Monday, June 7, 2010

Peonies in the Garden





The other day I was working in my garden when a sudden breeze filled the air with a wonderful fragrance of the peonies that were in bloom. Peonies always reminds me of my childhood when my mother grew them in her garden. If you have not grown peonies, you should give them a try. The flowers are beautiful and they come in a single or double blossom in colors of pink, white, red and purple that bloom in early summer. Peonies or Paeonia need full sunlight or semi-shade with protection from strong winds. It is also helpful to put a wire ring around the plant when it first starts growing to help support the weight of the flowers. You will know what I mean after a heavy rain! Peonies prefer well drained soil enriched with cow manure or compost. Peonies are easy to propagate. Propagation is by division in the spring or fall. Take care not to break the brittle roots when dividing. Each division must have roots and dormant growth buds. Crowns should be planted 1 inch deep in the soil and spaced about 20 inches apart. Peonies can be grown from seed but it will take 4 to 5 years before they bloom. Plan to purchase plants instead of growing from seed. A general fertilizer should be applied in the spring and if you mulch, keep the mulch away from the crown.


Always remove spent flowers and allow the foliage to die down naturally before trimming it back. Peonies do have some problems in the garden. Watch for Botrytis or gray mold. It can cause rotting of the stems and leaf bases. If you find this problem, you should destroy the affected foliage. Try to improve air circulation and drainage around the plant and apply a fungicide to the plant.






Peonies are great to cut and take inside the house to enjoy. Keep the flowers in a cool part of the house and change off the water every other day. Now enjoy the wonderful fragrance throughout your home.


Happy Gardening!
The Creative Gardener




6 comments:

NellJean said...

'Festiva Maxima' -- I can't smell them from here, but I could almost taste them when I saw the picture, remembering. Peonies were a fav flower of my childhood. Mama would gather a huge vase full to set on the dining room table awaiting being Sunday's church decoration and cemetery afterward.

Sometimes I wonder if I could empty the icemaker on some peonies daily through late winter to give them enough chill to bloom here.

Bangchik said...

Peonies are dense and elaborate in look and character. A definite plus point for any garden.... Cheers, Bangchik

Becca's Dirt said...

Beautiful peonies. I planted one bulb in Feb or Mar and it has come up but no flowers. Now it is shaded by the large zinnias. I feel that I need to move it but not sure where. Have a good day.

Cameron said...

Wonderful "how to" for growing peonies. I've not tried them, even though they are deer resistant. Finding the right place while my garden is so young is my concern. I don't want to move them once established.

Thanks

meemsnyc said...

We just found your blog and love it! We are novice gardeners! We planted peony from bulb this year and it's growing, but friends tell me that it won't flower for another year or 2 years. Bummer.

We just love peonies, they are so fragrant!

Rose Gold said...

Peonies are really cute garden colors! I have some in my garden and they are the ones usually drawing the attention of my guests. Well, I have roses and daisies, but peonies are the cutest! Aside from being easy to plant, they are really easy to maintain. A must-have for every garden owner!