Peace Lilies have nice leaves, but their flowers are what make people sit up and take notice. So it’s always disappointing when you get one that refuses to bloom. How can you get your Peace Lily to flower? You give it the best possible environmental conditions and get out of the way. We’ll tell you how.
The best way to encourage a Peace Lily to flower is to provide a good amount of bright, indirect sunlight. It’s also crucial to water thoroughly and to apply weak but regular doses of fertilizer during the growing season. Try to keep the temperature above 65 degrees and the humidity above 50%.
Remember to use moderation when you’re trying to get your Peace Lily to bloom. Ingredients like sun, water, and fertilizer are necessary, but too much of a good thing can hurt your plant. Don’t try to force your Spathiphyllum to bloom. Just give it an environment where it can do what comes naturally. Here are the 8 things you can do to help your Peace Lily make more blooms.
This one isn’t very exciting, but sometimes it’s necessary. Peace Lilies don’t naturally flower until they reach a certain level of maturity. With ideal growing conditions, they can get to that point in about a year. However, conditions aren’t always ideal in non-tropical, non-greenhouse indoor spaces. Sometimes it can take a Spathiphyllum houseplant a few years to mature.
And just because you see a plant blooming in the store doesn’t necessarily mean it’s all grown up. Plant retailers often use a hormone spray called gibberellic acid to push Peace Lilies to flower before they’re ready.
This isn’t necessarily bad for the plant, but it can give you the wrong idea about its floral capabilities. Once those first blooms die off, the plant may need another year or two of growth to make more. If your Peace Lily is small enough to fit in a six-inch pot, it’s probably too young to flower.
#2: Move it Somewhere Brighter
One of the most common misconceptions about Peace Lilies is that they hardly need any sun to grow. Spathiphyllum is always popping up on lists of the best low-light plants. That’s fine if you just want a compact foliage plant. If you want flowers, though, you’ll have to give your Peace Lily some sun.
Is it in a shadowy corner of your office? Move it a few feet closer to the window. Is it on a north-facing sill that’s overshadowed by the building next door? Move it to the east-facing window in the next room over. Look for a place that gets 6-8 hours of fairly bright light per day during the growing season.
That said, don’t leave your Peace Lily in direct sunlight for more than 2 hours per day. If the spot you’re looking at gets too many harsh rays – this is common with windows facing south or west – you can soften the light by hanging some thin curtains. Avoid placing your plant within 5 feet of an unfiltered southern exposure.
You can check the light quality by looking at the shadow your hand casts when you hold it up. Direct light makes dark shadows with sharp edges; indirect light gives them some fuzzy edges. If the shadows are extremely faint or have no clear shape, the light is probably too dim for your Peace Lily to flower.
#3: Don’t Let it Dry Out
Peace Lilies tend to droop dramatically when their roots run out of moisture. Some articles put a positive spin on this, saying it makes it easy to tell when a Spathiphyllum needs water.
The problem is that your Peace Lily needs water before it starts to slouch. If you let it dry out down to the roots, you’re damaging it. That stress will make it much harder for your plant to flower.
You should test the soil with your finger every 2-4 days. When the topmost inch of the potting mix is dry and crumbly, it’s time to water your plant. Give it a good thorough drink, too. Make sure the entire mass of soil gets wet enough that the drainage holes underneath are dripping. Other than sunlight, water is the most important ingredient in getting a Peace LIly to flower.
#4: Keep it Warm
This one often isn’t a challenge for people in modern homes. Peace Lilies like roughly the same thermostat settings as humans. However, if you want to extend your plant’s window for flowering, warmth will help. Temperatures between 65 and 68 degrees are best for bloom formation, especially at night.
As always, you’ll need to take a balanced approach. A Spathiphyllum doesn’t like to be much hotter than 85-90 degrees. Think shady rainforest floor temperatures, not tropical sunshine temperatures.
Even if the room’s average temperature is about right, you should watch out for localized hot or cold spots. A Peace Lily too close to a heating vent or an AC unit will be unlikely to flower.
#5: Provide Some Humidity
Humidity isn’t usually a major problem for Peace Lilies. However, they’re adapted for the jungle, and really dry air can stress them enough to prevent flowering. If your Peace Lily won’t bloom, even with lots of light, water, and warmth, check the humidity.
If it’s below 50%, try to get the air a little moister. One easy way to do this is by placing your Peace Lily near lots of other plants. The water vapor they exhale can create a tiny tropical – or tropical-ish – zone in one corner of your house. A pebble tray, like the one we describe in this article, may also help.
When those options aren’t doing the trick, you can get a humidifier. We’ve listed a few of our favorites here.
#6: Give Your Peace Lily Some Fertilizer
Let’s be very clear about what we’re not saying here. Houseplant fertilizer is not a way to push your Peace Lily to flower when it’s not ready. And more fertilizer does not mean more and bigger blooms.
All fertilizer does is keep your Peace Lily from running low on the nutrients it needs to grow flowers. Potting soil doesn’t have a steady stream of decaying organic matter to refresh it with nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, etc. You need regular fertilizer inputs to keep it well-stocked.
A little fertilizer goes a long way with Peace Lilies. Use a well-balanced formula that you can dilute to a lower concentration. Give your plant a ¼ to ½-strength application every 4-6 weeks during the growing season. Stop fertilizing in mid-to-late fall. When the days are too short for your Peace Lily to grow, it uses fewer nutrients, increasing the risk of an unhealthy buildup.
If the leaves wilt and turn brown at the tips shortly after you fertilize, you’ve probably used too much. Rinse the minerals out of the pot by slowly letting a large volume of water drain through the soil.
Want to learn more about fertilizer and compost for your Peace Lilies? Check out these two articles: The Best Fertilizer to Use for Your Indoor Peace Lily and Compost and Peace Lilies: Tips for Naturally Fertilizing Your Plant.
#7: Remove Old Blooms
You don’t just want your Peace Lily to flower. You want it to keep on flowering, over and over again, as much as possible. Maintaining the conditions we’ve described above helps with that. But it’s also good to get rid of the flowers once they’re spent.
Peace Lily blooms usually last for at least four weeks, and sometimes remain healthy for up to two months. After that, they’ll start to brown up and sag. Even though they’re basically just dead husks at that point, your Spathiphyllum will still spend energy maintaining them. This delays the next crop of flowers.
Clip the blooms off as soon as they start to get brown and wrinkly. Sanitize your pruners first with some 10% bleach, rubbing alcohol, or hydrogen peroxide. Then snip off the flower and the stalk it’s attached to, as close to the base as you can.
#8: Split Up Your Plant
This advice is for the long-term Peace Lily owners. Spathiphyllum plants can sometimes lose their propensity to flower as they get old. Often this is because they produce so many offshoots – those new crowns of foliage that pop up from the soil next to the main plant. These “babies” can gobble up too many resources to let the older plant bloom.
To solve this issue, you can split off the younger plants and grow them separately. Simply uproot your Peace Lily, find the spot where the new crown diverges from the roots, and peel it away. You can usually do this by just pulling the two halves apart with your hands.
Plant each Peace Lily in a new pot with a well-aerated, soilless potting mix. For the next month or so, keep the humidity high and don’t expose the transplants to direct sunlight. Be extra-vigilant about overwatering until you see new leaves popping up.
Your original plant should start blooming again before long. And once the new ones mature for a year or two, they’ll produce flowers of their own.
A flowering Peace Lily is a happy Peace Lily. When your plant is in an environment that plays to its strengths, it should produce lots of gorgeous blooms. We hope our tips help you turn your Peace Lily into the beauty queen it was meant to be! To read more about Peace Lily flowers, check out this article here.