Do Peace Lilies Need a Special Chemical to Bloom Again?

When you pick out a peace lily at the store, that plant is usually decked out with several gorgeous white blooms just above its deep green foliage.

Some sources will tell you that once those blooms are gone, it is improbable that your plant will bloom again because the initial flowers* were a product of a chemical designed to force it to bloom.

Is this true? Is your peace lily unlikely to flower* again?

The short answer is that your peace lily can absolutely flower* again without the use of a special chemical, but it will require some time and patience. However, it is true that growers often use a special chemical to ensure that peace lilies are blooming at the time of sale.

Let’s talk more about this below and debunk the myth your lily will never bloom again!

*Technically Peace Lilies are aroids and aroid flowers are called inflorescences. We discuss this more deeply in other articles, but for the purpose of this article, we are going to use the more widely known term, “Flower.”

Table of Contents

Peace Lily growers DO use a hormone to induce blooming

Peace Lilies (Spathiphyllum wallisii) are often treated with a small amount of gibberellic acid, which is what allows the plant to bloom at the time that it is being sold.

What you should know about this practice:

Gibberellic acid is a naturally-occurring plant hormone.

Gibberellic acid (GA3) applied to spathiphyllum initiates flower buds and produces flowers 70 to 110 days later. This induction using a naturally occurring plant hormone is not dependent on time of year or temperature. […]

Gibberellic acid treatment allowed growers to sell smaller pot sizes in bloom.

Richard J. Henny, prof., and Jianjun Chen, prof., Spathiphyllum Flowering – Keys to the Future, Environmental Horiculture Dept, University of Florida IFAS Extension, 6/20/2016, Source

The peace lilies Gibberellic acid is being applied to are often not mature enough to bloom, which is why growers are able to sell smaller pot sizes in bloom.

This is key information because your plant may need ample time after losing its initial blooms to grow into a plant that is mature enough to bloom again.

In other words, we will have to be super patient while our baby plant grows up to blooming age.

Peace Lily Inflorescense
Peace Lily Inflorescense

Peace Lilies do NOT require this hormone to bloom, but may not bloom often

Peace Lilies may bloom about once each year, possibly more depending on age and growing conditions.

Once our plants have reached an age where they are mature enough to bloom (if you don’t know what I mean, skim the previous section), that doesn’t mean they are going to always be in bloom.

One of the common questions people ask me is “When is my plant going to flower?”

People do not just ask in reference to a peace lily, but any plant that is desired for its flowers.

I do understand the question because when we see these common plants in store, they basically are always in full bloom. This has given us a false expectation that they SHOULD always be in full bloom.

In fact, there are certain plants that we think are dying if the flowers fall off. Like the incredibly common Phalaenopsis orchid.

But we don’t apply this logic to plants outdoors because we know that isn’t realistic.

Here’s an analogy to help demonstrate what I mean:

I live in Michigan, but I would guess this analogy applies to most places in some way.

We know, as Michiganders, that we have 4 seasons.

We have Summer, which is green and lush and humid.

We have Fall, when the leaves fall, the trees become bare, and the plants die back to begin their dormancy for Winter.

We have Winter, where everything sleeps, the sky is gray, and there is almost no greenery except evergreens.

And then we have Spring. Glorious, gorgeous Spring. When everything wakes up and the greenery emerges again.

Nature rejoices in the warmer weather, breaking out in songs of color with flowers everywhere from your feet with tulips and daffodils to far above your head, trees blanketed in blossoms.

And it is only spring that there are so many amazing displays of blooms. There are some flowers throughout summer, absolutely, but not like spring. There are a few flowers in Fall. Sure. And absolutely none in Winter.

And the flowers that do show up in Summer probably didn’t bloom in Spring.

Those that bloom in Fall probably didn’t bloom in Spring or Summer.

Michigan in Spring
Michigan in Spring

Everyone has their time to shine.

Nothing blooms all year. Not even us. 🙂 We all need our rest period.

We don’t believe that the tree is dead when its flowers fall, only that its yearly bloom cycle is over.

But many of us do believe that our Phalaenopsis orchid is dying when it loses its flowers. Not so, friends!

It’s just entering a different part of its growth cycle, all of it a necessary part to get to the next time that it will shower you with lovely flowers.

And the same is true for your Peace Lily. 🙂


How to get your Peace Lily to bloom again

#1 Know that gardening is often a game of patience – waiting for your Peace Lily to bloom is an example of that.

It will take time.

There’s no way around it besides composting one plant and buying another. I’m not necessarily saying to do this, but some people do. This is a particularly common option when plants are used in office buildings and businesses.

#2 Enjoy the beauty of your plant’s foliage while it grows and matures

Pick a peace lily that speaks to you even without the blooms so you can enjoy it all year round.

My favorite is the Peace Lily ‘Sensation’. It’s never bloomed for me, but I didn’t buy it to bloom. I bought it because I love the huge, dark green foliage.

If it blooms one day, that will be a bonus, but I don’t need it to.

Peace Lily Sensation
Peace Lily Sensation

I also love my Peace Lily ‘Domino,’ which is variegated, making the foliage interesting regardless of blooms.

I’ve had this one for years and I’m positive that it didn’t bloom for a long, long time when I first had it.

I can’t tell you how long though because I just didn’t care.

Peace Lily Variegated Foliage
Peace Lily Variegated Foliage

Now it has a handful of blooms and it did last summer as well.

They are kind of fun. When the pollen is fragrant, it smells like rootbeer to me. Isn’t that cool!?

But at the end of the day, I like the plant regardless.

Peace lily Domino
Peace lily Domino

I purchased both of mine at a local greenhouse and am happy I did. They’ve both done great for me!

I know there is a vast selection of Peace Lilies online as well with different types of variegation, foliage colors, and sizes.

#3 Care for it consistently, providing water, good light, and regular fertilizer

To learn more about care, check out that post by clicking here.

The quick summary is:

Peace Lilies like a good amount of light!

It’s a common misconception that they are great for low light. They might survive low light, but that isn’t what they want!

Particularly if you want your plant to bloom, give it more light!

I have one of mine under grow lights while also receiving some natural light from a very large North-facing window and the other a few feet from a South and West-facing window.

Peace Lilies don’t want to dry out!

They can survive drying out and wilting, but it isn’t great for them.

Especially if you routinely let your plant wilt, that is pretty stressful for the plant and won’t allow it to be at its healthiest.

Ideally, you want provide water before it gets to the point where it is completely dry and wilted.

Droopy Peace Lily
Droopy Peace Lilies are not happy!

Peace Lilies like good drainage, but you don’t need to go too overboard.

Some potting mix with some perlite mixed (Maybe 2/3 to 1/3 respectively) in has worked well for me.

I do put it in terracotta which adds aeration as well. Maybe I would use a lighter mix if I put the plant in plastic. It’s hard to say.

Either way, the plant definitely wants some aeration around its roots like any aroid does, but it needs consistent moisture too.

Any houseplant fertilizer applied at half the recommended strength throughout the year would work well.

I don’t personally buy bloom-boosting fertilizers to try to concentrate on getting my plants to bloom. I feed them balanced nutrients and let the plants bloom when they are ready.

Some people do get bloom boosters, though, where the middle number is higher in the NPK ratio or where Phosphorous is higher.

#4 Enjoy the show of blooms and celebrate you and your plant’s hard work when it comes – and it will come, eventually!

Peace Lily Blooms
Peace Lily Blooms

Well, that’s it for this week!

What are your thoughts on the Peace Lily? Do you love it regardless of blooms? What is your favorite variety?

Tell me in the comments below!

Happy growing!


For people who want to know more about the Peace Lily, Spathiphyllum wallisii

Houseplant Care: How to Keep a Plant Evenly Moist

Why are Your Houseplant’s Leaves Turning Yellow?


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *