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More on peonies

sandyvsandyv Posts: 116
Again on this week's GW they are talking about how easy it is to grow peonies. Growing them seems to be easy, but getting them to flower is altogether different. I've grown peonies in 3 different houses (with different plants and soil) and they rarely flower properly. They get big fat buds which then slowly go brown and never open. Why?
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  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 Posts: 12,399
    Perhaps the peonies are planted too deep? Or the buds have got caught by a late frost.
    I have tried very carefully peeling open the outer layer of a bud to encourage it to break out and bloom properly - it's almost like the outer petals get stuck together. It did work though.
    North East Somerset - Clay soil over limestone
  • fidgetbonesfidgetbones Posts: 17,581
    Peonies like being fed. A mulch of well rotted horse manure each year (not in the crown) will help as well.
  • PosyPosy Posts: 3,601
    A spell of very heavy rain just as the buds are about to break can cause problems. 
  • EustaceEustace Posts: 2,216
    I find that the ants like the peony buds quite a lot :-(
    Oxford. The City of Dreaming Spires.
    And then my heart with pleasure fills,
    And dances with the daffodils (roses). Taking a bit of liberty with Wordsworth :)

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 87,881
    edited April 2020
    @Eustace ... Gardeners World the other day explained this ... apparently the buds are so tight that as they open they press on the petals which exude a sweet juice ... the ants lick this up, but they are not damaging the flowers, and as soon as the flowers are open there is no more juice and the ants leave the paeony along ... so no need to worry  B)

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.





  • herbaceousherbaceous Posts: 2,318
    I love my peony which came with me from a previous house and flowers wonderfully every May. Usually about a week before the most horrendous storm - then its gone  :( 
    "The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it."  Sir Terry Pratchett
  • EustaceEustace Posts: 2,216
    Thanks for your explanation @Dovefromabove
    Oxford. The City of Dreaming Spires.
    And then my heart with pleasure fills,
    And dances with the daffodils (roses). Taking a bit of liberty with Wordsworth :)

  • GreenbirdGreenbird Posts: 237


    Planted mine 4 weeks ago. Only noticed it had bloomed yesterday. 
  • Kitty52Kitty52 Posts: 184
    With lockdown I am working in the garden and trying new things.  I have a few peonies but I have about three which are quite 'leggy' and don't seem to bush out.  Can anyone advise please. 
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,837
    What exactly do you mean by 'leggy' @home 587?

    Are they in too shady a spot? They like as much sun as possible, so they could be getting straggly trying to get more light. They can take a few years to mature properly too.
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....



    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
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