When & How to Fertilize Peace Lilies - 2023 Essential Guide

Written by Ivy

Feb 15 2023

When & How to Fertilize Peace Lilies - 2023 Essential Guide

The amount of fertilizer needed by peace lilies is not very high. We recommend using a liquid formula every 6 weeks during the growing season, starting at ½ strength to be safe. Fertilize less frequently if your Peace Lily is in low light, and stop entirely if it's dealing with other health problems.

When a room or office is too dark for most other houseplants, the peace lily plant is the ideal companion. These low-light plants provide attractive dark green foliage and, with the right care, may even yield white flowers. (Read More: Why Is My Peace Lily Not Blooming)

Correct fertilization is one of the tricks to getting this plant to flower. The problem with too much fertilizer for these peace lily plants is that they do occasionally need a little boost.

Everything you need to know about when and how to fertilize your Peace Lily plants at home will be covered in this guide.

Should You Fertilize Your Peace Lily?

Many people talk about fertilizer like it's something "extra", an unnecessary, artificial growth booster. It's also true that only the nutrients in the soil are used by Peace Lilies to grow in the wild.

In contrast, fresh nutrient inputs are continuously added to the soil in the wild. Waste material from other plants decomposes and falls into the soil from above in the rainforests where Spathiphyllum evolved. A Peace Lily can find plenty of food in the thick organic mat that results from the decay of that fallen vegetation.

An indoor plant cannot access its natural food sources. Therefore, you must provide it with some fake ones.

Otherwise, your Peace Lily won't be able to expand, and it will eventually become weaker. It can't grow new, healthy roots, shoots, or leaves without the nutrients from fertilizer. It will grow slowly, bloom infrequently, or never, and be stunted and sickly. It will eventually fade and pass away.


When to Fertilize a Peace Lily

How long your Peace Lily has been in its pot should be the first factor taken into account when determining when to fertilize it. You can wait if you recently purchased it from a garden center or planted it in regular potting soil. Most soils you buy at the store come with some nutrition already mixed in. The next growing season should be the best time to add more, so do that.

That brings us to the next point: fertilize only when your Peace Lily is growing. In the winter, spathiphyllum plants do not completely hibernate. They only receive enough light to grow for about half of the year, though, unless you live fairly close to the equator. They are too exhausted in the autumn and winter to use fertilizer effectively.

As a result, any nutrients you add will simply remain as mineral salts in the soil. When they reach a high enough concentration, they reduce your Peace Lily's ability to take in water. Even the roots may suffer from excessive salt levels. Consequently, you should only fertilize during the growing season.

It is also best to stop fertilizing if your Peace Lily is sick. Inexperienced houseplant owners will sometimes add nutrients to an unhealthy plant, thinking it will give it some extra vigor. This will probably backfire because a stressed-out plant won't be able to utilize the chemicals you're adding effectively.

When your Peace Lily is happy and healthy and in the growing season, you should fertilize about every six weeks. As a Spathiphyllum prefers bright, indirect light, that is predicated on it receiving a lot of it.

If you're keeping it in dim conditions, it will grow more slowly, meaning you should fertilize even less often. 1-3 times per growing season is plenty for a Low-light-susceptible Peace Lily. Read More: How To Grow Peace Lilies Outdoors

What is the Best Fertilizer for Peace Lilies?

Fertilizers that are well-balanced or that contain a little bit more nitrogen (N) will work best for peace lilies. Since peace lilies don't consume a lot, fertilize them infrequently.

There are basically two types of fertilizer: liquid fertilizer and slow-release fertilizer.

Slow-Release Fertilizer

Slow-release fertilizer comes in colorful little pellets that may already be present in your potting mix. (That brightly colored substance in some potting soils is pellet fertilizer, in case you've ever been curious.) You only need to apply it every few months because these granules gradually release minerals into the soil over a few months.

Slow-release fertilizers have the drawback that it's difficult to regulate how quickly the pellets dissolve or how much nutrition your plant actually receives. This can lead to overfertilization if the pellets dissolve too quickly (which can result in yellowing leaves, chemically burned roots, etc.) or even nutrient deficiencies if the nutrients release slower than what your plant requires. (Read More: Why Do My Peace Lily Leaves Tips Turning Yellow)


Liquid Fertilizer

Many people prefer liquid fertilizer because it's much easier to control how much fertilizer your plant is actually getting. Additionally, it is simple to use. You simply add a little to water and water your plants as usual.

The main disadvantage of this approach is the need to use various liquid fertilizers according to various schedules. For instance, every three weeks, once each month, or every other month. It can be difficult to recall when you last fertilized and when you should do so again. Read More: Why Is My Peace Lily Dying - 5 Reasons & How to Revive

Pay Attention to the NPK Ratio

The NPK ratio, which will be shown on the bottle as a three-number series, such as 3-1-2, 20-20-20, etc., is the other aspect you need to take into consideration when selecting a fertilizer for your peace lilies (or any plant), in addition to other factors. Different plants prefer different ratios of the three nutrients—nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus—that are present in the fertilizer.

Fertilizers with a balanced ratio of nitrogen (N) or a slight excess of N are best for peace lilies.

How to Fertilize Your Peace Lily

When applying liquid fertilizer to your Peace Lily for the first time, dilute it slightly more than what is advised by the instructions. The harm caused by using too much cannot be undone, but you can always add more later. Go with ½ the recommended dosage, or ¼ if your Peace Lily is in low light.

Until the fertilizer is completely dissolved, combine it in a bucket or watering can. Then water as usual, soaking the soil completely so that some liquid is draining out the bottom.

Keep an eye out for signs of overfertilization over the coming days. If your Peace Lily's leaves get brown and crispy at the edges, or start rapidly turning yellow or brown, you've probably gone too far.

Give your Peace Lily another round of fertilizer in about 6 weeks if you don't notice any danger signs. Repeat this a few more times.

Is your plant currently putting out strong growth and vibrant blooms? So you can assume that the dosage you're giving is sufficient. You can start stepping up the concentration if it still seems sluggish or stunted.

Does Your Peace Lily Need More Fertilizer?

It takes some talent to recognize when a Peace Lily is under-fertilized. Even though your plant isn't growing as much as it could, it might not appear distressed.

Although they are not exactly weed-like in their growth, peace lilies typically grow 3-5 inches taller each growing season. Insufficient fertilizer may be the cause of your plant's appearance of being stuck at the same height and failure to produce new leaves. (Read More: Overwatered Peace Lily - Signs & How to Revive)

Note: rule out every other possible cause for slow growth before upping your fertilizer dose. If not, you'll cause more harm than good. The following problems are all more likely to stunt your Peace Lily than lack of nutrients:

  • Low light
  • Repeated under-watering
  • No room to grow in the pot

The failure to bloom and thin, weak stems are more severe symptoms. Lack of some elements causes leaves to become twisted or shriveled, while a lack of others results in various discolorations. (Read More: Peace Lily Drooping & Keep Wilting - How to Save)


How to Save An Over-Fertilized Peace Lily

It's not necessarily fatal if you made a mistake and gave your Peace Lily too much fertilizer. A soil flush can frequently help you reduce the damage.

That basically means an extra-heavy watering. Most of the mineral salts should be carried with the soil if you pour a lot of water through it—four to six times the volume of the pot. It works best with distilled, lukewarm water. Pour slowly but steadily, letting the water seep into the soil and drain out the drainage holes in the pot.

As a preventative measure, you can also use this. Give your Peace Lily a soil flush at least once every two to three months if you fertilize it frequently. This prevents the soil's nutrient levels from rising to dangerous levels. (Read More: Peace Lily Turns Black - 10 Causes & How to Fix)

Are Banana Peels Good for Peace Lilies? How About Coffee Grounds?

There are a ton of instructions on the internet for fertilizing indoor plants with kitchen scraps. Numerous suggestions are provided, particularly for coffee grounds and banana peels. Is this recommendation valid?

Yes, but with caution. These materials, like all organic materials, include some of the nutrients your Peace Lily needs. They will gradually enrich the soil as they decompose.

We do, however, need to dispel a few myths and caution you against a few drawbacks. (Read More: How to Repot A Peace Lily)

In comparison to the majority of commercial fertilizers, these materials have a relatively low nutrient value by weight. Many people mistakenly believe that coffee grounds provide a huge burst of nitrogen or that banana peels have a potassium boost. In reality, they're both fairly weak, slow-acting fertilizers.

Plus, you're talking about leaving food waste in an uncovered planter to rot. It can also serve as a breeding ground for fungus. And if your potting mix contains too much organic material, it will become very water-retentive. Peace lilies are susceptible to root rot, so that's generally bad. (Read More: Peace Lily Root Rot - Signs & How to Solve)

Use only a small amount of kitchen scraps on your Peace Lilies. Just a few crumbs of banana peel or coffee grounds should be used at a time. On young plants, too, stay away from coffee. It can impede seedling growth, according to some studies.

The best way to put your food waste to work in the soil is to compost it. The drawbacks we mentioned above are eliminated when plant scraps are consumed by microbes.

Final Thoughts

A balanced approach is necessary when fertilizing your Peace Lily, but it's not as difficult as it might initially seem. Just keep in mind to begin with low doses and only use them after your plant has access to all the other resources it requires to grow. The right time to add supplements to your Spathiphyllum's diet will soon become instinctive to you.