Do you want to plant peonies in your garden but don’t know when to expect the outcome? Are you also facing confusions regarding when they bloom? In this article, we will talk about how long do peonies take to bloom and what factors can influence their bloom period.
Peonies usually take three years on average to become a fully grown plant. But you will find many reasons for which the bloom times may differ. This may include local climate, species of peony, lack of caring etc. So, follow along with us if you want to know how to ensure a proper bloom and extend it for more productivity.
When Do Peonies bloom?
You will see peony flowers are blooming between the late summer and spring which is the ideal time. In fact, the bloom will very much depend on your chosen species, local climate, proper caring and pruning etc. Also, if you want to extend the season of bloom up to a month, you should plant the mid and late season varieties.
Do Peonies Bloom the First Year?
After you plant a peony, it usually takes 3 to 4 years to bloom properly and become a fully grown plant (unless it is an annual plant).
Even if bloom happens during the first year, they might actually be smaller and may not have the usual colour or structure of a mature plant. For some peony varieties, they may not even bloom during the first or second year of plantation. In this case, the third year should have enough bloom with adequate flowers on the plant.
So, be patient and wait for the peonies to bloom properly. You can be sure that your patience will not get unrewarded.
Factors that Affects the Bloom Period:
You will find several factors that will influence the length of each bloom season along with the timing of blooms of peonies. Some of these factors are:
- Location and Climate:
- The bloom time of peony depends a lot on the weather of your locality. They grow better in cooler climates. So, if your region has a warmer climate, take precautions.
- Zone 3 – 8 is the best for peonies, but some cultivars can even do well in Zone 2 and 9.
- The bloom starts after the freezing winter. The bloom may also start or end at different times depending on your location.
- Chosen Peony Species: You will notice significant differences in bloom time for various types of peonies which are Herbaceous Peonies, Woodland, Tree Peonies and Itoh hybrid (intersectional peonies). Try to choose the perfect peonies for your locality.
- Cultivars of Herbaceous Peonies: Depending on which variety you choose among the Herbaceous peonies to plant, your bloom time and length will vary. There will be a change in bloom periods for the early, the mid-season and the late variety.
Why Didn’t Your Peonies Bloom as Expected?
Even after planting with dedication, there can be a lot of reasons for which your peonies may not bloom as expected. You should carefully study those problems before coming up with solutions. Some of the reasons why your peonies may not bloom are:
- Roots are Too Young: Your pony plants are too young, that is they are at an early stage after plantation. As a result, they lack the sufficient root system required to store food for giving higher production. So, give your plants enough time to grow a proper root before expecting an outcome.
- Inadequate Size of Roots: If your planted peony has comparatively smaller roots, they may require extra years to fully grow a root system that can preserve enough food for maximum outcome. It is seen that the domestically grown plants have bigger roots compared to the imported ones. If you want to select a good peony root, you should look out for a minimum of 3 – 5 “eyes” that ensure growth and also 2 or 3 similar roots having length up to 6 inches and width of 1 inch.
- Lack of Sunlight: If your peony plants do not get a minimum of 8 hours of regular sunlight, they may fail to bloom successfully. So, ensure that there are no bigger trees around your peony bushes that may hinder illumination.
- Bad Weather Conditions: Higher humidity and longer rain periods can be a barrier to peony blooms. If you do not take care properly, fungal diseases may appear on the flower buds. As a result, the flower buds may appear brownish with spots and fail to grow. So, make sure that you cut down and remove the peony foliages during the fall season as much as possible to prevent the diseases.
- Planting too Deep Inside Soil: Try not to plant the peonies too deep inside the soil at the time of planting. It may result in a lack of bloom during spring. You should plant the dormant peony buds named “eyes” 1.5 – 2 inches below the soil surface. But don’t worry about it too much, because the roots have a natural instinct to self-correct themselves as they grow mature.
What Should You Do if Peony doesn’t Bloom?
Even after your dedication and hard labour, sometimes your peonies may result in no bloom. While some peony growers say that the absence of buds causes the issue of no outcome, some others say that the reason is buds not opening properly. So, take care of your plants properly so that they do not end up with zero outcome. To address this issue, consider the followings:
- Check for Sunlight: Without proper sunlight, your plants won’t be able to give you expected bloom at the end of the spring. So make sure to check for sunlight and avoid any bigger plants that can be a barrier for your peonies.
- Water Regularly: Water your plants regularly during droughts. It is a must for the younger plants to ensure growth.
- Ensure Proper Drainage System: Maintain a well-drained soil so that there is no water clogging near the stem. It may be a recipe for disease. If the base remains soggy or damp, the roots under the stem may rot and you may not get enough leaves or buds from them.
- Avoid Shifting Frequently: Try not to shift your peonies after planting. It might take several years to recover after being shifted and that may decrease blooms. But even if you have to shift your plants, take proper care of them and wait until the buds transform into flowers.
- Use Fertilizers with Caution: If your soil doesn’t have enough nutrients to support the plants you need to provide fertilizers near the stem. But make sure that you use the proper fertilizers in a certain amount to control pests. You can use compost, emulsions, bone meal etc. You must not apply fertilizers directly to the “eyes” or stem otherwise they may not bloom.
- Check the Depth When You Plant: Do not ever plant peonies excessively deep inside the soil. Check the position of the “eye” or peony flower buds during planting and make sure that they are at least 1.5 to 2 inches below the soil surface.
- Ensure Cooler Air Circulation: Be sure to check if there is any barrier around your plants that may hinder air and moisture circulation. Also if you live in a warm zone, check if your plants are getting enough cool air. Otherwise, you may not get expected flowering during the season.
Peony plants are very resilient and bloom in the expected time if proper care is taken. So if your plants don’t bloom in your expected time, please don’t be worried. Stay patient and positive. Try to nurture them properly and you may even extend their season up to a month. It will just be a matter of time that your hard work is paid off with beautiful peony flower blossoms in your garden.