When a peony bush does not have any blooms, it is a disappointment, but it also could be that there is a problem. It could range from planting conditions to the condition of the plant itself. Fortunately, most solutions to a peony bush not blooming can easily be corrected, either by eradicating the problem or waiting it out.
Many homeowners who plant peonies become impatient for the blooms the first spring. Peony tubers will not produce mature flower buds for three to four years after being planted. In the first year or two you may notice a few flower buds develop, but the flowers will be small and immature. On the other end of the spectrum, older peony bushes can become large and overcrowded, which can result in a decrease of bud formation. In the late summer or early fall, carefully dig up older, crowded peonies, gently divide and separate the tubers. Replant the separated peony tubers.
Climate, or temperature, can play a part in whether your peony blooms. In colder climates, a late spring freeze will either prevent bud formation, or buds will from but not open. Hot weather can also effect bud formation. Excessively hot afternoons and evening during the period of bud formation will cause the buds to abort development. With either of these climate conditions, you will need to be patient and wait until the following year for a blooming peony.
How and where you plant your peony can determine whether the bush will form buds and bloom in the spring. Peony plants require at least six hours of direct sunlight to produce flower buds. Too much shade will not allow the peony to absorb enough energy to form buds, and your peony foliage will be weak and lanky. Another mistake homeowners often make is to plant the peony tuber too deep. Peonies should be planted 2 inches below the soil surface. If tubers are planted too deep, your peonies will not bloom.
The soil you grow your peonies in does have an impact on whether the bush will produce blooms. Allowing your peony bush soil to dry out during the growing season may cause your plant to not bloom the following year. Keep the soil moist throughout the growing season, mulch around the plant (avoid the crown) to keep the soil moist. Do not waterlog the soil, as that may result in the tuber to rot.
Moles or other burrowing rodents can disrupt the roots of your peony bush; wire mesh buried around the garden bed can prevent further damage. Also watch for fuzzy mold or rot on leaves and young buds, which could prevent the peony from blooming.