Peace Lily Not Flowering? (7 Solutions That Actually Work)

Why is my peace lily not flowering

Peace lilies are my favorite indoor flowering plant due to the length of time they flower. But if your peace lily is not flowering, then I fully sympathize with you as this happened to me. In my case, I was caring for my peace lily too much, applying too much fertilizer, and planting it in nutrient rich soil, which caused my plant to grow all leafy and huge without the beautiful white flowers that we all love.

I have discovered through trial and error there are several reasons why a peace lily does not flower, and there are some great tricks and tips to promote flowering, which I share in this article…

The most common reason for peace lilies not flowering is often because too much fertilizer has been applied which results in excess drooping foliage growth at the expense of flowers. Peace lilies also prefer bright indirect light to encourage flowering and do not bloom if the peace lily is in too much shade.

The most common reasons I encounter for peace lilies not flowering:

  1. Too much fertilizer prevents flowering.
  2. Peace lilies usually do not flower in Fall and Winter.
  3. Too much light scorches the leaves, whereas not enough light deprives the peace lily of energy to display flowers.
  4. Low humidity and drought stress are contrary to the conditions required for flowering.
  5. Peace lilies do not flower in their first year of growth.
  6. Excessively hot and cold temperatures.
  7. Overwatering and poor drainage.

I discovered the secret to getting your peace lily to flower is all about emulating the conditions of its native environment with bright indirect light, well-draining, evenly moist soil, a stable temperature range, increasing the humidity, and only using moderate fertilizer applications.

Keep reading to pinpoint why your plant isn’t flowering and for the tips I have accrued to help your peace lily flower for as long as possible…

1. Too Much Fertilizer Causes Peace Lilies to Grow Foliage at the Expense of Flowers

To understand why your peace lily is flowering,, it is best that we understand how it grows and flowers in their natural habitat.

Peace lilies have adapted to growing relatively slowly (due to their shady rainforest habitat) in only moderately fertile soil in their native environment. Therefore, nutrient rich soil is contrary to their preferred natural conditions.

I learned that 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.

If your peace lily does have some flowers (spathes), they quickly switch their function and turn from white to green so that they can photosynthesize, which makes it appear as if your peace lily is not flowering. (To learn why they do this and for more on green peace lily flowers, read my article, why are my peace lily flowers turning green?)

Peace lily flower which turned green due to too much fertilizer.
This is a photo of my peace lily flower that quickly turned from white to green because of too much fertilizer.

However, it can also be the case that peace lilies may not have enough nutrients for flowering if they are in the same pot for too long and the roots have exhausted the available nutrients in the potting soil.

The Solution…

The key to promoting more peace lily flowers is to find the optimal balance for 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.

Typically, I use fertilizer once in the early Spring and then again in the Summer.

If you have already applied the fertilizer and your peace lily has few flowers or the flowers have turned green, then I’m afraid there is not much you can do to immediately remedy the situation other than implement a better fertilizer regimen the following year and ensure you follow the best cultivation practices, with bright, indirect light and high humidity.

But do not be disheartened as this happened to me, and my peace lily recovered and flowered well the following year.

2. Peace Lilies Typically Flower in the Spring and Summer and do Not Flower in the Fall or Winter

It is important to note that peace lily flowers most abundantly in Spring and Summer in their natural habitat (and as houseplants) in correspondence to day length and brighter light.

However, I realize that this can be confusing as you can buy peace lilies from the store or from professional growers in the Fall and Winter (or at any time of year) that are still in full bloom.

I spoke to a commercial grower of houseplants, and they told me that the secret is professional growers use a method that involves Gibberellic acid which is used to stimulate the peace lily to flower at any time of year so that they look more attractive for sale.

In addition to this growers can also manipulate the peace into flowering by artificially adjusting its cultivation conditions with grow lights, optimal humidity and temperature.

This means the peace lily can be in peak bloom, regardless of the time of year.

However, once you bring the peace lily home, it is likely to flower less or even stop flowering if it is in late Fall or Winter.

The Solution…

I have discovered 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, I recommend misting the peace lily 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 from Central and South America that have adapted to grow under a canopy, protected from any harsh direct sunlight, in bright conditions.

If the peace lily is in direct sunlight the leaves scorch yellow which stresses the plant prevents photosynthesis which means the leaves cannot provide the energy require for flowering. Excessive direct sunlight is a common cause of dying peace lilies.

Conversely, if the peace lily is located in a very shady area and does not have enough light, then it may grow lush foliage but with far fewer flowers or even no flowers.

This is because the peace lily needs sufficient light intensity and day length to stimulate flowering, as brighter light signals to the plant that it is the most favorable of year for flowering.

The Solutions…

To promote flowering in peace lilies, it is essential that the plant is located in bright, indirect light.

This helps to mimic the peace lily’s 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.

My best tip: I personally place my peace lily in my bathroom as I find it thrives due to the natural humidity and bright light. I have also promoted flowering by placing my peace lily in the brightest room of my house but behind a sheer curtain, which helped diffuse the light, creating the optimal conditions for flowering.

If your peace lily has been scorched yellow by direct sunlight, then I would use a pair of 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 I found a location with the optimal balance of light, my peace lily started to flower in the Spring.

4. Low Humidity and Drought Stress Can Prevent Flowering

Peace lilies are tropical plants that grow in relatively high humidity and soil that is usually evenly moist yet well-draining.

If the humidity is too low due to indoor heating or draughts and the soil is too dry, then the peace lily leaf tips turn brown and the plant does not flower.

Whilst Peace lilies are houseplants and can tolerate relatively low humidity compared to their original tropical environment, there are several factors that can reduce the humidity to a level at which the peace lily would struggle to flower, such as:

  • Dry air from forced air and radiators
  • Air conditioning
  • Draughts from open doors or windows

Each of these factors saps moisture from the leaves of the peace lily, causing the leaf tips to dry and stressing the peace lily so that it cannot flower.

An exacerbating factor that often prevents flowering is high temperatures from indoor heating and under watering, where the peace lily may not be watered often enough or watered too lightly.

This was a problem for me when I lived in New York as the heating in Winter dried out the air, and air conditioning in the Summer sapped moisture from the leaves, preventing my plant from flowering.

The Solutions…

To solve this, I Increased the humidity by misting the peace lily’s leaves every other day (or you can use a humidifier) to counteract 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.

Important tip: I always touch the soil myself to tell when it is drying out, as I find it dries at different rates during the year. I recommend this method rather than using a moisture meter as I find these are not accurate enough.

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.

(Read my article, how much and how often to water peace lilies).

5. Immature Peace Lilies do not Flower

From experience, as my peace lilies mature, they tend to flower more abundantly than the smaller plants you buy for the garden center.

I discovered that peace lilies that are only around a year old typically do not flower at all, so if you have a relatively immature plant then this is the reason why it is not flowering.

Immature plants can sometimes be sold inexpensively from growers, which can flower in the following years.

Peace lilies redirect there resources from flower and often invest a year or so into developing a root system and larger foliage, which then provides the energy to further growth and the development of flowers.

If the peace lily looks healthy, then keep growing it in the right conditions (and use a diluted fertilizer in the Spring and Summer), and the peace lily should flower well the following year.

6. Temperatures Lower than 60°F and Higher than 85°F Stops Peace Lilies from Flowering

The optimal temperature range for peace lilies to grow and display flowers is between 68°F and 85°F (20°C to 30°F) during the day with around 10°F cooler at night.

This emulates the temperature range and typical fluctuation to which peace lilies have adapted in their native environment.

Any prolonged temperatures at either end of this range result in a stressed peace lily that does not flower.

If the temperature is significantly cooler than 60°F (15°C) at night, it is likely to result in stunted development and far fewer flowers. Whereas temperatures in excess of 85°F (30°C) result in a drooping peace lily that is too stressed to flower.

The Solution…

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, then I would ensure that the leaves are not in contact with the window pane, as the glass is usually several degrees cooler than the rest of the room.

(Read my article, How to Grow and Care for Peace Lilies).

7. Overwatering and Poor Drainage Can Prevent Peace Lilies Blooming

Peace lilies need the soil to be evenly moist yet well-draining to maintain a healthy root system that can transport moisture and nutrients around the plant to provide the lily with the resources it needs to display flowers.

If the soil is too damp, then this can exclude oxygen from the soil, which prevents the process of root respiration.

If the roots cannot respire, then they cannot function properly to transport nutrients and moisture around the plant, which results in a drooping peace lily (sometimes with yellow leaves) that does not flower.

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 prevent good drainage

The Solutions…

As I have stated, 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 noticeably slowly then the soil may be firmed in too aggressively when it has been re-potted. In this case, I advise transferring your peace lily to another pot with regular potting soil, ideally amended with some perlite for added drainage.

I recommend checking to see if your pot has drainage holes in the base and ensure they are not blocked by compacted soil, which can also down drainage and always empty saucers and trays of excess water after a bout of watering.

With the right drainage conditions, the peace lily should thrive and be capable of flowering properly in the Spring and Summer.

(Read my article, how to Revive a dying peace lily).

Key Takeaways:

  • The reason for peace lilies not blooming is usually because of excess fertilizer and not enough light. Peace lilies require less fertilizer than most houseplants. If too much is applied, then the peace lily grows foliage at the expense of flowers. Low light can also cause the peace lily not to flower.
  • Peace lilies do not flower if the humidity is too low, the soil is too damp, the temperature is higher than 85°F (30°C) or lower than 68°F (20°C), if the light is not bright enough, or the soil drains too slowly around the root system.
  • To promote peace lily flowers recreate the conditions of the peace lily’s native environment by increasing the humidity with regular misting, maintaining a daytime temperature range of between 68°F and 85°F, only water when the surface of the soil begins to dry slightly, and locating in bright light to stimulate blooms.

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