The One Kitchen Plant That Is Impossible to Kill

updated Jun 20, 2019
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My summer birthday always seems to fall on what feels like the hottest and muggiest week of the year. Last year, my roommates and I decided to host a not-so-small gathering of our closest friends in our New York City apartment, sans A/C, to celebrate.

Most of our guests came bearing various beverages to get the party started, but one of my buddies bucked the trend and brought me a potted peace lily instead. I took one look at the thoughtful plant offering in its cute concrete and metallic pot and couldn’t help but think, This one’s a goner!

You see, I’ve managed to singlehandedly kill every single plant that’s ever graced our apartment — succulents included — so why should this plant in particular stand a chance? Not to mention it came into my life during the throes of a muggy northeastern summer, with a dimly lit apartment as its new habitat — its chances were not looking so good.

Despite my strong doubts, I’m proud to announce that the two of us have almost completed a full trip around the sun together, and it’s safe to say that one of us is thriving more than the other: the peace lily.

She lives on our kitchen counter, which is severely lacking in natural light, but that doesn’t seem to be a problem because her outstretched leaves are usually bright green and strong. We can always tell when it’s time to water her because all of her limbs will go limp. Just hours after a few glugs of water, she’s back, proudly doing sun salutes (okay, more like fluorescent kitchen lighting salutes).

To solve the mystery about why this seems to be the only plant that I can’t kill (I’m not complaining!), I turned to Hilton Carter, aka The Plant Doctor, for his sage wisdom and expertise.

“A peace lily can be a great kitchen plant for those who are green to having greenery because of how low-maintenance they are and, in most cases, easy to care for,” says Hilton. This is definitely the case for me (who is green to having greenery!) because peace lilies don’t require daily watering (I would never remember!) and don’t do well in direct sunlight (of which my apartment kitchen has none of!). For all of these reasons, my peace lily is not going anywhere anytime soon.

While he was at it, though, Hilton also managed to diss my amateur taste in house plants: “For me, seeing a peace lily reminds me of being in a dull corporate office,” he confessed. Luckily, Hilton offered a helpful alternative suggestion! “If you want to add a little flare to your kitchen, get yourself a variegated peace lily.” 

For those non-plant people out there (like me), that means the leaves have a stunning green and white marbling. I’m going to take Hilton up on the tip and get my peace lily a trendier-looking sister to keep fighting the good fight with.

*A note for pet owners: Peace lilies are not safe to keep in reach of cats or dogs. This kind of plant can be toxic to them if ingested, according to the ASPCA.

Do you have any plants doing well in your kitchen? What are they?