Peonies are some of the fattest and most elegant flowers you can plant around your home or in your garden. Once established, peonies go on to live longer than most humans (some are over 100 years old) and bloom each spring to give unforgettable sights. However, these perennial flowers will only give you the outrageous beauty if you know how to take care of them. Here are a few growing tips that can help you maintain breathtaking flower gardens each spring:
1. Avoid transplanting
Peonies do not respond quite well to transplanting and this is in fact one of the major reasons for poor development among the species. Plant your peonies in deep (1 inch) fertile soil that is rich in humus and has a neutral pH.
2. Choose a sunny spot away from disturbance
Peonies will wither where they are frequently disturbed, touched and plucked. However, they like sunny spots and blossom when the sunlight is adequate. Choose a safe distance away from disturbance, and where they can get half a day full of sun.
3. Enrich planting holes with compost manure
If you live in an area with sandy soil, enrich the planting holes with some compost manure before planting.
4. Plant in the fall
Plant your peonies in late September or early October to establish an annual blossom around spring. They should be on their spot before the first frost hits.
5. Support the stem
If the stems are too weak to support the blossoms, find 3-leg metal rings (pony) to help them out. Avoid over-mulching.
6. Provide care
Deadhead the plant once the blossoms start fading and cut the foliage down during fall to avoid withering disease. Use fertilizer sparingly and only if you live in poor soils.
7. No need for pesticides
Peonies are some of the resistant flowers that do not need pesticides. They may be prone to Japanese beetle, ants and ring spots but these will not significantly affect the health.
You can find peonies for sale from your local florist or garden center. They are often offered as root tuners bearing three or four eyes. There are different varieties to choose from including Early Scout, Firelight, Karl Rosenfield, Norma Volz and Elsa Sass. It is recommendable to buy online from credible licensed florists known for top quality flowers in your area.