Garden Topics: Perennials
Why Doesn't my Peony Bloom?
While peonies thrive for decades with little care, plants can experience difficulties. Here's how to troubleshoot Peony problems:
Flower buds fail to form. (1)Root divisions may be planted too deeply or years of accumulated mulch may have buried the eyes. (2) Peonies form eye buds on the tubers in fall, and winter freezes can kill those buds on roots planted too shallow. (3) Peonies need 6 to 8 hours of sun to flower. (4) High nitrogen fertilizer yields lots of foliage and few flowers; this problem occurs most often when peonies are planted near lawns that receive frequent fertilizing. (5) Newly planted peonies don't flower for one to two years.
Buds fail to open. (1) Cool, wet springs, and overhead watering can promote a fungus called botrytis which forms a fuzzy gray coating on buds causing them to abort. Remove and destroy affected buds. (2) The same conditions can waterlog the buds, turning them brown and lifeless.
Plant stems wilt and die. This condition also can also be caused by botrytis. Cut wilted stems below the affected area and remove them, taking care not to touch healthy stems.