to care peony
1) Brief introduction
Usually the Autumn is the best time to plant tree peony in the world wide. New roots develop and grow rapidly in 77 to 64 degrees temperature before dormancy in winter. When the temperature goes below 40 degrees, it stops growing. In early spring as soon as the temperature is back above 40, it starts to grow again.
Tree peony likes dry and cool weather. It does not require a long period of extreme cold in order for it to bloom in the Spring. A period of 25 to 45 days of 30 to 40 degree temperature is enough to insure tree peonies to flower. In some places where there is heavy rain fall and the temperature often reaches up to 90 degrees during the Summer, the peony will be able to grow and bloom in the spring, provided they are planted in a location with good drainage, sufficient ventilation, and under semi-shade.
2)Storing bare-root of tree peony
Our tree peony comes in bare-root form which should be planted as soon as possible upon arrival because they have been shipped directly from China to your place. However, if you need to store it for a few days, it should be kept cool and moist in a moisture retaining pack such as sawdust or peat moss. Remember the tree peony is a hardy plant.
3)Selecting right site
All the tree peony can be planted and grow very well under full sun or part sun. It requires at least 4 to 5 hours of sun light daily. In areas where it is very hot in the Spring and Summer, during the blooming season, the heat causes the flowers to wilt and drop fast. If so, it is better to plant it in a semi-shady place. Well, you must know the good drainage is very essential. For example, all the tree peonies were dead including many famous and many years peony King in Caozhou Peony Garden in the Autumn, 2004.What caused the disaster is just no drainage in the garden at all. In a lowland during the summer where accumulated rain water can lead roots rot, some time it may be fatal. However, you can provide better drainage by planting it on a gentle slope or in a raised flower bed. Avoid planting tree peonies near large trees which may draw the necessary nutrients away from the peonies.
4)Preparing the soil
Chinese tree peony likes loamy soil with high humus content to a depth of at least 2 feet. It grows best in soil with a ph of 6.5 to 7.5.
5)How to plant tree peony
Space your plants at least 4 feet apart. Tree peony roots grow 3 to 5 feet into the ground. When planting, the hole should be large and deep with ample room to accommodate all the roots. In general, the depth of the hole should be about 18 inches deep and the opening 18 inches in diameter. Build a soil cone to support the roots and make sure that the roots are fully extended. With one hand hold the plant and with the other hand fill the hole little by little using prepared soil, hand-pressing to remove any air pockets and to stabilize the plant. The crown, where all the stems meet together, should be about 3/4 of an inch below the ground level. Firm the ground gently and water it thoroughly after filling the hole. It is very important to keep the ground warm, so the new roots can develop even in late fall or in winter. In a warm climate, you mulch your new plant with leaves, pine straw, or such type of material. In cold climate, the whole plant needs to be covered for winter. The material needs to be 6 inches over the top of the plant.
6)Planting grafed tree peony
All tree peonies are grafted on herbaceous peony roots. The planting is similar to planting an herbaceous peony. Grafted tree peonies need to be planted deeper to stimulate the growth of tree peony roots. The grafting point should be 4-5 inches below the soil surface.
7)Water & Fertilizer
You should Water your peonies when the nature does not provide enough rain. Too Plenty of moisture is detrimental to the plants; not enough water would cause the leaves to dry out and the blossoms have fewer petals with paler color. Water your peonies thoroughly right after planting. Then, 3 to 5 days later, water them again to be sure that the roots and the soil are properly connected and there is no draft. In early spring when the leaves appear, start to water the peonies 2 to 3 times before blooming, then, 2 to 3 times after blooming before the summer's heavy rainfall. In the summer, water them when it is dry, preferably in the early morning. Do not water them in midday during the summer when the sun is very hot. If your area has plenty of rainfall in the autumn season, you need not water your plants. Always apply water very gently and slowly.
It's unnecessary to fertilize the plants when you first put them in the ground. Fertilize them in the second year. The first time, in the spring after the leaves are out, 15 to 20 days before blooming; the second , within 15 days after blooming finished; the third time, before dormancy in late fall. Use organic fertilizers such as compost, well rotted manure, and cottonseed meal. Spread fertilizer around the plant and work it into the soil. Water them after fertilizing. Do not use fresh manure.
All the tree peonies need to be protected if you have a very cold winter (zone 3-4). Build a wire cage around a tree peony, fill with leaves or hay, then wrap with landscape fabric around the cage. To do this will let air circulate to the plant, but protect it from the harsh winter. You also can use snow to cover your tree peonies when they are small, if possible.
9) Expectation to the tree peonies
A three-year or older tree peony plant is usually capable of blooming the season after planting. It may bloom and it may not. There is nothing to worry about if it does not. First year blooms are often not typical of the variety, not nearly as full and beautiful as they will become within a few years of growth. Some varieties may take longer to bloom. Once they are established, you will be rewarded each year with an abundance of beautiful flowers. Tree peonies can live more than a hundred years if you take good care of them. There are seven hundred years old tree peonies in China. Each of those can still produce two hundreds flowers every year. (GO to TOP)
Peonies prefer a well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. They do not tolerate poorly drained soil. Plants do best in full sunlight, but they will stand a moderate amount of shade.
Peonies can be planted any time in the fall before the ground is frozen. Peonies planted in spring, unless pot grown, sometimes fail because the root development does not keep pace with the growth. Space plants 3 to 4 feet apart. Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the root system. A generous amount of compost or well-rotted animal manure is beneficial to peonies. It should be mixed well with soil. Place a layer of soil above the fertilized zone so that roots of the peonies do not come in contact with the manure. Plant peonies with the eyes 2 inches below the soil surface in colder zones and shallower in warm zones with eyes facing upward. Plants placed too deeply sometimes fail to bloom. Fill the hole with soil, tamp firmly and water thoroughly. Mulch your plants for the first winter. Remove mulch in the spring.
Care and Maintenance
Peonies are low maintenance plants. Fertilize your plants lightly with bone meal or a low nitrogen fertilizer such as 4-12-4. The best time to fertilize is in early spring when the stems are about 2 or 3 inches high or after blooming. Over-fertilization, especially with nitrogen, usually results in weak stems and reduced flowering. (GO to TOP)