Peonies

Peonies

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPeonies are one of  our main specialties, both in the nursery and our gardens!

We have been collecting and growing peonies for over 35 years.

We have many established mature plants in our garden for your viewing pleasure in the months of May and June, we have many (but not all, sorry!) available for purchase at the nursery.

Some things to remember when planting Peonies:

*PLANTING: Peonies are preferably planted in the fall because that is when they actively produce roots, however we all admire their blooms in spring and prefer to add them to our garden then! Fortunately, potted peonies may be planted anytime of the season provided you take a little care to not disturb their roots. We recommend that you cut the plastic pot away from the root zone with a sharp knife in order to keep the root ball intact. It’s easy to do! Just cut the plastic “disc” or bottom off the pot, place peony in your dug hole, then cut the sides of the pot away, and you now have your intact roots in the hole. Then fill in your hole, water well to get a good root/soil contact and you’re done! We recommend planting tree peonies up to an inch higher on the woody stem, this encourages more shoots. Herbaceous garden Peonies should be planted at the exact soil level they were in the pot. If herbaceous peonies are planted too deep they won’t bloom as well.

*LOCATION: Provide a space that they can call their own; they don’t like competition from other more “greedy” larger shrubs or perennials, give Peonies space to develop a root system. They will grow in sun, but also a little light shade, some seem to prefer it!

*WATERING: Provide a well draining but fertile soil. Peonies of all types do NOT like to be wet, when in doubt about watering, err on the side of DRY! For perspective, we water our potted peonies once for every 3 times we water our other plants at the nursery! Keep this in mind if you have an automatic watering system, try to situate Peonies away from this.

*PATIENCE: Peonies need patience! Unlike a Petunia, they will not grow into a mature size immediately. They need 2-3 years to establish a root system before they show their full beauty. Often you will not see much growth in the second season, it is important to let them be (don’t move them!) and establish themselves. By the third season you will be rewarded with many blooms for seasons to come. Peonies are very hardy and long lived; we have had Peonies in the same spot for over 40 years! If you must dig/move/divide your peony, it is recommended to do in the fall months, September or October.

*MAINTAINENCE: Peonies are easy care plant/shrubs! Intersectional, species, and herbaceous Peonies may be cut to the ground in fall. For Tree Peonies, we recommend removing the leaves from the woody stems, by either snapping off when they start to turn their fall color, or by collecting on the ground after they have fallen. Like Roses, Peonies are susceptible to a couple naturally occurring fungal diseases. Generally these will only cause occasional discoloration of leaves, but rarely harm the longevity of your plant. You can help prevent this by planting your Peony in an area with good air circulation. Also, remove your fall cleanup debris and place in the garbage (not your compost pile). If you must spray a preventative fungicide (we rarely do), it is best to apply in the spring as new leaves and shoots emerge.

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