It can be very frustrating when your peonies fail to bloom following planting. Getting peonies to bloom year after year is not really difficult; however, the secret to them not blooming may lie in HOW the peony roots (or tubers) were planted. You may not have planted the peonies yourself, but inherited them when you moved to a different residence. There are also other important reasons as to why peonies won’t bloom after planting. Hopefully, you can pinpoint and correct any problems your peonies may have after reading this article.
One of the first things to check if your peonies are not blooming is the depth of their roots. If their roots (or tubers) are deeper than 4 to 6 inches from the ground’s surface, you should remedy that. To do this, take your spade and dig CAREFULLY around the entire plant to see how deep it was been planted. Gently lift the peony plant up, but not totally out of the hole. If it’s too deep, put some of the soil into the hole under the plant. Keep filling in the soil until you’ve accomplished this all around; pack the soil gently, then water thoroughly. When you’re finished, the eyes on the roots shouldn’t be more than about 1-1/2 to 2 inches from the surface. Peonies are really, really PICKY about how deep they are planted in order to bloom!
Do your peonies get enough sunshine every day? If they don’t get sun at least 6 to 8 hours a day, they will likely not bloom for you. They are not shade plants, so you may need to move them to a sunnier location. It’s best to relocate peonies in the fall or early spring.
Peonies will often not bloom if they don’t have proper nutrients. Feed your peonies either in the spring or the fall with a reliable 5-10-5 fertilizer. Don’t OVER fertilize them or use a high nitrogen fertilizer, as this causes them to produce more foliage and less blossoms. Never place fertilizer on or too near the crown of the peony plant!
Are your peonies plants too crowded? If so, they may not bloom or may have smaller and fewer blooms as the years go by. If this is the case it’s time to divide them, especially if they’ve been in the same place for a long time. Divide peonies either in late fall or early spring for best results.
Don’t plant peony tubers deeper than 4 to 6 inches.
Divide peonies if they are too crowded.
Watch for Botrytis Fungus or rotting leaves.
Make sure your peony plants get 6 to 8 hours of sun daily.