The Q&A Archives: Peony Grows But Will Not Bloom

Question: I have a peony which I took from my aunt's yard. She had it forever and it bloomed beautifully every year. However I have had it several years now and it has yet to bloom. It comes up, however the leaves look scrawny, not full and lush like when she had it, and it NEVER blooms. Will stay green all summer, just no flowers? What's the problem? It's my favorite and I have babied it as much as I have my son but still NO BLOOMS....

Answer: Sheila,

Peonies struggle in the combined heat and humidity of our long southern summers. Many gardeners in the coastal south have tried to grow peonies to no avail. If you would like to take on the challenge to see if you can sweet talk them into performing in Alabama, I would suggest you choose a location with late day shade, say from about 2 p.m. on. Mix plenty of compost into the soil and reset them this coming November in their new location. Make sure and water them in well after planting.

About this time each year as the weather begins to get hot, mulch the plants with 3 inches of shredded leaves or a "store bought" organic mulch. Don't let them lack for water, but of course avoid overwatering as soggy soil is bad news for the plants.

Finally, make sure the plants are not sprayed with any turf weed killer, or that none drift over onto the plants.

Thanks for the question. Please feel free to stop in again with another question any time we can help!

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