Guide To Growing Peonies
Plant in a sunny area in neutral to slightly alkaline soil enriched with humus or peat moss and bonemeal. Do not plant near large trees or heavy shrubs which will compete for food and moisture. If peat moss is used, add a small amount of limestone to raise the pH. Do not use manure with Peonies. Plants create thick flower rows or showy specimen clumps. Space from 2-4' according to desired effect. Water thoroughly two or three times a week until plants become established (6-8 weeks). Provide a 1/2" layer of mulch to conserve moisture and discourage weed growth.
Best results are achieved from light annual feeding in the fall with 5-10-5 or Bulb-tone (4-10-6) fertilizer away from the crown of the plant. In hot, dry weather, water thoroughly and regularly to insure good flowering the following year. Every other year, gently work a light application of compost or humus around the plant.
As a precaution against the fungal disease, Botrytis, cut down the plants and clean up all stems and leaves after the first heavy frost and completely dispose of them. It is helpful the first year after planting to spray the plants with an approved fungicide beginning at the first sign of new growth in spring. Repeat several times until new foliage matures. Plant s need winter protection the first year after planting. Mulch with a 3" layer of salt hay after the ground has frozen. Remove the mulch in early spring. Provide extra support for large plants (especially those in windy locations) with Peony hoops.
HELPFUL MATERIALS FOR PLANTING
- Peat Moss
- Chlorothalonil Fungicide (Fung-onil, Daconil)
- 5-10-5 or Bulb-tone Fertilizer
- Peony Hoops