Best Peony Fertilizers (Plant Food) For Plant Blooms

Peonies like phosphorous-rich fertilizers that help that plant with its beautiful blooms.

Best Fertilizer for Peonies


Often people ask us what is the best fertilizer for peonies, and if that’s what you wish to learn, you are in for some luck. We will cover everything you must know about peony fertilization in this guide.


It is easy to fertilize peonies. Infact, it is an enjoyable spring task for your perennial flower garden. Peonies are low-maintenance and do not demand any fussy care after they establish.


But many gardeners like to give them a springtime boost with a phosphorous-rich fertilizer. In early spring or late winter, you must add a thin compost layer into the soil over the flower bed area.


In the mid-spring, the stems are about a foot high. So, apply a slow-release, granular, and organic-best peony fertilizer to the soil covering the plant’s stems. Some good options include perennial flower fertilizer, bulb fertilizer, bone meal, or rose food.


Are Peonies Acid-Loving Plants?

Peonies Acid-Loving Plants


Similar to roses, even peonies love acidic to neutral soil. Soil with pH 6.5 to 7 works best for the plants. 


This is an important issue to address, before you decide what is the best fertilizer for peonies. A lower pH or high acidity makes it challenging for the plant to absorb potassium, phosphorous, and nitrogen to develop roots, foliage, and stems.


On the contrary, a high pH or lower alkalinity will prevent phosphorous absorption, the nutrient that helps the plant bloom. Thus, you must inspect the soil’s pH to ensure it is slightly acidic.


It will come in handy when picking the fertilizer that makes up for the deficiencies in the soil. This information will also help choose the feed with the requisite NPK ratio.


Best Fertilizers for Peony Plants Suitable For All Types


The best peony fertilizer is one that facilitates a lot of attractive blooms. Though peonies need time to bloom. Hence, you must pick fertilizers that have a high phosphorous content. It can help with flower production and bud development.


If you resort to organic alternatives, bone meal feeds are good. They are rich in phosphorous and contain elements like nitrogen and calcium. In addition, you must pick a fertilizer that enriches the soil with nutrients that might otherwise become quickly depleted if you plant in pots or clay soil.


Fertilizing with feeds meant particularly for roses will work well for peonies too.


Further, as with every other plant, the right NPK ratio in the fertilizer can also make a difference. You must pick a feed with high phosphorous content, and the potassium and nitrogen levels should be lesser.


A nitrogen-rich fertilizer will result in massive foliage and little flowers, which is not what you seek. Sadly, there are no peony-specific fertilizers in the market, but perennial and bulb products can be the best plant food for peonies.


You can opt for a feed with low nitrogen content or a balanced fertilizer. Top choices include 5-10-5, 5-10-10, or 10-20-10. So, if you see peonies not yielding flowers and buds or not producing them in the desired quantity, the problem could be the feed.


Below we will address a few of the best fertilizers for peony plants:

1. Scott’s Water Soluble Fertilizer


Scott’s Water Soluble Fertilizer Check price on Amazon


It is one of the few plant feeds with the maximum phosphorous content in the market. The fertilizer supports bloom production for the peonies and results in a bigger, more vibrant growth across the growing season.


This fertilizer is formulated to be absorbed by the plants via the roots and the leaves. It has an NPK ratio of 12-55-6 and comprises iron, potassium phosphate, urea, and ammonium phosphate.


It is the best fertilizer for tree peonies because it is water-soluble. So, as the plant absorbs water from the leaves or soil, the nutrients will also travel along. Thus, you will see the necessary results in a week or two.


A gallon requires only a tablespoon or two of the granules that can easily last you two to five months, depending on the total plants you feed. One standout feature of this fertilizer is its NPK ratio, which will trigger flowering in no time. Its water solubility is a bonus for impatient gardeners who desire prompt results.


However, the only low is that it is inorganic. Some might also not approve of the urea content in this fertilizer. But performance-wise, this can be a good pick and will give you the desired results. You must feed every one to two weeks to achieve the required results.

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2. Dr. Earth GL61100518430 Fertilizer & Soil 707P Organic 8 Bud & Bloom Fertilizer


Dr. Earth GL61100518430 Fertilizer Check price on Amazon

If you desire an organic option, this fertilizer from Dr. Earth is the best plant food for peonies. Since it employs food-grade organic materials, it is the purest form of organic fertilizer in the market today.


The brand takes immense pride in not using GMO-infested chicken manure and poultry manure in their fertilizers. It has a 3-9-4 NPK ratio, accentuated with TruBiotic, which comprises mycorrhizae and soil microbes that help break down the nutrients and make them readily accessible for the peonies.


Further, the fertilizer is packed with humic acids from Leonardite to amplify the plant’s nutrition. It contains organic materials like alfalfa meal, potassium sulfate, fishbone meal, kelp flour, bone meal, kelp meal, and feather meal.


One of the standout features of this product is its cleanliness, especially in ingredients, which is why it is a top choice for many gardeners. The fertilizer does not contain any harsh chemicals that can damage the environment. It is also pet and kid-friendly.


However, the only low with most organic fertilizers (even this one) is that it has a peculiar smell, and some gardeners can be sensitive to the smell and might not want to use it indoors. It is also one of the pricier alternatives in the market.


Beyond that, it is the best plant feed, especially in terms of quality. It is OMRI-listed and holds certifications from organic institutions. However, if used excessively, it can result in plant burn. So, be cautious in your use.

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3. Down to Earth Organic Bone Meal Fertilizer 3-15-0, 5 lb


Down to Earth Organic Bone Meal Fertilizer 3-15-0 Check price on Amazon

The next best fertilizer for peony blooms is perfect for organic gardening. It is environmentally friendly and comes from a manufacturer who cares. Picking this plant feed not only helps you get closer to nature but also helps you save the environment.


Hence, you can achieve the best nutrients for your peonies without employing cheap-quality additives.


It is a slow-release fertilizer with a 3-15-0 formulation containing calcium that ensures your plant looks picture-perfect with firm branches and straight stems. Further, it has just the right degree of nitrogen to give that verdant touch to the plant.


Moreover, its high phosphorous content will satiate your peonies’ needs and fill your garden with color and abundance. You can also use it for lilies, tomatoes, and pumpkins.


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4. Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food Flower & Vegetable, 8 lb


Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food Flower & Vegetable Check price on Amazon


Do you need a slow-release fertilizer that can keep your peonies well-fed for longer? If yes, the Osmocote is the best peony fertilizer to help you do the job well. This plant feed fertilizes for about four months. It employs a resin coat that gradually releases the nutrients that your plant seeks.


The fertilizer has an NPK of 14-14-14. Hence, it helps with bloom production and root development. In addition, it also works to keep pests, diseases, and drought at bay. You can use it for peonies, berries, melons, tomatoes, and vegetables.


Hence, it is an all-around feed for almost every kind of plant. Moreover, it keeps the plant well-fed for longer than the other slow-release fertilizers.


It does not contain harmful chemicals or urea, which can pollute the water resources in the area and harm pets or kids. What’s more? There is no problem with the fuzzy smell of typical plant food.


The only plausible low with this fertilizer is that it is not organic and employs a resin that typically takes time to decompose. Also, please mix it well to ensure your pets and kids do not eat or touch it.

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5. J R Peters Jacks Classic No.4 Blossom Booster Fertilizer


J R Peters Jacks Classic No.4 Blossom Booster Fertilizer Check price on Amazon


It is a water-soluble best fertilizer for peony plants with an NPK ratio of 10-30-20. You get a free measuring spoon that helps with precise and easy application.


It feeds the plant via the leaves and roots and has the highest safety factor, making it an ideal pick to ensure that the plant leaves do not burn if applied as directed. Hence, it is the best pick for green foliage and strong roots.

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6. Lilly Miller All Purpose Planting and Growing Food


Lilly Miller All Purpose Planting and Growing Food Check price on Amazon

It is the best peony fertilizer when you plant new tubers. The feed comprises balanced nutrients that facilitate lush and steady growth for the plants. It is an all-purpose product that feeds the root system while triggering new growth on the top.


The Lilly Miller fertilizer also has vital minerals that help the peonies grow optimally. It is a long-lasting, slow-release plant feed that is perfect for houseplants and fruit trees. You can apply it to the top layer of the soil outside the root system when fertilizing the existing plants.

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7. Espoma Flower Tone


Espoma Flower Tone Check price on Amazon


What is the best fertilizer for peonies when it comes to slow release picks? This is an amazing organic alternative for gardening enthusiasts seeking a perfect feed for their peonies and is often considered a competition for Dr. Earth.


But it has its pride and charms and does not contain any sludges or fillers. You can use this plant feed for hanging baskets, perennials, and annuals.


It is a slow-release fertilizer with an NPK of 3-4-5. In addition, its Bio-tone formula comprises mycorrhizae and soil microbes that accelerate the nutrient breakdown and make them readily accessible for the plants.


Beyond this, it contains additional contents like humic acids from Leonardite. Further, this plant food contains bone meal, greensand, sulfate of potash, feather meal, sulfate potash of magnesia, alfalfa meal, and poultry manure.


As it is a slow-release fertilizer, you must feed the peonies only once in three weeks, which makes it a convenient pick. It also has no harsh chemicals that can damage or pollute the aquatic environment.


Moreover, it is a lot more affordable than other brands, and this comes sans any compromise on the material quality. As for the smell, it has a typical organic smell. Therefore, some gardeners might not like using it indoors. Also, it contains poultry manure. Hence, it is not a good option if you are into vegan gardening.

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8. Miracle Gro Garden Pro Bloom Booster


Miracle Gro Garden Pro Bloom Booster Check price on Amazon

This plant fertilizer has phosphorous, which facilitates long-lasting and bigger blooms. It works well for almost all the flowering plants in the garden. However, it must be employed before the flowers open.


Also, please use as directed in the spring to not over-fertilize. For best results, you must use this after watering or following rainfall. Never apply it to the dry ground in the flowerbed. It is a vital prerequisite to ensure that the plant food does not burn the plant.


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9. Jobe’s Perennial and Annual Organic Granular Fertilizer


Jobe’s Perennial and Annual Organic Granular Fertilizer Check price on Amazon


We have arrived at the last alternative on this list for the best fertilizers for tree peonies. It is a granular plant food that comes in a resealable, water-proof bag.


Unlike most options on this list, it is a quick-acting fertilizer that facilitates quick nutrient absorption after you water the plant. It is an all-natural product. Hence, it makes the soil healthier over the years.


In addition, it also contains phosphorous that results in brighter and taller flowers. It does not contain any synthetic ingredients. Thus, it is a safe pick for pets and people. You can use it for your peonies, but it is also a good pick for other flowering plants. However, please use as directed to not over-fertilize the plant.

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When Is The Best Time To Fertilize Peonies?

Spring is the best time to fertilize your fragrant peonies.


You can feed the peonies in the spring with the best fertilizer for peony plants when the stems have grown to around a foot tall. At this point, the leaves start unfurling, and frosty nights are few and far between. Alternatively, feed the peonies when the first flower buds show.


These flower buds become apparent when the stems begin leafing out. Some people like to fertilize twice a year. So, after spring, you can fertilize for the second time in early fall or late summer. It helps the roots prepare for the winter.


Is There A Homemade Fertilizer For Peonies That Works?

Homemade Fertilizer For Peonies
Yes, homemade fertilizer for peonies can provide them with the necessary nutrients.


You can make your peony fertilizer by mixing one part compost, one part bone meal, and one part manure. This best homemade plant feed provides peonies with all the essential nutrients necessary to thrive.


  1. Compost offers organic matter, which improves aeration and drainage in the soil.
  2. Bone meal is an excellent source of phosphorous that helps with bud formation.
  3. Manure adds potassium, phosphorous, and nitrogen content to the soil.


Is Holly Tone Good For Peonies?

Yes, Holly tone is an excellent organic fertilizer. It is ideal for all acid-loving plants, including peonies.


Is Miracle-Gro Good For Peonies?

Yes, Miracle-Gro is a popular feed for different types of peonies amongst gardeners.


Miracle Grow contains fast-acting components and has the ability to yield brighter and bigger flowers. It offers the plant all the essential ingredients that a plant requires, which deplete from the soil throughout the peonies lifespan.


Is Bone Meal Good For Peonies?

Yes, bone meal is good for the peonies. It is the best organic fertilizer for peonies.


When you wish to ensure that your peonies grow to their fullest bloom, you must employ a top-quality fertilizer, and what better than a bone meal?


It has a high NPK ratio and will amplify the blooms on the peonies by ensuring that they absorb the nutrients instantly. Bone meal is also rich in macronutrients. A few pounds of bone meal every week suffices to ensure excellent bloom production on the peonies.


The bone meal comprises animal bones. You can shop for it from the butcher shops. It is rich in nitrogen and enables the peonies to yield beautiful blooms. Bone meal also provides plants with an excellent degree of phosphorous and protein.


After adding to the soil, you can apply bone meal to the peonies once a week. However, please mix it well into the soil around the stem of the peony.


Is Coffee Grounds Good For Peonies?

Coffee Grounds Good For Peonies


No, it is best to keep coffee grounds away from peonies.


Coffee grounds have high nitrogen content and must only employ on plants that thrive on high-nitrogen fertilizers like daffodils, rhododendrons, azaleas, etc.


Is Epsom Salt Good For Peonies?

Yes, Epsom salt is good for the peonies. It helps absorb the nutrients better without accumulating them in the soil.


Related: Peony Care In Fall


More Peony Info on Fertilizers

Ques 1. Which is the best Itoh peony fertilizer?

Ans. You can use a balanced fertilizer with a 10-10-10 formulation during the summer and spring. If feeding during the fall, use a 5-10-10 formulation.


Ques 2. Which is the best fertilizer for tree peonies?

Ans. Bulb fertilizers are ideal for tree peonies.


Ques 3. Signs that your peonies need fertilizers

Ans. A few signs that scream a fertilization requirement for the peonies include:


  1. Yellowing of leaves starting at the tips and reaching the step.
  2. Dull, dark-green, or sometimes purple foliage.
  3. Small spots on the leaves that aggravate over time and cause discoloration patches.


Ques 4. What are the signs of overfertilization in peonies?

Ans. Some signs of overfertilization include:


  1. No or slow growth
  2. Fertilizer crust on the soil surface.
  3. Seedlings dying
  4. Wilting or yellowing of leaves
  5. Browning leaf margins and tips
  6. Defoliation
  7. Blackened or browned limp roots