Sunday, June 11, 2006

Paeonia Festiva Maxima (I think)

I waited over 15 years for this peony to bloom.

That's no typo.

Last year the plant had two blooms - the first since I planted them 15+ years prior.

This year the plant had all of these flowers. I cut every one off and brought them inside so I can thoroughly enjoy the pleasures of my patience.

I have two other peonies I planted back then that still have not bloomed. I have moved them two or three times in those years thinking that was the problem. They are not planted too deeply. I was very careful about that. I planted white and pink and so far no pink.
Each year I get a little bit of foliage, but no of them did have a bud this year, but it dried up. I know now there is still hope.

Patience is a virtue.


  1. Wow, that's a long time to wait for a plant to bloom...they're beautiful, though, so well worth the wait! I only have the pink peonies, had never seen the white ones before. Mine are just about ready to bloom so will take a picture when they do. I had heard that once you plant a peony, you're not supposed to transplant it for a few years...don't know if it's true or not but it's what I heard:-) Maybe that's why your other ones aren't blooming if you've moved them around.

  2. I do think they are Festiva maxima. Don't they smell wonderful? The Festiva are the fragrant ones in my yard.

    I suspect their bloom (or lack thereof) is due to light. Where are these plants in relation to the trees you took out recently?


  3. Hi Pea, I bet your pink ones are pretty.

    Jenn, they do smell wonderful! I stuck my nose in them before leaving for work this morning. They are actually not in the area where the trees were at all. They are in the front of the house.
    Although now that you mentioned it, I did have a few trees removed from that area about 3 years ago.
    You may be right on the light issue.

  4. Wow, 15 years, amazing. It sure is beautiful!

  5. That was a long time to wait. I like peonies too, though they are so short-lived (the flowering part). You get all excited when you see the ants on the blossoms and then the flowers open and it rains and knocks them to smithereens. I have a few peonies. One is just sending up one stalk and the other only gave me about 3 blossoms this year.

  6. Now that is a gorgeous peony! I cannot understand why only one show?? You are very patient indeed! I love peonies all over the house..right now it is a combo of roses and peonies!!

  7. Yes, that's a festiva. Here is something most people don't know about peonies. Their gnarly rhizomes don't like to be buried too deep in the soil. They won't bloom if they're buried. I always have lots of blooms, even tho some of my peonies are in semi shade. And don't cut the leaves off, if you can stand it. They're so prone to mildew later on. (Cut them off then.) They're storing strength for next year's flowers. I fertilize in the fall and then do a little scraping off of the soil come spring. They never fail me.

  8. Lucia -

    Your mildew might be a local climate thing. Here in S/E Michigan, I've not had any problem with mildew.

    Do you have yours planted near phlox? Maybe the mildew is moving over?

  9. You are very patient!
    The house I moved into had some peonies growing along the north side of the fence, so never bloomed terribly well, but they seem to have survived well there a long time. In fact, I've seen peonies that have been buried under other plants or a sidewalk for years come right back as soon as they are uncovered! They are amazing survivors, though finicky in their flowering. Yesterday, I just moved
    a patch of peonies to a sunny spot, and the root system was huge! I heard that they won't flower after being moved for a year, but I hope that next year, it will pay off.

    I hope yours will increase flowering now that they seem to be in a happy spot!


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