With Easter around the corner, Pentecost is not far away either. The magical peonies will soon be blooming in gardens and parks everywhere, giving us their incomparably heavenly aroma. In the following lines, learn how to care for peonies properly and decorate your garden and your own four walls with the beautiful blossoms in pink, white and red.
Peonies – magical garden classics with a beguiling fragrance
Also called peonies, peonies actually belong to the buttercup family. By some estimates there are up to 33 different species within the genus Paeonia known as peonies. Most are herbaceous perennials, some are woody shrubs, also known as tree peonies. Peonies have tuberous roots that absorb water and nutrients. Careful management of these roots is crucial when planting or transplanting peonies, as well as dividing and propagating the plants.
Delicate pink and soft petals
Peonies care – general tips
Peonies are classic garden plants that can thrive for decades with minimal care. Especially when planted in a place they like, in soil that suits their needs. However, it is very important to do the initial planting correctly.
Give each peony plant enough space to grow to maturity. That means a diameter of almost a meter for each plant. Peonies are particularly susceptible to gray mold (botrytis) if they are planted too close together and air cannot flow freely between the plants. Choose a location that is also sheltered from strong winds. Otherwise, the large buds and delicate stems can easily break.
Proper peony care can be seen and felt
Peonies need the cold stimulus in winter. To set their flower buds, peony roots should be planted relatively close to the soil surface – only about 3 to 4 inches deep.
The flowering period for peonies is usually from mid-May to late June, depending on the variety. Especially around Pentecost, the wonderfully fragrant plants show their full bloom. All species are best planted between August and October. This gives the plant time to settle and take root before winter.
location and soil
Peonies need a spot that gets at least 6 hours of sun each day, and a full day of sun is even better. Without enough sunlight, plants will receive fewer flowers and are at greater risk of fungal diseases.
Peonies are very adaptable, but ideally they like well-drained, slightly acidic, loamy soil (6.5 to 7.0 pH). This should also be rich in humus.
A unique feast for the eyes at Pentecost
watering and fertilizing
Ideally, they should be watered 1 to 2 times a week, depending on the outside temperature. Mulch your peonies to help them retain water longer. This also helps prevent weeds.
Peonies should be lightly fertilized. An annual application of compost mixed with a very small amount of fertilizer around the base of the plant is all that is needed. Do this immediately after the end of the flowering period.
Extra tip: Don’t smother peonies with mulch in winter. In the first winter season you can loosely mulch with pine needles or shredded bark. However, the mulch should be removed immediately in the spring.
Combine different colors of peonies
Peonies categorically do not like transplanting. They get used to a favorite place and can even die from hasty transplanting. If you still decide to move your peonies, autumn is best for this. Do this very carefully so as not to damage the roots.
- In the new spot, dig a hole twice the width and depth of the peony’s root ball.
- Plant the peony just as deep as at its old location. Stomp the ground with your hands, but don’t grab it too tightly.
- Pour thoroughly. Add a 7 cm layer of compost or mulch around the base of the plant. This keeps the roots moist and cool while the plant settles into its new location.
divide and multiply
For best peony propagation, you should lift the root clump, carefully divide, and immediately replant the divided pieces. When a peony begins to lose its vigor and bloom, it’s time to share. This usually happens every 8 to 9 years. Autumn is the perfect season for this.
Fragile floral beauty that is easy to care for and robust at the same time
As already indicated above, peonies are quite robust and, above all, hardy. Its tubers can withstand even harsh winters without any problems in the soil. It is better not to cut withered stems and flowers in autumn, but only in early spring. These serve as additional protection against the cold for the plants. Peonies do not need special wintering, even in a pot. At most, you should wrap the flower pot with garden fleece or coconut mats and place it in a place that is protected from the wind and rain.
The white peony variety looks particularly elegant
Be loving with your peonies. Maintain them properly and carefully. They are a real enrichment for your garden or balcony and will definitely thank you with magnificent blossom magic.
Create a real oasis of flowers yourself