Here’s Why Your Peace Lily Flowers Turn Black or Brown

Peace lily turning black or brown article on why and how to fix it

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Your beautiful peace lily flower was white yesterday, but today, it’s transformed to an unsightly black or brown. You thought you were doing everything right for your houseplant, but apparently not. What has caused your peace lily flower to turn such a worrying hue? Don’t fret, this happens to just about everyone at some point.

Why do peace lily flowers turn black or brown? If your peace lily flower is black or brown, it’s most likely one of these three reasons:

  • Over Stressed
  • Improper Care
  • Browned with Age

In this article, we will explain in much more detail what can cause this discoloration in your peace lily flower. We’ll even talk about the average peace lily flower lifespan and what you can do to possibly prolong yours. Keep reading, as you won’t want to miss it!

What Causes Peace Lily Flowers to Be Black or Brown?

Before we go any deeper into the discoloration of peace lily flowers, we just want to mention that this article is about the flower only, or the spadix. The leaves of a peace lily houseplant can become brown or yellow and possibly black as well, but not always for the same reasons. That’s not what we’re talking about here.

Okay, with that out of the way, let’s elaborate more on the reasons your peace lily’s spadix has become such an unflattering color.


A stressed-out houseplant is an unhappy houseplant, and peace lilies are no exception. Many things can cause your peace lily to become stressed. These include repotting it too often, not following watering provisions, poor soil quality, inadequate light, and nutrient deficiencies.

If you suspect your peace lily is under stress, you want to take a look at the leaves first. They could change shape, looking deformed or wilted. Their color can also morph, becoming brown or yellow and even black like we said before.

If the peace lily spadix matches the color of the leaves, then the plant is certainly stressed. In this case, overwatering is the most likely culprit. This is a mistake a lot of beginner indoor gardeners make, myself included, so don’t feel bad if you’ve done it as well!

Lack of Care

Some houseplants are quite hardy and can go days, even weeks without regular care from you. The peace lily is not one of them. They have a lot of growing requirements that you must carefully follow. Let’s go over these now:

  • Direct sunlight is no friend of the peace lily, but this indoor plant still needs plenty of light, especially dappled light. In nature dappled light is basically spotted light or sunlight that’s filtered through other trees, plants or leaves. Recreating this broken up light indoors with solid and transparent objects between the sun and your peace lily is exactly the kind of light peace lilies love. Try positioning your peace lily towards a window facing east. This gives them some sun but not too much.
  • Maintain household or office temperatures, setting them to 70 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. As you may recall from this blog, peace lilies grow in southeastern Asia and the Americas’ most tropical areas. Try not to let Indoor temperatures to drop below 60 degrees, as that’s too cold for the peace lily.
  • Besides temperature, peace lilies require humidity as well. You can use a humidifier, fill a tray with gravel and water (putting the pot on top of the tray), or mist the plant.
  • Avoid fertilizing too often. The spadix of the peace lily may be more likely to blossom in the warmer months, and fertilizer can help with that if you get on the right schedule. You should only fertilize on a six-week basis once winter is about over.
  • Peace lilies can grow in soil or in water, but either way, you don’t want to use tap water on them. Fluoride and other chemicals in tap water can trigger leaf browning, especially at the tips. Only feed the peace lily filtered water and try to keep that water room temperature if you can.
  • Speaking of watering the houseplant, if yours does grow in soil, then you need to water consistently but not too much. The soil test will let you know when you should. Typically, if the soil has dried out, it’s time for fresh water. Going too long without water can cause leaf browning or blackening, but so too can overwatering (this can also discolor the spadix).


You could do everything right for your peace lily and its spadix still turns a different color. Why is this? Well, the peace lily flower does not remain one consistent color over the houseplant’s lifespan.

When you first buy or grow your peace lily, it’s green and closed. Soon, the flower begins opening up, transforming into a beautiful white color as it does so. Then the spadix goes from white to green again.

What’s happening here is the seed is settling into place and pollination is occurring. The spadix may turn white once more or it may remain green before slowly becoming brown. This is all part of the peace lily lifecycle. By the time the spadix is brown, it’s well on its way to dying. It will begin to wither and then it may fall off.

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How Long Do Peace Lily Flowers Last?

Now that you understand more about the average lifecycle of the peace lily, you may wonder how long you get to enjoy that beautiful white flower. Well, it’s only about 10 days, with the spadix lasting about a month on average before dying completely. It’s possible for the spadix to stick around even longer, which we’ll talk about in the next section.

If your flower does die, that does not mean your entire peace lily is dead. The average peace lily lives between three and five years, so if you throw yours out after a month because the spadix has browned, that’d be a big mistake.

You shouldn’t keep a dead spadix on the houseplant, though. Use a pair of clean pruning shears for removal, especially because the stem texture can be tough after flower death. Don’t try to take the flower right off with your hand, as this can hurt the rest of the peace lily, not to mention yourself.

Cut at the base of your peace lily, slicing the stems there. If you notice leaf discoloration, such as browning, yellowing, or blackening, cut these leaves off, too. They’re not doing your houseplant any good.

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Can You Prolong the Life of Your Peace Lily Flowers?

A month with your pretty peace lily flowers seems way too short, especially when they’re only white for 10 days. Yes, it’s true that the spadix may grow back again, but some indoor gardeners have a hard enough time getting the flower to appear once, let alone twice or more.

Wouldn’t it be nice to enjoy your peace lily flower for longer than roughly 30 days? It sure would be, but is it possible? Maybe. By really sharpening your care schedule for your peace lily, the spadix may look healthier and more attractive for longer.

Now, there’s no way to prevent the spadix from dying entirely. It’s going to happen sooner or later. It may be two or three months instead of one month because you cared so excellently for your peace lily. All you’re doing is prolonging the inevitable, though.

What is gibberellic acid and what is its role in peace lily blooming?

When a nursery or plant store sells houseplants and flowers, they want them in the best shape possible to appeal to consumers. With peace lilies especially, this sometimes means applying gibberellic acid.

What is gibberellic acid? It’s a type of hormone for fungus and plants that has a strong reaction on peace lilies. Once added to the houseplant, the peace lily begins producing flowers at a rapid rate. It’s no wonder then that some people liken gibberellic acid to steroids for houseplants.

Now, don’t be mistaken. No matter how many blooms this jacked-up peace lily has, they all will die eventually.

Why won’t my peace lily flower at all?

As we mentioned before, some indoor gardeners have difficulty getting their peace lily to flower. Most of the time, the reason you’re not seeing any pretty blooms is because you’re not providing the right lighting for your houseplant. Peace lilies need dappled light. Direct sunlight can cause adverse effects, yes, but dim lighting and shade will slow down the development of the spadix.

This is also a time to really stick to the watering schedule you set. Never underwater, and especially don’t overwater the peace lily. Watch your indoor temperatures and humidity as well.

When should I repot my peace lily?

To prevent unnecessary stress, you don’t want to repot your peace lily before it really needs it. How will you know when that is? Many gardeners choose springtime for peace lily rehoming so the indoor plant is in the best position to grow. That doesn’t necessarily mean you should repot each spring, though.

As the winter ends, assess your peace lily. Is it too big for its pot? Do the roots have nowhere to go? Then you should repot in time for spring. On the other hand, if all seems well with your peace lily, consider leaving it in the same container for a while.

Fred Zimmer

I'm a lover of plants, animals, photography, & people, not necessarily in that order. Currently, I'm focused on photographing indoor plants & chachkies. I write & rewrite articles about creating an environment where indoor plants can thrive. I'm good at listening to music but bad at shopping to muzak.

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