My peace lily has a name. It’s Marilyn, after my late grandmother. Someone sent the plant to decorate the altar at her funeral, and I took it home after the service. That was in 2012. Since then, Marilyn has moved with me from Chinatown to the East Village to the apartment we currently share in Bushwick. It has not only survived several other houseplants (including a rubber tree, a bird of paradise, and a majesty palm) but thrived — no thanks to its often absent-minded owner.
The reason Marilyn has outlasted many of the other plants I’ve bought is that it’s among the hardiest green things I’ve ever encountered. I keep it on a stool near a southeastern-facing window, where it can get plenty of the direct sunlight it needs. And beyond that, I give it some tap water when it looks particularly thirsty. That usually happens about once a week, though it can be more frequent during warmer months (it always tells me when it’s parched, because its leaves get droopy and lifeless). That is the extent to which I’ve tended to Marilyn all these years, and every so often it continues to sprout new white flowers and lush green leaves. The flowers, by the way, are another reason to consider a peace lily. They don’t smell as strongly as other lilies, but their subtle fragrance is more than that of other houseplants. And according to my local vet, unlike other lilies, this plant’s flowers are not toxic to our cat, making it pet safe to boot.
My colleague David had great success with a fiddle-leaf fig he bought from Costa Farms about a year and a half ago (“It was like one foot when I got it; now it’s its like five feet tall,” he told me), so it’s a safe bet that its peace lilies are equally reliable. This one also comes in a fancier planter than the black plastic grower’s pot you usually get them in. I can’t tell if the pot has holes in the bottom; if it doesn’t, you will want to poke some small ones with a screwdriver or other tool so the excess water can run out and not drown the plant. You’ll be getting it at three feet tall, bigger than even Marilyn has grown in the seven years we’ve spent together. Which is another nice thing about these plants — unlike kids or pets, they don’t seem to grow up too fast.
More plants we like on sale for Prime Day
This bird of paradise also comes in a nice pot, and will add a tropical touch to any room.
For a smaller space, we suggest trying your luck with this cute Chinese money plant, which also comes with a nifty planter and stand. And don’t forget to check out our list of the best Prime Day furniture and home décor deals for more nice-looking stuff.
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