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


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

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 color? 

Why do peace lily flowers turn black or brown? If your peace lily flower is black or brown, it could be that you’ve stressed it out or failed to care for the houseplant. Also, all peace lily flowers will become brown with age. 

In this article, I’ll explain in much more detail what can cause this discoloration in your peace lily flower. I’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 I go any deeper into the discoloration of peace lily flowers, I 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 and black as well, but not always for the same reasons. 

Okay, with that out of the way, I’ll elaborate more on the reasons your peace lily’s spadix has turned black or brown.  

Stress

A stressed-out houseplant is an unhappy houseplant, and peace lilies are no exception. Many factors 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.

If your peace lily is stressed the color of its leaves can also morph, becoming brown and even black as I said before. If the peace lily spadix matches the color of the leaves, then the plant is certainly stressed.

In this case, overwatering your plant is most often the reason. This is a mistake a lot of beginner indoor gardeners make, so don’t feel bad if you’ve done it too! 

Peace lilies (Spathiphyllum) leaves that have fallen off the plant because of overwatering

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.

The peace lily plant has 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. Try positioning your houseplant 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 one of my related peace lily posts, peace lilies grow in southeastern Asia and the Americas’ most tropical areas. Indoor temperatures should never drop lower than 60 degrees then, 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 your peace lily plant to increase humidity.  
  • Avoid fertilizing too often. The spadix of the peace lily may be more likely to blossom in the warmer months, and fertilizer as well as other amendments can help with blooming 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). 

Age 

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 entire 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 on its own if you don’t choose to prune the browned spadix before nature takes its course. 

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. The flowers that bloom on Peace lilies last for about 10 days, with the spadix lasting about a month on average before dying completely.

It is possible to prolong the life of the spadix, which I’ll talk about in the next section.

If the flower on your peace lily dies, that does not mean your entire peace lily plant is dead or dying. The average peace lily life span is between three and five years.

So if you throw your plant out after a month because the spadix has browned, that’d be a big mistake.

You shouldn’t keep a dead spadix on your peace lily for too long, 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 dead peace lily flower right off with your hand, as this can cause unnecessary stress on the plant

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 off, too.

Dead or dying plant leaves that are no longer able to bring nourishment to the plant should always be removed

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 admittedly it’s hard enough getting the peace lily to bloom 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?

Yes! By really sharpening your care schedule for your peace lily, the spadix can certainly look healthier and more attractive for longer. 

Now, there’s no way to prevent the spadix from eventually 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.

Personally, knowing that the peace lily flower “spadix” has such a short time in bloom adds to my appreciation for it while it’s in full bloom. 

Related Questions 

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. Because peace lilies are known to appear droopy sometimes, this sometimes means applying gibberellic acid. 

What is gibberellic acid? Gibberellic acid 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 manipulated peace lily has, they all will die eventually. 

My peace lily won’t flower at all! Why?

As I mentioned before, many indoor gardeners have difficulty getting their peace lily to bloom or flower. Most of the time, the reason you’re not seeing any blooms on your peace lily is because you’re not providing the right lighting for your plant.

Peace lilies love dappled light and often respond quickly to it by perking their leaves up and even growing faster at times.

when I place my indoor peace lily plants in filtered light that’s often broken up by other house plants or indoor trees, it seems to trigger something in them that elicits a visual response that is unquestionably happiness or satisfaction

  • Direct sunlight on peace lilies can cause adverse effects such as blackening browning and becoming wilted and dried out.
  • On the other end of the spectrum dim lighting and shade will slow down the development of the spadix.

Trying to encourage your peace lily to bloom 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?

Springtime is the ideal season for repotting a peace lily plant that needs to be repotted. Rehoming your peace lily in the Spring is setting your plant up for success because it’ll be 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 your peace lily too big for its pot? Do the roots have nowhere to go? Then you should repot in time for spring.

If all seems well with your peace lily, though, leave it until repotting it is necessary and not just because it suits your schedule or just because it’s Springtime. 


Share this post with someone else that loves indoor plants!

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.

Recent Posts