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Blog - Perennials

Peony Planting and Maintenance Tips

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Homestead Farms Peonies (Herbaceous and Intersectional)
Planting & Maintenance Tips

Peonies are easy to grow, trouble free and will bloom every year for generations. This perfect landscape plant can be used in many ways such as mass plantings, hedges, specimen plants and as cut flowers with its huge blooms and delightful fragrance. We carry herbaceous and intersectional types. Herbaceous peonies (also known as bush peonies) die to the ground in winter and re-emerge in March. Intersectional peonies (such as 'Bartzella') are made by crossing a herbaceous peony with a woody tree peony. The result is the best of both worlds: large flowers, robust herbaceous foliage, strong stems, longer bloom and increased vigor!

Bare root peonies are best planted in the fall months of September through November. Peonies do best planted in well drained soil in full sun not too close to large shrubs or trees that could rob them of water and nutrients. Protection from late afternoon sun and harsh winds will help prolong the bloom time. Peonies should be spaced 3 to 4 feet apart.

Before planting soak the peony roots in water for several hours.Work up the ground to a depth and width of 12” to 18” mixing in plenty of compost.Plant the root so that the top most eyes are one to two inches below the ground level. Southern gardeners should plant the eyes at ground level. Tamp gently and water well. Newly planted peonies should be mulched. Established plants need no winter protection.

Any all-purpose garden fertilizer not to high in nitrogen may be applied in the spring time after the shoots have emerged, although if your ground was properly prepared at planting time there should be little need for fertilization. An occasional topping of compost in the fall should be sufficient. When the foliage turns brown in the fall, cut back to near ground level and burn or discard the old foliage.

Though peonies are slow to establish (3 to 4 years to reach their full potential), you can be assured that they are developing a deep root system which will help produce flowers that are well worth the wait. Once established, peonies can live for 50 years or more!

Additional culture notes on Intersectional Peonies

Though the care for intersectional peonies is basically the same as for herbaceous peonies, there are a couple differences:

1. Do not cut plants all the way back in the fall since the lower part of the stem often carries next year's buds. Buds also come from underground like herbaceous peonies.

2. As with all peonies, planting depth is critical. For intersectional peonies, the crown (where the stems meet the roots) should be planted 1-1/2" to 2" below the soil level. Note: if the eyes have begun to grow, they may stick above the soil level after planting.

Homestead Farms - A Perennial Nursery
Phone 1-888-314-3148 • www.homesteadfarms.com

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                 573-437-4277

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3701 Highway EE
Owensville, Missouri 65066


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