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Peonies one of the most popular garden plants. They have beautiful and attractive fragrant flowers.
These plants are perennial plants and can grow up to a maximum of 3-4 feet in size whereas some woody shrubs can go as long as 11-12 feet in size.
The flowers on these elegant plants come in a variety of colors including white, yellow and purple-red.
Peonies are flowering plants that are generally considered to be long-lived and requires little maintenance.
Let’s take a look at some tips for planting, growing and taking care of peonies.
Planting Your Peonies
If you are planning to plant peonies in your garden, make sure to plant them in a location that gets direct sunlight as peonies thrive in the sun.
The location should also be well-draining. A great place is where the ground slopes a bit so water moves through it quicker.
To plant your peonies, you should dig a nice, big hole – about 12×12 inches deep and wide.
After digging the hole, you can backfill the hole with a bit of the soil you removed and then plant the peonies in this freshly dug hole.
When you are planting, always remember to place the roots at just ground level and not very deep.
Make sure to also have the buds facing up with the fleshy part buried underground.
Water the plants occasionally during the first summer.
Peonies are very tough plants that grow with low maintenance and water.
Some people make sure to fertilize the plants to make it bloom quickly, but others never fertilize their peonies.
When to plant your Peonies?
If you are looking to plant peonies in your backyard garden, the best time to plant these beautiful garden plants is between October-March.
When you are planting your peonies, make sure the root isn’t buried too deep as this inhibits the growth of your peonies.
You’ll need some patience after planting these since it takes 2-3 years to start blooming after being planted.
After they start blooming, peonies last for a long time. It is common for peonies to last for over 50 years.
If you end up moving to a new home, you can take your peonies with you and if you plant them in the right location, they will continue to thrive.
Remember to move these plants when they are not flowering and in the dormant stage.
The best time to move your peonies is between October and March.
To move your peonies, carefully dig around the roots without disturbing any of the rootballs and then plant the roots in the new location.
What Fertilizer to Use for Peonies
It can be tricky to decide which fertilizer to use for your peony garden.
You will want to make this decision based on which stage your plant is in.
When planting your peony, it’s best to add a mix of organic compost materials into the planting hole.
If you’d like you can also add in half a cup of fertilizer as well as superphosphates. This will help your peonies grow quickly.
Phosphorous and nitrogen are considered to be vital nutrients that are required for natural growth of the peonies.
The levels of these nutrients should be carefully added based on the life stage of your peonies.
In general, a 5-10-10 blend of nitrogen fertilizer can be added around the stem of your peonies.
It is also a good practice to test your soil each year to check the amounts of phosphates and nitrogen and add these to your soil based on the results of your soil test.
When to Fertilize Peonies?
Generally, it is good practice to fertilize your peonies when you notice it is starting to grow, about the time you notice the stems have reached about 2-3 inches in height.
Although, some people wait until the flower buds grow to about the size of a pea.
This kind of fertilization helps you have quick flowering.
You can even divide the peonies and replant, but make sure you remember before doing this that it will take about 2-3 years before the peony will next bloom.
If you decide to divide the peonies, you want to do this during the fall.
Some gardeners out of enthusiasm over-fertilize their peonies.
This can cause problems with your peonies in either poor growth or not blooming.
Fertilizing more than needed can be harmful. If your fertilizer has too much nitrogen can actually really harm your peonies.
Why Your Peony Buds But Never Flowers?
Peonies are often considered to be the queen of the garden as it provides a regal and stunning look to your garden.
Sometimes though, peonies don’t bloom.
There are many reasons why your peonies may bud, but never flower.
These plants last for years and can bloom every year, but if they have been transplanted recently they may not.
It is only after they have been planted for about 2-3 years they will bloom.
Another reason your plants might not be growing for you is if they aren’t planted in the sun.
Peonies need sunlight in order to grow. Make sure your peony plants are getting a good, long time in the sun each day.
If you find they aren’t blooming and that they aren’t getting at least 6 hours in full sun, you will want to move the plants to be in a location where they get full sun for at least 6 hours.
The next thing to check when looking to find why your peonies aren’t blooming is how deep the roots are planted.
The roots shouldn’t be planted very deep. Just a couple inches deep is all that is needed. If they are planted too deep, they won’t bloom.
Pruning your Peonies
When it comes to peonies, not a lot needs to be done for pruning.
Although, pruning certainly helps them maintain good health.
Pruning also helps limit the damage of insects and any kind of disease.
If you are concerned about the shape of your peony plant, then pruning can help (to an extent) keep it in shape.
Peonies die back during the fall, then grow back and bloom during the spring season.
If you notice that any of the stems on your plant seems to have an infestation of insects, make sure to immediately prune the stem off and remove it so the infestation of insects doesn’t spread.