While a peace lily’s (Spathiphyllum) leaves are a luscious addition to any home or office, it’s the blooms I’m here for! Those slim white spathes are a simple but enduring treasure, something I always look forward to from a new plant. It takes a bit of time, and just the right conditions, but it’s certainly worth being patient!
Table of Contents
How Often Do Peace Lilies Flower
Peace lilies bloom after they are 1 year old. Different cultivars produce different quantities of flowers, but all need abundant light and water to bloom. While some will blossom all year, most cultivars concentrate their flowering during the spring and early summer.
Most indoor plants rarely bloom. Flowering is often triggered by changes in temperature and light level that just don’t happen indoors. Light tends to be consistent, thanks to electric lights, and temperatures rarely dip to the freezing lows that many plants require to trigger the hormonal signals required to get blooms started.
Peace lilies are a rare exception. They don’t ask for a lot of extra support to bloom, and with the right conditions they reliably produce enduring, elegant flowers. But to ensure they flower, you must provide them with that ideal environment, consistently and without fail.
To encourage peace lilies to bloom in the home, plants should be located in areas bright enough to read a newspaper. They should be kept away from cold drafts and maintained uniformly moist with fertilizer applied monthly during the spring and summer using one of the liquid houseplant fertilizers.Gerald Klingaman, Extension Horticulturist, University of Arkansas
3 Reasons why your peace lily isn’t blooming
It’s pretty heartbreaking to have a such an elegant plant with a total absence of lovely blooms. Doubly so when you purchased a plant already in flower only to have them all up and die on you, never to return. What gives?
1. Too Little Light
Making flowers is expensive business for a peace lily. It takes work to build them, and unlike leaves they don’t give much back to the plant.
In order to get your lily blooming, you need to make sure it’s getting enough light. While they’ll grow quite happily in lower light levels, they need a lot to get those flowers going. If yours is in a low light environment it’s unlikely you’ll see flowers.
Consider relocation your peace lily to a part of your growing environment that has lots of bright, indirect light. A south or southeastern facing room is ideal, and will provide good constant light all day long. Avoid plopping your plant right into a sunbeam in order to get it flowering, however – the full light of the sun is too aggressive and cause the leaves to burn.
If you’re absolutely dedicated to getting those flowers, I’d suggest investing in a grow light. They’re a form of artificial lighting designed to mimic the light of the sun, and they serve as an excellent supplement if your home or office is short of windows.
2. Out of Season
While most types of peace lily will bloom year round, others have a fixed period in which they flower. Typically this is in spring and early summer, with a blooming period of four or five months. While commercial growers have worked hard to produce varieties that flower all year round, it’s still common for the most popular varieties to bloom only in the spring. Unless you specifically hunt for one that blooms all year, don’t be too worried if you have to wait for spring before you will see flowers.
You can ensure you have flowers all year by starting off with the right type of peace lily. Growing a variety cultivated to bloom year round cuts to the chase and ensures you get those flowers you crave. For compact cultivars, consider the ‘Alison’ and ‘Sweet Pablo’ varieties. For a more conventionally sized plant, the ‘Viscount’ cultivar also has striking ribbing along the leaves that adds an extra dimension to its year long floral displays.
You can also attempt to ‘trick’ your peace lily into blooming out of season by ensuring their growing environment remains a consistently warm and bright. Folks with year-round blooms on their otherwise season lily almost certainly are providing the plant with a perpetual summer. You can do the same by keeping it in ideal temperature for blooming, at around 72°F (22°C). Keeping the air comfortably moist will help too, as peace lilies don’t like overly dry air.
Thankfully this is pretty close to what most human beings like, too! It’s why the peace lily has a reputation for blooming all year round. It’s relatively straightforward to coax them into an out of season bloom or two, even in the darkest time of the year.
3. Plant is Too Young
Peace lilies must mature before they can flower. It varies a bit from cultivar to cultivar, but in general they need to be a year old before they’ll start flowering.
This may be puzzling if you’ve bought a small lily covered in flowers, only to have them die with no new ones in sight. Commercial peace lilies are often sprayed with a synthetic hormone called gibberellic acid that prompts them to bloom. Those initial flowers will go through their normal lifespan, then once they have died it’ll be a wait until you see any more blooms.
If you want to ensure you have a reliably flowering peace lily, try to start with a larger, more mature specimen. They grow in size as they age, so a larger specimen is almost certainly older and more likely to bloom. If nothing else it’s a great excuse to get a lovely lush monster of a lily.
How often do peace lilies bloom indoors?
Peace lilies bloom in the spring and summer when placed outdoors. For indoor peace lilies to bloom yearly your room temperature will need to closely resemble the summer heat, on those warm days where the AC is running high pop your peace lily out in your garden or balcony! Flowering is a sign of true success – it means your peace lily has excellent conditions and it’s ready to reproduce. Not all gardeners see indoor blossoms, even on a reliable bloomer like the peace lily.
How often will depend on how well you care for the plant. Typically, they’ll concentrate their flowers at the more productive end of the year, in the spring and summer. It’s the period they evolved to flower in, and even the most advanced cultivars will take advantage of warm days and abundant summer sun to crank out an abundance of lovely flowers.
But if you’ve got the right cultivar, and the conditions are good, you might be lucky enough to have a few flowers on your peace lily all year round.
Why does my peace lily have green flowers?
Peace lily flowers are a type of flower called a spathe. The white part that we’d consider a petal is actually a type of modified leaf,drained of pigment. This special leaf pales in order to better frame the real flower – the little knobbly stalk in the middle. It’s called a spadix, a tightly packed collection of tiny blossoms crammed in nice and tight. It’s an efficient way to make sure pollen gets to where it needs to be, and the pale modified leaf attracts pollinators to help get the job done.
While they begin their lives a crisp, pure white, this secret history of the spathe reveals itself as the flowers age. The natural pigments of the leaves sneaks back in and they turn green.
It’s a natural part of the life cycle of the flower, causing it no harm. You can enjoy the change in color, but if it’s not what you want from your peace lily it also won’t hurt them to be carefully removes.
How to prune spent flowers
Once the elegant spathes have lived out their life, they shrivel and die like any other bloom. Like an aging green flower, it’s perfectly safe to cut them off and discard them if you feel they detract from the look of the overall plant.
Pruning is best done with sharp clean shears. Simply trim the dead flower away at the base of the plant, leaving an inch or two of stem clear of the soil. This will prevent any decomposition from the dead stem sneaking down into the roots.
Can you transplant a peace lily while in bloom
It’s best to transplant or re-pot a peace lily right at the start of the growing season, in the early spring. While it’s safe for the peace lily you may lose any blooms, as this coincides with the start of the flowering season.
Blooming is hard work for a plant. It requires a stable environment, especially at the roots. Unpotting your peace lily is deeply stressful, and it’s likely the plant will respond to the stress by sacrificing its flowers.
How long do peace lily flowers last?
Peace lily flowers are wonderfully long lived. Depending on the variety, a single flower can last upwards of 1 month or 2. They’ll start a creamy, almost velvety shade of white and will slowly change to a pale green as they age.
You can increase their lifespan by keeping your growing environment warm and humid. Maintaining good soil moisture will also prevent the blooms from drying out and turning brown.
The long-lasting blooms of the peace lily are a reward for good care and patience. If you are willing to wait for the plant to mature and reach its season, you can be assured swathes of serene white flowers, their longevity a testament to your good work.