When peonies won't bloom...

mickeyjaneJune 12, 2008

We've discovered some peonies along our driveway that must have been planted by the previous, but honestly haven't had time to pay much attention to them. But, since this horrible weather means that the veggies aren't doing anything anyway...

Anyway, these things have never bloomed. Last year I fertilized a few of them a few times and this year those ones have grown back much bigger - but no buds or anything.

I've read of quite a few reasons this could be - buried too deep, need fertilizing, etc - but I guess I'm wondering what you would start doing if you weren't the one who planted them and thus have no idea how old they are, how they were planted, etc?

I've pulled up the grass/weeds that are immediately around them and mulched - not sure how far out I should go? I also raked some general fertilizer granules into the ground around them - it's the kind that's supposed to slow release all summer. I have an organic foliar feed that I do on my garden about once a week once things get growing - should I include the peonies in that too, or should I just let the granules do their job?

Would you dig them up and replant them shallower? If so, when? I'd appreciate any advice - I know next to nothing about flowers.

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How tall are they? They may have been bare-root plantings, which take about three years for any blooms to appear, they MAY be planted too deep, I wouldn't fertilize them too much, in fact I don't fertilize mine, I just have very good amended soil, and I mulch. Peonies are slow growers to begin with, you may have to watch them again next year, and then make a decision.
I have many that I planted bare-root, and this will be the first year for blooms on many of them, I'm excited to see them. Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 7:32AM
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Well, I didn't plant them, and no one lived here for years before us, so I'd say they're at least 10 years old. The ones that I noticed and fertilized a little last year are about two feet high and bushy - a few others that I just noticed this year are just a couple stems with a few leaves - maybe six inches high or so. We figured out that we have them about every twelve feet down the driveway.
Our soil is super sandy and doesn't hold nutrients very well - that's why I foliar feed my veggies so much.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 10:52AM
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Do they get full sun (more than 6 hrs/day)? How close to the driveway are they?

Here is a link that might be useful: The bottom of this page seems to address all your questions

    Bookmark   June 13, 2008 at 11:46PM
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My suggestion would be to haul in alot of compost, and get your soil properly amended, it makes all the difference for the health of your plants. It sounds like they're pretty close to being fully developed, if they aren't getting enough sun, they won't bloom, they just develop foliage.I'd check the depth of the planting too. If they're more than three inches, it's too deep and they won't bloom, you could divide the others if you wanted to, but I'd do that in the fall.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2008 at 7:41AM
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I second primgal 's advice. Peonies are usually pretty tough but they do need water and full sun. Especialy water before they bloom. Being planted too deep lots of time is the culprit. Some of mine nearly have roots on top of the soil. I do dig mine earlier since I'm a zone 3 and feel they need a little more time to become established before Winter.Do yours get good snow cover? Good Luck !

    Bookmark   June 24, 2008 at 2:56PM
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Thanks guys. I guess I'll dig them up and replant them shallower later this summer and see what they do next year. They have full sun, I water them quite a bit and I've also been fertilizing more besides adding a slow release fertilizer around them. They're about 10 feet from the driveway with a bit of ditch in between.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2008 at 5:19PM
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My peony bloomed two years ago but hasn't for the last two years. Why?

    Bookmark   May 7, 2011 at 3:36PM
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I suggest redigging them in the fall. That is the best time to do any digging of peonies.
not more than 2" deep. Dig carefully as the roots may break off of the eyes . I dug out my Barzella last fall and it took hours, lost quite a few roots though. Go easy..

Peonies generally do not need very much fertilizing.

Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2011 at 11:06PM
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jel48(Z4 Michigan)

I've been told (by a nursery owner) that peonies like a little bone meal. It should help encourage blooming. I haven't tried it yet, but plan to put a little around my 2nd and 3rd year peonies this year.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2011 at 5:58AM
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Mine had buds but they wilted and all was left was leaves. Why?

    Bookmark   May 28, 2011 at 9:18AM
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