No Peace Lily Blooms? Expert Tips For More Flowers

How to make a peace lily bloom again can be puzzling, but there’s a reason the one you bought from the store has a bloom that doesn’t seem easy to repeat.

White Peace Lily Flower
peace lily
(Image credit: hawkscustomphotos)

Why Your Peace Lily Won’t Bloom & Tips To Make It Flower

Many houseplant parents ask us how to make a peace lily bloom. The peace lily is a very common houseplant that’s only outdoor-hardy in USDA zones 10-11, but the plant thrives in low-light situations, making it perfect for indoor office decor. While the glossy, green leaves are attractive, most gardeners buy the plant for its inflorescence. The cupped, creamy white, spathe enfolds the spadix and enhances the greenery. But once the bloom is finished, can you make it bloom again? Peace lily flowering takes quite a bit of patience, and the right conditions.

Peace Lily Flowering Stages

In a commercial setting, peace lilies are grown in carefully controlled environments. This is to ensure that the plants are flowering by the time they’re displayed for purchase. This member of the Arum family doesn’t produce an actual flower but instead a flower-like modified leaf, the spathe. A blooming peace lily is beautiful and getting the plant to produce the spathe again is a gardener’s challenge. The spathe is long-lasting but will eventually turn green and then brown when it is done. During its life cycle, the plant buds, blooms, sets seed, then the flower wilts.

When Does a Peace Lily Bloom?

Purchased peace lilies have been forced to bloom. Professional growers treat the plant with gibberellic acid. Known as GA in the trade, this substance is a plant hormone that drives blooming, among other things. It is a natural product derived from the Gibberella fujikuroi fungus that occurs on rice plants. After spraying the plant with GA, the flower will be produced around 70 days later. The plants generally bloom in mid-spring, around April, with the flower lasting over a month.

How Often Does a Peace Lily Bloom?

Peace lilies produce blooms once the growing season begins and may occasionally produce a flower in early fall. Getting 2 annual blooms requires exacting conditions that mimic those of their native range in the tropical forests of Columbia and Venezuela. The plant must have the perfect light, proper temperatures and humidity to form even 1 flower.

Why Is My Peace Lily Not Flowering?

A peace lily not flowering is a very common occurrence; the internet is flooded with searches about the peace lily not blooming. Once the spathe fades and it is cut away from the plant, the peace lily is often kept just as a foliage plant, never to bloom again. Indoor home conditions are rarely optimal for generating another bloom, but structured changes to the environment or growing the plant in a controlled area can force it to flower.

Not Enough Light

Peace lilies (Spathyphyllum) are understory plants that receive filtered light through the tree canopy. They like low light but too little light will prevent the plant from blooming. Most of the time it thrives in light as low as 20 candles, but when you want it to bloom, this amount must be increased. The plant will respond to the short day-long-night photoperiod of fall and winter by forming a bud. But, except a few cultivars, these plants will not form buds during the long-day-short night part of the year.

Wrong Time of Year

This photoperiodism response is typical of many plants. Light changes are sensed by photoreceptors that in turn cause hormonal changes. Auxins are plant hormones that drive new growth. They are what informs the plant that it is time to bloom. Peace lily is a short-day response plant. So plants will begin to form buds in the cooler season and fully flower when the days become longer.

Plant Isn’t Old Enough

A peace lily must be several years old before it will flower. While studies have shown younger plants produce more flowers, very old plants may simply stop producing blooms. Young plants will generally produce a bloom in about 15 months in perfect conditions.

How to Make a Peace Lily Bloom

  • Peace lily plants respond not only to light changes, but to temperature and humidity levels. To encourage the plant to bloom, move it to a slightly brighter location.
  • Plants that undergo a chilling period of 54 degrees Fahrenheit (12 C) for a few weeks will flower earlier than those in warmer temperatures. The optimal average temperature year round is 72 F (22 C).
  • The plants also enjoy significant humidity. In homes with central heating, they often do not receive enough ambient moisture. Mist the leaves daily or place the container on a saucer filled with pebbles and water.
  • This will evaporate and increase the humidity around the plant. The plant does not need much fertilizer but the chance of a bloom increases with an application of balanced fertilizer every 6 to 8 weeks during the growing season.
  • Removing spent flowers will encourage plants to rebloom. Avoid placing the plant near drafts and allow it to become pot bound. With a little luck, the plant will bloom again.
Bonnie L. Grant

Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.