What’s in a Name
Being of Greek descent I like to relate everything back to the birthplace of civilization, Greece. With most flowers/plants there is an interesting story rooted in Greek mythology or Greek history giving the plant its name. The Peace Lily, I would expect, would be no different. Perhaps its name derived from their use to adorn an Olympic event. Or perhaps the plant was given as a gift of appreciation to the great Alexander as he heroically brought civilization to the lands of savages. Sadly I was disappointed to find that its name is nothing more than a reflection of its appearance. The white spathe represents a raised white flag of surrender. This plant’s name is not rooted in Greek history but that of the French.
The peace lily belongs to the Spathiphyllum family. Its flowers may be white or yellow with long bright green leaves. This plant is at peace when it is watered regularly. Typically two or three times a week is sufficient. Check the soil and make sure its moist. If its dry, or the leaves are wilting or browning its been too long between watering. In addition to regular watering, this plant likes its leaves misted. The misting helps prevent red spider mite infestation. If you see tiny spider webs treat the leaves with alcohol and spray with an insecticidal soap.
CAUTION FOR NYC RESIDENTS and others with chlorinated water supplies. This plant is very sensitive to chlorinated water. Either water with distilled water (unlikely) or let the tap water sit overnight thereby dissipating the chlorine.
One reason why this plant is so well equipped for office life is that it is not a sunbather. The plant prefers natural filtered light. Exposing the plant to direct sunlight will brown the leaves and create problems.
The roots of a Peace Lily like to be tightly confined but will normally overfill their initial pot within 1 year. However, they do not usually require a pot larger than 10 inches. Although the plant is simple to care for, it still needs to be fertilized occasionally. However, be sure that the fertilizer is not too strong or the leaves will brown and the root hairs will be killed. Err on the side of a milder mix to be safe. Rule of a green thumb is a fertilizer mix of 20-20-20.
If your plant was beautiful and healthy when purchased and you’ve maintained it as discussed herein, but it doesn’t bloom or has deformed shaped leaves you need to show some patience. It is possible it was purchased from a discount retailer who artificially induced the plant into bloom for sale. Your plant is simply said a drug addict. It is looking for a dose of the hormone gibberellic acid. Don’t be an enabler. Let it beat the habit with your love and care and eventually it will live out a normal cycle. The lesson here is to purchase your plants from a respectable retailer such as Starbright.
We highly recommend the Peace Lily for a variety of uses:
It is a great plant to send someone as a gift (personal or corporate).
We use them to decorate venues for events (plant rental).
We offer weekly maintenance on plants for offices and we take care of many Peace Lilies throughout New York City.
These tips are brought to you by The Official Florist. The Official Florist is the blogging arm of Starbright Floral Design. We are a full-service corporate and retail florist located in the heart of New York City’s Historic Flower District. We are at 150 West 28th Street (Studio 201). To learn more about our organization and about the type of work that we do, please visit our website at www.starflor.com. You may also order a gift by visiting our e-portal at www.starbrightnyc.com. Starbright is open seven days a week and we deliver flowers and other gifts in Manhattan and worldwide. We invite you to give us a call or visit our website.
Thank you for visiting our blog. Always “at your service”,
The Official Florist – Starbright Floral Design
“The Official Florist of the City that Never Sleeps”