Coax your peace lily to bloom by making sure it gets the proper amounts of water and light. The most common reason peace lilies don\’t bloom is because they aren\’t getting enough light, according to Clemson Cooperative Extension. Although they can grow in low light conditions, peace lilies won\’t bloom in the shade. The plants bloom best in bright or medium indirect sunlight. If the leaves start to turn yellow, they\’re getting too much light.
Direct sunlight will burn their leaves, causing brown streaks or spots. As for water, home gardeners should wait until the planting medium dries out to an inch or two below the surface, and then water with lukewarm water. If the plant wilts, you\’ve waited too long to water. The soil should be moist but never soggy after watering, and plants grown in containers should have drainage holes.
The part of the plant that provides the color is not the flower but the spathe, a large bract or modified leaf that forms a sheath to enclose the flower cluster.
Commercial growers treat peace lilies with gibberellic acid (a plant hormone) to control flowering a technique for experienced growers only. Peace lilies are tolerant of low-light conditions in the home but are less likely to flower in extremely low light.
Bright, indirect light is best to induce flowering. You may place your plant outside in shade for the summer when temperatures remain above 60 degrees. (Plants will burn if placed in direct sun. ) Use diluted fertilizers on Spathiphyllum twice a month during the growing season. Peace lilies require evenly moist, well-drained soil while growing and flowering.
Remove spent flowers so that the plant will continue producing flowers. Increasing light, water, humidity and fertilizer may nudge a plant to flower. Older plants sometimes do not flower as well as young plants. Tim Johnson is director of horticulture for the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe ( chicagobotanic. org ). Send questions to: Gardening Q e-mail to sunday@tribune. com.