When to plant peonies and how to care for them

Peonies are colorful flowering plants that can be a great addition to your garden.They are easy to grow and do not require much maintenance to thrive.
Author and houseplant expert Lisa Eldred Steinkopf told Newsweek that peony is “a long-lived plant” that can typically grow for 100 years or more.
In the United States, most peonies are grown in states north of South Carolina and Texas.The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) explains that some varieties can grow south, but they rarely bloom because winter temperatures aren’t high enough for the buds to develop properly.
There are several kinds of peonies, but the two that are commonly grown are garden (herb) peonies and peonies.
There are five types of peonies with different petal shapes.They include singles, semi-doubles, doubles, Japanese and Anemones.
Peonies can grow to eye height on woody stems with few branches.They remain year-round, with the next year’s buds on the stems.
The best time to plant peonies is in the fall, as this ensures that the root system is established before winter.
Eldred Steinkopf explains that if the peonies are container grown and purchased at a local garden center, they can be planted anytime in the spring or summer.
But, “if you’re buying bare roots or moving your own plants, do it in the fall. Try to plan accordingly when planting peonies. They hate being moved after they’re established,” Eldred Steinkopf told Newsweek.
Peonies should be in place about six weeks before the ground freezes.In most parts of the U.S., they are grown in September and October, but they can also be grown later in the fall, depending on the region, The Old Farmer’s Almanac said.
According to the nonprofit American Peony Association, peonies can be grown anytime from late August to October in most peonies-growing areas.
The USDA explains that peonies grow from underground stems (called tubers) that store food produced by the leaves, and new growth develops from buds or eyes on the tubers.
Tubers are sold at the site in late summer and fall, and some places sell fully mature peonies in the spring.But these are expensive, and few survive the dry summer weather.So it’s best to buy and plant tubers in the fall, the federal agency said.
Tubers can have many eyes, but they must have at least three to five to thrive.Peonies grown with three- to five-eyed tubers are likely to bloom well the second year after planting.
According to the USDA, a single plant grown with tubers with fewer than three eyes can take about three to five years to produce more than a few florets.
While peonies can be planted in the spring, these tend to be ineffective.They are usually about a year behind plants grown in the fall, experts say.
The USDA says you can plant fully mature peonies in the spring, but they are harder to sustain than tubers planted in the fall because they are already growing when you plant them.
Peonies should be planted in rich, well-drained soil.Eldred Steinkopf advises that if the peonies are in containers, make sure not to plant them deeper than the pots.
“The eyes of a peony need to be at a certain level for the plant to bloom. If you’re buying bare-root plants, make sure those eyes are or are only two inches above the ground,” she says.
The USDA says peonies can survive in any good garden soil, but they thrive in deep, rich clay (a mix of clay, sand, and silt).
They prefer soils with a neutral to slightly alkaline pH, require good drainage, and grow best in slightly raised beds.
The soil should be prepared two to four weeks before planting so that it can fully settle when you plant the peonies.Peonies will not grow well in poorly prepared soil.
The American Peony Society explains that you can prepare your soil by digging the soil about two feet deep and adding any amendments (such as enzymes, vitamins, or other substances designed to promote its growth and germination) throughout the planting area.
With the exception of a few woodland peony varieties that require filtered sunlight and can be grown in shade, nearly all peonies require at least half a day of sun exposure.The American Peony Association states that many do best in full sun.
Eldred Steinkopf says peonies should be planted in full sun to light-colored conditions, with more sunlight resulting in more blooms and less sunlight resulting in fewer blooms.
The USDA says peonies can grow in shaded areas for about two to three hours a day.But when they are grown under trees or shrubs, they don’t produce large flowers because the roots of these plants absorb the water the peonies need.
Good air circulation is essential for preventing disease in peonies, but they should also be planted in locations that can withstand strong winds, the USDA says.
There should also be extra space around these plants to help evaporate moisture from their leaves and stems.
Peonies do not need much water throughout the year, but should be given an even amount for best results.Spring and fall are the times when they need the most water for spring plant growth and fall root growth.
Peonies need frequent watering in their first season in order to take root in the soil.But after that, normal rainfall usually provides enough water, except during prolonged droughts.
In dry weather, peonies should be watered frequently to keep the soil slightly moist, but not soggy, and to keep the soil dry between waterings.
Flowers should be clipped as soon as they start to fade so that the seeds don’t develop, which can deplete much-needed plant food.But all leaves should remain on the stem, as green leaves are needed for the following year to bloom.
“Removing wilted peony flowers will not harm the plant and may result in a neater planting,” explains the American Peony Society. “Just cut them off, leaving the leaves, which are necessary for photosynthesis throughout the growing season.”
However, the nonprofit recommends that any diseased leaves and stems seen on peonies throughout the growing season should be removed.

Post time: Jan-14-2022


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