Easy Steps to Grow Peonies
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Discovering the Peony
The first time I ever saw a peony, I thought it was a rose. There was a large rectangular bed filled with them in a neighbor's yard. It seemed that they just suddenly appeared one day. I could only see them from a distance but was amazed at their magnificent size and brilliant colors. I remember thinking they must be hard to grow and probably required a lot of maintenance. Boy was I wrong!
Peonies are very easy to plant and grow. The only maintenance needed is cosmetic. Because they are loaded with petals and very heavy, they tend to droop over. Staking them will allow a better view of their incredibly large colorful blooms. I have listed suggestions for optimal growing conditions below, but in truth, I have done nothing to mine other than plant them in the ground. My peonies look amazing.
- Plant bare root peonies in the fall. These will appear in the spring and will have attractive green foliage. Depending on the variety, they may not produce flowers the first year. Each year the plant will grow larger, into what looks like a bush, and it will completely die down in the winter.
- If soil is poor, add a mixture of compost before planting. Even though this is not necessary for growth, it will make the plant healthier, and may give long-lasting benefits over the years. The plant may produce more blooms, longer-lasting blooms, and may live longer.
- Peonies do well in full sun, but can do fine in partial shade as well. If planting in full sun, occasional watering will prevent flowers from dying early.
- Plant Peonies no more than 2 inches below the soil surface, with buds facing upward. I've read that planting the Peonies too deep can thwart their growth.
- Water thoroughly after planting. It is suggested that Peonies be watered a few times before they emerge from the ground.
- Place a layer of mulch over soil. This will protect the Peonies through the winter.
Peonies in Flower Arrangements
Peony Care and Maintenance
- Peonies should be cut back in the Fall. I have read that they should not be mulched into the flower beds, as they can can a plant disease.
- Peonies will die down in the Winter and return each Spring, larger and more beautiful than the year before.
- Compost can be added to the soil yearly for optimal growth, but is not necessary.
- Peonies can live to be as old as 100 and still produce flowers according to ehow.com.
- Peonies are attractive in cut-flower arrangements as their stems are long and can create show-stopping vases. They also look beautiful cut at the stem, displayed floating in a bowl of water.
- They can be grown in the ground or in containers, and some varieties are very fragrant. They come in a large assortment of colors, with the exception of blue.
- Peonies come in a variety of sizes too, from 1 to 10 inches across.
- Flowers will first bloom in the early spring and can continue blooming for up to two months.
Peonies symbolize beauty, romance and peace. Some cultures believe them to have healing powers.
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