Why does my peace lily not flower?
Overfertilization and excessive indirect light can cause peace lilies to not flower due to excessive foliage growth and preference for bright indirect light.
Reasons for peace lilies not flowering:
- Too much fertilizer prevents flowering.
- Peace lilies usually do not flower in Fall and Winter.
- Too much light scorches the leaves whereas not enough light deprives the peace lily of energy to display flowers.
- Low humidity and drought stress are contrary to the conditions require for flowering.
- Peace lilies do not flower in their first year of growth.
- Excessively hot and cold temperatures.
- Overwatering and poor drainage.
To encourage peace lily flowering, mimic its native environment’s conditions, including bright indirect light, well-draining soil, stable temperature, humidity, and moderate fertilizer application.
1. Too Much Fertilizer Causes Peace Lilies to Grow Foliage at the Expense of Flowers
Peace lilies thrive in moderately fertile soil, adapted to their shady rainforest habitat, which is contrary to their preferred natural conditions due to their slow growth.
Peace lilies have a comparatively slow rate of growth compared to most foliage houseplants (such as Monstera or Pothos) so if regular houseplant fertilizer is applied too often or in too high concentration, this stimulates excess foliage growth with fewer flowers.
Peace lily flowers, called spathes, change color from white to green to photosynthesize, making it appear as if the plant is not flowering.
Peace lilies may lack sufficient nutrient levels for flowering if they remain in the same pot for extended periods and their roots have exhausted the available nutrients.
The key to promoting more peace lily flowers is to find the optimal balance for of fertilizer use. It is recommended that regular liquid houseplant fertilizer should be used at half, or even a quarter strength for peace lilies.
This ensures that the peace lily has enough nutrients to support its foliage growth and flower display without overwhelming the plant and preventing flowering.
Fertilizer is typically applied in early Spring and again in summer. If peace lily flowers are few or green, improve the fertilizer regimen and follow best cultivation practices, including bright, indirect light and high humidity, for recovery and flowering.
2. Peace Lilies Typically Flower in the Spring and Summer and do Not Flower in Fall or Winter
Peace lilies bloom most in Spring and Summer, but can be purchased in Fall and Winter from professional growers using Gibberellic acid and artificial cultivation conditions like grow lights, humidity, and temperature. This allows them to be in peak bloom at any time of year. However, they may flower less or stop flowering in late Fall or Winter.
The only solution is to have patience and acknowledge that peace lilies are likely to start blooming again in the Spring and Summer. This replicates the seasonal cycle of flowering in the peace lily’s native environment.
In the meantime mist the peace lilies leaves and water when the surface of the soil starts to feel dry and locate the peace lily in an area of bright indirect light to ensure the peace lily has enough energy to bloom.
3. Incorrect Lighting Can Prevent Peace Lilies from Flowering
Peace lilies are tropical plants native to Central and South America that thrive in bright, shaded conditions. They require sufficient light intensity and day length to stimulate flowering, as brighter light signals favorable times for flowering. Excessive direct sunlight can cause dying peace lilies, while shady areas may produce lush foliage but fewer flowers.
To promote flowering is peace lilies, it is essential that the plant is located in bright indirect light.
This helps to mimic the peace lilies preferred conditions for flowering (bright light, yet shaded from direct sunlight by overhead foliage) in its native environment.
Keep in mind that a bright location may also have low humidity and different airflow, so make sure to mist the peace lily or use a humidifier to mitigate any shock the peace lily may experience from being moved suddenly.
If your peace lily has been scorched yellow by direct sunlight, then use a pair or pruners to cut these individual leaves back to the base of the plant as a scorched leaf does not turn green again, and therefore cannot contribute energy to the plant.
Once you have found a location with the optimal balance of light, the peace lily should be able to display more flowers in the following weeks.
4. Low Humidity and Drought Stress Can Prevent Flowering
Peace lilies are tropical plants that thrive in high humidity and well-draining soil. However, if indoor heating or draughts reduce humidity and soil is too dry, the leaf tips turn brown and the plant fails to flower. Although they can tolerate low humidity, several factors can reduce humidity to a level where the peace lily would struggle to flower, such as:
- Dry air from forced air and radiators
- Air conditioning
- Draughts from open doors or windows
Factors like drought, heat, and pollution damage the peace lily’s leaves, leading to dry tips and stress, preventing flowering.
High indoor temperatures and under-watering can hinder the flowering of the peace lily, as it may not be adequately or lightly watered.
Increase the humidity by misting the peace lily’s leaves every other day (or by using a humidifier) to counter act the dry air and slow down water loss from the leaves.
This helps to create a more favorable environment for the peace lily to flower.
Ensure that the peace lily is not in the direct path of any air currents from air conditioning, draughts or forced air and avoid locating the peace lily next to any sources of heat.
Always water peace lilies generously so that excess water trickles from the base of the pot after each bout of watering to ensure the roots have enough access to water to prevent drought stress.
The perfect balance of watering and soil moisture for peace lilies is to wait until the surface of the potting soil has started to dry out slightly, before giving the soil a good soak, to meet the watering requirements of the peace lily without risking root rot.
Mimicking the humidity conditions and levels of soil moisture that peace lilies typically experience creates an environment in which the peace lily can flower more abundantly.
5. Immature Peace Lilies do not Flower
Peace lilies are a type of flowering plant that typically blooms more abundantly as they grow larger and mature. They are not typically flowering when they are only around a year old. Immature plants can be sold inexpensively and can flower in the following years. Peace lilies redirect their resources from flowers, investing a year or more into developing a root system and larger foliage. To ensure healthy growth, maintain the plant in the right conditions and use diluted fertilizer in the spring and summer.
6. Temperatures Lower then 60°F and Higher then 85°F Stop Peace Lilies from Flowering
Peace lilies thrive in temperatures between 68°F and 85°F (20°C to 30°F) during the day, with temperatures dropping by around 10°F at night.
Peace lilies adapt to specific temperature ranges in their native environment. Prolonged temperatures can cause stressed peace lilies to not flower, while temperatures below 60°F at night can stunt development and result in fewer flowers. Temperatures above 85°F can cause drooping peace lilies to be too stressed to flower.
Maintain a daytime temperature range of between 68°F and 85°F, which is around room temperature, therefore it it is important to be mindful to avoid placing the peace lily near any source of indoor heating and away from draughty cold window sills.
If your peace lily is on a window sill, ensure that the leaves are not in contact with the window pane as the glass is usually several degrees cooler then the rest of the room.
7. Overwatering and Poor Drainage Can Prevent Peace Lilies Blooming
Peace lilies require a well-draining, evenly moist soil for a healthy root system that transports moisture and nutrients, enabling them to display flowers. Too much dampness can exclude oxygen, preventing root respiration, and drooping roots, sometimes with yellow leaves, leading to a lily that does not flower properly. Therefore, soil should be evenly moist and well-draining to ensure optimal plant health.
Excessive damp soil can be caused by:
- Watering the peace lily too often
- Compacted potting soil which drains too slowly
- Pots without drainage holes in the base
- Saucers and trays underneath the pot preventing good drainage
It is important to create the well draining soil conditions that peace lilies require to promote flowering.
This means only watering the peace lily when the surface of the soil is beginning to dry out.
There is not any universal watering schedule that works in every climate as they can be many factors that determine how much water your peace lily needs, so I always recommend checking the soil moisture of your peace lily to establish when the soil is beginning to dry before, to find the right balance according to your conditions.
If the soil is draining slowly, repotte it aggressively and transfer the peace lily to a new pot with regular potting soil, ideally amended with perlite for added drainage. Ensure the pot has drainage holes in the base and empty excess water after watering. With the right drainage conditions, the peace lily should thrive and flower properly in Spring and Summer.
- Peace lilies often fail to bloom due to excess fertilizer and insufficient light. They require less fertilizer than most houseplants, and excessive application can lead to foliage growth instead of flowers. Low light can also hinder their growth.
- Peace lilies fail to bloom due to low humidity, damp soil, temperature above 85°F or below 68°F, insufficient light, or slow soil drainage around the root system.
- To encourage peace lily flowers, increase humidity with regular misting, maintain a daytime temperature range of 68°F-85°F, water only when soil surface dries slightly, and place in bright light to stimulate blooms, replicating the native environment.
In addition to the points mentioned, it is interesting to know the 17 incredible peace lily benefits!
Follow this complete guide for instructions on how to grow and care for your peace lilies.
|Botanical Name||Spathiphyllum spp|
|Common Name||peace lily, Spathe lily|
|Hardiness Zones||11-12 USDA|
|Soil Type||Moist but well-drained|