Is your peace lily not flowering as you would like? This is a frustrating problem to have, especially if the plant seems happy and healthy! Where are those beautiful blooms?
Peace lilies may not flower if their conditions aren’t right for them. They aren’t generally considered fussy plants, but they still need the right amount of light, nutrients, warmth, and water to grow. They also need to be old enough to produce flowers.
You can encourage your peace lily to flower by offering the best possible environment, so we’re going to explore some top tips that will help you do this.
How Can I Encourage My Peace Lily To Flower?
There are lots of things that you can do to encourage your peace lily to flower, and almost all involve making sure it has the optimum conditions. A peace lily’s flowers are gorgeous, but the plant needs to be happy and have sufficient energy to produce them.
To get your peace lily to flower, you should try:
- Giving it more light
- Giving it a drink
- Checking the temperature
- Cleaning the plant’s foliage
- Removing pests
- Feeding it
- Repotting it
You should note that your peace lily will need to be at least a year old if it is going to flower – and that many of these plants only produce flowers up to a certain stage in their lives. When they get older, you might start seeing fewer flowers, or even no flowers. This is normal and may mean you need a new plant.
It’s worth being aware that most of the peace lily’s flower is just a modified leaf. The white “bloom” is the leaf, and it’s there to draw attention to the spadix, the cylindrical spiky bit in the center. You might sometimes see blooms that are closer to green than white because they are essentially leaves in a different color.
Trick 1) Giving It More Light
One of the main reasons why peace lilies fail to flower is because they aren’t given enough light. This isn’t surprising given that Peace lilies are advertised as low light plants that can tolerate really shady conditions, and they indeed can.
However, that doesn’t mean they love shady conditions, or that they will thrive with little light. As rainforest plants, they don’t want to be bathed in sunlight, but if your peace lily is failing to flower, the lighting is the first thing you should check.
If the plant is only getting a small amount of sunlight each day, you may want to move it closer to a window or open your curtains wider so that it gets a bit more sun.
Producing flowers takes energy, so you want to make sure your plant has enough energy – and the sun is the best way to do this. If it’s getting enough sun, the peace lily will convert the light into energy through photosynthesis, and this energy can be turned into flowers.
If you can’t give your peace lily more natural light, consider getting a grow lamp and using it for a few hours each day. This will give the plant an additional boost that might be enough to encourage flowering.
Make sure you don’t leave the grow light on all day, or put your plant too close to the sun, however. Both of these things will cause stress, and too much sunlight might result in leaf burn. Your plant won’t flower in these circumstances!
Trick 2) Giving It A Drink
You might find that your peace lily isn’t getting enough water, and this is another sure reason that it won’t produce flowers. Sometimes, providing additional water will help your plant to put that extra energy into flowering because its conditions are good enough for it to want to reproduce.
You should water your peace lily based on your local environment. That means if you get a lot of hot, dry weather, you need to water your plant more often. In a more humid part of the country, less frequent watering will be necessary.
The easiest way to tell if your peace lily needs a drink is to push the tip of your finger into the plant’s soil. Does it feel wet? If it’s still damp, you probably don’t want to water it just yet, or you might increase your plant’s risk of getting root rot.
However, if the soil is a little dry, your peace lily might benefit from a drink, and this could prompt it to flower. Try to check whether it needs water about 2 or 3 times a week. These can be thirsty plants, and producing flowers means they need more water!
You can combine this strategy with misting your peace lily from time to time. These plants like reasonably humid conditions and a good spray of water can help to perk them up if they are looking limp. This is particularly effective when the weather is hot, so bear the strategy in mind.
Trick 3) Checking The Temperature
Peace lilies like stable temperatures. The more stable you can make the environment, the more likely your plant will be to produce flowers. After all, peace lilies (and all plants) want to reproduce when conditions are good so that their offspring have high chances of surviving.
Temperature is one of the conditions that is often harder to control but remember that your plant prefers temperatures between 65 and 85 degrees F. Temperatures that are way outside of this range or sudden, sharp fluctuations will make the peace lily stressed.
A stressed plant will not try to reproduce, so you won’t see flowers if the temperature constantly goes up and down. Consider putting your peace lily in a warm part of the room away from radiators, air conditioners, and drafts. The more stable it is, the happier your plant should be. After all, peace lilies come from rainforests, where temperature fluctuations are rare.
Trick 4) Cleaning The Plant
You might think that it’s going a bit far to clean a plant, but actually, regular daily maintenance can make a big difference to how happy your peace lily is, and how likely it is to flower.
Peace lilies have big, fairly broad leaves, and these are unfortunately good at trapping dust. A layer of dust is surprisingly effective at blocking off the light that your peace lily needs to photosynthesize, so a dirty plant will not get nearly as much energy as a clean one.
You should therefore make an effort to wipe the leaves off with a damp cloth frequently. Remove the dust before it has had time to clog up the plant’s stomata, and the plant will be happier and more likely to start flowering.
If your peace lily is in a very dusty spot, you might want to consider relocating it so that you don’t have to clean it as often. However, for most households, a quick wipe with a cloth every few days will be sufficient to keep the leaves clean and fresh.
You can also stand your peace lily in the shower if you want to clean and water it at the same time. Make sure that the water is temperate (not hot or cold) before you put it under the flow, and give the leaves a good wash. When you’ve finished, turn off the shower and let the peace lily drip dry before returning it to its usual position.
Cleaning your peace lily regularly has the secondary advantage of making it look great, even if it doesn’t produce flowers!
Trick 5) Removing Pests
Pests are a big enemy to flowers because they sap your plant’s strength and steal its nutrients. Your peace lily is very unlikely to produce flowers if it is stressed by sap sucking insects attacking its leaves.
Many pests attack peace lilies, but the commonest kinds are mealybugs and scale insects. These will both hide under the leaves, drinking the plant’s sap and robbing it of its energy. It is often hard to spot them at first.
If you are keeping on top of cleaning your plant, you are more likely to notice these as you wipe the leaves down. You might also see sticky patches, which indicate that something is drinking the sap.
If you notice these, take the time to inspect your plant, and treat it if you find any pests. You can use neem oil or soapy water to remove most kinds of insects.
Simply wipe the leaves with neem oil, or fill your sink with some lukewarm, soapy water and gently tilt the plant toward the sink so that its leaves are submerged. Wash the leaves, and most of the insects will be killed. You can then rinse the plant and return it to its former position.
You may need to do this a few times to get rid of serious infestations, but this is a sure way to make your plant happy and increase its chances of flowering. If you have a more challenging type of plant invader, like scale insects, you might want to try vodka, which should kill them.
Keep an eye on your plant for signs that the invaders are still present, and repeat the treatments if necessary.
Trick 6) Feeding It
As mentioned, peace lilies need to have plenty of resources at their disposal if they are going to flower, and a great way to increase the chance of flowering involves fertilizing your peace lily.
You should be careful about this, though, because peace lilies aren’t heavy feeders and too much fertilizer could make your plant sick and burn its foliage.
If your plant has not been fertilized for a few months, you should get some all-purpose houseplant fertilizer and dilute it to half or a quarter strength. Start feeding your peace lily about once every two months.
If your plant produces flowers but they are tinted with green, cut back on the amount of fertilizer and reduce the frequency with which you apply it. This should help the next flush of flowers appear bright white, as you would expect.
Trick 7) Repotting It
A peace lily that is crowded or suffering from root rot is very unlikely to flower well.
There are a few reasons for this. The first is that it won’t be able to absorb nutrients effectively if it is cramped into one small container. Its roots will be bunched up on top of each other and not in contact with much soil.
It is also likely to get very thirsty because there won’t be enough soil to absorb the water. Water will run straight out of the pot, so even if you water your plant regularly, it won’t have enough to drink.
It may suffer from other issues too, like lack of oxygen around its roots, stress, compacted soil, etc.
You should therefore make sure you repot your peace lily fairly frequently. Most of these plants benefit from getting a new container and fresh soil about once per year. This gives them room to grow and replenishes their nutrients, leaving them happy and healthy again.
If you haven’t repotted your peace lily for a while, take it out of its container, break up its roots a bit to encourage them to spread, and give it a bigger container with plenty of fresh soil. This should increase the chances of it flowering because it will experience a flush of new growth due to the improved conditions.
Find out more about why and how to repot a Peace Lily in this article: 6 Signs Your Peace Lily Needs Repotting and How To Do It.
Getting a peace lily to produce flowers can be challenging but it is definitely possible. You should look out for any issues with your peace lily’s environment and search for ways to correct these. What would make your plant happier than it currently is? Identify this, and provide it if you can, and you should be rewarded with beautiful white blooms.