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my peonies are about 6 years old, never been moved, get plenty of sun but for some reason 2 of them do not have any blossoms on them.  What brand name fertilizer should I use for them?  HELP

Hi Tess,
Thanx for your question.  Generally, peonies are pretty easy and carefree.  Is it possible that lawn chemicals, such as grass fertilizer are leaching into the peony bed?  This will cause green growth at the expense of blossom growth.  Very seldom do peonies need to be separated.  Their rhizomes resent disturbance and they will not bloom for several years after being moved but you said you did not move them.

There are several reasons why a peony won't bloom other than those mentioned above.  First, don't cut the foliage back after they bloom.  Allow the foliage to yellow and wither in the late summer and then you can clean it up. Foliage gathers nutrients from the sun that is stored as starches and sugars in the rhizomes for next year's bloom and growth.  Late cold spells can cause peonies not to bloom.  Even too much moisture can cause blooming to slow or stop.

With that said, if all the other peonies and blooming and this one or two plants are not, there may be a question of disease in the rhizomes.  Watch the plant carefully and remove it if it starts to wither or show other signs of disease.

Low nitrogen fertilizers such as a 5-10-10 can be applied to nourish the plant.  Apply according to directions on the package.

I hope this helps.


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Tom Alonzo


I have been a gardener for 20 years with perennials both growing from seed and from nurseries. I went through the Master Gardener Program from Kansas State University Cooperative Extension Service and I answered questions on the Hotline a few years ago for the Wyandotte County Kansas Extension Service. I have also lived in the Florida, California, Hawaii, Arizona, Texas, Kansas and Missouri and am experienced with a variety of climates, soils and weather conditions.


I have been growing perennials for over 20 years now. I am self-taught mostly except for a master gardener class. I have experimented with all kinds of perennials including many that are not common to my area. I have read hundreds of books and grown hundreds of varieties of plants and hope to make it a business some day. I have become versed in botanical names and growing conditions and what I don't know off of the top of my head I can usually easily find in my vast array of research material and botanical and horticultural contacts. I especially enjoy experimenting with growing plants out of zone.

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