Tips for Growing Peonies
Peonies are easy to grow once established. They are available in a wide range of colours from coral to red to white and yellow. They add a massive infusion of colour into the garden and are fairly maintenance-free besides fall clean up. Moreover they prefer cooler climates with harsher winters and full sun making them ideal for zones 4, 5 and 6.
There are two Peony classes, the Regular Garden type (dies down to the ground in the winter) and the Tree type (remains above the ground over the winter).
The Regular Garden type are herbaceous, relatively easy to grow and can live for quite a long time in the garden. Amend the planting hole with plenty of rich organic matter. They prefer soil that drains well. Planted with the ‘eyes’ no more than one inch below the soil. This will help to promote the plant to grow quickly but more importantly, reach flowering size quicker and produce more blooms. They do not require much pruning mainly only for shape/cleanup and once established do not need watering except in very dry weather.
The Tree type peonies prefer slightly more alkaline soil and can tolerate light shade during the hottest part of the day. Unlike their cousins, the graft of Tree peonies should be buried approximately four inches deep to protect it from cold winters.
Next week, I will explain how to divide mature peonies.