How do you encourage the peace lily to bloom? The peace lily plant requires the following conditions to bloom:
- Temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees
- 50-percent humidity or higher
- Bright, indirect light or partial shade
- Watering at least once a week
- Moist but well-draining soil
- Water-soluble fertilizer with an equal balance of nutrients
If you have yet more questions about peace lily blooming, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, I’ll talk about when this lovely houseplant should bloom. I’ll also elaborate further on the care tips above as well as discuss what life with the peace lily is like post-bloom.
When Should the Peace Lily Bloom?
The peace lily or Spathiphyllum includes nearly 50 flowering plant species. Many people assume that the white petal the peace lily is beloved for is a flower, but it’s technically a spathe. If you’re not familiar, a spathe or bract is a specialized type of leaf.
Even still, the peace lily is beautiful when in full bloom. If you just brought your peace lily plant home, when can you expect it to start flowering?
Like many houseplant species, after the chill of winter is safely past, the peace lily will begin blooming. From the spring into the summer, you can drink in the elegance of the white spathe as well as its spadix, or the spiky yellow inflorescence that’s a trademark of any peace lily.
How do you know if your peace lily is especially happy? It won’t only bloom in the summer, but then again in the fall as well!
Even still, if your peace lily blooms but once a year, you should consider that an accomplishment. Although many an indoor gardener can get their peace lily to grow bountiful leaves, encouraging the blooming of its spathe is typically more difficult.
Tips to Get Your Peace Lily to Bloom
Why do so many indoor gardeners have trouble with the peace lily? It can be a persnickety houseplant species for certain, but getting it to bloom doesn’t have to be rocket science.
Create a Room Temperature Environment
The Spathiphyllum plants hail from Southeast Asia and the tropical Americas. Thus, if the temperatures are on the colder side, your peace lily will more likely be barren and you could possibly stress it out through cold shock as well.
Always keep your peace lily indoors in colder seasons like autumn and winter. When inside, monitor your thermostat so it’s between 68 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperatures can drop to 58 degrees at night, but no lower than that.
Crank Up the Humidity
Besides being hot, the peace lily’s native environment is humid as well. Yes, there’s a difference. The temperature outside is simply a measure of how hot or cold it is whereas the humidity is how much moisture is in the air.
To truly thrive, Peace lilies require more than 50 percent humidity. Most homes and offices have a relative humidity between 30 and 50 percent, so this won’t be a sufficient environment for the peace lily unless you make some changes.
How do you induce humidity for your Peace Lily?
When it comes to creating humidity for your peace lily, a humidifier is a workable solution if you’re growing your peace lily in a corner of your home or office. That area can be significantly warmer without the whole house needing to be so humid and becoming sticky.
Another way to induce humidity around your peace lily would be to add a tray or plate filled with water and small rocks or pebbles either near or beneath the pot your peace lily is growing in.
If you go the pebble tray route, just be sure to add water to the pebble tray anytime you see that the water has evaporated. I still use multiple pebble trays filled with water beneath a few of my tropical plants that are too far from my humidifier to be reached by the moisture the humidifier is misting into the air and they’re a great solution.
If pebble trays aren’t creating enough humidity for your peace lily or peace lilies you’re growing then I’d definitely suggest using a humidifier. Here’s an Amazon link to the exact humidifier I use. It’s done a wonderful job producing enough humidity for multiple humidity loving, tropical plants that I grow in a cluster to maximize the effect of the humidifier.
Provide Bright Indirect Light and Some Shade
As I recently discussed earlier this week in the ZZ Plant Leggy & Leaning article, light is a crucial ingredient for the photosynthesis recipe. You might assume then that plenty of direct sun will get your peace lily blooming.
If anything, all you’ll do is scorch the Peace Lily’s leaves with that kind of sun exposure. The leaves may also turn yellow, but you’ll get no flowers for your efforts.
The best kind of lighting for the peace lily is bright indirect light, like that which comes through a curtain. What if you can only place the peace lily in a room where the window is on the other side? That should should actually work fine.
The peace lily doesn’t mind some shade every now and again, especially in the summertime when even indirect sun can be too harsh for it’s needs. I would recommend checking the color of its leaves to determine if putting the plant in the shade is a good idea.
How many hours of light does the peace lily need?
Far, far more than most house plant species, up to 18 hours a day. If the Spathiphyllum only gets 16 hours instead of 18, that’s okay too, but no fewer than that. Just remember to make sure all that light is either coming from across the room or being diffused by going through curtains before landing on the peace lily plant itself.
Obviously, the sun is not out for nearly that long. Grow lights or other artificial light sources will have to fill in the gaps, ideally fluorescents.
Wondering how to position grow lights when it comes to peace lilies? Do your best to position the fluorescent lights so they’re six to 12 inches over your peace lily. If you’re forgetful about turning the lights on (or off!), use a timer.
I had to learn the hard way that I needed a timer for many of the plants I grow that share the same light needs. Timers are inexpensive and relatively easy to set up. Here’s an Amazon link to the timers I use with my humidifier and grow lights for my Peace lilies.
Water at Least Weekly
A well-watered plant is a happy one! How often the peace lily needs to be watered will depend on the time of year, but anywhere from once a week or two or three times weekly.
Rather than have a set schedule for watering your Spathiphyllum, I would recommend doing the soil test with your fingertip. Plunk your finger into the soil at least an inch deep and feel how moist it is.
If the soil has a good amount of moisture, then hold off on watering until the soil dries out further. Never let the peace lily’s soil get bone dry though.
Your peace lily will indicate to you when it’s been overwatered or underwatered.
To know if your peace lily is under watered or, needs water:
- Its leaves and stems will droop if it’s not getting enough water.
To know if your peace lily has been over watered or watered too much:
- The leaves can also droop in an overwatered peace lily, but it’ll be accompanied by leaves that are brownish or yellow.
I should stress that over watering a peace lily, or any houseplant for that matter, is one of the worst things you can do, as it drowns the roots, killing them and then eventually the entire plant. Repeatedly overwatering your peace lily can lead to a condition widely referred to as “root rot“.
Keep Soil Moist but Draining
There’s that fine line between underwatering and overwatering, yet indoor gardeners growing peace lilies tend to lean more towards overwatering. Why is that? Well, the peace lily does not like dry soil one iota. This doesn’t mean you should soak the plant with water though, as standing water can cause root rot as well.
Whether you’re growing your peace lily in a container or a pot, its vessel needs drainage holes throughout. These holes should be big enough that water can easily pass through. Every few weeks, check for obstructions around the drainage holes and clear them away.
You might want to consider putting a saucer under the peace lily’s pot so the water has a place to drain besides your floor.
Use Water-Soluble Fertilizer
My last tip for getting your peace lily to bloom is to fertilize it, but do make sure you’re using the right kind of fertilizer at the proper frequency. Store-bought fertilizer won’t offend the peace lily, but it needs to be a water-soluble formula. Equally as important is the ratio of nutrients within the fertilizer.
In my post about leggy ZZ plants, I talked about how that seemingly unkillable plant species must be fed fertilizer with a 20-20-20 ratio. That’s equal amounts of the nutrients phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen. The peace lily also needs that same nutrient ratio.
Don’t just dump the fertilizer into your peace lily’s pot straight up. Dilute the stuff with water so it’s at least a quarter less strong. Some indoor gardeners even reduce the water-soluble fertilizer to half-strength. You might want even want to do that to start if your peace lily seems finicky.
The peace lily doesn’t need fertilizer all year, only to prep it for the growing season. After you fertilize it in the spring, repeat that about six weeks later throughout the summer. If your peace lily continues blooming into the fall, then you can give it one more round of autumn fertilizer.
My Peace Lily Didn’t Bloom – Why Not?
You followed the above six tips to the best of your ability, yet still, your peace lily shows no signs of blooming. Why not? By tweaking your care routine a bit more, you can further improve the plant’s conditions so the peace lily will hopefully soon be in a blooming mood.
Here are the mistakes you want to rectify.
You Used Tap Water
When you water your peace lily, are you using plain ol’ water from the tap or filtered water? If it’s water from the tap A.K.A. “tap water”, then that could be your problem.
I discussed the problem with using tap water when feeding certain temperamental houseplants recently in a post titled Lucky Bamboo Plant Turning Yellow from Top to Bottom? Here’s Why recently, so I won’t go into a lot of detail here, but regular tap water contains chemicals, especially fluoride and chlorine. Both those chemicals should be familiar to you. Fluoride is in toothpaste while chlorine is what people commonly use to clean their swimming pool.
Houseplants like the peace lily can do well with small quantities of chlorine, as the chemical helps plants photosynthesize. Too much chlorine can cause sensitivity in the peace lily, preventing it from blooming. That’s also true of fluoride.
Besides filtered water, distilled water is also recommended for the peace lily since it’s free of chemicals.
It’s Too Dark
Of all the reasons a peace lily grows leaves instead of flowers, the chief one is usually lighting or lack thereof. Some indoor gardeners, especially new ones, tend to assume that since the peace lily can live in a bit of shade that it’ll be fine living permanently in low-light conditions.
That’s may be true of the ZZ plant, the weeping fig, the dumb cane, and a whole host of other houseplants, but not the peace lily. Without any source of light, be that natural or artificial, the poor peace lily won’t bloom at all.
The Peace Lily Is Too Young
When you buy your peace lily, if possible, I recommend asking some questions about the plant. You’d like to have at least a ballpark estimate of its age, as knowing that key bit of info can save you a lot of headaches later.
How Old do Peace Lilies Need to Be to Bloom?
Peace lilies won’t bloom until they’re at least a year old. If you have a very young peace lily plant, then you can do everything I described in the last section and you won’t see any flowers or “spadix”. The peace lily is just too young, and it still needs more time to mature. Basically, it just isn’t time for your peace lily to bloom yet.
Why Did My Peace Lily Flower Become Green After Blooming?
This is all a natural part of the peace lily’s blooming process. Once the spadix blooms, you get about a month or two to enjoy it. Then the spadix will become droopy and go from white to green.
This simply means the peace lily is done blooming for now.
Will your peace lily bloom again? It could, and by taking good care of it and repeating the above steps, you increase your chances of seeing its spadix in all its glory again.
Please share this article with anyone who loves the beautiful peace lily plant and those who are having trouble with getting their peace lily to bloom…. I wish you all the best of luck with your peace lilies!