Newest Review: ... am generous. They droop dramatically and suddenly when in need of water. When I got my first Peace Lily (some years ago now) the first time... more
Simple but effective
Member Name: dawnmarywhite
Advantages: Stunning, low maintenance
Disadvantages: Droops dramatically which can make you panic!
Peace Lily plants are very interesting. I have two of my own, my mum has two and my almost-mum-in-law has one as well. What I find fascinating about these, is that of all five I see on a regular basis, no two of them are the same! One of mine has large leaves that are mostly vertically positioned, the other has smaller thinner leaves that often sit almost horizontal to the stems. My mum has a small one in her bathroom whose leaves sit upright and one about the same size as my biggest in her kitchen, but it has thinner leaves than mine that mostly sit horizontally! The mother in law's is really thick and bushy with shorter fatter leaves. There is huge variation, even among plants of the same average maturity.
They look stunning when in flower, and remain beautiful when not. If you look after them well there's no reason they shouldn't flower again, although I have heard many say they have not had further flowers, for no discernible reason. All the Peace Lilies in my life continue to flower again and again.
**What do they look like?**
The leaves are a deep vibrant green, slightly glossy, and a sharp oval shape. They look just like the way you would draw leaves as a child! The flowers they produce are on long stems, with a single white petal. The shape of the metal mimics the shape of the leaves, and when you have a few flowers the effect is stunning. The petal embraces the stamen, which juts up proudly, looking a little like corn on the cob in mature flowers! As I mentioned above overall appearances can vary widely.
**How do I look after them?**
Peace Lilies do not have overly large root systems, so do not require really large pots. You can repot when a significant amount of roots are showing through the bottom of the pot. They are very thirsty plants I find, and generally when I water them I am generous. They droop dramatically and suddenly when in need of water. When I got my first Peace Lily (some years ago now) the first time it drooped I thought it was a goner, so severe it was! They definitely like their soil to not dry out too much.
They are very tolerant of shady positions and varying temperatures, though of course a lightsome room is good. I avoid putting these on my windowsills as the heat from direct sun, even when not sustained, causes them to dry out and droop really fast in my experience.
Removing faded flowers is important for getting the plant to flower again. I snip off the stems near the bottom when the white petal goes brown (the stamen often shows brown at the tips around the same time). Over time you will find the remainder of the snipped stems goes brown and wood like, you can remove it completely when this happens; it will usually pull out easily without damaging healthy parts of the plant, as it is now completely dead.
As with all house plants, it is good to avoid watering with straight tap water if possible. The things that make it safe for us are not great for plants, but it won't kill them outright. One thing that can happen is the leaf tips will go brown and a little crispy. This isn't harmful to the plant, though it's not the most aesthetically pleasing. Over watering and too much plant feed can also cause this in Peace Lilies. If you have an aquarium watering with the water from that will be better (as it should be treated; it will also contain waste which will feed your plant), or you can treat water specifically or use mineral water. As I said though, using plain tap water isn't an awful thing to do, just not the best.
I have never cultivated my own Peace Lilies, but I believe the only way to do this at home is by dividing the plant. You look at the base of your plant for new crowns; these are separate clusters of stems and if you have any you will clearly see them. You have to remove one of these crowns along with a decent amount of roots, plant it up and water straight away (but don't feed for a few months).
**My thoughts on these plants**
I think these are rather sophisticated plants, and they look stunning in any setting. Often given as a peace offering between quarreling friends, or a nice alternative to a bunch of Apology Flowers for a wronged woman. They are easy to look after, although anecdotally it seems to be a bit hit and miss whether you get recurring flowers. I think any plants make a good gift, but for some reason Peace Lilies seem to be a front runner in the gift stakes. Probably the connection to peace and serenity. This is no bad thing, they even have a peaceful look to them. This is a personal feeling, I think due to the flowers being white which brings purity to my mind. Not just the colour though, they are quite plain, uncomplicated. Beautiful in their simplicity.
Summary: A beautiful plant