Peonies live for 50 years or more in the garden, but their blooming period each year only lasts for three to four weeks. Each plant produces several large, colorful flowers atop tall stems. While there isn’t much you can do to extend the blooming time of individual plants, you can extend the the flowering in a peony bed by choosing the right varieties. There are both early and late blooming peonies. When planting these in conjunction with traditional peonies it is possible to enjoy these large flowers for seven weeks or longer in the garden.
Things You’ll Need
- Graph paper
- Measuring tape
- Draw the shape of your garden bed onto a sheet of graph paper. Each square on the paper equals 1 square foot. Measure the garden before you draw so you can make the graph as accurate as possible.
- Research the bloom dates for peonies that grow well in your area. Check bloom times with a nursery, seed supplier or with a peony bloom date reference. Choose varieties that bloom early, average and late.
- Mark your graph paper with the planting location of each variety of peony. Peonies must be spaced at least 2 feet apart, so keep this in mind when plotting out your planning map.
- Intersperse the early and late blooming plants with those that bloom at the average time so the extended color is well dispersed in the peony bed. For example, in a single row planting, sequence the plants as early, average and late so that at least one plant in three is blooming at any given time over the flowering period.
Tips & Warnings
Place a peony cage over the plants when new growth begins in spring. The cage keeps the flowers off the ground, which allows them to flower for the maximum time they are able.
Remove the peony blooms as they wilt so the spent blooms do not detract from the flowers remaining on other plants.