Contradictory Information

doubleAmom(SWPA 5/6)March 18, 2012

I've had a number of houseplants for years...spider plants, african violets, and a nice peace lily. Needless to say, I've pretty much neglected them...luckily none of them have died. I've recently moved into a new house and have a renewed interest in the plants and really want to make them happy. I was doing a bit of research on the peace lily this morning and the information is soooo confusing. Seems no one can really agree on how to take care of them. So, I'm coming here to see if I can sort this all out. My plant is very lush and green but never flowers. The tips of the leaves are brown and I've always watered it when the leaves were droopy. I've read that's the time to water and I've also read that they like to sit in water. I'm confused! Also, not sure of the lighting. In my old house, it sat in my bathroom in front of a window that got morning sun and had a mini-blind covering it. Although it seemed fine there, it never flowered. Should I fertilize it? I've recently repotted it into a bigger pot and it seems to be much happier and has a lot of new growth. Hoping you guys can offer some helpful information to make my lily as happy as possible!

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I'm no expert on peace lilies, but I can tell you that waiting for any plant to wilt before watering isn't good. Wilting means you've gone TOO long. Also, not many plants like to actually sit in water, as this will lead to root rot. Also, I believe that a peace lily can survive in low light, but will not flower. Basically, if it is a lush green, but no flowers, it needs more light.


    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 8:17PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Joel is absolutely correct. Wherever you're reading that information is WHACK!

    Bookmark   March 18, 2012 at 10:57PM
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you can find some information in following thread:

or search this site for "peace lilly" - I am sure you will find lots of info

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 12:13AM
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stonesriver(6B Tennessee)

I've found when people say they can't get their African violet to bloom it is usually because they have let their plant go dry. When the plant goes dry, any starting buds (the ones you can't yet see) are the first things to die. I would assume this to be the case with almost any blooming plant.

My large Peace Lily is in a 3:1 perlite/Metro Mix medium. I water it when the pot starts to feel light so it stays pretty much evenly moist but not "wet." It sits in an bright eastern window with a porch overhang. It blooms frequently, has no browning tips and is growing like a weed.

The caveat would be about once a month I take it to the tub and spray water through it until the water runs clear. This takes care of any salt build-up. I do this with all my plants.

If your plant is otherwise lush and full, then I would imagine the culprit is watering practices.

As far as sitting in water, some people successfully grow spaths like philodendron in vases of water.

Good luck sorting through all the opinions. ;-)


    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 12:34AM
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doubleAmom(SWPA 5/6)

Thanks for all the information. I'm not sure what kind of light this plant would need in order to flower. I had it in filtered morning sun for years without a flower but my watering habits were not up to par. Now, it's in a NW facing window and gets bright but indirect afternoon sunlight. I see soooo many people say to water the lily when the leaves start to droop. Good thing these plants are practically indestructible with so much bad information out there! I'll do a search and check out some other threads and see what I can come up with. Thanks again for your replies!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 7:30PM
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Hello DoubleAmom,

Did you mean you've come to GW to get one answer regarding your plants? LOL..GW is a great place to learn, meet new people, but like everywhere else in the world, we all care for plants in different fashions.

IMO, there's no one correct or incorrect way to keep plants thriving. If one way works we either continue doing what we've been, or try something different, 'taught by someone here on GW,' to improve plants health and looks.

Peace Lily. Some people keep PL soil constantly wet. One person said he/she grew them as bog plants.
I let the soil of my 3 dry a little in-between waterings.
They're fertilized once a month from spring to autumn with balanced fertilizer or Fish Emulsion.

If an area is too shady, PL's won't flower. Bright light, 'not full sun' is adequate. Since you're PL's in an east window, it should be directly in front, not 5 or 10' away.

Since you're in z5, during grey, winter months, south or west won't scorch leaves. Summer's a different story.

I've read, roots must be cozy, otherwise PL's will not bloom. In other words, a newly potted PL halts flowering until roots are a tad snug.

Cold or hot air and water can prevent flowering.

You said your PL did well in the bathroom in your old home. PL's like humidity. Bathrooms usually have higher humidity than other parts of the house. Shower/bath water raises humidity. If you left the mini blinds opened it's likely your PL would have bloomed.

How much larger is the new pot to the old? New foliage will produce in a larger pot, but, 'might' halt flowering. Remember, cozy roots.

African Violets need very bright to some direct sun in order to bloom.
Container, 1/3rd the size of leaves diameter although it doesn't have to be exact. Never over-pot an AV.
Fertilize with Blooming Fertilizer @ half-strength.
I bottom-water except when fertilizer is added; flushing needs to be done more than usual.

AV's need high-humidity, too.

House plants sometimes acquire insects. Some are so tiny a magnifying glass is needed. If by chance an infested plant flowers, blooms are usually deformed and/or discolored. Or don't flower.
Your plants are probably insect-free, but thought I'd mention it, in case. :)

Hope my advice helped a little, and good luck, Toni

    Bookmark   March 19, 2012 at 10:16PM
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