On page 50 in his 1978 article published in the scientific journal Aroideana entitled The Genera of Araceae in the Northern Andes by Dr. Michael Madison formerly of the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens he states, "Spathiphyllum includes 40 species of terrestrial herbs which usually are found in wet habitats." Aroideana is the journal of the International Aroid Society. I grow close to 300 species in an artificial rain forest behind my home which we call the Exotic Rainforest. Your house plant may be a hybridized form of a wild plant but the DNA came from a wild specimen somewhere in the world. That plant “remembers” how it grows in nature and craves for those conditions. When we kill these plants it is almost certainly because we fail to treat them the way their DNA expects to be treated. If the plant can't get what it needs its response is often to just give up and die. You can easily avoid that eventuality by giving the plant what it wants! I frequently read posts on this and other forums asking why a “Peace Lily” is about to die and how to save the plant. Peace Lilies are aroids from the genus Spathiphyllum. Almost without exception the principal responses given are to slow down on the water and/or move it into an area of dimmer light. I'm not certain where this advice originated but you should be aware this plant commonly grows either in water or on the edges of pools of water in moderately bright light in the wild. One of the smartest friends I have is aroid botanist Dr. Tom Croat who is the Curator of Botany at the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, MO. Tom has granted scientific names to more aroid species than any other living human on this Earth and he has often called Spathiphyllum species “water hogs”! Despite the fact people are constantly advised to grow these plants dry and in dim light I've spoken with aroid botanists including Tom that have seen these plants growing in very bright light away from the edges of the canopy shade. The wild “Peace Lily” often stands in water. My friend and naturalist Joep Moonen who lives in French Guiana recently wrote, "We have Spathiphyllum humboldtii growing in French Guiana but it is very rare. It grows in gravel on creekbanks and in the rain season grows partly under water." Spathiphyllum species are common to much of Central and South America with 4 species found in SE Asia. Although it is commonly called a “Peace Lily” the plant is in the family Araceae which we know as aroids. Plants are divided into classes, subclasses, orders, families, genera (genus) and species. The family which is at the top of the list for Araceae is Liliopsida. Spathiphyllum species are not in the family Liliaceae which contains most of the lily species although both Liliaceae and Liliopsida are related Monocots so the common name is somewhat misleading. The common name “Spath” comes from the spathe the plant produces which is one of the major parts of the inflorescence used for reproduction. Aroids are characterized by the growth the inflorescence known to science as a spathe containing a spadix. Despite being called a "flower" the spathe is not a flower. The spathe itself is simply a modified leaf which appears in the shape of a hood while the spadix is located at the center of the inflorescence. The spadix is a spike on a thickened fleshy axis. When a “Peace Lily” is referred to as "flowering" the reference is truly to the very small flowers (near microscopic) which are produced along the spadix and has nothing to do with the spathe. The only connection is both are produced during the plants sexual reproduction known as anthesis. Like it or not it isn't the water that kills Peace Lilies in homes. The cause of their demise is poor light conditions, near constant neglect, lack of nutrients and even more importantly poor soil conditions! Since these plants grow in areas where heavy rain waters drain the soil is nutrient rich. All the decayed vegetation releases nitrogen and other nutrient rich mater into the water which carries it to pools of water as well as creeks and streams. The decayed vegetation causes most of this water to be low in pH and very soft. Those pools are filled with a rich humus of decaying leaves, branches, animal droppings and other sources of minerals and nutrients that serve as food for plants. Spathiphyllum species love food and I'd bet the majority of growers that loose these plants have either never fed their plants at all or have tried to feed them to death! Over feeding is just as bad as never feeding. So why is the soil mixture important? If the roots of Spathiphyllum species or hybrids don't have the ability to stretch, grow and move freely in their soil they will rot. These plants need very loose porous soil and you aren't ever going to find that in an off the shelf potting mix. It isn't the water that causes the roots to rot it is the soggy, sticky, thick, gummy soil growers normally plant them in! Potting mix companies make it that way since they know most people are going to fail to water their plants properly. Instead of following the lead of the companies that sell this thick “mud” we need to pot our plants correctly unless you are willing to constantly sacrifice specimens and pay good money to a plant retailer for a replacement. The only way to allow the roots to absorb nutrients, breathe and poke around easily in the soil is to make it possess a very porous consistency with lots of easily reached regions that are never tightly compacted. In the silt of a Central American or tropical South American stream or pond of standing water these plants can run their roots all over the place. You can reach into the water and feel only very loose compost rather than thick gooey mud. For some reason people believe they can just go buy "potting soil" and anything should grow in it but that may well be the kiss of death to many tropical plants! Just as you wouldn't plant a cactus in soggy soil you shouldn't plant a Spathiphyllum in an incorrect soil. Cacti like sandy soil and Spathiphyllum prefer loose soil. We are quick to go out and buy the right mix for a succulent but never consider doing the same for an aroid species including a Philodendron or Anthurium even though they also need a special mixture to prosper. Once a home grower sees their plant begin to decline the first reaction after reading a few posts on a garden site is to slow down on the water without bothering to learn how these plants grow in the wild. Not long after they come back and post their plant died anyway. You can find it right here on UBC. Please remember... these are rain forest plant species and they live in an extremely wet environment. For 6 to 8 months a year it rains much of the day! Rather than trying to force the plant do do what we want it to do we need to do what the plant needs. I find it regrettable that many home growers are just down right lazy when it comes to taking care of their plants and use what I believe is an excuse to make themselves feel better. It sure doesn't make the plant feel better. If you went out and bought a dog you'd feed and treat it the way it needs to be fed and treated. Why won't we do that with a plant? Good growers mix their soil for each plant to match what the plant needs in order to make the plant prosper. These species need extremely porous soil and moderately bright light or their roots will rot. But it isn't watering that causes the rot and eventual death of the plant. It is the soil quality, low light which starves the plant of needed chemical reactions and neglect! Here's how to mix your soil. You're going to make up a special mixture. The formula isn't critical but start by making a mixture of roughly 30 to 40% moisture control soil mix. Add to that mixture should contain about 20% peat moss, roughly 20% Perlite, and 30% orchid potting mix which contains cedar wood chips, charcoal and gravel. To that add any good compost, a few cups of finely cut pieces of sphagnum moss and some cypress mulch. Add a bag of aquarium charcoal which can be bought at any aquarium or discount store. If you have some Vermiculite throw that in as well. This formula isn't critical, just keep it loose. I know, this doesn't add up to 100%! Just keep ti loose! Mix all of this thoroughly and keep it constantly damp once you pot your plant. Enough ingredients to pot a large plant shouldn't cost more than $15 and the chance are high you'll have enough mix left over to plant one or two more plants. The commercial growers really don't care if you kill your plant since you'll probably go buy another one and that makes them money. I have large Spathiphyllum specimens that are almost 20 years old! My atrium is watered every other day and during the summer receives 8 minutes of water per per day. I've also grow these plants in water. I have friends that grow them in aquariums. You can even buy them as aquarium plants in many pet stores! Now here's the biggie! Give your plants a regular doses (follow the instructions closely) of Osmocote or Nutricote 14-14-14 fertilizer to keep them producing inflorescences. Fertilizers with lower numbers will not do as well. These may be difficult to find but are available on the net. I'm attaching two photos. The first belongs to my friend Devin Biggs and the plant in the left corner is a Peace Lily. The second is of my personal collection in NW Arkansas. Growers need to pay attention to what the plant wants and needs naturally or should not even buy one if they aren't going to treat it right. Water it but pot it right first. Remember, keep the plant in bright indirect light, keep the soil evenly damp and feed it! And I'm sorry if some are offended, but ignore the old wives's tales!