Peonies garden growing tips

Peonies Garden Growing Tips

Peonies garden growing tips will help you get beautiful peony flowers. Peonies are spectacular and really quite easy to grow but like any plant, they are not totally without problems. Let’s look at some of the most common concerns when growing peonies and the solutions.

Type of Peony

Choose the best type of peony depending on the location you intend to grow the flower. There are three main types of peonies, one is the herbaceous peonies. They’re the types that die back to the ground every fall and then the next spring they emerge with these beautiful red stems. Then they turn into beautiful small shrubs in the garden full of flowers.

The second type is the tree peonies. Basically, they’re a type of peony that creates a woodier stem above ground. They stay intact and lose their leaves in the Fall but when they leaf out in the Spring, they’ll leaf out on those stems.

The third type is the Itoh peonies which are a hybrid cross between the herbaceous and the tree peony. The benefit of Itoh’s is that they are prolific bloomers and there are a ton of colors available. You can find potted peonies at your garden center most of the time in the spring you’ll find a pretty good selection.

Peonies Won’t Flower

One of the most common problems for some people is that their peony will not flower. The most obvious reason for a peony not blooming is that it has been planted too deep. The plant crown should be planted no more than one – two inches deep. The solution is to lift your plant in the fall and replant at the proper depth. However, it’s possible that perhaps you are too impatient too. Newly established roots will require a couple of seasons to grow and mature into full size. In fact, rarely do peonies bloom in the first spring after planting.

Once established, peonies are a rather drought tolerant plant but to get proper peony flowers, they do require adequate water. Water your plants adequately and use a ground mulch to help retain the moisture to bloom. While peonies require a minimum of six hours of sunlight per day, peonies growing 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.

Perhaps your peonies bud but will not flower. Your peony may be waterlogged if so lift and replant it in the fall. Buds may have been damaged by a late spring frost, disease or drought. Cover your plants on nights threatening to freeze and give adequate water for great peony blooms.

Peonies are Tall and Skinny

When peonies are tall and skinny, they are most likely planted in too much shade and are reaching for the sun. If possible, prune the 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 your peonies in full sun.

Peonies Covered with Ants

Often people are concerned that the peonies are covered with ants. This is not a bad thing the ants are feeding on the sap given off from the flower buds. The ants are harmless, so I suggest you just leave them alone.

If you want to cut some blooms and the ants are still there, simply just wash them off with some water. Check this article on simple flower arrangement tips.

Too Small Peony Flowers

Peonies garden growing tips also including knowing that peonies are very heavy feeders. If you’re getting very small blooms, you’re probably not fertilizing enough.  An organic mulch every fall is an excellent solution and you may also need to water your peonies more often.

Grey Mold on Peonies

Some people’s peonies have a grey mold.  Grey mold is caused by powdery mildew and is often seen in cool wet weather. New flower buds and turn black and often fail to develop. The leaves may become spotted and fail to develop normally while the stem may become 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.

In case you spot mold, cut the infected areas off and discard it in the trash. When the peony continues to get mold, transplant 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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