Peonies are flowering plants that many people love having in their gardens. You can use peonies to add a touch of color to your property, and they really do add a lot of charm to any yard.
If you have recently started taking care of peonies, then you might still be looking forward to seeing them bloom. The blooms can be many different colors so you might be able to enjoy yellow, white, purple, red, or pink flowers depending on the type of peony plant that you have.
These flowers are supposed to bloom during the spring or summer. If they haven’t bloomed for you for some reason, then you’re probably concerned about what’s wrong.
The following information should be able to help you figure out what to do when your peonies aren’t blooming. If you can determine why this is happening, then it’ll be possible to turn things around at some point so that you can enjoy your peonies as intended.
1 – Sunlight Issues
Perhaps the most common reason why peonies will fail to bloom has to do with sunlight. Every plant is going to do better or worse in certain sunlight conditions, and peonies are no exception.
To get the best results when growing peonies, you’re supposed to plant them in full sunlight. Planting them in a shady spot or even a partially shaded spot might cause them to have problems blooming.
The peonies need the right amount of sunlight to be able to bloom as they should. Unless you’re able to move the peonies to a spot where they can receive full sun, it’s going to be unlikely that you’ll see them bloom as normal.
Whenever you’re planting new peonies, it’s going to be important to consider where you’re putting them in the yard. You need to try to find a spot where they can be in full sunlight to get the best results.
It might be possible to make some modifications to the landscape if you’ve already planted the peonies and don’t wish to move them. For example, you could cut down some tree branches to try to give the peonies the full sunlight conditions that they need if they’re being shaded by trees.
Generally, you need to give peonies at least four to six hours of full sunlight each day to see them bloom. If you can make this happen, then you should be able to see the pretty peony flowers that you’ve been hoping for.
2 – Planting the Peonies Too Deep in the Ground
Another mistake to watch out for involves planting the peonies too deep in the ground. Sometimes people who are new to planting peonies will go a bit too deep when planting the seeds.
For whatever reason, peonies don’t bloom when they’re planted a few inches too deep. You’ll be able to see blooms when you plant the peonies one to two inches below the soil.
If you planted your peonies three or four inches below the soil, then the peonies will still grow, but they won’t bloom. The foliage will likely look very healthy and everything will appear normal except for the fact that the peonies aren’t blooming.
It’s possible that the peonies might bloom a little if you planted them just a bit too deep into the ground. Some people have noted that their peonies have very few flowers, but others won’t bloom at all.
Do your best to measure things out when planting peonies so that you don’t go too deep. This will ensure that you’re able to enjoy the blooms as intended and you won’t have to worry so much.
3 – Sometimes Peonies Won’t Bloom When Divided or Transplanted
Did you recently divide your peonies and plant them in a new spot? Or, perhaps you just transplanted the peonies so that they could be in a better spot in your garden area?
Well, these actions can cause peonies to stop blooming for a period of time. Peonies that have been transplanted or divided will take time to reestablish themselves.
This is usually the case when you decide to divide or transplant the peonies during the late summer. You’ll see that the peonies won’t bloom right during the following spring.
As unfortunate as this is, you’re just going to need to wait for the peonies to reestablish themselves. It could take a year or two for the peonies to establish themselves and become capable of blooming again.
Just continue to care for the plant and things should be fine at some point. It’s hard to say how long it will take for the peonies to be reestablished, but it will be okay so long as you’re caring for the peonies as you should.
4 – Overuse of Fertilizer
Fertilizer is something that can help plants and flowers to grow, but sometimes too much of a good thing winds up being bad. If you overuse fertilizer, then you might wind up causing issues with your peonies.
Many people have made mistakes when fertilizing peonies and caused them to stop blooming. The fertilizer will often give the peonies too much nitrogen, which will promote foliage growth.
Essentially, if you use a lot of fertilizer you’ll cause the foliage to grow at the expense of the blooms. You won’t see the flowers that you’ve been hoping for because you used way more fertilizer than you should have.
Be sure to only use fertilizer in moderation on your peonies. This will keep you from going too far so that you won’t have to worry about sacrificing the blooms for foliage growth.
5 – Removing Foliage Too Early
Some have made the mistake of trying to remove foliage from the peonies too early. You might think that you’re doing a good thing by pruning and cutting back certain sections, but you could cause issues that you didn’t expect.
When people have removed foliage during July and August, they’ve wound up accidentally weakening the plant. This could wind up keeping the plant from being able to bloom as normal.
Sometimes this winds up causing there to be fewer flowers instead of outright preventing flowers from being able to bloom at all. Even so, it’s going to be important to not remove foliage prematurely if you want your peonies to bloom well.
6 – The Peonies Might Be Too Young to Bloom
You should consider that your peonies might be too young to bloom as well. It’s said that peonies will take between four and five years to mature when grown from seed.
This means that you might have to wait quite a few years for the peonies to bloom. It can be a bit frustrating for some people to have to wait that long, and that’s why not everyone chooses to grow peonies from seed.
Most of the peonies that are sold on the market aren’t grown from seed. So you should only have to worry about this if you’re attempting to grow completely new peonies.
7 – Old Large Clumps
Old large clumps of peonies might have trouble blooming as well. Some have reported that they’ve had issues with getting very old peonies to bloom as they should.
This doesn’t mean that it’s impossible for large clumps of peonies to grow and bloom, though. In fact, many people have great luck with getting large old peonies to bloom just fine.
It could be that peonies will have trouble blooming if they are several decades old. They might reach a point where it gets tough for them to continue to bloom.
This is actually a pretty simple problem to fix if you happen to encounter it, though. All you need to do is take the time to divide the plant so that it can be refreshed.
Remember that dividing a plant can sometimes cause it to not be able to bloom for a while due to it needing to reestablish itself. Even so, this is good to know since you can divide large clumps and make it easier to enjoy the peony blooms that you want to see.
8 – Sometimes a Late Freeze Will Be to Blame
There will be times when you’ll have weather patterns that you won’t expect in your area. A late freeze could wind up being the cause of your problems with the peonies.
Having a hard freeze sometime in May or June can either damage or completely destroy flower buds. It makes sense that this would cause significant issues when it comes to the peonies’ ability to produce flowers.
Luckily, you aren’t going to encounter strange issues with freezes occurring in the warm months of the year too often. Depending on where you live, it might even be very unlikely that you’d ever have something like that occur.
You can try to be mindful of the weather so that you can take steps to protect your peonies. If you see that there is the potential for your area to experience a freeze in the spring, then you can try to protect your peonies to blunt the damage that will be done.
9 – Other Unfavorable Weather Conditions
The weather can certainly play a role in whether or not your peonies will bloom. Sometimes very dry conditions will harm peonies and make them have a tough time blooming normally.
Certain parts of the world will get extremely dry during the summer months. You might have some days that are worse than others, and the hottest days could severely hamper your peonies.
Generally, this will weaken the peonies and make them bloom less. It doesn’t usually keep them from being able to bloom at all, but it depends on how severe things are.
10 – Insect Issues
Insect issues could be to blame for your peonies not producing flowers. There are pests that can cause peonies significant issues such as thrips.
Thrips are nasty little bugs that can be detrimental to many different types of plants. When it comes to peonies, it’s possible that they might damage flower buds and keep them from flowering.
A severe infestation could cause peonies to flower very little, and you’re definitely going to want to try to solve this problem. You’ll want to take steps to try to protect your garden from thrips in the future to keep this from happening again.
11 – Fungal Problems
Fungal problems could also cause your peonies to stop blooming as they usually do. There are fungal diseases that can attack flower buds such as Botrytis blight.
You’re usually only going to have to worry about fungal issues when the conditions are appropriate for it. That means that things are cool and wet so that fungi will be able to thrive.
To keep issues like this from becoming a big problem, it’s going to be wise to remove any dead buds from the peonies in the late spring. You’ll also want to use your shears to remove any diseased foliage when the growing season is over.
12 – The Peonies Aren’t Getting Enough Nourishment
Sometimes the peonies won’t get enough nourishment because the soil that they’re planted in will be depleted. Depleted soils won’t have the nutrients that the peonies need to grow strong, and this might make it impossible for the peonies to bloom.
You could transplant the peonies so that they will be in better soil. Some people will also amend the soil by adding compost or using different types of fertilizer.
Nourishment issues can be fixed fairly easily. You shouldn’t be too worried if this appears to be what’s causing your peonies to be incapable of blooming since you can fix things over time.
There are many things that can cause peonies to stop blooming, and now you’re going to be able to do some troubleshooting. You have a lot of information about why peonies will have issues like this, and you’ll just need to try to figure out what’s going on in your situation.
It should be possible to turn things around when you figure out what the problem is. You can make the necessary adjustments so that your peonies can grow strong and bloom for you.
These flowers are great and they will certainly make your yard look amazing when they start flowering. Just take care of the peonies the right way and you’ll be able to get good results.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.
Sunday 19th of June 2022
My yellow peony is not blooming at all! The others were show stoppers! What to?
Wednesday 1st of June 2022
Thank you for the article. I have a row of peonies that is at least five years old. My yellow plant didn’t put on a single bud this. The plants right next to it, a pink and a white one each put out about ten beautiful flowers. I had given my mother a yellow one and it didn’t bud this year either. I have no idea what is going on!