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Old 11-02-2007, 04:16 PM   #1
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All about Peony

Courtesy of Gangie on Flickr

The peony or paeony (Paeonia) is the sole genus in the flowering plant family Paeoniaceae. They are native to Asia, southern Europe and western North America. Most are herbaceous perennial plants 2 feet – 5 feet tall, but some are woody shrubs up to 4.5 – 9 feet tall. They have compound, deeply lobed leaves, and large, often fragrant flowers, ranging from red to white or yellow, in late spring and early summer. They have attractive leaves all season and make exceptional cut flowers.

Autumn is the best time to plant peonies, because they have completed their season's growth but will make new roots in the fall when reestablished in your garden. They MUST have a cold dormancy period every year to bloom in the spring.

Herbaceous peonies do best in USDA zones 2-8. However if you live in a warmer climate you may have success with peonies by planting earlier blooming types that blossom before the heat of summer. Plant peonies in sun and well-drained soil, away from large trees or shrub roots. Tree peonies do best in slightly alkaline soil; other peonies can take slightly acid soil. The eyes should be covered with soil, 1.5 inches for herbaceous and 6 inches for tree. It's best to mulch the first winter after planting and to protect these plants from strong winds.

Peonies don't like to be moved or to experience any root disturbance. They are hungry feeders and will benefit from manure every winter. Let foliage die back completely before cutting down 2 to 4 inches. Remove or deadhead flowers when they fade. The blooming season is typically Mid-May to Mid-June. With a little care these long lived plants can provide you with years of enjoyment.

Courtesy of Los Hueseros desde SF on Flickr

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Last edited by smgardener; 12-08-2007 at 06:40 PM. Reason: Adding flickr linkbacks
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