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Georgia Gardening: Terrible peonies this year...

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Forum: Georgia GardeningReplies: 6, Views: 65
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sterhill
Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

May 2, 2012
5:11 AM

Post #9106805

Atlanta, zone 7: I have had stunning peonies every year but this one. They were thin and scraggly in the front of my house but thick and beautiful in the back. Yes, I understand microclimates but this was the first year for any difference. Also one (a single fuchsia) usually has 20 blooms and only had one this year. ONE!

Anybody else in this area had a bad peony season?

BTW - I have Sarah Bernhardt, Monsieur Jules Elie and Festiva Maxima with a couple of unknowns.
RandyRick
Dahlonega, GA
(Zone 7b)

May 2, 2012
5:30 AM

Post #9106823

planted my 1st peonie as a root/rhizome this spring (2 months ago). nothing yet. How long does it take for them to mature into flowering plants? Its in my raised flower bed where I removed some tickseed last fall, so it gets regular water and is fertilized well
MaypopLaurel
Cleveland,GA/Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

May 2, 2012
6:06 PM

Post #9107774

I have Sarah Bernhardt. I'm not much of a peony grower. I love the flowers but they require tons of feeding and water. They love manure. They are, IMO, high maintenance.

Randy, it can take a while and a fair amount of coddling to get them to bloom. They seem to live forever, regardless, not bothered by pests but they need constant feeding and water to do their thing.

Sterling, what are your front/back exposures?
hcmcdole
Powder Springs, GA
(Zone 7b)

May 2, 2012
6:15 PM

Post #9107789

Eh, mine are so-so but most of them are under a beech so I know most are not getting the sun they require. Beautiful foliage but not much for blooms. I limbed up the beech this past week but its too late for this year. I may move them out to more sun this fall because the beech is staying (for a few years at least).
mqiq77
Danielsville, GA
(Zone 7b)

May 2, 2012
9:26 PM

Post #9108007

They can "shade down", thats for sure. I had one appear this year, in a place that has been shaded for over 20 years.I had removed some over grown trees last year, and this peony pooks up, a small plant, that DW said it use to have many flowers on it so many years ago.All I can do is care for it, and hope it comes back.
Those that are in full sun are very pretty, but I have some in the front yard, that need more sun, and they are very leggy, and late budding.Mike
sterhill
Atlanta, GA
(Zone 7b)

May 3, 2012
6:19 AM

Post #9108271

I have found that benign neglect has worked really well for me. I've had peonies about 10 years, never fertilized much and never watered them much either and they produced splendidly. Until this year I've had big lush plants with plenty of blooms.

The ones in front got more direct sun and I wonder that without as much cold as usual, if that might be the problem. Like tulips, they need a certain amount of cold. Plus the dirt in front seems to have turned to concrete. Yes, I do amend. But it still feels like concrete and I know they love good fluffy dirt.

I did have one in front that is full of leaves and that did not bloom much and it IS under some shade... I think I'll move that one - the others (in front) I will dig up and put in pots for right now.
upallnightagain
Jonesboro, GA
(Zone 8a)

May 20, 2012
7:13 PM

Post #9131199

Hi Sterhill, I'm late to read your posts about bad peonies this year in Atlanta, but better late than never, right? I'm on the south side (Clayton County- yes, thanks for the condolences on that, lol) and I too have had my peonies 10 years this year and I've done nothing but ignore them for 11 months of the year and they do (and did) bloom beautifully! Never watered (ok, that first year when I planted them bareroot I might've watered some) but NONE since then and never never ever fed them or fussed. This year they did bloom as normal, but maybe fewer blooms in number. I am fortunate enough to have blazing full sun to bake those blooms out and I love them dearly. Now I'm back to *ignore* mode for the peonies, hee hee.

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