It became a bit of a tradition on my blog to cover grooming of flowers recently. One of the most exciting plants is our subject for today. Therefore, let me show you how to grow peonies, and if you follow my instructions, you will be rewarded with beautiful flowers in no time.
Of course, I’ll do my best to maintain beginner-friendly note, and cover the essential things at the beginning, and we’ll go toward more complicated procedures such as planting and maintaining the plant. Sit back and enjoy the ride!
What Should I Know About Peonies?
Although peonies can be seen throughout gardens in your neighborhood, there are some general facts which need to be stated. So, here is some common knowledge about these bushy guys.
As shown, peonies won’t require much, but the things are not care-free. Namely, there’s an establishing time, so you can expect first flowers to appear after a few years after planting. This is what makes the preparation the essential part of the whole growing process.
Which Tools And Material Will Be Needed?
The situation about the tools and materials which will be required to plant and grow peonies is similar to other flowers. Only the fundamental things will be needed, with just a few more unusual but still affordable ones.
Whether you buy tubers in store or online, it doesn’t matter. Only look after the type of the plant. Bush and wood-like are grown the same, but require different amounts of space, so you need to fit your preference.
How Should I Prepare For Planting?
Luckily, the situation with preparing is the same as it is with tools. It is super easy to do but will require good preparation and planning. Namely, peonies aren’t overly fond of moving once planted. Therefore, think carefully where you will plant them.
These flowers prefer open space with a lot of sunlight. Therefore, rule out any locations under a tree or in the shade. Also, these plants don’t like to struggle and compete when it comes to nutrients. They are somewhat sensitive to wind, so see to plant them where they will be protected from strong air flows.
Before each planting, I prefer to work in a few inches of manure into the soil. This time, it won’t be needed. Instead, break the upper 5-6” of the ground, just to make the air flow and to remove any potential stones or rocks. The bonemeal I have mentioned will be added to each hole, so don’t use it yet.
The best time to plant peonies is either early in the spring, right after the soil can be worked, or in the autumn so that tubers will be settled before the temperature drops too much.
So, Planting Is In Order, Right?
After you set the location, and the soil is good to go, all there is left is to plant the tubers. Before proceeding, see that each root has at least three “eyes”. These spots are where the plant will grow from. Basically, the more, the better.
Dig a hole about two feet deep and around the same diameter. Now is also the time to add that great bonemeal, so about a cup per hole will be sufficient. Note that even the hole is two feet deep, the eyes of the tubers shouldn’t be too deeply planted. At most cases, 2” is the maximum depth of planting.
Right after the root is covered with soil, press it firmly. This way the extra air will be pushed out, and we did it when we grew onions from sprouted onions if you remember. Add water to improve soil settling, and it will also increase the surface of the tuber which is in contact with the soil, thus shortening sprouting process.
How Should I Care About Peonies?
The best thing about these flowers is there is an absolute minimal effort about care. You can literally visit them once a week, and there shouldn’t be any problems. Of course, you will have to wait for a few years for flowers to appear.
Until then add water when the ground is dry, but don’t overdo it. Wait for the soil to dry before adding more water. If you have regular soil in your garden, don’t add fertilizer. That bonemeal which was added while planting was enough. Only in cases of poor soil, you can add bonemeal once in a few years.
Since peonies continue to grow, see to remove foliage before winter, to prevent any disease. Also, if temperatures are dropping below zero by much add a thin layer of bark mulch to prevent freezing damage. Of course, this cover should be removed in spring.
When it comes to pests, the usual bunch of Japanese beetle, nematodes, and ants are to be expected. Be careful about the latter. This is a rare case when the ants are beneficial to have. Since they feed on nectar from flowers, they will keep other pests away. Think of them as personal security.
So, the whole thing about how to grow peonies is described above. I hope that you didn’t have any trouble in understanding or adopting those guidelines. If there is something unclear, feel free to contact me, and I’ll do my best to help you.
Of course, comments, advice or opinions are more than welcome in the comment section below.