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How to get a peace lily to bloom again?

Posted by flamingogirl (My Page) on
Fri, Jun 5, 09 at 1:26

I bought a lovely peace lily around 3 months ago from a shop, where it had around 3 blooms. It then went through a massive phase of blooming (around 15 in all), and I have recently cut the last dead flower off.

Is there anything special I should do to my lily to 'encourage' blooming again, or will it re-bloom all on its own? It's winter where I am now, so I guess it's not exactly flowering season. Should I just let it have a rest for the moment?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: How to get a peace lily to bloom again?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 6, 09 at 12:46

It will bloom on its own. How well you are able to maintain the preferred cultural conditions will have significant impact on how well it blooms for you. Here is some interesting reading about what effects cultural conditions and photo-period (day length - more specifically, night length) have on blooming.

Al


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RE: How to get a peace lily to bloom again?

More light and/or fertilizer.


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RE: How to get a peace lily to bloom again?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 6, 09 at 21:55

How, Tommy, did you determine that light levels were inadequate and she was under-fertilizing?

Al


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RE: How to get a peace lily to bloom again?

The reason most plants do not flower is from either lack of fertilizer (or not enough) and/or not enough light. If she's feeding it regularly then increase the light level. We need to know how much light it gets and how often she feeds it.


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RE: How to get a peace lily to bloom again?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Sun, Jun 7, 09 at 14:08

MMhmm - and you can't make that recommendation w/o some knowledge of what cultural conditions the plant is growing under now. She could easily be over-fertilizing, or the plant could be in too much sun. There's no information that tells us different - right?

It's winter where she lives, and Spaths tend to bloom more in spring and early summer after setting bloom buds in the winter. This is a photo-period response & would have little to do with fertilizer or light at this point in the growth cycle.

My point is - you probably shouldn't advise someone to give the plants more light when you don't know how much light they're getting. At best, your odds of being right are only 50/50. The fertilizer advice, since it's winter there, is probably inappropriate as well. Salts tend to accumulate in soils over winter because we tend to water in sips, and the suggestion to add fertilizer to a plant that is using very little in the way of nutrients and is already possibly in a soil with high salt levels is more apt to be counter-productive than spot on advice.

Al


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RE: How to get a peace lily to bloom again?

Re-read my post. I stand by it.


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RE: How to get a peace lily to bloom again?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Mon, Jun 8, 09 at 21:28

Whatever. ;o) What's more logical - to get the information you need and then offer your advice based on the relevant input, or offer advice first; then, after having it pointed out there was a leap that logic wouldn't support, mention there are a few things "we" need to know?

Patient: I don't feel well.

Dr. Heartcarver: Patients that don't feel well need by-pass surgery.

Nurse: But Dr., you haven't examined the patient yet, and she just had by-pass surgery last month.

Dr. Heartcarver: Oh wow! Maybe we should interview her, get some information, and do some tests first.

Al


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RE: How to get a peace lily to bloom again?

tapla and tommyr, thanks for the tips. Also, apologies for not getting back sooner, my PC broke down for the 50th time this month.

For the record, I'm keeping the lily the same place I always keep it - it's in front of a window with sheer blinds drawn across it. It seemed to do really well in autumn in that position; it gets a hearty shot of morning sunlight, then brightness throughout the day (but not as much sun).

I fertilise every 4 weeks - though I may stop now as tapla advises, given that it's winter? I'm a little confused though, as I asked a nursery storeperson for advice, and she said that if I wanted to keep the plant blooming (even in winter), that I should continue to fertilise it.


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RE: How to get a peace lily to bloom again?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 9, 09 at 10:47

Very often, you'll find that clerks don't know roots from shoots & often dispense fragments of advice they overheard in the store or that just sound good. If you want to know if they really know their stuff, challenge them a little with another question or two, point out an inconsistency in the advice, or just simply ask them how they came to the conclusion they offered. Their reply will tell you much more than their advice about their qualifications.

There is nothing wrong with fertilizing in winter, or maintaining a certain level of fertilizer in the soil. If your soil allows you to water freely, you can fertilize at low dosages EVERY time you water, even in the winter.

Going back upthread a little .... If I had asked the question about why my plants aren't blooming during the winter, the advice to fertilize or give them more light would be entirely inappropriate, because they GET good light & they get fertilized @ every watering. I could just as easily cause my plants harm as do them some good if I took the offhand advice.

Back to fertilizing: If your soil is slow, so you are forced to water in sips to prevent root rot, fertilizing in winter can be a very BAD thing. There would already be salts accumulating in the soil, originating from fertilizer and irrigation water. These salts CONTINUE to accumulate unless you flush the soil when you water. The effect of these salts is they make it commensurately more difficult for the plant to absorb both water and the nutrients dissolved in water as salt levels rise (They interfere with osmosis on a cellular level).

From what I said, you can see that the advice to fertilize should never be given w/o some knowledge of how you are maintaining cultural conditions that affect salt levels and at least a GUESS at the likelihood of how much salt is in the soil now. IF you've fertilized every 4 weeks, it's almost assured that salt levels in your soil are high, unless you're growing in a fast (free-draining) soil.

It also sounds like the plant is getting plenty of sun to assure budset when the plant is in the appropriate point in it's growth cycle (It's likely setting buds now). Some spaths bloom more continuously than others, but they all tend to bloom more prolifically in spring & early summer. That is genetically programmed into the plant, and no amount of fertilizer will change that. Additionally, you cannot make the plant grow MORE or grow Better or make it BLOOM more by supplying nutrients that are already present in adequate supply. It is only by increasing those nutrients that are deficient and LIMITING growth that you can improve growth (Search "Liebig's Law of the Minimum".

How long has it been since the plant was repotted? Root-bound conditions slow extension. o/a growth and vitality, and can interfere significantly with bloom induction.

Al


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RE: How to get a peace lily to bloom again?

Hi there

Right, I'm really not too certain what kind of soil I have in the pot, so I might leave off fertilising for a little bit.

When I bought the plant (3 months ago), it already seemed quite big for its pot. I haven't had that much experience with plants, but from what I've deduced by reading, I would say it's rootbound right now; the plant looks like it's almost bursting out of the pot (especially now that the flowers have gone). But its leaves are still very green and bouncy.


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RE: How to get a peace lily to bloom again?

  • Posted by tapla z5b-6a MI (My Page) on
    Tue, Jun 9, 09 at 20:07

Perhaps you should pot-up, or divide & return it to the same pot, being sure to plant divisions at the same depth they were growing at before.

Al


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