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Growing herbaceous peonies

Growing herbaceous peonies



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Question: why don't my peonies bloom?


I put some herbaceous peonies in the garden in several places. They are now nine years old and have never made a flower. Some are very well developed, others have also remained rather small. Would you give me advice, please? They have automatic watering, so the water is not missing. The exposure is varied, from full sun to half shade, the soil also from good soil to ground rather hard and little nourished. Thanks if you will help me.

Cultivation of herbaceous peonies: Answer: the flowering of peonies


Dear Anna,
the herbaceous peonies they are fairly picky plants, and tend to bloom only when they are in excellent health; since you've been cultivating them for nine years, and you've placed them in different places in the garden, the problem shouldn't be related to exposure or the land; but it could also be that over the nine years, several problems have occurred, and have prevented your peonies from blooming. Generally speaking, these plants with rhizomatous roots often tend to take 3-4 years to flower, especially if the rhizomes planted were very small: the plant must constitute a good root system before having enough energy to complete it the big opulent flowers. In your case, however, the past years should have allowed the plants to settle well in the ground. The only reason that can prevent this for a long time herbaceous peonies it is perhaps the wrong arrangement and rhizomes in the ground to bloom; when we bind a herbaceous peony we must be careful to leave the crown, from which the roots depart, a few centimeters below the ground, or even on the level with the ground. Rhizomes planted too deep, will tend to never bloom, because their energies are exploited to allow the leaves to reach the surface. In order for such a scenario to occur, it is not necessary for the rhizomes to be at incredible depths; only 15-20 cm of depth are enough to force the plant to a life without flowers. Often it is not even the fault of the inexperienced farmer; in fact, when we prepare the planting hole for the peonies, we often add sand to improve the drainage and fresh soil to improve the mixture and the fertility of the soil; the result is a planting hole with a soft bottom, where the rhizomes tend, with time, to sink, soon finding themselves at an excessive depth.
Other reasons why peonies may not be able to bloom are excessive nitrogenous fertilizers in autumn or late winter, which push the plant to produce large amounts of foliage, to the detriment of flowers; or it could also be a problem related to the climate, because late frosts can quickly ruin the buds already ready at the top of the stems.