Peony: how to grow it and why it doesn’t bloom

Peony: how to grow it and 4 reasons why it doesn't bloom

The peony it is one of the most popular floral varieties: with its intense colors, delicate petals and sweet scent, it is one of the most popular species for embellishing balconies and gardens. But how is the splendid peony plant grown and, above all, how to keep it flourishing over time?

It can happen frequently, in fact, that our plant remains for months without producing any flowers. For what reason peonies do not bloom? Below, all the useful information on this and other curiosities related to this splendid floral variety.

What are peonies

Peonies are a genus of plants belonging to the family of Peoniacee. These are floral plants probably originating from China and the Asian continent, however today they also grow spontaneously almost everywhere. These flowers are also found in Europe, Asia, North America, Central America and some places in North Africa.

When we talk about peonies, however, we refer to two large groups of ornamental plants that are also very different from each other:

  • Herbaceous peonies: with a herbaceous and bushy habit, they are characterized by very delicate flowers but almost always devoid of an immediately perceptible scent. The petals, however, are of many different colors and, for this reason, they are among the most chosen species to embellish gardens;
  • Woody peonies: these are rustic varieties, almost all of Asian origin, which are characterized by woody and very branched stems. Even these peonies can count on an intense flowering, especially in spring, and the flowers are also characterized by pleasant olfactory notes.

Generally speaking, almost all types of peony share some tuberous roots, the ability to reach significant heights – even two meters, in places with a particularly favorable climate – and the presence of showy flowers, with petals arranged in pink and on several layers, also capable of creating original geometric visual games.

Most famous colors and varieties of peony

Red peony

Considering how this genus is very rich in species and hybridizations, what are the variety of peony most famous? And in which colors can they be grown?

  • Rosa: the most famous is almost certainly the Sarah Bernhardt variety, a bushy plant with large flowers rich in petals, of a splendid old pink;
  • Red and fuchsia: it is the most requested color to make spring gardens colorful, for this purpose you can try Big Ben. Always bushy and with large rosette flowers, it adapts perfectly to outdoor life and even to modest changes in temperature;
  • Yellow: yellow is a very popular color among peonies, but if you are looking for an original variety, you can try the Bartzella hybrid. With smaller flowers than other types of peony, it has rounded petals at the base, which become thinner and thinner approaching the center of the corolla;
  • White: among the most common white varieties, also because it is easy to grow, the Festiva Maxima stands out. The flowers are large and vigorous, but they also see streaks of red in the center. A contrast of colors that make them magnificent to observe.

How much does a peony plant cost

Peonies, bunch

Ma how much does a peony plant cost, to better plan a renewal expense for your flower beds or the more colorful windowsills?

Costs obviously vary a lot depending on the type of plant and the level of growth. For an already developed pot specimen, with a height of about one meter, the following figures can be spent:

  • Herbaceous peonies: about 15-20 euros for each plant;
  • Woody peonies: from 40 to 75 euros for each plant, depending on their value.

How peonies are grown


Peonies are simple enough flowers to grow luxuriantly, although a little attention is needed. But how can they be grown both in pots and in the garden, obtaining the maximum flowering? To do this, it is good to first learn what the plant needs to be able to develop smoothly.

Necessity of the plant

Pink peonies

Almost all peony varieties share similar needs, although there may be differences between herbaceous and woody ones. This is because the latter are more chosen as ornamental types for outdoor use and, therefore, are more exposed to climatic conditions. But what are the needs of the plant, very similar to those of begonias?

  • Climate: they prefer a Mediterranean environment, not excessively sultry, moderately humid. Not surprisingly, on the boot the season of maximum development of peonies is spring;
  • Ground: the peony requires a soft, highly draining soil to avoid water stagnation and above all rich in nitrogenous components. It is therefore useful to fertilize the soil regularly with organic fertilizers, also based on compost;
  • Solar exposure: these flowers do not disdain sunlight, but they could suffer continuous exposure over time, as their petals are very delicate. For this reason, it is advisable to choose a position in partial shade;
  • Watering: the water supply is fairly regular, even daily in the period of greatest development of the plant – between spring and summer – and in the hottest days. However, it is necessary to check the soil: if it is too humid, it is better to avoid it, as excess water could cause the root system of the plant to rot.

Cultivation in pots or in the garden

Peony, bud

As already mentioned, peonies can be effectively grown in both glass that in garden. In the first case, it will be necessary to adequately prepare the container that will host them. It must be high enough to accommodate the tuberous roots of the plant, and a bed of gravel, shards or balls of expanded clay must be prepared on the bottom to increase the flow of water. In the second case, however, it is better to hoe the soil in advance to favor a uniform distribution of nutrients, simultaneously removing wood or stones that could obstruct the roots.

All peonies can also be grown from seme, but there are other more common ways of multiplication. For the herbaceous varieties we proceed with the division of the tufts, which can then be transplanted into the new home. For shrubs, you can proceed with the transplantation of twigs or cuttings, as well as grafts. In any case, if you have a tuber or peony rhizome, it is necessary to insert it into the ground at least five centimeters from the surface, then covering it with soft soil and a little peat.

Why don’t peonies bloom?

Peonies and ladybug

Despite the attention to cultivation, it may happen that the peony does not bloom, even in the middle of its spring life cycle. The reasons can be the most varied, although the most frequent seem to be the following:

  • Poor soil: you must always make sure that the soil that welcomes the peony is rich in nutrients, in particular nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus. For this reason, it is useful to carry out regular fertilizations with compost, manure or other organic fertilizers, even on a monthly basis;
  • Vessel too small: If the pot is too small or shallow, the roots will struggle to collect nutrients. This will lead the plant to enter a conservative phase of its energies, avoiding flowering;
  • Excess of water: a peony that does not bloom, perhaps with yellowing stems and leaves, could underline an excessive supply of water and roots on the verge of rotting;
  • Sole e temperatureExcessive sun exposure can be harmful to the peony’s life cycle, preventing it from producing flowers. Furthermore, the continuous changes in temperature could interrupt the awakening and spring growth phase of the plant.

Other maintenance needs include pruning, especially for woody varieties, but also the elimination of parasites such as aphids and scale insects. This objective can easily be achieved with integrated biological control, for example by introducing predatory species such as ladybug.

Source: GreenStyle by

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