Pale peonies-Are my peonies growing lighter every year?

Are my peonies growing lighter every year. What used to be a pretty definite pink are now almost white. Do the flowers pale with age because this is an old bush?
  3 answers
  • Elaine Elaine on Jun 10, 2017
    i've never heard of this! Most perennials just get nicer as the years roll by! Are they getting enough sunlight? Perhaps, there is a tree nearby (on your property or on a neighbor's?) that has filled out more and has reduced the amount of sun the peonies are receiving. The only other option would be is to ask at a proper nursery.
  • Rosalie Rogers Rosalie Rogers on Jun 11, 2017
    Thanks Elaine. The peonies are right next to a forsythia bush that oddly enough gave us the biggest explosion of yellow flowers we have seen in 25 years. The peony bush is healthy but maybe it is being crowded out by the sturdier forsythia. In any case I was still able to bring some of each into the house rather than accidentally bringing in nightshade when it had the pretty purple flowers. Now that I think of it, the nightshade is once again wrapping itself throughout the forsythia bush. I might just move the peony bush to safer ground.
  • Rosalie Rogers Rosalie Rogers on Jun 11, 2017

    Hi Elaine, I just googled several gardening websites about fading peony colors. Apparently it is quite a common mystery since quite a few people were asking the same question. The answers were many in number but the one that was most enlightening was that peonies tend to get paler as they age. However, these are not flowers from the original plant but rather from new shoots created from the peony's self-seeding process. We have never looked at the base of the bush to do away with shoots before they take over, bringing with them the paler colors. We just let the bush grow like it always did. We cut back when the bush was spent, again not noticing any new shoots. The peonies do take a lot more care than what we were giving and so we have to be happy with mostly white peonies this year and hope with the right care get pinker ones next year. Thank you for your interest and it certainly got me moving!
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