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"Possibility and promise greet me each day as I walk out into my garden. My vigor is renewed when I breathe in the earthiness and feel the dirt between my fingers. My garden is a peaceful spot to refresh my soul." Meems

Welcome to my Central Florida Garden Blog where we garden combining Florida natives, Florida-Friendly plants, and tropicals.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

When Ordinary House Plants Move Outside

Spathiphyllum floribundum or better known as peace lily is sold everywhere as the perfect house or office plant. There's something about the way it purifies the air or some such.

When I think about how many of the plants at Hoe & Shovel actually started out indoors it's kind of comical really. When once they tire of air conditioning and poor watering/lighting habits we take a little trip outside to see where they might be happier and live a longer life. This scenario has been the case with schefflera, ficus, bromeliads, palms, ferns, anthurium, and spathiphyllum.

Such is the story of the Spathiphyllum pictured above that cheerily greets visitors up the walkway to my front door. Back in the early part of spring I thinned out this grouping to transplant several of the rhizomes in the very back garden. Those are also blooming surprisingly but not so much foliage yet as I cut it all off when I moved them. By this time next year they should be nice and full.

I kid you not --- this bloom (above) measures 14" long and 7" wide. Reminds me of something out of the amazon. This grouping of spathiphyllum is closer to the front door hugging the wall to the left of the walkway. Its stands at 4 feet tall... which means the blooms and some of the equally ginormous leaves can be seen from inside the living room window. I like that.

A view of the same bloom straight on.
So when you get tired of the care of an indoor plant or in this case the plants get tired of being inside... give them new life ... outside. Not only will they be happier but these plantings are much easier to care for in their natural habitat rather than in messy situations indoors.


  1. This is truly the largest, most beautiful peace lily I have ever seen!

  2. Your gardening world is unimaginably different from my temperate zone. Wow and wow again. Fabulous blooming plants, Meems, really.

    Has your sister arrived? Or is that later?

  3. Meems it sounds like your peace lily has been fertilized by aliens. It is huge. I have several indoor plants that spend the summer outside. They become so lush, beautiful and healthy during the long summer. Then I bring them in forwinter. They slowly dwindle to mere shadows of themselves before they get moved out again the next srping.

  4. Amy: Thanks. I think it might be the largest one I've ever seen.Every year they seem to get a little larger but even I was surprised by the 'largeness' this year.

    gail: It is pretty amazing how different my gardening world is from even the counties north of us -- there are so many zones in Florida due to the water surrounding us on three sides. My sister comes next week for a fairly short visit but we will have a garden party while she's here.

    Lisa: I bet your plants can't wait for that summer time feeling to get outside and enjoy your mild weather.It is probably perfect for all things growing.

  5. I don't generally take my houseplants outside for the summer, because the spiders and bugs move in to the pots, and then I've got to "de-louse" them in the fall.

    But this year, I'm going to haul a all of my clivias outside for the summer and then repot them in the fall before I bring them inside again. I'll probably end up with MORE clivia by doing this!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  6. Amazing Meems! How fortunate you are to live in a climate where plants like peace lilies and caladiums go into the ground and survive winter. I've never seen such large peace lilies. Yours are truly awesome.

  7. Carol: Repotting it is a great idea for any tired plant. In your case prior to moving from outside to inside would also help to eliminate the buggies we wouldn't want to transfer.

    Linda: The peace lilies got a little nipped around the edges this winter but in the spring I just cut those leaves out and they never miss them. I'm pretty sure if I had to dig up caladiums or any bulb for that matter I might be too lazy to work with them. The ground below the surface never gets very cold here thank goodness.

  8. What an amazing size your peace lily is. Would they survive a frost....I expect not. I have several and one of them is looking worse for wear. I am not sure if I would have the right place for them.

  9. Meems,
    Do these need to be in the shade?? I have some in my front garden that are really puny and was thinking of moving them. They get pretty much sun where they are. What do you think?

  10. Cheryl: I suspect the peace lily would not take kindly to a frost. We don't have to think about that too much here because of the canopy of tree cover keeping whatever slight chance of frost might come from affecting plant life.You might try placing yours under tree cover just to see if it would fare okay... it would do well in the summer maybe... not sure what zone you're in.

    P- They especially like filtered sunlight. I think yours are okay where they are as long as they don't get direct sun. Keep the spent leaves & bloooms clipped out and that will make them fuller... not to mention looking better. They love a good dousing of liquid fertilizer every few weeks. Mine don't get it often but when they do - they perform even better.
    I just realized I forgot to call you... tomorrow... forgive me.

  11. Meems-yes, "houseplants" do look amazing when they are in their native clime-outdoors in the tropics.

  12. Your Peace Lilies make mine look pathetic!! I dont think they would survive the winter here outside but my indoor plants often have a short holiday in the big wide outside world

  13. those are truly beautiful! i have a caulily(sp) that was given to me at easter i think i should give it a chance in my garden but i have no idea where?

  14. nicole: In our climates I'm sure they are happier where they were meant to be... at least it has been the case here at Hoe & Shovel. I was just thinking I need to see if you can I.D. a plant for me??? I'll try to post it next week sometime. It is a tropical looking pretty. Figured if anyone knows --it would be you!

    helen:Hi. I'm trying to get this straight-- are you also Patient Gardener? Sometimes without a link back I can get confused.

    The peace lily definitely likes a mild climate but only requires filtered light... I guess that's why they are touted for their performance indoors.

    marmee: Here are some facts I looked up about the calla lily.
    Zones: 8 - 11
    Height: 1 1/2' to 4'
    Rate of Growth: Fast
    Salt Tolerance: Low
    Soil Requirements: Rich, moist, but well-drained soil
    Water Requirements: Requires regular watering
    Nutritional Requirements: Balanced liquid fertilizer monthly
    Light Requirements: Full sun to partial shade

    You can google it yourself for more information particular to your area/zone.

    I have often thought about adding some to my garden... lots of folks say they should be in every Florida garden. Although I can't recall seeing them actually growing anywhere around here.

  15. I wouldn't mind seeing that peace lily in my border, Meems -it's beautiful! It's too cold for them to stay outside here, but it's warm enough for other plants that are houseplants back in Illinois. It was startling to see Cast Iron/Aspidistra growing outside as a ground cover next to houses.

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  16. I know what you're saying, Meems, because there are some indoor plants here that go crazy when you plant them outside, but somehow I don't think Peace Lily would do here what it's done there! WOW!

  17. Annie: I bet the peace lily would do well for you in spring/summer/fall--they would look great paired with your tropical canna! Maybe too much trouble to keep through winter though.sigh. I'm pretty sure the reason they do so well here is the fact they can keep growing through the winter.

    Kylee: I guess every living thing does better in its natural habitat but somehow tried to adapt when those conditions are altered. Amazing how living things do their best to survive.


Have a blessed day,

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