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Does it need more nutrients?

Posted by christinmk z5 WA (My Page) on
Tue, Jun 17, 08 at 15:32

Hi guys! Im no expert on peonies, so I thought id ask you. One of my peonies (P. lactiflora 'Emile Debatene') is in flower now. Ive had it for four, maybe five, years. Its had really big blooms in the past, but now they seem a lot smaller. There is however, double the abount of flowers on the plant this year. I wouldnt think that the blooms would get smaller just because there are more flowers; my really old peony (I believe its 'Flore Pleno') has more and more blooms each year but their always the same huge size. So, im wondering, is the peony not getting enough nutirients in general, or is there one particular nutrient lacking? Thanks in advance for any help you can give me!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Does it need more nutrients?

For my soil only compost is used spring and fall, two inches applied around, not on the plant. If your soil needs more fertilizer about four ounces chemical fertilizer during the late winter and again at bloom time is suggested. 5-10-10 or a similar ratio, light on the nitrogen. Peony roots are storehouses for energy, similar to a bulbs. Al

RE: Does it need more nutrients?

Thanks calistoga! Do you think that the smallness of the flowers has antything to do with a lack of nutrients?

RE: Does it need more nutrients?

I would suspect either/or a lack of available soil nutrients or roots limited in stored energy. Peonies spend the summer after blooming building up their considerable root mass and should not be abandoned by the gardener after the bloom cycle. Al

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