The Q&A Archives: Why Peonies Don't Bloom

Question: How do I correctly plant a peony? I planted two springs ago and last year I had no flowers but a very healthy plant. I bought a plant already starting to grow, not a bulb. A friend tells me I may have not planted it correctly. Brenda M. Blais Weymouth, MA

Answer: Flowering can be prevented for three reasons: planting too deeply. Be sure the tips of the buds are no more than 2 inches below the surface of the soil; too much shade; and finally...not enough fertility -- especially phosphorous. Make sure plants get full sun (at least 6 hours a day), mulch the plants with bark in spring and fertilize in spring with a complete fertilizer high in phosphorous such as 5-10-5.

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