One of a series of guides on growing popular plants.

One of a series of guides on growing popular plants. Other guides include Lenten Rose, Bauhinia, Rhododendron, Elephant Ear, Coleus, Lantana, Echinacea, Salty Iris, and Rudbeckia.
Peony is a beloved flower from early to mid-spring-as early as April in Washington, although the main display takes place from May to June. It is valued for its large size, diverse shapes and colorful flowers. If you follow some simple principles, you can avoid the common problems of peony.
Garden peonies are divided into three categories. The most common is the herbaceous peony. After a century or more of cultivation, it is a plant with countless incarnations. The leaves die on the ground every fall and reappear early next spring. The so-called peony is a medium-sized woody shrub that sheds leaves every fall, but keeps the stem in winter. A relatively new type, called Itoh, or cross peony, shows the best attributes of peony-beautiful, natural flowers on elegant plants-but it blooms later, takes longer, and reaches bloom The speed of age is also faster. Its stem is more woody than herbaceous peony and does not require lofting.
Herbal peonies usually grow to three feet tall and two feet wide. After a few years, the tree type and Ito type became taller and wider.
Peony is planted in mixed borders as a seasonal highlight plant, but since each plant needs its own space, it should not be crowded with other plants. Herbal peonies make luxurious cut flowers, which can be grown in cut flower gardens for this purpose.
Peony is native to colder regions and requires continuous winter cold to stay vigorous and start to struggle in hot and humid regions. This is one of the reasons for the failure of the double-petaled variety in the south. During its long-term development, it was checked for high temperature or spring rain-related diseases. In hotter states, avoid planting a large number of double herb peonies and place the plants in a slightly shaded place (but not too much); this is more important for tree peonies and Ito peonies. They are only moderately resistant to deer browsing.
Peony can be planted in early spring and autumn. The best time is late summer/early autumn so that the root system will grow vigorously during the planting period. Peony is more sensitive to planting depth than other perennials. The crown of the new shoot should be set 1 to 2 inches below the surface of the soil, but not deeper, otherwise the blossoms will fall off. Excessive coverage will have the same effect.
The peony becomes a victim of the spring storm; the stem opens or breaks and cannot be corrected. Not all herbal peonies do this, but staking can prevent collapse. This should be done in early spring and then grow more than a few inches. Again, avoid excessive double breeds, which can become top-heavy. The tree and Ito peony do not need to be staked.
When the spring begins to grow, peonies will benefit from a balanced feed, but keep fertilizer away from the leaves and avoid overfeeding. Organic fertilizers are generally mild.
Foliar disease may be a problem. Remove diseased leaves when they appear, and clean and remove all fallen leaves in autumn. The sugary secretions on the buds will attract ants, but these insects are harmless and should be left alone.
Peony has a long lifespan, but if it blooms and falls off, it usually needs to be lifted and divided due to shade. The transplanting behavior may delay flowering again for a year or two.
The embarrassment of wealth. All kinds of single-flowered and half-double-flowered peonies are the materials of Japanese prints. They are extremely elegant and easiest to grow. The American Peony Association awards gold awards to high-quality varieties every year. Recent winners include Hillary, Angel Emily, Pietertje Vriend Wagenaar, Mahogany and Topeka Garnett.
Main illustrations from Washington Post staff/iStock/Shutterstock/American Peony Association. Icon illustration of Jeannie Phan.

Post time: Nov-22-2021


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