The spatifillo is one of the most common plants cultivated in apartment in Italy; it is a herbaceous plant, which therefore does not produce woody stems: from the roots develop directly long curved leaves, spatula-shaped, 40-70 cm long, deep green in color, slightly leathery and wrinkled, carried by long semi-rigid petioles, throughout the year between the leaves are produced stems carrying a small panicle of white flowers, gathered in a spatic, as happens for example in the callae, even in the Spathiphyllum spatic is wrapped in a spathe, or in an expanded bract, white in color.
The type has white flowers, but there are varieties with lilac or pink flowers, uncommon.
How to cultivate
The spatifillus are perfectly adapted to the life in apartment, in fact they love the places not too much luminous, which they can easily find in our houses; in the wild they live in the tropical rain forests, therefore, generally they prefer a fairly humid climate.
At home the air tends to be very dry, so let’s raise the humidity often vaporizing our Spathiphyllum, and also the other plants that we grow in the apartment, to increase the humidity place the pot of our spatifillo in a tray containing expanded clay immersed in water, which will constantly release moisture in the environment.
From March to October we water the Spathiphyllum regularly, while we thin out watering during the winter; in general, the soil should always remain slightly moist, but not soaked in water. Every 10-12 days we provide fertilizer for flowering plants, stopping fertilization during the winter.
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The plants of spatifillo are evergreen, but in any case periodically the foliage dries up and dies; let’s resort to have the care to remove the dried leaves, which in addition to being unsightly are easy prey to pests and diseases, which would easily spread to the rest of the plant. At least every 2 years, in autumn, we repot the plant, providing it with a slightly larger pot, filled with a good universal soil, lightened with a little river sand or with some fine-grained pumice stone.
When the plant reaches excessive dimensions for us, we can divide the bread of roots, repotting each portion individually, and thus obtaining new plants; remember to keep the roots healthy and well branched for each portion that we are going to practice.
In order to enjoy the leaves for a long time we try to keep them clean of dust, we can use a slightly damp microfibre cloth; if in summer we can place the plant in the open, before moving it let’s take a quick “shower” with the garden lance, so as to completely clean the leaves.
Spatifillo – Spathiphyllum: Parasites and diseases
Spathiphyllum is generally a vigorous plant, which is unlikely to fall ill if grown properly. Excessive watering can favour the development of rotten collars or radicals, which often start from leaves that have already been damaged or withered. Let’s avoid leaving too much water in the saucer, and always try to wait some time between one watering and the other.
In a very dry and warm climate the leaves of the spatifillo are greedy preys for the mites, which nest on the underside of the foliage and tend to make it quickly yellow; we promptly remove the leaves attached by the red spiders and vaporize the plant more frequently, to increase the humidity environment.
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- To the genus spathiphyllo belong 4-5 herbaceous perennial plants, originating in Central America. The most commonly with
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