Peace Lily Not Blooming – Why?

Flowering peace lily - Spathiphyllum MoJo

Springtime is the time of year the Peace Lily flower naturally, it also works all year as one of the clean air plants, helping to produce a healthier home.

Walk into just about any Home Improvement garden center during the spring and you’ll see white flowers hovering over the dark green foliage.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had the question asked…

  • Why is my Peace Lily not flowering… What am I doing wrong?
  • When I got my Spathiphyllum it was in flower and now my peace lily won’t flower?
  • The plant looks great but on my Peace Lily – no flowers
  • What is the trick on How to make a Peace Lily flower?

First, let’s cover some….

Spathiphyllum Plant and Production

Thirty-five years ago the Peace lily plant was grown primarily as a foliage plant, and started from seeds. The main variety was Spathiphyllum “Mauna Loa” and flowers were an added benefit.

Today, most of the Spathiphyllum grown are produced from plant tissue culture or cloning.

During the selection process, breeders look for specific traits, such as:

  • Flowering habits and quality – if they find a spathiphyllum not flowering – they may throw it out
  • Leaf texture
  • Toughness, durability and disease resistance
  • Cold tolerance
  • Handles low light well

Once they have found or developed a plant that meets specific traits or market needs, it is then “reproduced” in a lab by the thousands.

This process “guarantees” the plants being “all the same” and will all grow the same… same height, same fullness, same flowering, same care, etc. This also helps growers to get a consistent supply of plant material.

There are many varieties of Spathiphyllum on the market today.

Some of the varieties grown in 4-6 inch pots have been selected for their flowering traits or ability to force lots of flowers on a small plant.

These plants are treated with chemicals to induce this quantity of flowers. They carried names like “petite” or “starlite”.

Some of the larger varieties, 10″ and up such as “Supreme” and “Lynise” have been selected for their interior qualities.

Another variety used indoors is “Sensation” and you may never see a flower on it. But, the plant is, as the name says ‘Sensation’al, it can reach heights of 5-6 feet.

What About My Peace Lily Plant?

Many times when plants are purchased they are thought or expected to live forever, I’m here to tell you… don’t believe it.

But, let me give you a word of encouragement. You are not doing anything wrong if your plant isn’t flowering.

In fact, you’ve probably been growing the plant longer then the nursery did.

You have taken a plant that may have traveled thousands of miles, become acclimated to a new environment, and grown it successfully. You should be congratulated.

A Little Light on the Subject

Flowering is usually a matter of light and/or temperature… long days, short days, cold snaps followed by warm weather and light levels.

Do your plants have a nice dark green color? Are they healthy?

They may look good but not receive enough light to flower. Plants grown in the nursery are probably receiving 3000 foot candles or more of light.

Most northern interiors if they receive 10% of that amount would be considered a lot of light. Many people do not understand – how light or lack of it effects plants.

Look around and you’ll notice plants flowering in the landscape.

If the plants don’t get enough light they will have few flowers. Your spathiphyllum is no different.

Many people start fertilizing house plants pouring on fertilizer thinking it will force the plant to flower… you may, in fact, be causing more problems.
removing peace lily flowers
Plants in the landscape haven’t been getting fertilizer have they?

I hate to say it but the best thing to do with your plant that doesn’t flower, and you do not have a place it can get more light… enjoy it as a foliage plant.

If you need to add some color, visit your favorite garden center or nursery and add a new plant to your interior.

Why Is It Possible Your Spathiphyllum Won’t flower?

You may have a variety that you’ll rarely see flowers on, which is the case with Spathiphyllum Sensation OR you may just not be giving the plant enough light.

For those with lots of flowers removing the flowers is their question.

Tips To Improve Your Plant Care
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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary Lou Grob June 29, 2010 at 1:52 pm

I have a Peace Lily that was sent to me about 3 yrs. ago. I re-potted it about 3months after I got it as a gift. Since they came out with those water globes that you refill my plant has been growing good. Every time it gets empty which it seems to last for almost a week I refill the globe and add some drops of plant food to the globe, it’s in an area where it gets plenty of light but not full sun all the time, it does have some brown tips on the tips of the leaves. I’ve never had any flowers on it yet and I was wondering does it have to be a certain amount of years old or a certain height before it will get it’s first flowers on it? And how many drops of plant food should I let drop into the water globe? and how often? I had re-potted it in Miracle Grow potting mix when I re-potted it 3 yrs. ago Also when should I re-pot to a larger pot? Hope you will return with some info. for me. Thank-You, Mary Lou

sue jaske June 29, 2010 at 8:06 pm

I have had a peace lily for 3yrs. it was doing well, but now it hardly has any leaves and when it gets some, they are small and have brown ends. It is on the north side. help.

Terry Gleaton September 1, 2010 at 2:39 pm

A friend of mine had a peace lily that started blooming after a period of drought. She forgot to designalt a plant caretaker while she was on vacation, consequently the plant went unwatered for 2 weeks. To her amazement, it was blooming within a few weeks of this “traumatic event. Might work for you, might have been a coincidence.

Joan June 11, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Help can my peace lily use town or city water on it? I have been using spring water but run out. Thanks Joan

admin June 13, 2012 at 11:07 am

Sure you can use city water… I would just let it sit out over night before using. However, I know many people who use it straight from the tap.