• By: OLM Staff

Peace Lily: Détente 2.Oh?

I was recently asked for an update on my piece called Peace Lily Détente which appeared back in April. The question went like this: “Hey John, how are those little darlings doing?”  (Read the post here).

My lilies are thriving but I suspect they may be of a miniature variety? The green is stunning and they have become bushier since that last report. We remain still a little at odds over the whole watering thing however – they need water and I provide it… My understanding from a smattering of research is that they do not like too much water. That’s like walking – one foot in front of the other, easy right?

We have passed our innocence stage in our relationship and have moved on into a more than mere mature plant stage. Although they sit where they can take advantage of a full picture window’s worth of daily sunshine, they are still making me sweat. Maybe it’s the time in the season where there is a resting period in growth? I separated some because they appeared to be crowding their pots, not misbehaving in class. Maybe I got too close? This has resulted in a set of baby greens looking like the plant version of those fighting fish they used to sell at stalls in fairs in little individual fish bowls.

I think they have a mocking sense of humor. Everything I can dig up, literally and figuratively, says they are an easy plant to maintain; great for the novice. Novice what exactly I wonder? I have bought some other ‘tropicals’ since, on a tease maybe but there they are, and they are beautiful.

There was a fourth, a seemingly tragic misadventure. A plant called an aphelandra (zebra plant – I hardly knew her by name) which upon arriving at my apartment seemed to immediately go into shock, capitulate and succumb to an untimely end. We barely got to know each other let alone consider moving in together or just ‘be friends’. This all has me wondering if the whole prospect of buying tropical plants for a northern North American household is a little exotically over-reaching?

Although mostly holding their own, as others struggle and gasp, the lilies are challenging me. I accept their leafy gauntlets, water can and nutrient packets in hand. These little quietly rambunctious triffids will not wear me down. I approach them at times whistling the Hinterland Who’s Who theme just for sarcastic levity; don’t seem to be getting many laughs though?

Alas, as there have been others, maybe it is the feelings of the ‘little darlings’ that I have hurt? I confess that I have strayed and looked at other plants. Somewhere I suspect my flora fauna exploits are being followed and recorded by some plant version of the SPCA and soon a midnight door knock will signal a suggested end to my adventures? Until then onwards, blissfully content in my in-home urban tropical gardening. I imagine myself a Walter Mitty of the plant set, a conscientious miniature botanical gardens director; a Butchart-lite or micro-Experimental Farm guy?

I’ll keep you posted.