In Northern Michigan, peonies are one of the most beloved flowers! We tend to think it is because after our long and gray winter, they are some of the first flowers to bloom. Their color variety and beauty make them a favorite. These perennial plants are overall quite easy to care for, however, they can have some issues.
Problem #1: My peony plant is WAY to big and my blooms are drooping on to the ground.
This is common and as your plant grows it just needs some support. In early Spring, put some grow through supports around your plant-right when it begins growing. Stems will then grow through the grid and be held up by the support. Ring supports work as well, however, they are much more visible than grow through. If it rains when your peonies are blooming, the support will help the blooms not drop to the ground and be ruined! See the photo and link below!
Problem #2:My peony looks really ugly after the blooms are gone and has a white waxy looking powder on the leaves.
If your plant has a waxy, whitish look (see the picture below), it likely has powdery mildew. This is common if your peony is planted near the foundation of a house because of run off and splashing when it rains. If the season has been especially wet, your plant is more likely to get mildew. If you continue to see powdery mildew every year, consider moving the plant to a new location. In the fall, after the frost, trim your plant to the ground. Be sure to pick up all leaves and stems and throw them away- not in a compost pile! Clear away all foliage and stems should be left sticking up about 3” from the ground.
Problem #3:My peony is not blooming.
Remember the first year you plant, peonies usually do not bloom. If it is the second or later year with your peony, the problem is likely not enough sunlight. Peonies need a minimum of 6 hours a day of direct sun in order to blossom. If you planted the peony yourself, it may have been planted too deep and this could cause a failure to bloom.