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What is wrong with my peonies?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
We have two peonies, planted by the previous owners of our house. This is our third spring in this house and one of them has never flowered. It doesn't get very tall, either. The other one was gorgeous the first spring, had fewer flowers last year, and this year has only one flower. I haven't done much to care for them, other than put composted manure around them as a top dressing. They are in a bed which runs along a stone wall and are closely surrounded by other plants: irises, phlox, daylilies, daffs, and tulips. The peony which has produced the flowers probably gets a bit more sun than the other one. I think this bed gets sun for about 6 hours a day. Is there anything I can do to help them bloom next year?
post #2 of 9
I have six peonies around my yard and the one that gets the most sun is always the biggest and has the most blooms. Someone told me that peonies benefit from bonemeal, but I haven't tried it since I'm happy with how mine are doing. Good Luck!
post #3 of 9
Peonies need a lot of sun! I've had to move mine around the yard a couple of time in search of a spot in which they'll bloom better. I think I read somewhere that their tuber has to be a just the right depth. Too deep no bloom. Too shallow no bloom. If I come across the right depth in my books I'll post again.
post #4 of 9
I was thinking, too, it might have somehing to do with soil depth. If your top dressing with compost aren't they getting buriied deeper and deeper each year? Seems to me if they bloomed before in that location if the amount of sun hasn't changed it shouldn't effect their performance. My two peonies are very happy on the west side of the house and under the edge of a locust tree so they probably only get 6 hours of sun, too.
post #5 of 9
I just planted my peonies so I'm not really experienced, but I've "heard" that they need ants. Weird huh. Anyone knowabout peonies and ants?
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the helpful replies. I think I'll move them to a sunnier spot, at least the once that gets less sun. Does anyone know what is the best time of year to move peonies?

Greenmama, I never heard that peonies need ants, but ants seem to love peonies. Back when I had lots of blossoms, they were always crawling with ants.
post #7 of 9
When I was a kid, I used to love watching the ants on the peonies. My mom told me that peonies have a scent that attracts ants becasue the ants are needed to help the peony buds open. I have no idea if this is true, but it's a cool idea.
post #8 of 9
I think I read somewhere (sounds like my last post...) that the ants aren't needed to open the buds but they like the sweet wax that coats them and it works out ok for the plants too.

My don't usually have ants and they open fine.
post #9 of 9

Soil depth is key I guess

Seawen is right I think. Some co-workers and I were just having a conversation about peonies today - no kidding! Somebody was having the same problem you described. It was mentioned that there is a precise soil depth at which they need to be planted.

I found this site http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/1241.html which says that the eyes (the red buds) need to be 1-2 inches below the soil's surface. I guess the eyes need to be able to get their cue to blossom from the sunlight.
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