Three years ago I divided a beautiful heritage peony into 2 plants. I replanted them in the same garden that contains other peonies which bloom beautifully. The transplants contained 5-8 eyes each and I was careful not to plant too deeply. the plants grow well, but have not bloomed since their move. The garden is well-drained, sunny and contains rich organic matter (the worms are fat!). The other peonies, dahlias and roses are all blooming at their appointed time. Should I be more patient or move them again?
Thank you for sending your question to the Master Gardener website. It certainly sounds like to are doing everything right for your heritage Peonies. I can understand your frustration having provided such good care and not having any blooms after 3 years. Lets look at the plant’s requirements:
Peonies can tolerate many soil conditions, but like good drainage and soil that has a high organic content. They like full sun, but can live with a bit of shade too, and if your dahlias are blooming then I would say you have ample sun. Peonies do not need to be fertilized with heavy chemical fertilizer, too heavily fertilized plants will produce beautiful green leaves but no buds. Spring applications of bone meal or fish emulsion and a fall top-dressing of compost are all that your plants need to keep healthy. Although Peonies are quite tolerant of drought, a lack of water in the spring or fall can effect the quantity of blooms. Planting depth is extremely important, the top of the root should be no lower than 1 ½ to 2 inches from the surface. Do you mulch your Peonies? Care should be taken to not mulch too heavily as it will have the same effect as burying too deeply, and this of course will result in lack of blooms.
If you feel that all of these requirements are met, then the most likely cause my be that Peonies are just taking their time to re-establish. They should, by all rights bloom for you in their 3rd season, but perhaps you should give them another year.
You may find the following website useful, and good luck with your peonies!