Tip for Growing Peony Flowers
Peony flowers are often coveted for their longevity. The peonies you plant in your garden could in fact see your family through generations!
If you are considering adding peony flowers to your garden, you need to know the best time and strategy to plant your flowers, as well as how to maintain them.
In this article, we are going to cover all of those topics, as well as provide a little history behind the flower itself.
The peony is the traditional (floral) symbol for both Mongolia and China, and is particularly popular among Chinese artists. The root of the peony was used in folk medicine as a cure for both menstrual cramps as well as asthma. These plants are natives of North America, Asia, and southern parts of Europe. However, they are renowned as hardy plants that can withstand even a harsh winter.
There are about thirty species of peony, most being herbaceous while some, the tree peony, are more like a shrub.
The herbaceous peony plants can grow anywhere from two feet to four feet in height and the peony trees are generally referred to as reaching “eye level” heights of five to seven feet. The flowers are very fragrant and usually grow to a diameter of about six to eight inches. The flower colors most often planted are either:
However, it is possible to obtain other colors. The leaves are a dark green shade, but can turn burgundy if they are grown in full sunlight.
How And When To Buy Peony Flowers
When you go to the nursery to purchase your peony flowers, it is best to purchase them and plant them in the early autumn. By doing this, it:
Gives your peonies plenty of time to get settled into the soil before winter hits
Allows its roots to spread out before spring arrives
It is possible to buy your peonies during the spring so that you can plant them immediately, but this does not allow them very much time to establish a good system of roots for feeding. This will stress the plant out a bit, but peonies are pretty hardy and will likely recover in time to flourish during the next spring season or two.
How To Plant Peony Flowers
Once you have purchased your peony flowers, it’s time to decide where you want to plant them in your garden.
The peony plant thrives best in full sunlight unless the region has particularly harsh summers; in this case, an area that has partial shade would best suit the plant.
Peonies are not particular when it comes to soil, so an average soil type would do as long as the pH is between six and seven. The soil in the area must also be well drained to prevent the roots from rotting due to excessive moisture.
Before you plant your peonies, check the roots. Do they seem a little dry? If so, soak them in water overnight and wait until the next day to plant them.
The hole you dig in the ground should be large enough to allow the roots to spread easily. This is usually 2x the width and depth of the cluster of roots.
Set the roots into the hole so that the top of the roots are about level with the top of the ground. Pour the remaining soil back into the hole and water it well.
Cover the top of the roots with soil and make sure that the soil is firmly packed but not too difficult for the roots to spread.
Peonies, in general, only require watering if the spring or summer weather is very warm or if there is a drought. However, newly planted peonies should be watered regularly during their first summer.
While the flowers are young, it might be worthwhile to put a stake into the ground and loosely tie the stalks to the stake. This will prevent the plants from snapping during windy or stormy weather.
It is recommended that you snip off the flowers as soon as they start to die off to prevent them from using up resources that the rest of the flowers could use.
As you can see, the general planting and maintenance of peony flowers isn’t a difficult task and the result are beautiful flowers that will last for several decades!