The benefits and clean air of a good Spathiphyllum.


If health and breathing clean fresh air is your aim, look no further than filling your house with the easy to grow Spathiphyllum, also known as Peace lily or even Madonna lily. We have always had those very graceful plants filling our homes. They are in every room in our house.  The latest count  has twelve with about half of them flowering. It is not just a beautiful easy to grow plant with graceful leaves and tall strong flowers, but this plant also has the benefit of filtering the air of many toxins.

The Spathiphyllum is the only plant together with the flamingo plant or Anthurium that are known to remove many toxic agents including Benzene, Formaldehyde, Trichloroethylene,  Xylene and Ammonia. I don’t know about you dear readers, but there is nothing as unwelcome than finding Formaldehyde hiding under your pillow, or Xylene in your lentil soup. There has always been a rather lackadaisical  attitude towards dust in Australia, even a good humoured tolerance, (think of all the asbestos houses) but with the advent of toxins including nerve agents now invading park benches in the UK one would be well advised to take nothing for granted and try and grow a few Spathiphyllum.

Nothing is safe anymore, not even in Australia, a country which is generally perceived as having a lovely sleepy ambiance with plenty of Lebensraum. Patrons at Zizzi restaurant in UK’s Salisbury, on the other hand, are now alerted and advised to wash everything they wore while dining out at that place during the nerve agent attack. A robust response is needed and special attention is focussed to thoroughly clean or throw out everything, even jewellery, that was worn during the ingestion of the pizza or eye fillet at Zizzis. Some of the furniture has now been burnt and I imagine many patrons being a bit nervous to eat there now, let alone sit down.

As you can see from the above photo, nothing is left to chance. Peace lilies feature everywhere. We actually have five in our kitchen-sitting area alone. And if those lilies are not enough to keep things clean, on the left-hand bottom corner you can see my own Hoover ‘Freedom’ at quiet repose, but not for long.  Soon, that equipment will be out foraging crannies and corners  with the help of its hepa filter and remove any particles that escaped the peace lily.

Think about it!

The story does have to include a disclaimer. The removal of mustard gas or any other nerve poison might not get removed by this plant. It would be preposterous to make that claim.

This is just an encouragement to include the lushness of the outside garden indoors. There is just nothing better than to be surrounded by greenery. We have plants in the bathrooms, on the stairs, everywhere. Herbs live on the kitchen bench. There is just nothing more satisfying than to have a tomato garnished by basil from the kitchen bench, or a curry improved by home-grown coriander.

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13 Responses to “The benefits and clean air of a good Spathiphyllum.”

  1. Andrew Says:

    I feel very sorry for the people at Zizzi. We have been to the Salisbury restaurant and knew the manager. It was our local haunt in Winchester and the staff were lovely. It’s hard to fathom what it must be like living in Salisbury now. It has even made the main evening news in HK. There are lots of nasty chemicals in MDF and one day it may be the next asbestos. Peace!

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, the plot thickens. It reads like something out of ‘Legacy of Spies’ by John le Carré. One can’t imagine that after the passing of many years there are still people out for revenge or retribution.
      It’s best to stay out of the spying business and keep potting about with Peace lilies.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. petspeopleandlife Says:

    Modern day living has its rewards and its pitfalls. There is no longer any way to be at peace where one lives or goes. I feel so badly for the poor Russians that were poisoned and now the rest of the city must worry about their own exposure.

    This is a great post since you have stressed the benefits of having live plants in the home. Living plants are wonderful for the environment plus they are beautiful as well. I can’t have any plants in my home because my cats would be poisoned if they ate any of the lily varieties. I enjoy a few potted plants outdoors and then bring only the special ones inside and keep them in the laundry room on the winter.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Both Skripal’s wife Liudmila who died in 2012 and son Alaxander in 2017, whose deaths and graves are now being investigated as well.
      I am sure an answer will be found. The British are very good with sleuthing and finding answers to crimes.

      The peace lily is not a true lily, Ivonne. I am not sure cats would die from it. We often had cats and dogs and many indoor plants. Milo eats grass but apparently that is normal for dogs.

      I don’t ever eat grass, which explains a lot…

      Liked by 1 person

      • petspeopleandlife Says:

        I did not know that the Russians had offed his wife and son. Mercy that bastard is after the entire family.

        Thank you for the info but the spathy is still toxic to cats but is not deadly. It has mild to moderate toxicity in the form of, difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, and no appetite It contains calcium oxalate crystals and while it will not kill a pet in some cases the possibility of the swollen throat might cause a pet to die. My cats chew on every piece of greenery that I have brought into the house such as roses and various wildflowers. I give them cat nip which I grow myself and if out of cat nip I make a trail to Pets Mart. 🙂

        I am so glad that you do not eat grass. But chew I have chewed on a blades of prairie grass.

        Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I am not sure about Russian involvement, Ivonne. Everything is so cloak and dagger. Some very sinister acts are being perpetrated by my own government. Its difficult to come to any conclusion. Nothing much is as it seems anymore.
      All I know is that some things are very beautiful such as the sight of our Spathiphyllum.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. shoreacres Says:

    You have such a lovely home, and it clearly profits from those plants: for beauty, as well as the health benefits. I’ve never found xylene in my lentil soup, but I’m in constant contact with it in my work; it’s part of a solvent I use. The concentrations are low, and I use it outdoors, so it’s not such a problem, but I certainly wouldn’t bring it into the house.

    I’ve not been following the most recent developments in England, but it’s been interesting to read some of the discussion on a US site where spies, counterspies, intelligence sorts and others gather to chitchat. It seems Russia or its agents have been more active in the assassination game than I’d realized. Somehow I thought that had slowed down after the cold war, even though the conflict with Ukraine brought it to the fore again.

    More peace lilies, that’s what I saw. If only they could detox the human spirit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      You are right, Linda. It is a lovely home which inspires. We often take form, shapes and colours for granted and might not really be aware that those qualities influence us greatly.

      Driving around, especially near shopping centres or commercial areas I often get really depressed and can’t get away quick enough. Is this what’s it all about?

      It is as if we don’t have eyes or feelings. An insult to sensitivity. Why does it have to be so? I don’t know about the US but Australia excels itself in ugly advertising hoardings with mile after mile of car sales yards with yawning bonnets and silly flags or sagging balloons. And what about all those proliferations of ‘special’ signs?

      Coming home gives a sigh of relief and is a reward each time we open the front door. Milo’s wagging tail! It is all so wonderful.


  4. doesitevenmatter3 Says:

    Your kitchen/dining area looks so inviting and relaxing!
    Yes, plants add clean air, life, joy, and smiles to our homes! I always have plants growing indoors! Just like I talk to Cooper (my doggie), I talk to my plants! 🙂
    HUGS!!! 🙂 for you and Helvi! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Helvi made our home more than just a possession. We like to grow things and the benefits are all around us. Some people don’t like gardens and feel threatened by it. I often see houses with just a lawn or lots of weeds but here the gardens are lush and sometimes allowed to grow naturally which we like.
      Thank you for the hugs and hugs back to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    Yes Girard, you can rest easy in a toxin free environment. With the extra benefit of beautiful plants. I wonder if they clean up the odor of old books? It’s worth a try. Your home is lovely even without the Peace plants. You both have an eye for beauty.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, especially Helvi. While living in Finland I noticed people being naturally drawn to beauty. I don’t think it can be taught easily. I suppose, if things are kept simple it adds a lot to getting it right.
      We have sight so might as well make the best of what we see.
      I like old books and if they are taken out for a walk every now and then, they won’t smell.


  6. Curt Mekemson Says:

    If we could only convince the world ‘powers’ to compete against each other by growing plants, what a wonderful world it might be. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

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