If you’ve got a peace lily, you may be wondering when and how often it needs fertilizing. Plants have different requirements, so even if you are an experienced plant parent, you may be unsure whether your peace lily needs fertilizer.
Peace lilies are pretty hardy plants and don’t have a lot of stringent requirements. If you just want to keep your plant alive, you probably don’t have to fertilize it, but you should if you want to see lots of flowers and fresh, vigorous growth.
The best approach is to fertilize occasionally during the growing season.
Why Do House Plants Need To Be Fertilized?
It’s generally a good idea to fertilize house plants because, over time, they will deplete the nutrients in their containers and run out of food. After all, when growing in the wild, plants have access to fertilizer as foliage falls, insects die, and plant matter rots around them, enriching the soil.
This does not really happen in the home. Although some of your plant’s leaves will drop onto the surface of the soil, on the whole, it won’t get much back, and the nutrients won’t be well balanced.
That’s why it’s a good idea to fertilize your house plants, and your peace lily is certainly no exception to this. While they are tough plants, they need some care to really flourish. Without a bit of fertilizer occasionally, you may find your plant rarely flowers, and it grows slowly.
So, let’s look at how you should fertilize your peace lily!
When Should You Fertilize A Peace Lily?
It is a good idea to fertilize a peace lily about once every six or seven weeks during the growing season. This will ensure that it has plenty of food but won’t risk you burning the roots or over-feeding it.
Over-feeding a peace lily will result in a lot of very dark foliage growing but no flowers (or green flowers). This is because the plant has so much food that it focuses on getting bigger rather than reproducing. If you keep over-fertilizing your plant, its leaves will start to turn brown and die back because the plant can’t cope with excessive amounts of fertilizer.
If you notice that your plant is growing many leaves or the leaves are starting to turn brown, reduce the fertilizing routine a bit, and cut back on the amount of fertilizer you are using.
You should also note that peace lilies don’t need feeding when they aren’t in their primary growing season. From October to March (if you live in the northern hemisphere, otherwise reverse it!), most peace lilies stop growing very much, so you only need to start fertilizing them around the end of February. Stop fertilizing around September or October.
How Much Fertilizer Should I Give My Peace Lily?
So, how much does a peace lily need? This depends on several things. For example, the size of the plant, as large plants will need more nutrients. As a general rule of thumb, you should dilute your liquid fertilizer to about half or a quarter amount of its usual strength.
This, combined with fairly infrequent feeding, should give you a good fertilization level to ensure your plant is happy and healthy. You can mix a few drops of fertilizer into some water and then use this to water your plant.
What Kind Of Fertilizer Should I Use?
There are many kinds of fertilizer on the market, so you might be wondering which you should choose. Of course, lots will work, but I would suggest using a balanced dilutable fertilizer with a ratio of 20-20-20.
Choose a high-quality fertilizer rather than a poor brand, as you will probably get better results. If you think that your peace lily is deficient in one of the critical nutrients, you can look for another option.
As a basic rule of thumb, nitrogen (the first number) makes your plant greener, phosphorus (the second number) helps it grow solid roots and flowers, and potassium (the third number) aids the plant’s cellular functions.
By adding enough of each nutrient, you’ll keep your peace lily balanced and healthy!
I Think I Have Over-Fertilized My Peace Lily
Don’t worry if this happens. We can all get too enthusiastic about feeding and caring for our plants sometimes. I know I have! If this occurs and your peace lily’s foliage turns brown, try to fix the issue by flushing the soil out with lots of water.
Stand your peace lily in the sink and wash it through several times, and then allow it to drain and dry out. This should decrease the nutrients in the soil and restore balance.
So, to summarize, you should fertilize your peace lily, yes. Do so regularly, but not more often than every six weeks during the growing season. Stop fertilizing during the winter, when your peace lily will slow down and not need as much food, and then resume in the spring.