Peace Lily?

WAgardengalJuly 27, 2012

Has anyone had good luck with a peace lily? I think they're gorgeous and I'm thinking of purchasing one this weekend. I live in an apartment with fairly low light (mostly due to the fact that I live in Seattle!) Anyone know if a peace lily could thrive in this condition, or have a recommendation for another pretty plant that might be better? Thanks!


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tisha_(z7 OKC)

Peace Lillies are fairly easy to grow. Just don't overwater. And low light should be ok, unless it's REALLY low light. I find that they do best (if you want them to flower) if you leave them just a little bit crowded in the pot... don't put them in a pot that's far too large for the rootball.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 1:13PM
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With a number of plants, while they will tolerate low light, they will not be as happy (thrive) as they would in a brighter location. Not to dissuade you from purchasing a peace lily, just something to keep in mind. Other plants you could consider as well as a peace lily include: Philodendron, Pothos, Sansevieria, and Aglaonema (I'm sure there are more, those are just the ones I can think of at the top of my head). With my experiences, my peace lilies didn't seem as "full" in lower light although that may be a difference case for others (and yourself).


    Bookmark   July 27, 2012 at 10:04PM
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The one thing I know about peace lilies is that they need to be watered more often than every two weeks. I had one, and I watered it well before I left on a two week vacation. A family member was supposed to water it but never did, and when I got back she was completely dead.

My peace lily was in a spot on my dresser with indirect light and seemed to do pretty well, so a peace lily would probably do alright in your apartment (based on what you've said).

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 1:43AM
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You'll get an ever decreasing flower count in low light but it'll cling on.

They do drink a lot. My care tip for them at home is to water only when they first start to droop - they love this.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 3:13AM
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Peace Lilies are basically a bog plant. They mainly come from rainforests where they grow in shallow wet hollows, so they definitely need more water than many other rainforest plants that are epiphytes and normally have their roots up on tree trunks and exposed to air. Also the Peace Lilies have more of a tolerance of low light. But as with everything, it's a matter of degrees. In your situation it would probably need to be placed in your brightest position.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 4:07AM
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dellis326 (Danny)

In nature they grow in very wet locations. I keep mine damp all the time and the only time they ever dry out is if I'm traveling somewhere and can't water them. I've even grown them for several years in an undrained tub of mud and they were constantly multiplying and flowering.

I also find that they do very well in a very wide pot but not a deep one, not root bound. I currently have some growing in a 14 inch pot that is 10inches deep but the bottom half of the pot is filled with rolls of plastic screen with a sheet of screen on top to hold the soil so that the soil is actually only about 4 or 5 inched deep in the top half of the pot. This allows me to water deeply and the water can sit in the catch dish and provide humidity without the soil sitting in it.

As for your lighting situation, They seem to grow well in indirect natural lighting but not in extended full sunlight (A few hours is fine). Are you talking about the plant being in the dark or just not have the sun shining on it? I've been to Seattle a number of times and it isn't as dismal as it's made out to be. Spaths will do fine in/next to a bright window with no direct sun. In a not so bright, but not dark, window they will do OK but probably not grow much.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 11:19AM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

I think it's a common misconception that because they are riparian plants, it must follow that they like lots of water - it's simply not true. They like a damp, never wet, well-aerated soil, just like the lion's share of your other houseplants.

In situ plants develop a root system composed of tissues entirely different than that of your houseplants. It's a tissue/root system that allows the plant to get the O2 it needs to drive root function from the top of the plant, instead of the soil. It forms a tissue called aerenchyma instead of parenchyma, and the tissues cannot effectively make the transition back and forth from aerobic to anaerobic settings or from soggy to partially soggy soils.

They're easy to grow, but not quite so easy to grow well. They can be temperamental because they react poorly to soggy soils, AND to a high level of salts in the soil. You'll fare much better with the plant in a soil that is chunky and doesn't support a soggy layer at the pot bottom after a thorough watering. Frequent light applications of an appropriate soluble fertilizer in combination with the free-draining soil will also help you keep the salt level in the soil solution low, a requirement for unspoiled foliage.
Pot size is very important if you are using a heavy soil because a smaller pot can help you stave off the effects of over-watering due to the soil. As your soil gravitates further and further toward soils that don't support that soggy layer at the bottom, pot size becomes less important in a direct relationship with how well the soil drains - more specifically, with how tall that soggy layer at the bottom is.

The keys to growing them well are:

An appropriatre soil
The right light/temp
Adequate nutritional supplementation w/o over-fertilizing


    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 12:51PM
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Quoting Tapla:
"I think it's a common misconception that because they are riparian plants, it must follow that they like lots of water - it's simply not true. They like a damp, never wet, well-aerated soil, just like the lion's share of your other houseplants."

If that were true then most of the plants in nature would be dead, or close to it. And people growing them in aquariums wouldn't be. And those with them in pots sitting in water would have pots of dead plants.

The main thing is they shouldn't be in heavy soil.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 8:27PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

What I said is very true - honest. ;-) I think you're just missing a big part of this particular picture.

On the + side, you won't find anyone who agrees more that plants shouldn't be in a heavy soil.


    Bookmark   July 28, 2012 at 9:41PM
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