new Peace Lilies with tiny flowers low down

jwuiske(11)March 1, 2014

Hi all,

Firstly, I will state for the record that I am one of those ilk of gardeners who bear brown thumbs instead of green. As such, I have very limited knowledge of gardening.

I've always had a certain affinity for peace lilies, although I've never grown any before. Today, as luck would have it, went to do grocery shopping and they were there, so I couldn't help myself, I purchased two. I could see issues straight away, but I figured that no matter what, it's something that would be fixable. I know a supermarket isn't the best place to buy plants, but it was either get them now or wait another 5 or 10 years.

Ok... Here's the problem: both plants have very tiny spathe and spadix. These "flowers" are also very low on the plant, with some buds seeming to be at almost ground level. I'm attaching a couple of photos to showcase the issue.

I've tried to google but am not getting explanatory results, so hoping someone here might be able to help me.

I am in Australia, and today is the first day of Autumn. Not sure whether being in Oz means that the peace lily should not have "flowers" at this time of the year and hence were "forced" blooms that might account for their tiny stature, or whether genetically the peace lily in Australia will bloom in Autumn instead of Spring?

Not sure whether the problem may be that the plants are too root bound and could benefit from immediate repotting? (This was the only explanation I could find when googling.) Therein lies another question, if this is, in fact, the problem, should I be repotting now or once all blooms have completed?

Or is it just that because they were grown in a supermarket's nursery they weren't in their optimum conditions?

I've already read up on care such as watering and fertilising, so am confident that I can follow those guidelines, but so far as whether I should try repotting these straight away or whether I should wait, I'm absolutely clueless.

The plants themselves look quite healthy, the only "problem" is those small, low "flowers".

Any assistance and explanations will be welcomed gratefully.


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"Low" flowers isn't anything you should worry about. They don't always have flowers that are "tall." Mine has flowers of varying heights, some of which are "low" as you are showing on yours. As to whether to repot or not, you can repot whenever (they don't care being repotted when blooming... at least mine never have).

Many 'Peace Lilies' are given some sort of chemical to induce blooming. They're more likely to sell in the store with blooms. That being said, sometimes you'll find a weird 3 "spathed" flower (one of my Peace Lilies had that) or other abnormalities with the flowers. The chemical wears off so don't worry.

If you do decide to repot, I would wait about a week to allow your plants to "adjust" to your home or wherever you decide to put them. There are numerous "schools" of potting mixes, so you should research them before you decide what you'd like to use.

The best thing to look for is soil that doesn't hold moisture for too long. You want the roots to be able to breath, so water retentive soil is not good. I'm not telling you to use Al's gritty mix, but that's just one you can find on these forums (it's actually a "soil-less" mix that you make yourself). I use Miracle Gro Cactus & Succulent soil for my plants and add rinsed perlite for added drainage.

Whatever works for you, I say. Just remember when you repot, to not allow for too much room around the rootball (especially if you have water retentive soil). They say you can have a large pot with the gritty mix and be fine, but I don't use it so I have to keep my plant pots on the small size (my mix doesn't dry out as fast as Al's mix would, but it's faster draining than any other potting mixes I've used).

'Peace Lilies' like to stay moist. Don't allow them to dry out too much, don't keep them wet either. How often you water will depend on your soil, size of the pot, and lighting.

I hope this information is helpful.


    Bookmark   March 1, 2014 at 9:13AM
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Hi Planto,

Thank you for your advice...

What would you say accounts for the spathe and spadix size? As you can see, they are definitely not fully formed. I cannot envisage these growing into full size "flowers".

I'm not quite so worried about the fact they are low on the plant, I did read somewhere that might be caused by them being too rootbound. It's more a case of they are tiny AND low on the plant (I'm assuming the two issues are related and have the same cause). I've not been able to find any information about caused of the small size of the "flowers" and I would like to know what to do to "fix" the issue.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 8:16AM
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There are different species of 'Peace Lily' so the larger leafed ones have larger spathes and the smaller leafed ones have smaller spathes.

I have a couple of "deformed" looking spathes on mine as do you it appears. I bought mine in bloom though (and it appears you did as well), so I just attribute the deformities to that chemical growers give them to produce more blooms (hardly anyone would buy a 'Peace Lily' in bloom, so they're forced into blooming... every once in a while you get a weird looking flower. The stuff does wear off so it shouldn't be a common thing to see deformed spathes).

I'm not convinced being pot bound has anything to do with flowers being low on the plant (I'm not a botanist though). Some people swear by keeping this plant pot bound in order to get it to bloom, in fact (I know there are a number of people who say anything pot bound is not a happy plant too though). Everyone has an opinion lol.

You can feel free to repot it though if your concern is that it is rootbound. Just keep in mind the type of soil you use and how large you repot to. You want a little bit of room, but not too much. And it's better to remove all the old soil when potting in new, because two different types of soil tend to dry out/stay wet at different rates.

I don't believe there is anything wrong with you repotting, in fact it would probably be a good thing to remove the old soil. The plants may have been in it for a couple years so the nutrients are exhausted, and most times growers don't put their plants in the best soil. It grew well for them because they gave it the "perfect" conditions in their greenhouses, but not everyone has the same conditions they had.


    Bookmark   March 3, 2014 at 8:49AM
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