Why Doesn't My Tree Peony Bloom?

Updated February 21, 2017

There are few garden plants that are more spectacular than the tree peony. Tree peonies are beautiful garden centrepieces, and are easy to care for once established. But a tree peony that doesn't bloom can be alarming.

Peonies Take Time to Mature

One of the most common reasons that a tree peony has not bloomed is that it is not yet mature. Tree peonies usually don't bloom until their third or fourth year.

The Right Conditions

Tree peonies require the right conditions for blooming. Six hours of sunlight daily is ideal. Well-drained soil is essential--tree peonies don't like constantly moist soil. If your tree peony is grafted, the graft union must be at least 3 1/2 inches below soil.


Avoid using fertilisers that have high nitrogen levels. Amend your soil with compost, and top dress with fish, blood or bone meal in the fall. Use a slow release fertiliser high in phosphorus to help encourage flowering.

Room to Grow

Peonies need plenty of room to spread their roots. Give them plenty of space, keeping them away from trees, where they will have to compete for water and nutrients.

Tree Peony Care

Proper soil and light conditions are vital for flowering. Pruning a tree peony is not recommended until the plant is 10 years or older. According to Cricket Hill Garden, if you live in an area where spring is cold and damp, you should use a copper spray to prevent fungal infections.

bibliography-icon icon for annotation tool Cite this Article

About the Author

Leslie Lane has been writing professionally since 2007. Her areas of expertise include landscape and garden design; trees, shrubs and perennials; plant care; and plant pests and diseases. An education in landscape horticulture from Lansing Community College is paired with several years experience working for one of Michigan's premier wholesale/retail nurseries and growing farms.