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May 26, 2018 10:37 AM CST
Thread OP
Name: Judy
Aurora, Illinois (Zone 5b)

I have a Henry Bockstoce peony. Each year, the buds begin to open then stop. It is planted near other peonies that do well. Is there a reason for this? Also, at this point in the season, this is the only peony that has any color to the buds at all here. It is on the west side of my stucco house. Perhaps the heat from intense afternoon sun affects it?

Today, I'm going to cut some buds and see if they will open in the house.
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May 27, 2018 4:31 PM CST
Name: Frank Richards
Clinton, Michigan (Zone 5b)

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There is no reason that I know. They look like they will open.
May 27, 2018 8:04 PM CST
Name: Liz Best
Columbiana Alabama (Zone 8a)
Annuals Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Peonies Lilies Irises
Hummingbirder Dragonflies Dog Lover Daylilies Bee Lover Birds
The refracted heat from the house could easily be the culprit, a lot of later blooming cultivars don't open here because summer hits too early. Provide some shade in the afternoon, maybe a beach umbrella that you can open over them for several hours, and see if that helps.
May 27, 2018 9:04 PM CST
Name: LG
Nashvillle (Zone 7b)
Butterflies Garden Photography Hostas Hummingbirder Peonies Region: Tennessee
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Are you sure that they are getting enough sun? I see the Hostas planted next to them, and if they were in full sun they would burn up.

You might want to move Henry in the Fall to a spot that gets 8-10 hours of sun. If it gets any shade, it should be in the afternoon. Peonies open their blooms in the morning and for a big intensely double type like Henry, that is when it should be getting the full sun.
LG - My garden grows with love and a lot of hard work.
May 27, 2018 9:22 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: Judy
Aurora, Illinois (Zone 5b)
Thank you. The sun hits around 11:00. Then it's pretty intense. But i agree that morning sun is necessary.. I will move him in the fall. Three years of this is enough!
May 28, 2018 5:06 AM CST
Name: Alex
Toronto, Ontario
Region: Canadian
I got Henry last year and not sure how it will behave for me, but rumor says that it is a little bit finicky. Your bush looks very good, but knowing that the flowers are huge it may be strained to fully develop all of them. I would rather disbud half now and see what happen. If other half develops nicely I would just fertilize it with bulb fertilizer in the fall and next spring and leave it for another year in the same place.
May 28, 2018 6:07 AM CST
Name: Tracey
Midwest (Zone 5a)
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Plant Database Moderator Cat Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Charter ATP Member Garden Ideas: Master Level Seed Starter
I have 'Henry Bockstoce' and in my experience, the bud turns red, you think it will open, but it takes a whole. 'Red Grace' acts the same way here. You have this nice colored bud for over a week, thinking "any day now", only to feel like you have waited and eternity. Hilarious! Then finally it opens up into that beautiful specimen you've been waiting for.

That said, this year has been miserable as far as weather conditions here for us in the Midwest. If you have now had this intense heat like we have, so early in the season after cold wet conditions and freezes during bud development, then this could also be playing a hand in your peony flower development.
May 28, 2018 7:58 AM CST
Thread OP
Name: Judy
Aurora, Illinois (Zone 5b)
Thanks for the info on Henry B. There are never a LOT of buds. After 3 years of this, I think I'll move him in the fall. He has made it clear that this isn't the location for him. I appreciate knowing that this is a finicky plant and there isn't something terribly wrong with it.

Funny thing, 10 ft away on the same west side of the house is a lovely Mrs. FDR who is very prolific.
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