Peonies – Why Are They Not Doing Well This Year?

Q: Some of us have been comparing notes online and it seems that our peonies are not doing well this year. The plants are not very vigorous and have not produced many blooms. Some think it is because of the warm winter; others think last year’s drought caused it. What do you think?

A: I can’t say that everyone has had peony problems but I have had quite varied results with mine this spring. My tree peony bloomed on March 8, earlier than I ever have seen it. My always-reliable ‘Festiva Maxima’ peony is just now putting out buds and the flowers look to be smaller than last year. It is quite possible that winter temperatures and the drought had something to do with our experiences. I am giving my peonies organic, slow release fertilizer and watering them regularly. I hope we get better results next year!

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