Thursday, June 9, 2011

A Peony Miracle!

Here she is, one of two of my peony miracle blooms!
I think I bought this peony two years ago and it was already in bloom. I took it home and was in Heaven! When that bloom was done that was it. The next year the plant did not bloom at all. Buds came, dried up and then fell off. I went back to the garden centre where I bought it and was told that perhaps ants were involved, in that, ants might have a symbiotic relationship with the plant and the buds might need them to open into full bloom. I wondered how I could cajole ants up 19 floors to scurry over my peony plant. Oh well, I thought I would just have wonderful green plants without blooms and so be it. Then I fed them with what is proving to perhaps be a bit of a wonder child plant food - Better World bug poop plant food. Bug poop. Who would have thunk it? And just for the record, the Better World plant food people are not paying me a single thing to say any of this - not that I'd be against it, but I don't think they know I exist. : ) 

Regardless I am cautiously optimistic that their food is making my plants happy!

another view of one of my Heavenly-scented beauties!
As soon as I had fed my peony this food, about 2 weeks ago, I swear within a few hours the plant stood more upright, the stems more straight then bending over. I had a feeling something good was happening. I think I may have been right!

In it's corner with close to five to six hours of
sunlight, some wind protection and
two feedings of Better World plant food!
I am very happy to see this latest development. The peony has not been removed from it's original container by the way. 

I came across a helpful site on peonies and this what they had to say about peonies in containers.

Note the point about leaving a peony in a pot on a balcony in Montreal - that it would probably kill it. Um, I wonder if that meant Toronto as well cause I did just that, and both my peonies survived?! I am a lucky balcony gardener indeed!

Here's my Nancy Nora Garden Peony
I have two peonies in their original containers that sit nestled in against the east and south wall. This one, a Nancy Nora Garden Peony, developed such bad powdery mildew last year that I wondered if it would make it at all this year. It received two feedings of Better World as well. Considering how hard the plant was hit last year I am amazed that it is around at all so I didn't expect any blooms this year. It has developed lovely deep green foliage and I think this year may just be a building reserves year for it. I am very happy to have it still with me.

A view of the other side of the Nancy Peony.
 It's deep green foliage looks good!
So there you have it. My Peony miracle! I will continue feeding them during the summer and fall as I have read that they are heavy feeders so I hope that with the Better World product, I will rebuild the soil so the plants can bloom again next summer and be more resistant to disease as well. So far so good with the powdery mildew. My two catnip plants showed some good beginnings of the mildew (supposedly they are notorious for developing it) so I threw the one plant out as it was beyond hope and the other I cut it right back and check on it daily now. If any more develops I will toss it out cause it just isn't worth risking the other plants getting infected from it as powdery mildew is easily spread.

One last parting shot of the beauty on the balcony.
I will transplant them this fall into larger containers. They've earned it!


  1. Hey Gwen, this is awesome. Excellent result! I always thought peony needed ants to make them bloom. I might try a few on the deck myself.
    cheers Richard

  2. Yes, but I guess they just love the sticky stuff that the plant makes and releases around the bud/flower. I see three more little buds so I am going to continue with the plant food as I really want them to bloom too! Yes, I would definitely encourage you to have them on your deck. If I can make them bloom in a container, anyone can!