The Peace Lilly – Simple Care / Ideal Plant

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.

Ancillary Care

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  You may also order a gift by visiting our e-portal at 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”



Carnations – The Comeback Flower of January

Birth Flower of January
The flower of choice for January Babies!

Welcome to our new feature that will appear once every month… We will introduce you to the Birth-Flower-Of-The-Month.  Much like there is a Birthstone for every month, there is a Birth-Flower too!  January is the month of the Carnation.  Over the years this is a flower that has truly taken a bad rap.  “Too FTD”, “Too common”, “Grandma’s flower”, “No carnations please!”.  As florists we hear this all the time…  BUT with new breeds of carnations coming out, new hot colors (purple, green, fuscia, and more) and with the evolution of design styles, carnations have made a big comeback, not to mention that they are the “Official Flower of January Babies”!

We did a little research on the history of the carnation, its origins and how to care for them… Read on!  We hope you like the thoughts we have to share.

The birth flower for the month of January is the Carnation. Its scientific name, Dianthus Caryophyllus, is derived from the Greek-“dios” and “anthos”.  The literal translation being “The Flowers of God”.  Carnations have been around for about two thousand years longer than the person receiving them.  Carnations are known for their sweet clove like fragrance, their ruffled appearance, hardiness and wide array of colors.

Carnations will grow up to 3 feet high with green-gray foliage.  They bloom mainly during the cool times of year, particularly early winter.  The cut flowers have been known to last up to a month with proper care.

Carnations are utilized for festive occasions as well as somber ones.  You’ll find them at birthday parties, weddings, parades, festivals and funerals.   Accordingly, carnations are the top producing crop in the floriculture worldwide.

Thinking about sending someone carnations?  Don’t forget the significance of the color beyond its aesthetic value.  Carnations take on many meanings depending upon their color.  Pink Carnations signify a mother’s love.   Deep red carnations indicates love.  A white carnation indicates friendship.  However, be careful of the yellow carnation.  It signifies disappointment or disdain.

Six easy steps to keep your carnations looking fresh and bright:

1)  Clean out a vase with soap and water. Bacteria left in the vase from a previous floral arrangement may cause the carnation to wilt prematurely.

2) Pour 1/2 cap of bleach into the vase. This should kill any bacteria missed while cleaning.

3) Pour 1/2 can of lemon-lime soda into the vase. Fill the empty can with warm water and pour the water into the vase and soda. The combination of lemon-lime soda, bleach and water will act as a preservative.

4) Remove any leaves from the stem of the carnation that are below the water in the vase. Cut the leaves with scissors or pull them off.  Hold the stem of the carnation under the water in the vase. Cut 1 inch off the bottom of the stem with the scissors. If the vase is too narrow to cut the stem in, use a separate bowl of warm water to cut the stem.

5) Place the carnations in the prepared vase. Set the vase in a cool room away from bright sunlight for 24 hours. This encourages the carnations to take in as much water and preservative as possible, which helps the blooms last longer.

6) Replace the water and preservative every three to four days or if it becomes cloudy or dirty. Remove any dead leaves that fall into the water and remove and dispose of any flowers that begin to wilt.

Hey you receivers of yellow carnations just jump on Facebook and let us in on the reasons you generated such passion in a negative way.

Starbright Floral Design is the “Official Florist of Romance” and most of the time we deliver flowers, love, passion and hope everywhere in Manhattan and worldwide.  Sometimes we deliver yellow carnations.

Give us a call, visit our website or pop on in!  We would love to meet you….

Passionately yours,

The Official Florist

Starbright Floral Design

Located in the heart of New York City’s Historic Flower District

150 West 28th Street, Studio 201.

T. 800.520. 8999

Web: www.

E-commerce portal:

Having a Corporate Flower Policy

Flowers are great for business!
Flowers bring appreciation, create strong bonds and boost morale.

Are you in Human Resources?  Perhaps an Office Manager? Perhaps you are the owner of a small to medium-sized firm?

Does your company like to send gifts to clients and employees alike?  Is it a cost that is outside of your normal budgets and you cannot seem to get a handle on how much money is being spent on flowers and related gifts?  If so, read on!

Starbright Floral Design ( has helped many companies organize their gift giving so that it is both fair and a controlled expense.  Our clients send the occasion-appropriate gift and they always do so with great savings.  Here  is what you need to do:

  1. Pick ONE florist to do all your business with.  We would like it to be Starbright, but even if it is not, you still want to use one source and become one florist’s good customer.  It makes no sense to go to the yellow pages or to the  internet and say “gee, I wonder which florist I will pick today”.  By having one vendor you know that this person will take care of you.  You are an important client to the florist and you will get a few extra flowers, an upgrade and even issues that arise are more likely to be resolved in your favor.
  2. Standardize your occasions (both for employees and clients).  Do you want  to send gifts for maternity? sympathy? promotion? anniversary? get well? birthday?  If you know in advance what occasions automatically call for a flower gift, then there is no thought involved (should we do it? should we not?).  It is a task that has been pre-decided, delegated and the vendor has been pre-selected.
  3. Do you classify your team?  Executives, front line employees, new hires, etc. Do you want to plan on a certain expense for floral gifts based on an employees title?
  4. What about budgets? Typically in a Flower Policy, you will see something like: Sympathy – $125, Births – $75, Get Well – $50 and so on.
  5. You may also want to consider other offerings besides flowers that your local florist may have like Fruit and Gourmet Baskets, Plants, Orchids, Stuffed Animals, Balloons, and so much more.  The greater the specificity in your policy the more standardize the procedure becomes and the greater the chances of success.

Flowers are a great way to boost employee morale and a Flower Policy will take the guess-work out of the equation.  Oh! There is one added benefit – EVERYONE gets treated equally!  Imagine if one assistant sends a $75 get-well arrangement and the next assistant a $40 one! Employees talk… Employees wonder… Flower Policies are great!

Now that you have decided that you need a flower policy all of us at Starbright will be thrilled to help you write one and to work with you so that your program becomes a success.  We have helped many small and large, local and international organizations benefit from our experience  in this area.  Whenever  you have a free moment, please feel free to visit our website at or our gift-giving portal at  All of us at Starbright will be thrilled to have the opportunity to be of service to you.

With our warmest regards,


The Official Florist

NOTE: You can also find us on Facebook!

An Event Planner’s Prespective on the Weekend..

Over  the years I have  had the honor to know and work with one of the true professionals in the Event Planning and Destination Management industry.   Anthony Napoli of Briggs NYC is a pro’s pro.  He is the go-to person for “everything Manhattan” and “everything beyond”.  His clients are in for a New York City experience like no other!  For more years than I can count on one hand we have had the privilege to be the florist for the events that are organized by Briggs.   Because of Tony and this amazing organization we have decorated at the United Nations, at Ellis Island, at Gotham Hall and countless other landmarks.

Tony has a unique perspective on this weekend and when I received Tony’s February newsletter, I asked him for permission to reprint it on our blog…  (thankfully he said “yes”!) – Apropos of Valentine’s Day, here is Tony’s perspective on what to do this weekend – enjoy!

“The stars have lined up for a multiple holiday weekend this February 12th to the 15th.  The festivities start off on Friday, February 12th the traditional date for celebrating Lincoln’s Birthday (before Congress passed the Monday Holiday Act – of course they left the Fourth of July alone!).  And that evening you can toast Honest Abe while watching the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Saturday is a major day to celebrate Mardi Gras or as we call it in NYC, Carnevale! Sunday is a double header: Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year’s – the Year of the Tiger! We can all rest up on Monday, Presidents Day! Happy Birthday George! So get out your patriotic songs, beads and doubloons, fortune cookies and dancing shoes cause it’s all “ashes ashes all fall down” for 40 days of Lent!. What a weekend!”

To learn more about Anthony Napoli and  his amazing team, please visit their website at

About Starbright Floral Design: We are a full service florist located in the heart of New York City’s historic flower district.  We are  known as “The Official Florist of the City that Never Sleeps” but this week Cupid took over and we are “The Official Florist of Romance”!  Give us a call at 800.520.8999 or visit our website at  We are open and delivering flowers all the time!