Celebrate United Nations Day with a Peace Lily

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Dedicated to world peace and the betterment of human society, the United Nations was created through a charter in 1945 and established on October 24th of 1948. Each year on this day, the anniversary is celebrated around the world in more than 100 member countries to mark the global organization’s efforts toward mitigating poverty, hunger, conflict and other worldwide challenges. This year, send a message of solidarity with their humanitarian aims with a peace lily.

Popular as houseplants and a perfect gift for yourself or others, the peace lily (Spathiphyllum cochlearispathum) is not a true lily, but rather a member of the tropical Arum family of plants native to parts of southern Mexico and Asia. Growing from a central rosette of glossy, green leaves, the unusual flowers of the peace lily are lovely and long lived. White “hoods” called spathes, similar to a calla lily, top long, green stems and partially surround a central, cylindrical flowering part called a spadix. This unique bloom can last for weeks at a time and can reach more than a foot or two in height. Even when not flowering, the long glossy leaves of the peace lily are a fountain of healthy, green growth that has been shown to improve indoor air quality while making a garden of any office or kitchen windowsill.

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Peace lilies are easy plants to grow. Unlike us humans, very little water and food is required to keep them healthy and strong. They are the perfect plant for the busy person that sometimes has difficulty remembering to water plants, as they will droop and wilt to let us know when they are thirsty and spring right back up afterwards- no harm done. Not too picky about light, the peace lily does best in a room with natural light, but does not need to get direct sun and will do just fine in a room with a window or at least several good hours of artificial light. Long-lived, the peace lily will grow quite contentedly in a pot that may be a bit to small for it and can reach over two feet tall over time. Occasionally dusting the leaves and trimming back old growth can encourage faster growth and brighter lights can encourage flowering.

Unlike peace, which requires constant vigilance, the peace lily can be relatively ignored and still survive. It is easy to find, with most garden centers and florists caring several different sizes in stock year round.

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