The Q&A Archives: Peonies Won't Bloom

Question: I have 3 peony bushes 1 about 10yrs old the other two are 4yrs old. These plants have bloomed previously and done very
well. This year, I don't even have buds. The man who gave me the 2 4yr old plants, lives across the street from me and his are beautiful this year, when asked if he does anything special, he tells me no. Any suggestions on why mine would not be blooming? we did have a nice cold winter, so that is not a factor. Is there something I could put on them to help them bloom?

Answer: Peonies are funny birds -- exasperatingly tempermental if given the wrong conditions or planted just a teeny bit improperly but extraordinarily vigorous, floriferous, durable, and long-lived in the right situation. Insufficient blooms or buds not opening can be caused by several factors: 1) Bud blast, a physiological disease caused by dry conditions during formation, a lack of potassium in the soil, root-knot nematodes, or plants being set in the ground a little too deeply ( eyes set no more than 1-2 inches below the surface). 2) Insufficiently cold winter. Peony lovers who live in the south or west almost always suffer this fate. 3) Or simply too much shade (less than 6 hours of sunlight per day) or not enough water.

The only suggestion I can offer is to make sure your plants are receiving exactly the conditions they require, or adjust as necessary. Once they're happy, they'll bloom for you.

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