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Old July 10th, 2005, 05:49 AM
ny3bp ny3bp is offline
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Location: Budapest, Hungary
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peace lily help

Hi folks,

Need some help with my peace lily(s). Bought at IKEA a couple months ago; they came in minature pots about 6cm / 2.5in diameter, biggest plant about 20cm / 8in high. When I bought them they all looked so lush and pretty grouped together in a little 3-part galvanized planter, but they've been having growing pains, largely attributable, I'm sure, to my learning curve on the watering (first too much, then too little).

I think I've gotten a watering routine down now that works - They get a small amount of water every 2 or 3 days (by 3 days they're usually starting to go limp). Light-wise, they started in a fairly low-light spot, on the opposite side of the room from the windows, in a spot where a permanently open door sheilds them from direct sun. They have spent the last 2 weeks or so about 10 feet from a window in a kitchen that doesn't get much sun apart from some very good late afternoon sun for about 2 hours.

Pictures below show some of my problems/questions. Pic #1 - all three plants. As you can see, they've all got a bit of a yellowing-leaves problem. When I bought them they had a good number of spades, at least one per mini-pot, but now it's been a while since two of them had any spades. Is this to be expected? How often do they send up new ones? Also:

#2. The one from the center of the arrangement is doing pretty well -- lots of new growth near the base (you can kind of see it in the photo) -- except the spades are dying. Should I cut/pull out the dying spade?

#3. The one on the right side of the arrangment is sort of weakly tipping to the side -- i'm guessing he needs more soil?

#4. The one on the left side of the arrangement has lots of dying leaves.

I suspect that they will want re-potting in a bigger pot. (Dang -- they looked so nice in that planter i bought just for them! - #5) Should I plant them all together? Suggestions? Or if anyone has any advice how i can take care of them so they do well right where they are...

Sorry if this is kind of overkill, information-wise, but I'm really trying hard to learn about this houseplant thing. I'm an american living in Budapest without the requisite language skills, so my houseplant learning is all coming from the Web. And I keep reading that peace lilies are good, easy to care for, low-light-tolerating indoor plants... so [insert sheepish grin here] I'm feeling particularly self-conscious about them possibly not surviving!

Thanks for any help you can offer!
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[B][I]gutta cavat lapidem, non vi sed saepe cadendo [/I] [/B]

(dripping water hollows out stone, not through force but through persistence.)
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Old July 10th, 2005, 12:12 PM
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Marn Marn is offline
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Re: peace lily help

Hi there ...
here is a lil info i found on them ... hope this helps ya .. and i think this is why your leaves are turning brown ..

Cultural information: "Peace Lilies" are probably the most popular plant in the USA. They are widely used to make Betta bowls. There are numerous varieties available from small leaved plants to very broad leaved plants, in every pot size imaginable. They are quite easy to grow. In a well lit, warm or dry environment... the can consume lots of water. Check for water 2 - 3 times per week until you are accustomed to your plants requirements. If your plant becomes severely wilted... place it in a bath tub or large sink and run plenty of water thru the soil to re-moisten the root ball. Repeated wilting will cause leaf spotting and brown leaf edges.

good luck

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Old July 19th, 2005, 04:09 PM
ny3bp ny3bp is offline
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Re: peace lily help

Aha... it's the repeated wilting thing. The environment has pretty low humidity here, which probably explains why they seem to be demanding a lot of water all the time.

Based on what you wrote, though, I think they might be okay in those little pots for a while - maybe i won't need to repot them after all.
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Old July 27th, 2005, 10:41 PM
Newt Newt is offline
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Re: peace lily help

Hi NY,

I've found that generally with houseplants when the leaves turn yellow the plant is usually rootbound or it's the natural shedding of older leaves. When they turn brown without yellowing first it's from overwatering.

Peace lily likes to dry out before being watered. The top inch or two should be dry before watering. You can stick your finger into the soil up to your first or second knuckle. Water until the water flows through the drain holes. Don't let them sit in water for more then an hour. Once the spathe (flower) has finished it's bloom it can be cut off. Browning or yellowing leaves should also be cut off close to the base. Your lighting is just fine.

#1. Once the plant has finished flowering it may not flower again for several months depending on the age, light conditions, watering and fertilizing. Transplanting will often cause a plant to shed it's flowers so it can concentrate on growing new roots.

#2. Yes, cut off the spade. Don't try and pull it as they tend to hang on until very brown and crispy.

#3. It appears that the pots are too small for the rootballs. Putting more soil on top of the roots is not a good idea. There should be at least one inch of space in the pot above the soil so that when you water, the water doesn't run over the top of the pot. When I water I usually just fill up that inch with the water and I'm done.

#4. I have several plants in one pot and it looks full and lush. It's easier for me to take care of larger pots as I often forget to water. The smaller the pot the more often you need to water. The more sun the quicker the soil dries out and the more often you will need to water. The more rootbound the plant in it's pot the more often you will need to water. I have two different varieties of peace lily, one with very large leaves that aren't shiny and another with smaller leaves that are shiny. My plants will often wilt completely and droop before I remember to water them. Peace lily doesn't mind this and will thrive better that way then if they are overwatered. If you are going to put them all in one pot, unpot them and GENTLY shake off a bit of any loose soil so you can group them together and see what size pot you will need. Since you are in a foreign county it might be best to measure the circumference of the group with a string and purchase a pot that is about 2" larger then the combined rootballs. Just stand the plants up without their pots and any extra soil snuggled in a group and measure. Take your marked string with the 2" added with you to the store. The next time you need to repot after this, use a pot that is 2" larger. I suspect that won't be for another year. Btw. mine don't get any extra humidity then what is in my house and they've been very happy for 15 years now.

Here's some sites that have some great tips on how to pot and grow your plants.

For your lovely galvanized planter consider some succulent plants that stay small and don't need alot of water and attention. Most will thrive with only 2 to 4 hours of direct sun. There are many different types of aloe and aloe looking plants. Some aloes will get huge (aloe vera) and others stay small. Here's some ideas, including the smaller aloes, though I don't know what you'll find in Budapest! This site says that plants need low, medium or high light. Medium would be a bright spot like your peace lily. This first one comes in a very tall variety often called 'Mother in laws tongue' or snake plant. This rosette one that I have sits away from all windows. Once in a while I'll put it near a window if it starts to 'stretch'. I usually remember to water it when it's as dry as the Sahara!

These peperomia come with lots of different colored leaves and stay small. They have the weirdist looking flower stalks. Just one of each color in those little galvanized pots would look lovely. You can see there's lots to choose from.

Here's the main page where all of those pictures came from. You can browse by the photos, the common name or the scientific name. You can search too.

Don't feel badly about asking questions here. I know what it's like to be in a foreign country and not speak the language. I spent 4 months in Peru and didn't speak more then a handful of Spanish. When I went into a little grocery and managed to make enough chicken noises so that the lady knew what I wanted, she brought me a live one!!! Life sure is different in other parts of the world.

When weeding, the best way to make sure you are removing a weed and not a valuable plant is to pull on it. If it comes out of the ground easily, it is a valuable plant.
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Old September 17th, 2007, 02:23 PM
sameriah sameriah is offline
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Re: peace lily help

I had a Peace Lily for a long time and it grew to be huge. I stuck it out side and the sun scorched it. Make sure you're giving it indirect light and cut off the dead leaves. I wouldn't put in a window where you get stong sunshine and be sure to water it at least once a week. Give it a deep watering to ensure the roots are thoroughly drenched. You might also try planting them in larger pots so the roots have room to grow. I re-planted mine twice and it grew to be pretty big. They are actually really easy to care for. Have fun and good luck.
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