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Plants that don't follow the rules

lydiaannlydiaann Posts: 298
Have people found that, by sheer happenstance, plants suddenly don't do 'what it says on the packet'?  Firstly, peace lilies.  Every year when we go on our 2 week break, I bring all the houseplants into the shower, after first placing a capillary mat in the tray.  I water them well, including the matting, then close the shower door.  There is plenty of light coming in.  This system always works.  One year, I left one peace lily in the dining room, a particularly good specimen too.  We came back to find it yellow, drooping all over the place and - naturally - as dry as a desert.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained.  Chopped all the leaves off, sat it in a bucket for an hour and then put it back in its container.  Result?  A few weeks later, strong and healthy it produced not only a fine set of leaves but 4 flowers as well.  I've tried that 'abuse system' with my non-flowering ones, leaving them to their fate for a couple of weeks and it works every time.  Not the way we're supposed to treat them but it works!

Next, hellebores.  I've been rejigging the garden.  I took out a skimmia, trimmed back a load of other ground cover plants, including an old hellebore that was in the garden when we arrived 8 years ago, leaving just a small 'crown' to see what would happen.  Here we are in the middle of July and it's grown beautifully and is now glowing with pink-tinged flowers all over it.  I can only hope that it does so again this winter.

I've had delphiniums and a lupin flowering at Christmas once as well.  Is it just me?


  • madpenguinmadpenguin Posts: 2,534
    I have hard pruned things at the 'wrong' time of the year for various reasons and they all come back better than before!

    “Every day is ordinary, until it isn't.” - Bernard Cornwell-Death of Kings
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,860
    edited July 2019
    Sometimes putting a plant under stress will encourage it to flower ... after all, if it ‘thinks’ it’s going to die, flowering and seeding is the way to reproduce itself and prolong its gene pool ... not to be recommended as a long term strategy tho 😆 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • lydiaannlydiaann Posts: 298
    Maybe I should try cutting back some of my other stuff that seems stubborn in doing what it's supposed to do when it's supposed to do!  Maybe in November, when everything just goes to sleep?:|
  • wild edgeswild edges Posts: 10,441
    I'm not sure my peace lilies gets watered more than twice a month at the best of times. They seem happy enough though. Last year the late spring and dry summer confused loads of plants and we got an extra flowering season out of a few oddities.
    If you can keep your head, while those around you are losing theirs, you may not have grasped the seriousness of the situation.
  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 5,685
    I've got one of those zebra-leaved bromeliad that's supposed to send up a red flower spike and then promptly die. I've found that death can be averted if you cut off the flower spike in time (it looks pretty vulgar anyway).

    "What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbour". 
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