of 60 cm.
Spathiphyllum wallisii ‘Gemini’
The variety Spathiphyllum wallisii ‘ Gemini’ is a specialty among the leaf flags: the leaves are provided with irregular white stripes. The variety not only impresses with its white to cream-colored flowers but also with its decorative leaves. ‘Gemini’ reaches a height of about 30 cm and is, therefore, one of the compact varieties.
Spathiphyllum wallisii ‘Variegata’
The variety Spathiphyllum wallisii ‘Variegata’ is very similar to the variety ‘Gemini’. Its leaves are, however, even more, streaked with white areas. The height is around 30 cm.
Spathiphyllum wallisii ‘Sensation’
This strain lives up to its name. Spathiphyllum wallisii ‘Sensation’ is one of the largest sheath leaf varieties. With a stature height of over 150 cm, it can be grown excellently on the ground or a small pedestal.
Spathiphyllum ‘Pearl Cupido’ (Hybrid)
The hybrid ‘Pearl Cupid’ is characterized by particularly dark green, lanceolate leaves. These can reach a length of up to 90 cm, making ‘Pearl Cupido’ a tall growing variety.
Spathiphyllum ‘Sweet Paco’ (Hybrid)
The extraordinary thing about the ‘Sweet Paco’ variety is its intense and pleasantly sweet fragrance. This scent is emitted from each of the brilliant white flowers for about half a day after they have opened. This makes this variety a specialty among the vaginal leaves.
Planting single leaf: location and substrate
Would you like a plant in a room that is too dark for many plants? Then the single sheet is exactly the right choice. Spathiphyllum is extremely shade-friendly. Even so, you should try to give the plant as much light as possible. Because the more light the single leaf gets, the stronger it grows. However, the single leaf does not tolerate direct sunlight well, which is why a window facing north is very suitable, for example.
If your single leaf grows very slowly and the leaves are getting darker and greener, you should place the single leaf in a lighter location and see whether the plant feels more comfortable there. If, on the other hand, the single leaf has brown tips, this is an indication that the plant is temporarily exposed to direct sunlight. The single sheet feels most comfortable at room temperatures of 18 to 25 ° C. Increased humidity promotes the development of the plant, which is why the bathroom is often a suitable location.
If a suitable location has been found, the single leaf can best be planted in a pot in spring. When choosing a planter, use a container with a hole to drain off excess water. Spathiphyllum is frugal in terms of the soil used. A high humus content and good ventilation of the root area are advantageous here. These properties are offered, for example, by our peat-free Gardender organic universal soil based on compost.
In addition, Spathiphyllum is very suitable for cultivation in hydroponic culture with expanded clay.
Single-leaf care: This is to be observed with the peace lily
In general, the single leaf is the ideal plant for beginners or for all those who don’t really have a green thumb. Since the Spathiphyllum is at home in rainforests, it appreciates high humidity. Even if it can tolerate dry air temporarily, it is advisable, especially in winter, to spray the single leaf two to three times a week with a little lime-free water. To prevent the beautiful, shiny green leaves from getting dusty and hindered photosynthesis, they can be wiped with a damp cloth from time to time.
Water and fertilize Spathiphyllum
Depending on the origin of the single leaf, you should always keep the substrate around the root ball moist. However, it is important to ensure that there is no waterlogging. Therefore, excess water in the planter should be removed as soon as possible. Rainwater is ideal for watering. If you don’t have it at hand, you can also use mineral water.
If you pay attention to a good supply of nutrients with Spathiphyllum, you can count on healthy growth and lots of flowers. To support flower formation, we recommend that you fertilize your single leaf regularly between spring and late summer. A biological liquid fertilizer is particularly suitable here. This not only optimally supplies your single leaf with nutrients but also contains microorganisms that promote root growth.
The application of our organic indoor & green plant fertilizer is very simple: After vigorously shaking the bottle, 15 to 25 ml of the fertilizer are added to 5 L of watering water. You can then use this enriched water to water your single leaf once a week from March to October. Our organic room and green plant fertilizer is harmless for pets and garden animals and can therefore also be used in the living room with peace of mind.
Repot one leaf
Depending on how fast your single leaf grows, you should repot it every two to three years. A suitable time for this is spring or early summer to June. A pot with a hole for draining off excess water is ideal as a new planter. The pot should be about four inches larger in diameter than the previous one. For a long-lasting supply of nutrients, we recommend adding a granulate fertilizer with a long-term effect on the plant substrate. Phosphorus, in particular, is important for abundant flowering. Our mainly Gardender organic flower fertilizer provides the single leaf with long-term nutrients that are slowly released.
Tip: When choosing a pot, make sure that it is not that big. If the leaf tips lie on the substrate, this could lead to brown leaf tips.
Cut single leaf
A step backward is not necessary with the single leaf and is not well tolerated by the plant. Older leaves will die over time and can be removed regularly. You can use sharp scissors to remove the dying leaf from the base of the stem.
Diseases and pests of the peace lily
The single leaf is less susceptible to diseases and pests. In rare cases, there is an infestation by aphids. The pests multiply, particularly in warm rooms. You should therefore regularly check your peace lily for pests, especially in winter.
Why is my single leaf getting yellow leaves?
If the leaves of your single leaf turn yellow, there are several reasons:
- Nitrogen deficiency: Even lightening of the leaves and yellow discolored, older leaves
Solution: Weekly use of an organic liquid fertilizer that is specially tailored to indoor plants.
- Waterlogging: Even lightening of the leaves and yellow tips
Solution: pour less and remove excess water.
- Too dry air: yellow or brown leaf tips
Solution: spray the plant with water.
- Iron or magnesium deficiency: young leaves light up, leaf veins or the center remain green
Solution: repot the single leaf, absolutely water the plant with acidic water (no tap water).
Tip: For efficient nutrient absorption, the single leaf needs a slightly acidic subsurface with a pH value of 5 – 6, which is why it benefits from watering with acidic rainwater (approx. PH 5.5).
Why isn’t my leaf blooming?
If a single leaf no longer blooms, there can be different reasons:
- Too bright or too dark a location.
- Insufficient or incorrectly weighted nutrient supply: Pure nitrogen fertilizers can inhibit flower formation. Even when there is insufficient supply, the single leaf grows and blooms only sparsely.
Propagate peace lily
The single leaf can be easily increased by dividing the stick. The best time to do this is to repot. To do this, proceed as follows:
- Put on gloves: The sap of the single leaf can be irritating.
- Remove soil from the roots and rhizomes (thickened storage sprouts).
- Select a rhizome with 3 – 4 leaves and roots and cut off with a sharp knife.
- Plant the rhizome in another pot and water.
- Maintain offshoots in the same way as the mother plant.
- After a few weeks, the new peace lily will grow.
Is the single leaf poisonous?
Yes, Spathiphyllum is slightly poisonous. All plant parts of the single leaf contain mucous membrane-irritating substances and oxalic acids, which, among other things, can cause skin irritation on contact with plant sap. For this reason, you should prevent children or pets from swallowing parts of plants.
Another easy-care and very decorative houseplant is the Monstera Monkey Leaf. This tropical plant can also be cultivated in slightly darker rooms.
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