There are very few houseplants that possess the elegance of Peace Lilies. These plants boast swathes of glossy, dark green foliage paired with a minimalist spathe and spadix flower. They are arguably timeless but contemporary at the same time.
Whilst their leaves alone are impressive, a no-show in terms of blooming is a huge disappointment. In this article, I’ll share some reason for a Peace Lily not blooming and what you can do to remedy the problem.
Why Is My Peace Lily Not Blooming?
The truth is, Peace Lilies aren’t very high maintenance. But they do require some special attention and a little bit of know-how on the part of their keepers to reach their full potential.
In my experience, the key to successful flowering is avoiding stress. Stress is often caused by environmental conditions that don’t match their native tropical and subtropical climates. You also need to have the patience and knowledge to understand that these beauties typically don’t bloom until they’ve reached maturity.
Here is everything you need to know to avoid your Peace Lily not blooming and to set you on the right track for many more flowers in the future.
How To Get a Peace Lily Plant To Bloom
The main factor affecting a Peace Lily’s ability to bloom is the cultivar. This is because certain cultivars will bloom more often and more easily than others. ‘Little Angel’ is one such example. ‘Allison’ is another.
It’s worth researching a specific cultivar before you buy it, especially if you’re looking for a particularly prolific houseplant. Bear in mind that some varieties are bred for their foliage rather than their ability to produce flowers.
There are also several environmental factors to consider if you want to get the most from your plant:
- Lighting: The quantity and quality of light your Peace Lily receives will impact its capacity for flower production.
- Water: Excess moisture can place undue stress on your Peace Lily and even trigger serious health conditions like root rot.
- Humidity: Peace Lilies love high humidity that mimics their tropical native climates. Care must be taken to protect them from excessive dryness.
- Soil mix: The soil must be slightly acidic and have the right composition to encourage nutrient and moisture retention.
- Fertilizer: The wrong kind of fertilizer can stress your Peace Lily or redirect energy from blooming altogether.
Keep reading for my top tips on caring for your Peace Lily and how to provide it with the right environment for show-stopping flowers.
Peace Lily Lifespan
In nature, these plants live for an average of 3 to 5 years. When it comes to growing them as houseplants, however, I know of several Peace Lilies that are currently over 10 to 15 years old!
Peace Lilies only bloom when they are mature. This usually takes 1 to 1.5 years from the time of planting.
Note that the rate at which a plant reaches maturity is largely dictated by its original propagation method. Those which are propagated by seed tend to take several years longer to mature than those grown from root division.
When Do Peace Lilies Flower?
Once they are mature, they will generally bloom twice a year. Most plants bloom once in the spring and again in the fall, though indoor Peace Lilies may bloom at slightly different times. Individual flowers last for 1 to 2 months on average.
In warm and temperature climates — i.e., USDA zone 8 to 11 — it’s often possible to force these flowers to bloom throughout the year.
Flowering in Winter
Certain cultivars will bloom in winter when provided with the optimal growing conditions. These include:
- Mild temperatures of 60 to 65° Fahrenheit (15.6 to 18.3° Celsius)
- Proper watering practices (neither over- nor underwatering)
- Well-draining soil
- Adequate humidity levels (50 – 60%)
- At least 6 to 8 hours of bright, indirect light per day
- Consistent feeding with a high-quality fertilizer for Peace Lilies
Peace Lily Care Requirements
Peace lilies are not horticultural divas by any stretch of the imagination. That said, they’ll definitely let you know if they feel neglected. But, more than that, they’re apt to reward attentive care with beautiful foliage and their unique blossoms.
These are the areas of care I needed to re-evaluate in order to get my Peace Lily to bloom consistently:
Temperature & Humidity
Peace Lilies love warm, moisture-laden air. According to Clemson Cooperative Extension, their very favorite daytime temperature range falls between 68 and 85° Fahrenheit. They like it to be about 10° Fahrenheit cooler at night.
This houseplant’s dislike of cooler weather means their growth rates will slow when temperatures fall below 60° Fahrenheit (15.6° Celsius).
Should temperatures plummet below 45° Fahrenheit, Peace Lilies are prone to shock. They are not at all cold-hardy, so exposure to frost can quickly spell doom for them. It is unlikely a plant will survive if left in these conditions for even a brief period.
High humidity will remind Peace Lilies of their tropical origins. An average humidity 50 to 60% is recommended. A plant humidifier can help you achieve these levels. Weekly misting or placing pebbles in a water-filled tray can also boost the humidity around your plant.
Depleted Soil Nutrients
The soil in which you grow your Peace Lily will eventually run out of nutrients. I recommend changing the potting soil when you repot, which is usually required every 1 to 2 years.
Peace Lilies love well-draining soil that is high in organic matter. They also prefer it to be slightly acidic with a pH of 5.8 to 6.5.
In addition to wicking away excess moisture, the ideal soil mix must also be capable of retaining the ideal amount of water to keep the roots hydrated.
So, what should the best potting mix contain. Here’s what I recommend based on my own experience:
- Perlite is a type of naturally occurring volcanic glass. It will aerate your soil and help it retain water without becoming soggy.
- Earthworm castings are a by-product of earthworms breaking down organic matter. This material will prevent compaction and help reintroduce lost nutrients back into the soil.
- Coir is the ground husk of coconuts. It’s known for its ability to retain water. It is also rich in potassium and phosphorus.
- Aged pine bark provides plants with a healthy source of carbon. It also adds lightness and aeration to the soil mix.
- Compost is rich in nutrients, improves water retention, and keeps the soil nice and light.
- Peat moss is made from decayed moss formed over millennia in bogs. It slightly lowers the pH of soil. It is also capable of retaining moisture without becoming water-logged. Note that peat moss is largely considered unsustainable so many gardeners, myself included, have cut back on its use.
Peace Lily Fertilizing
Depending on whether you use granules or a liquid, stick to fertilizing them no more than every 2 weeks in the spring and summer, and every 6 weeks at most in the fall and winter. These houseplants do not require much fertilizer during their winter dormancy.
Re-potting is an essential part of every houseplant owner’s routine. Here are the two most likely reasons you’ll need to upgrade a plant’s container:
Extensive root growth — As time progresses, your plant will outgrow its potted home. One of the best ways to tell it’s time to upgrade is when its roots start peeking out of the pot’s drainage holes. Frequent wilting and the prompt drainage of water are also additional clues.
You will need to obtain a new pot that is 1 to 2 inches wider than the current one in diameter. I prefer clay or terracotta pots due to their moisture-wicking qualities.
Why does the size matter? Because a pot that is too large will slow drainage and increase the risk of root rot.
Special care should be taken not to plant the Peace Lily too deep in the new pot. The base of its stem (or the crown) should ideally sit 1 inch lower than the rim.
The soil will then need to be watered lightly to remove any large air pockets.
If you choose to, you may also propagate the plant at this time by dividing the roots. I recommend using the same soil mixture and placing your propagated plants in the same location as the original Peace Lily.
Waterlogged soil: Soggy soil is another reason you may decide to switch containers or replace the existing soil. Make sure that your soil is well-draining and that the pot has good-sized drainage holes that allow excess water to run freely through.
Soggy soil equals soggy roots, which will result in root rot. As with most tropicals, Peace Lilies cannot tolerate soggy roots.
Position & Lighting
These two factors are important when it comes to getting your Peace Lily to bloom. The wrong position or too much exposure to sunlight can result in the leaves turning brown at the tips.
On the other hand, insufficient lighting will prevent your houseplant from blooming. It is worth noting that wild Peace Lilies naturally thrive on the forest floor with only dappled light.
Watering is a rather straightforward affair. All you have to do is check the soil. Is the top inch dry? Then your plant is due for a drink.
Simply place the plant in a spot in which you can let water flow freely — e.g., your bathtub, your sink, or your garden. Use filtered water (or tap water that has been left standing for a day to allow any chlorine to evaporate) to irrigate the plant. Allow it to sit for a while until any excess water is completely drained out before placing it back on its saucer.
If necessary, you can carry out a check or two to make sure no water has accumulated in the saucer. This is because leaving your plant’s roots exposed to moisture can cause root rot leading to the plant’s leaves dropping and turning yellow.
Impact on Air Quality
Peace lilies are known for their air purifying qualities and are recognized as beneficial plants for people who suffer from conditions such as asthma. However, overwatering many plants can in fact produce detrimental mold spores within the soil causing irritation if inhaled.
FAQ: Peace Lily Flowers
Peace Lily Not Blooming: Final Thoughts
The type of cultivar, the fertilizer you use, the kind of soil, light quality, temperature, and humidity will all determine whether your Peace Lily blooms or not.
Paying close attention to these factors can make a huge difference, making for a happier plant and the beautiful aesthetic that comes with owning one of these fabulous houseplants.