TIPS FOR GREAT PEONIES / LETS TROUBLESHOOT
Peonies are spectacular and really quite easy to grow, but like any plant variety they are not totally without problems. I’ve gathered up some of the most common peony problems and offered solutions which should help.
COMMON PROBLEMS WITH PEONIES
My Peony does not Flower?
The most obvious reason for a peony not to bloom is it has been planted too deep. The crown should be planted no more than 2 inches deep below the surface of the soil. The solution is to lift your plant in the fall and replant to the proper depth.
Perhaps you are too impatient. Small young roots will take a couple of years to grow into bloom size plants.
Lack of water. Once established peonies are quite drought tolerant but for proper peony flowers they do require adequate water. Water your plants more often and use a ground mulch to help retain moisture.
To bloom well peonies require a minimum of 6 hours sunlight per day. Peonies grown in too much shade will not perform well. If they are planted in too much shade lift and replant in the fall to a sunnier location.
My Peonies Bud but do not Flower?
Your peony maybe water logged in soggy soil, if so lift and replant in the fall. Buds may have been damaged by a late spring frost, disease or drought. Cover plants in spring on nights threatening to freeze, and give adequate water for great peony blooms.
My Peonies are Tall and Skinny?
They are most likely planted in too much shade and are reaching for the sun. If possible prune branches of other plants that are causing the shade or replant the peony to a sunnier location in the fall. For the best plants grow peonies in full sun.
My Peonies are Covered in Ants?
This is not a bad thing! The ants are feeding on the syrup given off from the flower buds. The ants are harmless, just leave them be.
My Peony Flowers are too Small?
Peonies are heavy feeders and yours probably need fertilizing. An organic mulch every fall is excellent. You may also need to water your peonies more often.
My Peonies have a Grey Mold?
Grey mold is called botrytis blight and is often seen in cool, wet weather. New shoots and flower buds turn black in the spring and often fail to develop. Spots on the leaves may develop and stem bases may be soft and rotten. Your best approach to prevent plant blight is to be proactive, and prevent mold in the first place. Ensure your plants are not overly crowded and have good air circulation. If possible water from the base of the plants rather than overhead. Keep your garden clean and cut your herbaceous peonies down in the fall after a hard frost. If you spot mold cut the infected areas off and discard in the trash. If a peony continues to get mold move it to another location in the fall and do not replant another peony in that spot for a couple of years.
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To learn more about this wonderful plant read my other Peony posts:
Golden Oldies Part One / Types of Peonies
Golden Oldies Part Two / How to Plant & Care for Peonies
Golden Oldies Part Four /Special Tips and Replanting
(some photos from pixabay) (some links go to my affiliate Amazon account)