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How to Maintain Peonies


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Peonies are a long-lasting perennial plant with colorful flowers and green leaves that produce blooms every spring. Colors include yellow, pink, crimson, scarlet and white. Large blossoms of different varieties will flower for six to eight weeks and will create a beautiful focal point in your landscape. There are two types of peonies: garden and tree. Garden peonies, with their bushy stems, grow 20 to 38 inches high. Tree peonies produce large flowers and grow 5 to 6 feet tall.

Difficulty:
Moderately Easy

Instructions

Things You’ll Need
  • Mulch
  • Fertilizer
  • Stakes
  • String
    1. Ensure the peonies have well-drained soil. Peonies are prone to rot so consider planting them in raised beds or on elevated land. They should receive at least four to six hours of full sun a day.
    2. Mulch the peonies in the spring to help retain moisture in the summer months. Lay mulch 1 to 2 inches thick around the peony. Mulch will help prevent weeds from coming up. Remove weeds as they grow around the plants to free up nutrients for the peony. In the fall, remove the old mulch and do not mulch peonies over the winter.
    3. Apply a low nitrogen fertilizer to feed the peonies. When the flower buds emerge, reapply fertilizer; this time, apply a diluted concoction of the fertilizer. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer bag for the correct amount. Repeat once during the growing season.
    4. Produce large flowers by removing all side buds while keeping the terminal bud on each stem; this should be performed as soon as the buds become visible.
    5. Stake behind the plant to prevent the flowers from bending or breaking. Use stakes that are 5 to 10 inches shorter than the plants so they are camouflaged. Loosely tie the stems to the stake with string.
    6. Remove flowers as soon as they begin to fade. This will free up needed reserves for the rest of the plant. Do not cut more than one third of the flowers for fresh-cut bouquets, which can prevent future flowering.


Tips & Warnings

  • Peonies do well planted among other plants. Use them to edge a garden pathway or create a backdrop of peonies around your fence.

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