Peace lilies benefit from being fertilized occasionally during the growing season. However, how do you know what kind of fertilizer to use to get the best results?
In general, peace lilies benefit from balanced fertilizer, with equal ratios of nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium. This helps them to grow strong roots with plenty of green foliage. However, too much fertilizer is not suitable for your plant, so be careful and make sure you dilute liquid fertilizer before using it.
What Do The Numbers On Fertilizer Mean?
You may have noticed that some fertilizers are 20-20-20 or 3-1-2. This refers to the amount of nitrogen, phosphate, and potassium in the fertilizer, and these three things are the macronutrients that plants need.
Nitrogen helps with healthy leaf growth, while phosphate aids a plant in building up its roots. Potassium will benefit a plant’s cell generation and allow it to grow strong overall.
Different plants prefer different ratios. Your peace lily will be happiest with a balanced fertilizer where all the ratios are equal. A fertilizer with slightly higher nitrogen levels should also be okay but will lead to increased leaf growth rather than flowers or roots.
Should I Choose A Liquid Fertilizer Or Slow-Release Pellets?
So, what kind of fertilizer should you pick? A liquid fertilizer or slow-release pellets?
Fans of slow-release pellets tout that these feed the plant over some time and do not need to be added to the potting mix so often. You can get by with fertilizing twice during the growing season, or maybe even once at the start of it.
However, you can’t control how fast the nutrients are released, which is a significant disadvantage with this method. If your fertilizer pellets break down quickly, your plant could get too much fertilizer, which can lead to problems with too much foliage growth and browning leaves.
If, by contrast, your fertilizer pellets don’t break down very quickly, your plant won’t be getting as much fertilizer as it needs and will not grow as fast. So while these pellets are easier to apply, they are not as good for controlled fertilization.
Liquid fertilizers need to be added more often, but they are more reliable and easier to control. This is why I prefer them.
You can fertilize your peace lily with liquid fertilizer simply by mixing a few drops of fertilizer with water and then watering your plant when it needs a drink. This is very easy to do, and you can increase or decrease the strength of the fertilizer simply by adding more or less fertilizing liquid.
Usually, peace lilies benefit from liquid fertilizer being diluted to half or quarter strength.
Can You Use Coffee Grounds To Fertilize Peace Lilies?
Yes, you can use coffee grounds as a fertilizer for peace lilies, although you may sometimes need to add a standard fertilizer as well. Because coffee grounds are acidic, they are good for making the plant’s soil more neutral, bringing down the alkalinity in the soil.
They tend to keep pests away, which could benefit your peace lily if it is under attack. Consider using coffee grounds in conjunction with somewhat diluted fertilizer for the best possible effects.
What Happens If I Fertilize My Peace Lily Too Heavily?
You might wonder what happens if you give your peace lily too much fertilizer. Usually, it will just result in an extra flush of leaves, but if you keep doing it, you may find that your peace lily starts to struggle, and its leaves turn brown. This is a sign to stop fertilizing the plant for a while until you restore normal growth. If you have fertilized it too heavily, you may also wish to try and wash the soil out a bit.
You can put your plant in the sink and run some water through it until the soil is thoroughly saturated and water is rushing out of the bottom of the pot. You may lose some soil too, but this can always be topped up with fresh compost.
Keep rinsing until you are satisfied that the excess fertilizer has been washed away, and then allow it to drain. Depending on the season, you can then resume regular fertilization in a couple of months.
The best fertilizer for a peace lily is a balanced 20-20-20 one. You may prefer a liquid fertilizer as I do, but you can use a slow-release pellet version if it works better for you. Peace lilies are hardy and should be pretty happy with either method!