Peace Lilies are some of the most forgiving houseplants. However, you might still need fertilizers to keep their blooms and leaves in shape. After all, the soil of houseplants isn’t as rich as the forest’s ground cover. So, how often to fertilize peace lily?
In most cases, you’ll need to fertilize indoor plants depending on the amount of light they receive. If you keep your peace lily in dim light, you’ll only need to fertilize it once every three months. Otherwise, if you place it in a brighter spot, you can fertilize it once every six months.
In this article, we’ll detail how to correctly use different fertilizers for your peace lilies. Read on to learn what factors determine how often you need to fertilize them.
You might be thinking that fertilizer is an added bonus for your plants. However, in most cases, fertilizers are the secret behind elegant peace lilies grown at home.
Still, we need to point out some general rules regarding how often you should use fertilizers before we detail each type.
You don’t need to fertilize a newly store-bought peace lily until the next growing season. Growers periodically fertilize their plants to keep them in their best condition, so there’s probably enough fertilizer in the soil already.
Many beginner houseplant keepers fertilize their sick plants to help them heal faster. However, a fertilizer will only stress an unhealthy peace lily further, so it’s better to wait until you solve the problem. Try checking the roots first and transferring the peace lily to a better soil mix if it’s suffering from root rot.
After years of trial and error, we’ve realized that it’s best to add fertilizers depending on the light conditions.
If your peace lily is sitting by a bright window spot, you’ll need to fertilize it more often to keep up with faster growth.
Otherwise, you shouldn’t add fertilizers if your peace lily isn’t growing fast enough in dim light. This is because the roots won’t absorb the fertilizer so it’ll remain in the soil in the form of mineral salts.
Over time, the accumulated salt could make it difficult for the plant to absorb water. It could also damage the roots, which would harm the peace lily.
That’s also why you’ll need to repot your peace lily after some years. So, adding unneeded fertilizers will force you to change the soil mix more often.
The growing season is closely related to the amount of light your peace lily receives. Most regions around the world receive more light during the warmer months, so your peace lily would grow faster at that time.
An additional factor that speeds up growth is the temperature. Higher temperatures along with humidity will encourage your peace lily’s growth.
That’s why your peace lily will use up the fertilizer sooner, so you can fertilize it more often during the growing season.
Compared to other plants, peace lilies require small amounts of fertilizers. So, it’s always better to play it safe and use a more diluted solution at the beginning.
For liquid formulas, we recommend adding them once every six weeks in the growing season. Added to that, if you’ve placed your peace lily in a bright spot, it’ll likely grow faster so you can keep fertilizing the plant beyond the season.
On the other hand, if your plant is receiving less light, you can use the fertilizer less frequently. The sweet spot would be once every three months.
This is also how often you should fertilize your peace lily outside the growing season.
Many houseplant lovers would prefer to use a natural fertilizer because of environmental concerns. However, it’s difficult to specify the nutrient quantities in natural fertilizers and they don’t instantly enrich the soil.
If you prefer to use the synthetic option, just make sure you don’t dump fertilizer-contaminated water in the drain or natural waterbodies. Instead, throw them away in dumping sites.
For those of you who prefer natural alternatives to synthetic fertilizers, here’s how often you should use them with peace lilies.
Peace lilies benefit from compost, but you might need to use additional fertilizers if you don’t see satisfying results after the growing season.
The difference between compost and other natural fertilizers is that compost will release nutrients into the soil in a shorter period of time.
Still, it needs to be decomposed by microorganisms before its nutrients become available, which makes it slower than synthetic fertilizers.
To use compost, you can blend it with the soil mix. Just make sure the compost doesn’t exceed 20 percent of the potting mix volume.
Otherwise, the compost would make the soil hold excessive water, which can lead to root rot.
Alternatively, you can simply add a one-inch layer on top and evenly spread it. The nutrients will gradually penetrate the soil mix as you water the peace lily.
We recommend adding compost to your peace lily’s soil mix every time you transfer it to a new pot. Typically, a peace lily would need a larger pot every two to five years.
Take note though, as you should only repot a peace lily after a minimum of one year from the purchase date. If you repot it right away, it would unnecessarily stress the plant, which might lead to its withering.
As for older peace lilies, if you prefer spreading the compost as a top layer, you’ll just need to do it at the beginning of spring. In case your peace lily is growing fast, you can give it an additional layer of compost every two to three months.
Other effective natural fertilizers include coffee grounds and fish emulsion. You can use these in the same way you’d use compost. Don’t add too much coffee grounds though, as they tend to hold excess water.
Peace lily blooms, in particular, barely benefit from fertilizers, whether they’re synthetic or natural. That’s because the blooms are actually spathes, not flowers.
If you want to encourage blooming, you’ll need to place your peace lily in a bright spot at home. There’s also gibberellic acid, a treatment that proved effective for blooming.
Gibberellic acid isn’t a fertilizer, but growers use it to initiate peace lily blooms. It’s a plant hormone that you can use at home, which will give you more predictable blooms, although it might have some side effects.
First, you’ll need to dilute the acid based on your product’s instructions. Then, you can sparingly spray the plant once every thirty to forty days. The peace lily would bloom within two and a half to four months after spraying.
Finally, how often to fertilize peace lilies?
Depending on the light situation, you’ll need to fertilize a peace lily every three to six months. Alternatively, you can add compost to the soil mix every time you repot the plant.
If you’re after the peace lily blooms, moving the plant to a brighter spot will help it bloom more than any fertilizer. Still, you can use gibberellic acid, like growers, to initiate more spathes throughout the year.
In all cases, the forgiving nature of peace lilies will give you room for experimentation. The best part is that healthy peace lily leaves are attractive on their, even without the blooms.
Back to Garden And Sunshine home page
Read more from our peace lily category