Peace lily flowers turn brown naturally when they reach the end of their life cycle. It’s completely normal, and not something you should worry about if your plant is otherwise healthy.
However, there may be some cases where flowers turn brown prematurely. Let’s take a look at why the flowers turn brown (including care-related reasons), how you can make them last longer, and how to remove the blooms when they fade.
Why Peace Lily Flowers Turn Brown
Flowers on flowering plants always wither and fade eventually. Some flowers last longer than others, but this is a normal part of a plant’s life cycle.
Peace lily’s flowers can last up to a month if you care for the plant properly. Although they’re more likely to fade after about 10 – 14 days. Once blooms fade, the plant enters a period of non-blooming that lasts for several months up to a year.
Indoor peace lilies bloom in spring or early summer, and some cultivars may flower twice a year. Each plant only has the energy to support flowers for a short time before they die. Don’t worry! Your plant will bloom again if you’re giving it adequate care.
Care-Related Reasons for Brown Flowers
In some cases, your peace lily flowers may turn brown sooner than normal due to improper care. If the plant becomes stressed, it may divert energy away from the flowers to preserve foliage.
Here are some reasons your plant may become stressed and cause flowers to die:
- Hot or Cold Air – Don’t expose peace lily to drafts of cold air or blasts of hot air from heating vents. This can cause both leaves and flowers to turn brown and drop off.
- Over-Watering – Peace lilies like moist soil, but cannot tolerate being water logged. This can kill the plant and cause it to lose leaves or flowers.
- Under-Watering – Just as damaging as 0ver-watering, giving your peace lily too little water may result in flowers turning brown before they can fully form. Keep soil moist, and allow the water to drain out of the bottom of the pot to make sure it’s thoroughly soaked.
- Too Much Light – As a low-light plant, peace lily cannot tolerate direct sun. Keep them about 3 – 5 feet back from a window that receives direct light, or place them in a north-facing window to prevent stress.
In my experience with peace lily, brown flowers are usually caused by natural aging. It’s rare that improper care causes the flowers to brown since the plant most likely won’t bloom at all if the conditions aren’t perfect.
However, if you move your plant to a different location or change your watering routine after your peace lily begins to flower, this can cause flowers to die early. Once your plant blooms, don’t make any big changes if you want to enjoy the flowers.
How to Make Flowers Last Longer
A peace lily never flowers until the plant is fully mature. However, commercial growers often use a substance known as gibberellic acid, a natural plant hormone, to force immature plants to bloom. This way, they can sell them earlier and make them more appealing to consumers.
This means when you bring home a young peace lily plant from a nursery, it is typically not fully mature. Once the flowers die, you may have to wait another year or two for blooms to appear again naturally.
Note: It is not recommended that home growers try to force blooms with gibberellic acid. I personally believe this is unhealthy for the plant, and we’re better off giving it an optimum environment to flower naturally.
When your peace lily does bloom, here are some tips to make your flowers last longer:
- Increase Temperature – Warmer conditions encourage peace lilies to bloom. Keep temperatures between 65 – 86 degrees F (18 – 30 degrees C) at all times to promote flowering and to help the flowers stick around as long as possible.
- Keep Soil Moist – Water your peace lily two or three times a week to keep soil adequately moist. This plant is sensitive to chemicals in regular tap water, so always use spring or distilled water.
- Keep the Light Low – Do not put a peace lily (especially a flowering peace lily) in direct sunlight. This is a low light plant, and direct light will burn the flowers and leaves. Indirect light is best to keep flowers around longer.
No matter what you do, the flowers will eventually die. They never seem to last long enough in my opinion! Enjoy them as long as you can by giving your peace lily proper care while it flowers.
Removing Brown Flowers
Remove brown flowers on your peace lily to keep the plant in good health. Follow the flower stalk to the base of the plant and cut it off from there. Use a sharp pair of pruning shears if you have them (but clean kitchen scissors will work in a pinch).
Avoid pulling at the flower stalk to remove it, as this might damage the plant.
Your peace lily will bloom again in a few months to a year – depending on the health of the plant, the environment, and the cultivar.