Peony plants can often be seen in gardens and flower beds, and it is impossible not to admire their large blooms and captivating fragrance.
Peonies are herbaceous perennials which usually reach from half a meter to one and a half meters in height. Their flowers are really stunning, and very often they are so big and numerous that you will have to hoop them.
The Peony plant is native to Asian countries, southern Europe and western parts of the USA.
The best time for planting Peonies is in the fall. If you plant them in early fall, the time it takes through to spring will give them a chance to develop a sufficient number of feeding roots. It is better if you can plant them out a few weeks before the first frosts to give them time to establish, then they will do exceedingly well through the course of the year.
The plants that have less time for roots development are usually weaker, especially if the weather in spring is dry and hot. However, if it is necessary, Peonies can be planted just before the frosts.
In general Peony plants prefer cooler weather conditions. They prefer sunny locations and well drained soils. If your summer is too hot, Peony will do well in partially shaded places.
These plants are heavy feeders, so make sure that their soil is sufficiently fertilized. Use well-rotted manure or compost. Avoid using fresh manure as it tends to burn the plants.
Keep the soil moist, but not water logged because standing water is one of the biggest challenges for Peony plants: under such circumstances their roots begin to rot very quickly and the whole plant is then in danger of dying. Obviously, drainage is very important.
Remember that Peonies do not like to be moved from one place to another; try to make sure that you choose a perfect place for them when you plant them so they don’t have to be moved at a later date.
The divisions of the roots have to be planted in holes that are deep enough to keep the highest bud approximately two inches below ground level.
If you happen to plant Peony plants too deep, there is a strong probability that you will not be able to enjoy their blooms. If you plant the buds too close to the surface, there is a danger of damaging the buds during some seasonal works.
When you finish planting, it is nice to add some organic mulch in order to retain moisture in the soil. However, do not forget that you are not supposed to put the mulch on the crown, as it can result in crown rot.
Peony Growing Tips
Peony plants need very little care.
As with any other perennials, Peonies will benefit from a light addition of fertilizer in spring, especially if they grow in sandy soils. You can skip fertilizing if the soil is known to be rich enough.
Do not be too enthusiastic about cutting Peony flowers, though they can be irresistible. If you cut the flowers it is best not to cut the leaves and the plant needs its leaves as they hold essential plant food reserves. Foliage is especially important for the young plants. You can cut just a few flowers from every plant, and remember to keep as many leaves as possible.
Remove foliage from Peonies at the end of the growing season.
Types of Peonies
Here are a few varieties of Peonies that you can search for if you are looking for something specific.
They are all suitable for Zones 3 to 9 and like partial shade to full sun.
- Peony – Double – Bouchela
Paeonia officinalis ‘Bouchela’
- Peony – Double – Mixed Colors
Paeonia officinalis ‘Mix’
- Peony – Double – Red Magic
Paeonia officinalis ‘Red Magic’
- Peony – Double – Shirley Temple
Paeonia officinalis ‘Shirley Temple’
- Peony – Tree – Kokuryu-nishiki
Peony plants are one of those wonderfully fragrant plants with rather large blooms. The blooms are so large and heavy that you’ll need to stake or hoop them, a small price to pay for such a stunning flower.
When planting the tuber make sure it is no deeper than 2 inches deep and don’t crowd this plant as disease will travel one plant to another via the leaves. Plant them in a humus rich soil that is well drained in full sun and you should have trouble free beautiful flowers. Plant in the fall, however planting in containers in the Spring is also fine.