Peace lily flowers are popular houseplant because of their gorgeous looks. The combination of the cream white flowers and its lush green leaves make it a mainstay of most nurseries and garden centers. However, if your Peace Lily’s flowers suddenly turn brown, it is important to investigate what’s causing it.
Why are your Peace Lily flowers turning brown? Peace lily flowers naturally turn brown at the end of their life cycle. When this happens, it is totally normal and you don’t have to worry about anything.
That said, if your peace lily blossoms suddenly turn brown or black in color or do so prematurely, it may be a sign of plant stress or improper care.
Therefore, it is important to be aware of the difference between the two instances. This way you can fix any issues if there is in fact a problem with your Peace Lily.
Reasons for Peace Lily Flowers Turning Brown or Black?
From above, you already know that your Peace Lily flowers turn brown due to one of two things:
Stress is caused when something is not right or the plant is not getting what it needs. Below I’ll go through the possible causes why peace lily flowers turn brown.
As such, proper care is important.
And when you see the flowers or the spadix browning, it may be a sign for your to review your care routine.
I’ll begin with one of the easier things. Although this is often overlooked because tap water is usually not an issue for peace lilies. However, if you happen to live in a city that has hard water or where your municipality adds a lot of chemicals to the tap, it could cause your peace lily flowers to turn brown.
Too many chemicals including chlorine, fluoride and calcium can be toxic to the plant. As such, if you use tap water that happens to contain a lot of these minerals to water your peace lily, it can cause discoloration.
This can affect its roots, leaves and flowers.
If you suspect this, you may want to switch to purified or filtered water. If you get enough rainfall where you live, you can collect the rain and use that as well.
Another option is to allow tap water to sit at room temperature at least overnight up to 24 hours. This will allow the excess minerals to evaporate before you water your plants.
Too Much Fertilizer
Peace lilies benefit from fertilizer. This allows them to grow faster and stay healthier. Proper feeding helps it produce lush, green leaves.
However, if you notice brown tips and edges on the leaves of your Peace lily, it means that the plant is getting too much fertilizer.
Similarly, if the flower turns green on its sides instead of being white in color, you should suspect too much fertilizer.
Therefore, avoid the temptation of giving it more than it needs. While it may sound like a good idea to give it more plant food, fertilizer is actually harmful in excess.
It can damage the plant’s root, cause brown or yellow leaves and lead to smaller leaves, wilting and drooping.
Instead, apply a balanced houseplant fertilizer (20-20-20 N-P-K ratio) once every 4 to 6 weeks during its growing season. Dilute the dose to half or quarter strength.
Also, never apply fertilizer when the soil is dry,
Too Much Direct Sunlight
Like all plants, peace lilies need ample amounts of sunlight. However, there is such a thing as too much sun.
It cannot tolerate direct sunlight for long periods of time. If it is left under strong, intense or direct sun its leaves can burn and its flowers can dry out.
This leads to browning and discoloration.
Instead, place your peace lily somewhere it receives low to bright, indirect light. Medium to bright lighting produces the best results provided that the light is indirect, filtered, dappled or diffused.
Keep the plant away from the direct path of the sun’s rays.
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Lack of Humidity
Peace lilies like humidity. Ideally, they need humidity to be 50% or higher. This is when they grow at their best.
When humidity gets too low, the lack of moisture in the air can cause the plant to dry out. This leads to browning.
Therefore, if your home has dry air, it is a good idea to get a hygrometer so you know the humidity at any given time.
This will tell you when you need to take action and how much you need to increase humidity to keep your peace lily happy.
You can increase humidity by:
- Getting a humidifier
- Moving the plant to the bathroom
- Giving the plant a shower every couple of weeks or so
- Misting the plant a few times a week
- Placing it on a pebble tray
- Grouping it with other pants
Of all the probable cause on this list, overwatering is the one you want to watch out for the most.
Peace lilies like moist soil. But they don’t like wet feet.
This means that you don’t want to leave their roots sitting in water for long periods of time. When they do, it can turn the leaves yellow or brown.
More importantly, it puts the plant at risk of root rot.
Root rot is a very serious problem because when the roots are damaged, they cannot absorb water or nutrients from the soil anymore. Therefore, your plant cannot sustain itself no matter how much you water or add fertilizer to the soil.
This is why overwatering is the number cause of plant death for houseplants.
That said, it is also worth mentioning that underwatering can likewise cause your peace lily’s leaves to brown or turn black.
So, the best way to avoid both situations is to check the soil and water your Peace Lily regularly. You can do so by waiting until the top 1-2 inches of soil is completely dry before adding more water.
Avoid watering before the top soil dries out so you don’t have future issues with overwatering. Similarly, avoid letting the soil dry out completely as this will dehydrate the plant.
Peace lilies enjoy warm weather. Their ideal temperature range is between 68 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
More importantly, the plant is not cold hardy. And it cannot tolerate temperatures below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is why it does best outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 to 12. If you live in these regions, you can leave your peace lily outdoors all year round.
But anywhere else colder than Zone 10, make sure to bring the plant indoors as the weather starts to get colder around autumn.
In general, I keep my peace lily away from temperatures below 55 degrees Fahrenheit because I notice that its growth begins to slow down at that level.
Finally, there’s age. I’ve left this for last because this is something you don’t need to worry about. It is part of the plant’s natural life cycle.
Peace lily flowers change colors as they age. So after the blossoms have bloomed, they will eventually begin to die and turn brown.
After that the flowers will wither and fade.
The thing is, there’s nothing you can do or need to do because that’s the natural cycle of the plant’s flowers.
Peace Lily Flower Color Varies as the Plant Ages
To explain the last point above, I’ll take you through the life cycle of a Peace Lily’s flowers. And during this time, you’ll notice that the color of the flowers will change many times.
Flowers begin to emerge from the base of the plant.
- At first, all you see is a single white hood with a spike in the middle. Its unfurling is the first stage of growth for the plant’s blossoms.
- New flowers initially have a pale green color.
- As these blossoms open, they turn cream white which is what we’re most familiar with when we refer to peace lilies.
- The flowers will stay white in color for about 10 days.
- After that, they’ll turn green again. Around this time, seeds are set, and pollination occurs.
- The flowers stay for around one month before they start to die. During this time, the blossoms turn brown then they fade and wither.
Therefore, while most photos show peace lily flowers as creamy white, they actually go through many different colors from the time they emerge until they die out.
Should You Cut/Remove Brown Flowers on Your Peace Lily?
Once a peace lily’s flower turns brown, it will not turn white or recover its former glory. Therefore, it is a good idea to cut them off.
Doing so will help keep your plant healthy.
To do so, take a pair of pruning shears or scissors. Make sure to sanitize the blade with rubbing alcohol first before making any cuts. This ensures that you don’t pass any pathogens onto the plant.
Trace the flowers down until the base of the plant. Then cut it off there where it comes out from the leaves.
Avoid picking the flowers or removing them at the stalks. Also try not to use your hands as you may damage the plant doing so.
Instead, make clean cuts using a sharp blade.
How Long Do Peace Lily Flowers Last?
Peace lily flowers only last for about 10 days. The spadix will last for about a month or so before dying.
Therefore, you do get quite a bit of time to enjoy the beautify of the plant.
Peace lilies are best known for their beautiful white spadix. As it stays for around 30 days on average, you can enjoy it in your home.
One thing to be aware of its that once the flower dies, you want to cut it off.
Leaving a dead spadix on your plant is into only unsightly, but can negatively affect your plant’s health.
If Your Peace Lily’s Flowers Dies, Is Your Plant Dead?
Another important thing to note is that once your peace lily’s flower dies, your plant is not dead. This is very important since I’ve heard of some people throwing away a perfectly healthy peace lily thinking that the plant has died when only the flowers did.
As mentioned above, the life cycle of the blossoms last 10 days with the spadix reaching around a month.
When the spadix turns brown and dies, it just means that the flower has run its course. So, it is time to remove it.
But your peace lily plant is still perfectly healthy.
In fact, Peace Lilies have a lifespan of between 3 to 5 years. Therefore, it will be able to produce more flowers in the future.
How Can You Make Peace Lily Flowers Last Longer?
Although the spadix lasts for 30 days, it only stays creamy white for 10 days.
For many growers, including myself, this is too short a time for something that beautiful. So, the question is, can you make peace lily flowers last longer?
Well, yes and no.
The best way to try to prolong its white flowers it to give it proper care. This means:
- Maintain ideal temperature – keep temperature between 68 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This will simulate its natural habitat to help it bloom longer.
- Keep its soil moist – water your peace lily once the top 1-2 inches of soil is completely dry. Avoid letting it get too dry during the summer as it enjoys consistently moist soil.
- Give it proper lighting – avoid direct sunlight. Instead, keep the plant in medium to bright, indirect light.
- Keep humidity up – maintain humidity of at least 50% and higher. You may need to use a humidifier, mist the plant regularly or put it on a pebble tray.
Note that while these measures help, they don’t prolong the flowers for too long. And the blooms will eventually turn brown and die, which is unfortunately.
While we’re on the topic, I’d also like to mention something that you may have noticed.
One of the prerequisites for peace lilies to flower is maturity. Therefore, young or juvenile peace lilies won’t flower.
However, you may have noticed that some stores have young plants that are flowering?
How is that?
That answer is gibberellic acid. Gibberellic Acid is a natural plant hormone that helps with growth. Commercial shops and nurseries will use this hormone to force immature plants, including peace lilies to flower before their time.
While I don’t believe that this is the healthiest thing for the plant, the stores are in it for the profit.
Therefore, the earlier they are able to make a plant flower, the earlier they can sell that plant. This means more inventory moving in and out their stores.
It also means that they’ll sell you a young plant. Therefore, it will take more years before that plant dies.
As such, customers are more satisfied (as opposed to getting an older plant that dies one year or less after you bought it).
However, in this scenario, after the initial flower of the peace lily turns brown and dies, it may take 1 to 2 years before you see the next one bloom.
That’s because you need to wait for the plant to mature now that it does not have the extra boost of the gibberellic acid.
This is something I thought you should be aware of.