If you’ve bought or received a lovely Peace Lily Plant as a gift, you know how beautiful and elegant these plants are, especially when their flowers bloom. Delicate white hooded spathes are framed by dark green oval leaves that bring a touch of class to the décor.
But then you see your beautiful white peace lily flowers turning green, and you’d like to know why. Is it something that you are doing or not doing that is to blame for this sudden color change?
This article will cover the main reasons that peace lily flowers turn green and the solutions to get back white flowers.
Peace Lily Flower Blooming Process
The Spathiphyllum ssp. Is a popular houseplant belonging to the Araceae family. It is not a true lily and does not belong to the Liliaceae. Instead, they are related to such houseplants as the Pothos, the Philodendrons, or the Monsteros.
What is generally described as a peace lily bloom or flower is a spathe or type of leaf. Spathes are modified to act as protection for a “spadix” that actually bears the plant’s flowers.
Because the spathe is a type of foliage, it is capable of photosynthesis and can change color. So why does a spathe turn green?
There are several reasons for white blooms to turn into green blooms, a few of which you can influence.
Causes of Peace Lily Flowers Turning Green
1. Peace Lily Flowers Turning Green is Normal and a Part of Its Life Cycle
More often than not, your peace lily flower will turn green as part of its natural life cycle. It is quite normal for the spathe to feature a greenish tint before it opens.
Upon opening, it will become a shade of cream or white. The peace lily flower remains in this condition for quite some time. As its natural life span comes to an end, it will return to being green before turning brown and dying.
One explanation is that when it returns to its greenish hue, it is to photosynthesize. For foliage to photosynthesize, it must contain chlorophyll, a green pigment. Photosynthesis is the process whereby plants create nourishment for fruit, and it is genetically programmed in plant life.
Green spathes will assist in this process. Studies to this effect confirm that a peace lily spathe turning green can be a normal reaction of the plant itself to address its nourishment needs.
Perhaps in the beginning, the spathe begins as green to provide nutrients for the bloom. Before it dies, it may return to photosynthesize a final time before dying. When your peace lily flower turns green due to natural causes, there is nothing you can do to intervene with Mother Nature.
2. Excessive Exposure to Direct Sunlight
A commonly held theory is that if a peace lily receives too much direct sunlight, the flower will turn green. Others believe that insufficient light will cause a flower to become green, similar to many variegated houseplants that lose variegation in low light conditions.
In all flowering plants, sunlight is a necessary requisite for chlorophyll production. Too little light will cause yellowing, whereas bleaching takes place with excessive direct light exposure because the chlorophyll degrades.
Excess light exposure can contribute to causing your peace lily spathe to turn green simply because this modified leaf will begin to produce chlorophyll to begin photosynthesis.
Overexposure to sunlight will also scorch the leaves and their blooms. The peace lily leaf tips and edges will turn brown, dry, and crispy.
Solution to Excessive Sunlight Exposure
Peace lilies do still require some light to survive and enter their blooming phase. Because they are native to tropical rainforests, they require indirect sunlight.
If your plant is in a location that receives too much direct light, and the spathes are suffering, move the plant to an area with indirect light.
3. Over Fertilization Causes Green Flower
While fertilizing provides essential nutrients to your peace lily, overfeeding your plant with fertilizers high in nitrogen content or iron may cause the beautiful flowers to turn green.
An article appearing on the University of Vermont’s Department of Plant and Soil Science website says that if peace lily blooms are greenish, this condition indicates that the plant is receiving too much “fertility.”
This can happen at any point in the flower’s life cycle, so if you correct this, it stands to reason that the flower will revert to its natural white color.
Because iron is a crucial element in photosynthesis, an iron deficiency will result in foliage turning yellow. Nitrogen belongs to the chlorophyll molecule. If the nitrogen content is high, a plant will turn even greener and its flowers as well.
Over fertilization also places your plant at risk for burns, especially in the root system. As a result, the plant may produce fewer flowers and those produced may be weaker.
Solution to Over Fertilization
As a peace lily plant is not a heavy feeder, you only need to fertilize it a couple of times a year during the growing season (spring and summer).
Use a balanced 20-20-20 fertilizer diluted to half-strength or even a 10-10-10 NPK ratio. When selecting your fertilizer, choose one specifically for flowering plants because it will contain more phosphorous.
4. Environmental Stress Causes Green Flowers
If your peace lily is not cared for properly, flowers may turn green. Environmental causes such as low humidity, improper temperature, or bad water quality can contribute to a flower turning green in advance of its natural life cycle.
Solution to Environmental Stress
Because a peace lily is not a very demanding plant, do try to maintain the basic care and maintenance requirements.
- The environmental temperature range should measure between 65° and 85°F.
- The humidity level should measure at least 50% or above.
- Light needs to be indirect, although medium and low-light conditions will suffice.
- The soil bed should be a rich organic potting soil with a pH level of 5.5 to 6.5.
- Keep the soil moist, but not soggy.
- Fertilize every 6 to 8 weeks during the growing season.
- Remove dead or damaged foliage.
- Repot your peace lily every two years
5. Plant Shock
If you have recently repotted your peace lily, or your plant is brand new to your home or office, it may be experiencing plant shock. Your plant will need to acclimate to a change in the environment. Flowers that turn green may be a result of the plant shock.
Solution to Plant Shock
Provide the best possible conditions as described above and handle the root ball gently when repotting. Provide consistent plant care and you’ll have healthy blooms.
How to Prevent Your Peace Lily Flowers Turning Green
There are a number of reasons your peace lily flowers turn green, but keep in mind these care tips and you will be able to prevent flowers from turning green. Provide plenty of bright indirect light and avoid direct sunlight. Avoid over fertilization and maintain moist soil.
Should I Cut Off Peace Lily Flowers That Are Turning Green?
No, it is not necessary to cut a green peace lily flower. Wait until a flower turns brown or is dying before trimming. Green spathes are not a clear indication of imminent death.
Why Is My Peace Lily Bloom Not White?
Your peace lily bloom may not be white because of improper care, lack of light, over-feeding, or poor surrounding environment. The other reason that your blooms are not white is that the specific peace lily variety you have blooms different colors.
Peace Lily Flowers Turning Green Final Thoughts
If you take good care of your peace lily, it will reward you by producing beautiful blooms throughout the spring and summer months. If you notice your peace lily flower turning green, there are some things you can do to help bring back those vibrant blooms.
To read more about peace lily plants and flowers, check out these articles: