Why Won't My Peony Bush Bloom?

Written by reannan raine
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Why Won't My Peony Bush Bloom?
Fungal disease can prevent peonies from blooming. (peony bud image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com)

Peonies normally do not bloom within the first year of being planted and, if planted in the spring, they can take two years to bloom. Established peony plants suffer bloom failure for a number of reasons, including extremely hot or dry weather.

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Tuber Size

Tuber size affects how quickly peonies will bloom after they are planted. Small tubers or tubers with less than three eyes will not usually bloom within the first three to five years after planting. Make sure each peony tuber has three or four eyes on the top.

Why Won't My Peony Bush Bloom?
An unusually late frost can kill buds before they open. (wet peony image by pcphotos from Fotolia.com)


Planting depth and location affect how well peonies bloom. Tubers should be planted with the tops of the tubers no deeper than 2 inches below the soil surface and the planting location should have good drainage capabilities. Tubers that are planted in wet locations will struggle to grow and bloom.

Why Won't My Peony Bush Bloom?
Ants do not have anything to do with peony buds opening. (ants on the bud of a peony image by Vaida from Fotolia.com)


Dividing and transplanting peonies will affect blooming. Peonies are sensitive to being dug up, divided and moved to another location, even within the same yard. Newly transplanted peonies may fail to produce blooms for two to three years. Transplanting them in the spring will cause a longer bloom delay than fall transplanting.

Why Won't My Peony Bush Bloom?
Peony buds can be killed by thrips. (red peony flower bud image by Jim Mills from Fotolia.com)


Peonies will not thrive and bloom in nutrient-poor soil. They should not be planted in crowded garden areas or near shrubs and trees where they have to compete for nutrients. Too much fertiliser can also be a problem, resulting in reduced blooming and weak flower stems. Peonies should be given low-nitrogen fertiliser, such as a 5-10-10 balance, in the spring after the plant has grown to 2 to 3 inches tall.

Avoid applying fertiliser directly on the base of peony plants.
Avoid applying fertiliser directly on the base of peony plants. (Pfingstrose image by Mark Pudenz from Fotolia.com)

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