- Do Peace Lilies Need Fertilizer – When To Feed Peace Lily Plants
- When to Feed Peace Lily Plants
- What is the Best Peace Lily Fertilizer?
- What type fertilizer do peace lilies like?
- Peace Lily Plant Care
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- Are Epsom Salts Really Good For Plants?
Do Peace Lilies Need Fertilizer – When To Feed Peace Lily Plants
Peace lilies are so enchanting; it may come as a surprise that they are rugged plants that tolerate a variety of light conditions, including semi-darkness. Peace lilies can even survive a certain amount of neglect at the hands of busy or forgetful indoor gardeners. Do peace lilies need fertilizer? Believe it or not, many folks prefer to skip the fertilizer and their peace lily plants do just fine without it. However, fertilizing a peace lily now and then is important if you hope to encourage blooming. Read on to learn more about fertilizer for peace lilies.
When to Feed Peace Lily Plants
Peace lilies aren’t fussy and they really don’t need much fertilizer. The best time to apply peace lily fertilizer is when the plant is activity growing or producing blooms. As a general rule, two or three feedings throughout the growing season is plenty. If you choose to feed your plant more often, use a very diluted fertilizer.
Avoid overfeeding, as too much fertilizer may create brown spots on the leaves. If the flowers are a little green around the gills instead of creamy white, you are probably overdoing the fertilizer. Either cut back or dilute the concentration.
What is the Best Peace Lily Fertilizer?
When it comes to fertilizing a peace lily, any good quality, water-soluble houseplant fertilizer is fine. Look for a product with a balanced ratio, such as 20-20-20, diluted to one-half or one-quarter strength.
Be sure to water after feeding your peace lily to distribute the fertilizer evenly around the roots. Never apply fertilizer to dry soil, which may scorch the roots.
What type fertilizer do peace lilies like?
Oh boy! I think so highly of Lin, that I hate to disagree with her about the high-P (middle number) fertilizer. Will you forgive me, Lin?
Here’s the deal: It may surprise you to learn that almost all plants use nutrients in roughly the same ratio, that being about 10:1.5:7 NPK. So for every 10 parts of nitrogen (N) they use, they only use 1.5 parts of phosphorous (P). When you analyze the tissue of plants, you’ll also find roughly these ratios in all plant parts – including leaves/blooms/fruit …..
Another surprise is that Lin’s 11-35-15 fertilizer doesn’t really contain as much P as you think, but it still contains MUCH more P than the plant could ever hope to use in relation to both N and K (potassium). The P in fertilizers is reported as P2O5 (phosphorous pentoxide), but P205 is only 43% P. We know that plants use 6X more N than P, and when we do a quick calculation, we can see that 11-35-15 is ACTUALLY about 15% P. I hope you’re still with me.
If plants use 1/6 as much P as N, and we want to supply as much P as plants actually use, we would divide 11 by 6 to see that ideally, fertilizers with 11% N would only have about 1.8% P. Since Lin’s fertilizer supplies 15% P, it is supplying more than 8X more actual P than her plants can use.
So what’s the disadvantage? Let me start by saying you can’t force a plant to take up more P than it needs by virtue of the fact you supply extra. It will still take what it needs and leave the rest. The ‘extra’ isn’t just ‘wasted’; its disadvantage comes in the form of the influence the excess has on the chemistry of the soil solution. Excess P in soils limits the plants ability to take up several other elements ( causes antagonistic deficiencies), particularly Fe (iron) and Mn (manganese). It contributes unnecessarily to the EC/TDS (roughly the salt levels of the soil) which makes it more difficult for the plant to take up water and all other nutrients that must be dissolved in that water. Liebig’s Law of the Minimum addresses the issue of excess nutrients in the soil and states that excesses (toxicities) are as limiting (to growth and vitality) as deficiencies.
From this, we can draw the conclusion that for best growth and vitality, it is to our benefit to supply nutrients in as close to the same RATIO that plants actually use them in. When the factoring is all done, the closest ratio commonly available, and the one that allows us to keep the o/a nutrient level at its lowest w/o nutritional deficiencies is a 3:1:2 ratio. I capitalized ‘ratio’ earlier because a ratio is different from the fertilizers NPK %s. Examples of fertilizers that supply NPK in 3:1:2 ratios are, Miracle-Gro/Peters/others in NPK %s of 24-8-16 (soluble granular), Miracle-Gro 12-4-8 liquid, and my favorite – Foliage-Pro 9-3-6 liquid.
As far as manipulating your plant’s nutrition to help promote blooming, for more prolific flowering, a reduced N supply will have more and better effect than the high P bloom formulas. When N is reduced, it slows vegetative growth without reducing photosynthesis. Since vegetative growth is limited by a lack of N, and the photosynthetic machinery continues to turn out food, it leaves an expendable surplus for the plant to spend on flowers and fruit.
I also agree with Ecrane, in that recently transplanted PLs will often sulk for a while until they get their feet under them (reestablish their root mass) ….. plus the fact that most but not all PLs tend to be more prolific bloomers in the summer.
I hope that made sense. If you’re interested enough that it left you with questions, please ask. A good soil is also a very important consideration for PLs. The roots are the heart of the plant, and if the roots ain’t happy – ain’t no part of the plant happy! ;o) Enough light is also an important factor in determining how prolifically they bloom.
Peace Lily Plant Care
The peace lily (Spathiphyllum) is one of the most commonly known houseplants. Peace lilies are shiny green leafed plants that bloom normally spring through summer. In warmer climates some species of Spathiphyllum are suitable for humid shade borders.
Peace Lily Care: Light Requirements
Peace lilies (Spathiphyllum) prefers bright filtered natural light. However, the peace lily is tolerant of low light levels making it an excellent houseplant. It can be used outdoors in warm humid areas with filtered light or partial shade. Exposure to direct light may cause yellowing leaves with a burnt appearance.
Peace Lily Care: Water Requirements
Peace Lilies (Spathiphyllum) prefers an evenly moist environment. For plants grown in soil, drainage is important; your peace lily pot should have drain holes. Watering your peace lily once a week is usually sufficient. However, when the plant is grown in low light levels or cooler temperatures water requirements may be less. Water requirements may increase with brighter light levels or warmer temperatures and during periods of rapid growth; use tepid water when watering or misting.
Testing the soil before watering by sticking finger in soil up to first knuckle can help you determine the need for water – if soil is moist don’t water. Placing the peace lily in high humidity or creating a humid environment is beneficial to the plant. Peace Lilies are good candidates for hydroponics. Peace lilies are susceptible to chlorine damage; let chlorine evaporate from tap water before using or use distilled water. Over-watering may cause leaves to turn yellow and under-watering may cause plants to wilt and the leaf edges to turn yellow or brown.
Peace Lily Care: Fertilizer Requirements
Peace Lilies (Spathiphyllum) do best if fertilized on a regular basis. Applying a well-balanced (20-20-20) liquid soluble fertilizer monthly works well for peace lilies. A diluted version of the monthly fertilizer used weekly is also acceptable. Leaves with brown spots may be the result of over-fertilization (concentration could be too high).
Peace Lily Care: Pests and Diseases
Peace Lilies (Spathiphyllum) are susceptible to a few insects such as aphids, spider mites, and mealy bugs. However, insect problems are very minimal with peace lilies. Insect problems can be taken care of with insecticides, insecticidal soap or by washing the plant. Root rot, leaf spot and bacterial soft rot do occur in peace lilies, but are usually the result of improper care. Diseases can be taken care with fungicides or proper care methods including good drainage and re-potting.
Peace Lily Care: Propagation and Potting
Peace lilies (Spathiphyllum) should be re-potted when the root growth has overfilled the container. Use a humus rich potting soil to repot the peace lily. To help the roots to retain soil and prevent the root tearing, re-pot the plant when the soil is somewhat moist. For determining pot size follow this rule of thumb; use a pot that is 1 ½ times the size of the previous pot. When placing the peace lily in it’s new pot, keep the plant level the same as it was in the old pot (fill the pot so that the top of the root-ball is at the same level as before). After re-potting, water slightly to remove any air bubbles that might have occurred and wait a couple of weeks before fertilizing.
You can create new peace lily plants by dividing them. Propagate by removing the peace lily from it’s container; then take a sharp knife and cut the plant from the roots to the top of the plant – this will ensure that each plants has an ample amount of roots. Take the divide pieces and follow the re-potting instructions – container will need to be same size as original container.
Peace Lily Care: Pruning
Peace Lilies (Spathiphyllum) require very little pruning. Unattractive leaves can be removed on an as needed basis; follow the leaf stem to the base of the plant and cut off. Once a peace lily bloom is spent remove the same way you would a leaf. Removing the bloom helps to encourage more blooms.
Interesting Peace Lily Facts
Peace lilies (Spathiphyllum) help improve air quality. A peace lily removes formaldehyde, benzine and carbon monoxide from the air.
Ingestion of any part of the peace lily may cause mild stomach upset and contact with the sap can cause skin irritation.
To learn more about the peace lily read Flower Shop Network’s newsletter Caring For Peace Lily Plants or review peace lily care questions and comments on the Bloomin’ Blog.
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Today’s tip of the day is for all you green thumbs out there…or maybe for some of you that wish you had a green thumb, but don’t! I love my plants…they just make me feel like I can breathe better, and I love feeling like I have a bit of the outdoors inside! Sometimes, though, they can look a little pitiful, and that’s when I know they need a little coffee. Huh? Well, don’t you need coffee when you are feeling a little tired? I know I do. Well, coffee works on plants kind of like it works on humans…it wakes them up and gives them a little boost. Now, don’t go pouring your cup of hot coffee on those plants just yet! They prefer the coffee grounds. Just save a little of your leftover coffee grounds and sprinkle them onto the soil, then water your plant as normal. I do this about once a month, and I just use one of my leftover pods from our Keurig. This is a great way to make those flowering plants that refuse to bloom start blooming again as well. Geraniums in particular just love coffee, and so do Peace Lily plants! Just give it a try, your plants will thank you for it 😉
Looking for more Tips and Tricks, like How to Clean In Between the Glass on Your Oven Door? Click HERE or the photo below for tons of cleaning tips and tricks!
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By Julie Christensen
Looking for a houseplant that performs well in low light? Consider the peace lily (Spathiphyllum). This attractive, low-maintenance plant grows 16 inches to over 3 feet tall, depending on the cultivar, and produces long, lance-like leaves that are glossy, dark green. The foliage and form of a peace lily resembles hostas.
Peace lilies, sometimes known as spaths, are valued for their foliage alone, but their real beauty lies in the dramatic white flowers they occasionally produce. These flowers resemble calla lilies. They are green when young and slowly bleach to white as they open.
Peace lilies grow best in a well-draining, light potting soil. Plant them in a pot that holds at least a gallon of potting soil. Once planted, keep the soil moist, but not soggy. You can allow it to dry out slightly between watering, but watch for wilting or yellowing leaves, which is usually a sign that the plant is not getting enough water.
Place peace lilies in a location where they get filtered light, such as a bright window. Avoid windows with a southern exposure, where the sun shines intensely, though. In too little light, the plants won’t bloom properly. In harsh sunlight, they become bleached or dry.
Peace lilies need little fertilizer, and in fact, too much nitrogen fertilizer will encourage leafy growth instead of flowers and can also cause the leaves to turn brown. Fertilize peace lilies no more than every three months with a balanced fertilizer. Peace lilies sometimes suffer from a magnesium deficiency, evidenced by yellowed leaves with green veins. Treat magnesium deficiency with a magnesium fertilizer or sprinkle a few Epsom salts on the soil around the plants. Don’t allow fertilizer to touch the leaves though.
Propagate peace lilies through division. Gently remove them from their pots, cut the plant in two with a sharp knife, and replant peace lilies in new pots, using new potting soil.
Peace Lily Pests and Problems
Peace lilies suffer few insect or disease pests, and most potential problems start in the nursery. Buy peace lilies from reputable nurseries and avoid any plants that have yellowed leaves, webbing or a musty odor.
Keep the plants quarantined from other plants when you first bring them home and watch for signs of trouble. Mites, mealy bugs and scale are the most common insect pest problems associated with peace lilies. Treat them by dousing the leaves with water or spray the leaves with insecticidal soap or oil.
Root rots cause odor, brown roots and dying yellow leaves. Root rot diseases are caused primarily by overwatering. Once the plant starts to wilt, the condition is usually fatal, but you can prevent this problem by watering only until the soil is evenly moist, never soggy. Speaking of watering, use room temperature water on peace lilies and avoid softened water, which contains high amounts of salt.
Peace lilies grow best in warm conditions. They thrive in daytime temperatures between 68 and 85 degrees, according to Clemson University Extension, with nighttime temperatures 10 degrees cooler. They quickly experience cold injury at temperatures below 60 degrees. Peace lilies are hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 10 through 11. Elsewhere, they can be grown outdoors during the summer but must be moved indoors before fall weather arrives.
The broad leaves of peace lilies tend to accumulate dust. Wipe the leaves with a damp cloth regularly to prevent this and keep them looking their best.
Varieties and Types of Peace Lily Plants
Most nurseries carry a good selection of peace lilies in dwarf sizes up to giants. Choose a cultivar that fits your home and decorating needs.
‘Flower Power,’ is known for its abundant, white flowers, as the name implies. This plant is one of the most commonly grown peace lilies because it blooms easily and produces large blooms on strong stems. ‘Flower Power’ has a full, lush form.
‘Lynise’ produces flowers more quickly and frequently than most cultivars. It grows quickly and the leaves have a matte appearance.
‘Mauna Loa’ grows up to 3 feet tall with very large 4 inch flowers on tall stems. It produces 12 inch leaves.
‘Sensation’ is the tallest cultivar, growing up to 6 feet tall. This plant makes a dramatic statement in any environment and is best reserved for large rooms.
‘Wallisii’ is a compact cultivar, rarely growing taller than 12 inches. Its blooms are small, as well. Place this plant on a desk or kitchen counter.
Want to learn more about the Peace Lily?
Visit the following sites:
Houseplants Are Good for Your Health from the National Gardening Association.
Lily Brings Peace of Mind from Iowa State University.
water lily | flowers
My Peace Lily was lookin a little droopy and I thought it might need some sun because its in a room where there is little to no sun light. So I put it outside for a day and the leaves that were pretty and green are now wilted. Even the ones that were just begining to grow.
I read that Epsom Salt helps seeds germinate, makes plants grow bushier, produces more flowers, increases chlorophyll production, and improves phosphorus and nitrogen uptake for house plants if you mix 2 tablespoons of Epsom Salt to a gallon of water.
So I was wondering if it would help my Peace Lily since its not so perky anymore. If it won’t help then what should I do?
Would a Epsom Salt mixture help my Peace Lily?
I have only heard of Epsom Salt used for rose bushes, and it works. It wouldn’t hurt to add a little, (1/2 teaspoon) to the water once. But it is easy to over feed a house plant, because there is nowhere for the stuff to go. It stays in the pot. And Peace Lily is not in the rose family, so I don’t know that it would help.
I rescued a Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) at work. Someone threw it out because it wilted. I pulled it out of the trash and was able to get it to bloom.
I should tell you that Peace Lilies don’t like a lot of light, so taking it from a dark room to direct sunlight might kill it. I would take it out of the sunlight. In nature it grows under the shade of trees, that’s why it makes a good house plant.
Let me tell you how I revived the plant at work. I put it in the break room, which had no windows but bright florescent lights in the ceiling. I put it directly under a light. You might try placing your plant very near a light that shines in a room, or in front of a north window, or in a window with filtered light.
The plant at work was big, it was in a 12″ pot. But a lot of the leaves had died off. I fed it water from a drinking cup. So it got 4 ounces (1/4 cup) of water every day, that’s all, no more no less. I poured the water into a different part of the pot each time. It only got watered 5 days a week. Peace plants don’t like to get soggy, but they don’t want to dry out either. I went on vacation for a week 4 times a year. Before I went on vacation I placed the plant in the Janitors Closet sink and doused it with water till it was running out, then let it drain. At the end of my shift, I put it back to it’s place. It didn’t get any more water for a week. When I came back, I gave it four 4 oz cups of water the first day, then went back to 4oz a day 5 times a week.
With this light and watering schedule, the plant bushed out and within a year, a scraggily plant I rescued from the trash, was producing flowers.
Keep the plant away form direct sunlight.
But if it’s in a dark room, place the plant near a light that is on for 16 hours, and off for 8. (I turned the break room light off during my shift, the night shift, to give the plant a rest.)
Water lightly, but every day. Once every 4 months (or when you go on vacation) place it in the bathtub and turn the shower on to soak it; this will wash the leaves too. Let it drain all day. Don’t water again for 7 or more days to allow it to dry out completely. Then give it a little extra water and go back to daily water of a little bit.
The plant does produce flowers but it isn’t a “hungry” plant, so a little Miracle Grow or other plant food in the water every 6 months should be enough. Don’t forget to plant in in a bigger pot once the roots get over grown, but not before.
Reply:Epsom Salts is magnesium and all plants need some. You seem to be giving a huge amount of credit to Epsom Salts. I know for a fact the taking your poor Lilly out in the sun didn’t do it any favours. Imagine; it was indoors and suddenly it’s out in the sun! Wow! It is a wonder it didn’t just turn up its toes and die. Take some advice. If your plant is looking droopy move it into a situation that gets filtered light but not straight out into the sunshine that it hasn’t been accustomed to. I would wait a week for the leaves to stand up again and then…make up a small quantity of Epsom Salts something in the range of half a breakfast cup of ES to a ten litre bucket of water. It won’t come back fast but with some TLC you should be able to save it. Good luck. And remember NO MORE DIRECT SUNLIGHT!!!
Reply:peace lily like to dry out in between watering..A little morning sun will be ok for it.. a trick that i do is It sound funny but work they like coffee after you are done with your morning coffee what ever left use it to water your plant not every day once a week and not the grounds..
Are Epsom Salts Really Good For Plants?
Of all of the old wives’ tales swirling around the gardensphere, the magical ability of Epsom salts to goose your plants into a Nirvana of health and vigor ranks as #1. Plant not blooming? Give it Epsom salts. Plant not growing? Epsom salts. Plant singing off-key? Epsom salts.
The legendary benefits of Epsom salts aren’t restricted to just plants. People cash in too. Fans of Epsom salts claim they speed the healing of wounds, soothe sore muscles, help you sleep, soften your skin, and most importantly, cure constipation. (Eating Mexican food from a street vendor in Guadalajara has the same result, of course.)
Named for the town of Epsom, England where they were discovered in a spring in the 17th century, Epsom salts are a chemical compound called hydrated magnesium sulfate. Magnesium sulfate supplies two essential plant nutrients — magnesium and sulfur. So it stands to reason that supplied in the right amounts, they’d be good for plants.
People commonly use Epsom salts to feed plants that crave magnesium, including tomatoes, peppers, and rose bushes. They claim that Epsom salts mixed with water and poured around the bases of plants or sprayed directly on the foliage result in more and bigger flowers and fruit.
The thing is, unless you do a soil test, you’ll never know if your soil lacks magnesium and sulfur. Dolomitic lime contains magnesium, so if you’ve been liming your soil, chances are it has plenty already. Plus, magnesium and sulfur are only two of the many vital nutrients plants need. They also require nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, iron, calcium, manganese, zinc, and other micronutrients. You don’t get those from Epsom salts.
So Grumpy’s advice is use Epsom salts from time to time if you think your plants could use a kick in the pants, but don’t rely on them solely. Also use an organic, slow-release, complete fertilizer, such as Espoma Garden-tone 3-4-4 according to label directions. And build good soil that stores nutrients by adding to it lots of organic matter like composted cow manure and chopped leaves.
What’s the correct dose of Epsom salts to apply? For foliar feeding, it’s 1 tablespoon per gallon of water. For soil drenching, add 1/2-cup per gallon of water.
One final thought — you’ll note from the Dr. Teal products shown above that Epsom salts can rejuvenate tired plants, reduce stress, and, most significantly, increase sensuality. So if your tomato plants long for more frequent and more satisfying pollinations, Epsom salts could be manna from heaven.