The blooms of the Peace Lily are one of the key attractions of this ever-popular houseplant. However, those beautiful flowers often start to turn green over time, rather than staying gloriously white like they were when you brought your plant home. This article is going to explain why your Peace Lily flowers are turning green, and what you can do to keep them wonderfully white.
The most common cause of Peace Lily flowers turning green is aging blooms. White blooms often develop a green hue as they get older, and you can prune these off at the base if desired. Low light, acclimation, and excess fertilizer can also contribute to Peace Lily blooms turning green.
The most common cause for Peace Lily blooms to turn from white to green is simply that the spathes are getting old.
The spathes of some species of Peace Lily will become progressively more green as they age. This is due to increased chlorophyll production in the spathe as it gets older. This serves the purpose of helping the plant to produce energy when the function of the bloom is almost complete.
The “blooms” of the peace lily are actually modified leaves and are technically called spathes. Due to their similarity to true leaves, the spathes possess the ability to produce chlorophyll and help the plant to derive energy from sunlight.
Whilst the flowers of the Peace Lily look fantastic, their true purpose is to attract pollinators to help the plant reproduce. Once the plant has allowed a sufficient period of time for pollinators to do their work, the focus of the plant shifts back towards energy production.
How To Prevent Green Blooms On Your Peace Lily Due To Aging
If you want to enjoy beautiful white blooms for as long as possible, try to purchase a plant that is not showing any discoloration of the blooms, and avoid choosing a Peace Lily with any dying blooms. Those plants with new spathes emerging are likely to last the longest.
The initial blooms on a plant you purchase can last for several months, but Peace Lilies will bloom repeatedly if given the right conditions. Most commercially cultivated Peace Lilies are induced to bloom by being exposed to gibberellic acid. This makes them produce a fantastic display of flowers that will impress potential buyers. Once these fade, further blooming is unlikely to be as profuse, but they can still produce a wonderful display for many months of the year.
Aside from aging blooms, there are several other factors that can result in Peace Lily flowers turning green prematurely. Low light is one of the most common issues that causes green Peace Lily flowers.
Low light can result in the blooms emerging with a green hue, or starting white, but turning green quite quickly. In low light conditions, the plant struggles to produce enough energy from the low light available. As the spathes have the potential to produce chlorophyll and help the plant to produce energy, the low light conditions stimulate the plant to do this.
In addition, low light causes most plants to rearrange the chlorophyll-containing chloroplasts within their leaves, moving them to the surface of the leaves, making them appear greener. In this way, spathes with only a little chlorophyll in them appear greener as the spathes move what is there to the surface so that they can absorb more light.
If you bring a Peace Lily home that has beautiful white blooms and immediately put it in low light conditions, this change in lighting can trigger the blooms to develop green discoloration. Don’t mistake this for aging of the blooms. Make sure to provide appropriate lighting for your plant to maximize the life of the blooms.
Note: Some people think that it is excess light that turns Peace Lily blooms green, as they assume the plant will produce more chlorophyll to capture the abundant light available. This is not the case, and in fact, plants often rearrange their chloroplasts in high light conditions to reduce the amount of light energy captured, making the leaves appear less green.
How To Prevent Peace Lily Flowers Turning Green Due To Low Light
Peace Lilies need bright, indirect light. They can tolerate surprisingly bright conditions and are best placed within a few feet of a window, out of direct sunlight. Obviously, the light in a room is influenced by many factors including the aspect of the window, season, obstructions outside the window, as well as how far back from the window you position your plant.
If you hold your hand up against a wall in bright, indirect light, your hand should make a shadow with a slightly hazy outline. If minimal shadow is seen, the light is too dull.
Another great way to judge the lighting is to get a light meter app for your phone. Just search the Android or Apple app store for “light meter app”. These use your phone’s camera sensor and will tell you exactly how bright your conditions are. Read this article about light requirements for houseplants to make sure you get the lighting just right for your plant.
Plentiful fertilizer, particularly those that are abundant in nitrogen and iron promote faster vegetative growth and increase the production of chlorophyll. Whilst great for your plant in moderation, excessive amounts can result in Peace Lily flowers turning green.
The modified leaves of the Peace Lily spathes respond to an abundance of iron and nitrogen by producing more chlorophyll, resulting in greening of the once-white flowers.
Peace lilies do not require a lot of fertilizer, and it is much easier to damage the roots and foliage of the plant by applying too much. Using a standard houseplant fertilizer 2-3 times a year during the growing season, or adding a little compost to the potting mix is normally all that is required. You can read my guide to fertilizing houseplants if you’d like to learn more.
When you bring your Peace Lily home, it will likely be blooming profusely. As the conditions in your home are less ideal than those in the grower’s greenhouse, particularly in relation to light levels, this can trigger the existing blooms to develop a green hue.
Whilst it is very difficult to provide perfect conditions in your home, you should aim to provide conditions that help your Peace Lily to thrive. This will encourage the blooms to last as long as possible and discourage them from turning green. You can read my guide to Peace Lily care to find out more about growing a really healthy Peace Lily.
Variation Of Normal
It can be a normal feature of some species of Peace Lily to get a degree of greening on their spathes. If you are providing good conditions but your Peace Lily’s flowers are still turning green, then this may in fact be a natural feature of your plant. Focus on keeping your plant healthy and make small adjustments to the conditions as you feel are needed.
Should I Cut Off Peace Lily Flowers That Are Turning Green?
Pruning Peace Lily blooms that are turning green is largely a matter of preference. Some say that it can help the plant to preserve energy that it can use to produce new blooms in the future. Others feel it makes no difference other than to change the visual appearance of the plant. If my plant is otherwise healthy, and the blooms are just going green as they age, I prefer to cut them off at the base with sterile pruners.
The most important thing to do if you see your Peace Lily blooms turning green is to think carefully about the conditions your plant is growing in to see if there is anything you need to adjust to reduce the severity of this in the future.
How To Stop Your Peace Lily Flowers Turning Green
To keep your Peace Lily blooms looking white and pristine, provide bright, indirect light, avoid over-fertilizing, and ensure that the basic care needs of your plant are being met.
Be aware that your Peace Lily may develop some greening of the blooms in the first few months after you bring it home due to acclimation to the conditions in your home. Some Peace Lily species are more prone to developing green blooms.
If you’d like to learn more about growing healthy Peace Lilies, check out some of the following articles that run through most of the important aspects of care, as well as how to prevent and fix common problems.
- How To Care For A Peace Lily Houseplant
- How To Stop Peace Lilies Drooping
- Why Do Peace Lily Leaves Turn Yellow (Causes And Solutions)
- Why Is My Peace Lily Dying? (And How To Fix It)
- How To Water Peace Lilies
- Peace Lily Meaning And Symbolism
- What To Do If Your Peace Lily Isn’t Blooming
- Common Peace Lily Problems (And Solutions)
- Peace Lily Overwatering Symptoms (And How To Fix Them)