Peonies in Bloom

peoniesIf you are looking to make your garden more alluring with colour and fragrance, peonies are a suitable option for you. There are lots of varieties, so whether you want vibrant reds and pinks or prefer the understated elegance of white, you will be spoilt for choice. You do not need an exceptionally green thumb to grow peonies; all you need is some basic knowledge and a bit of patience.

Planting Peonies

Choose a sunny spot and start planting in late autumn. Remember to plant them no deeper than 3 or 4 cms below the surface in a well-drained soil, and adding a bit of organic matter before planting is a good idea. Though later they can do with comparatively less amount of water, in the first season or so you need to make sure that they are well watered. However, care must be taken to ensure that the soil does not become waterlogged as this is detrimental to their growth. One can expect the flowers to start appearing by April or May. As for which variety to opt for, the choices are many. The ‘Duchesse de Nemours’ and ‘Krinkled White’ are both early-flowering varieties of white and have a lovely scent. For more voluminous white petals, one might go for ‘Bowl of Cream’. ‘Sarah Benhardt’ is a beautiful light pink, sturdy variety that blooms late in the season. However, for a more eye-catching hue, choose ‘Red Red Rose’ or ‘Buckeye Belle’.

Post-Planting Care and Cutting

A bit of light mulching in the beginning of spring is advised, especially if the soil is poor. In about April, when the buds start developing, remove the buds from the side shoots for really big flowers later on. This is optional and need not be done if you are more inclined to go for moderate sized flowers. Bare-root plants flower quicker than container-grown ones. However, if you notice your peonies flowering inadequately even well into the season, it might be because the plants are not receiving enough sunlight and if this is the case, you need to move them to a more suitable position. Deep planting or a dearth of water supply might be other potential causes. Experts say that the condition of the leaves indicate if there are any problems with the plant, for example, yellowing leaves suggest nutrient deficiency. For some easy tips, visit One should avoid cutting the flowers in the first year and wait till the second or third year. Cut flowers should be kept in a bath overnight and allowed to absorb as much water as they can. Vases need to be filled daily for the first few days for the peonies to last longer. Peonies thus, are not too much trouble to look after and if care is taken, the results are breathtaking.
7 August 2012Permalink