Why Your Peony Buds But Never Flowers?
Peonies are among the most popular flowers in the garden. They’re so pretty that they make even the pickiest of gardeners happy! Unfortunately, if your peony isn’t producing buds, it’s going to be difficult or impossible to enjoy them all year round. And when you do want to use them up, there aren’t many options available for repotting.
So what gives? What could possibly be wrong with these beautiful flowers?
There are several possible reasons why your peonies don’t produce buds. Some of them are natural, while others may require some attention to fix. Let’s take a look at each one and see if we can figure out what might be causing it.
Over watering is probably the number one cause of peony lack of buds. If you over water your plants, then they’ll eventually die from it. When this happens, the plant will lose its nutrients and eventually die because it won’t have enough nutrients to keep growing anymore. You can prevent this problem by keeping your peonies watered at least twice a week during dry periods and once a week during wet periods (or alternately, using drip irrigation). If you don’t think that you’ll be able to remember to water them every day, then it’s better to just stick with the dripper.
Underwatering tends to happen more than many people think. You don’t want your peony to be so dry that all the leaves fall off and the flowers shrivel up, but you also don’t want it to be sitting in a pool of water for days on end. It’s better to just water your peony a little bit every day rather than giving it a huge bath once a week.
3. Lack of Sunlight
Just like with people, plants need sunlight to produce chlorophyll and keep their leaves green. Without it, they’re going to start losing their color and look sickly. If you don’t have a lot of natural sunlight in your yard, then you might have to supplement it with grow lights. Otherwise, your peonies are going to wither and die.
4. Too Many Buds
If you’ve ever had the opportunity to see a peony flower, then you probably noticed that they have a lot of petals. If you want to get really specific, there are between 10 and 20 petals on each flower, depending on the type of peony. The more petals there are, the longer it takes for the flower to fully blossom. The longer it takes for the flower to fully blossom, the longer it has to sit on the bush. The longer it sits on the bush, the more likely it is that a bug or some other type of predator is going to come along and destroy it.
If you’ve ever had the opportunity to see a peony farm, then you know that they aren’t in bloom for very long at all. Most of the time, they’re just budding. If you want your peonies to fully bloom, you’re going to have to clip off the extra buds. This may sound a little crazy since they’re so beautiful with tons of petals, but it’s the only way to ensure that your peonies will last as long as possible.
If none of these are the problem and you’d still like to do more to help your peony bush produce buds, then there are some specific nutrients that may help it. If you do decide to fertilize your flower, then it’s best to use a fertilizer that has potassium nitrate, phosphate, and nitrogen. Any brand will suffice, so just make sure to read the back of the package to see how much you should use at a time.
If you’d like to take the farming to the next level, you could also try growing your peony from a cutting. It’s a little more complicated, but it can sometimes produce flowers that are twice the size of those that come from seeds. The process is fairly simple and shouldn’t take more than a few months to complete.
It’s best to start in the spring when the peony bush is just starting to sprout its leaves for the new year. Take a small cutting from the plant. Try to do so when the plant isn’t dry and make sure that you get some of the stem with some leaves on it.
Fill up a container with water and leave it out in the sun for most of the day so that it’s warm. Transfer the cutting into the water once it’s warm (but not too hot).
Sources & references used in this article:
Growing peonies by HM Cathey – 1971 – books.google.com
High Tunnel Cut Flower Peonies in Utah by T Maughan, L Rupp, M Lewis – 2018 – digitalcommons.usu.edu
An introduction to harvesting and selling Alaska cut flower peonies by JD Auer, PS Holloway – 2008 – scholarworks.alaska.edu
GROWING PEONIES by KOF PEONIES – naldc.nal.usda.gov