Peony - the pearl of the garden
Peonies are popular among gardeners. By the beauty of flowers and decorative foliage, they rightfully belong to one of the first places among garden perennials. Large, pastel or bright colors flowers are good both on the bush and in the cut, their aroma is surprisingly pleasant. Openwork lush foliage persists until late autumn, when it turns crimson from dark green.
Bushes of peonies and without flowers are attractive in the garden against the background of a lawn or in a flower garden. These plants are durable. They have been growing in one place for decades without transplanting. About how to grow peonies in the garden, our article will tell.
Peony, Latin - Paeonia, folk - grass rose. Rhizome herbaceous perennial plant. Registered about 10 thousand cultivars; 45 species are common in Asia and Europe, 2 - in North America. Peonies are decorative, durable, unpretentious in culture.
See our new detailed materials: Grassy peonies - favorites for all time and Features of growing grassy peonies.
- Peony planting rules
- Peony care: top dressing, watering, mulching
- Peony propagation
- Diseases and pests of peonies
- Types of Peonies
Peony planting rules
Peonies can be planted and transplanted only in autumn. So that they grow well and bloom in one place for many years, it is important to choose the right place right away. Prepare it in advance, in about a month. Given that over time, the bushes grow greatly, they are placed no closer than 1 m from each other.
A pit is dug 60x60x60 cm in size. It is filled in 2/3 with a mixture of humus or compost, peat, sand and garden earth in equal parts (approximately one bucket of each component is taken for this volume). 250 g of double superphosphate or 500 g of bone meal, 1 tablespoon of iron sulphate, 1 teaspoon of potash and a liter jar of wood ash are added to the mixture. The remaining space is filled with garden soil. By the time of planting, the soil in the pit will be compacted and will not sag further. If for some reason it was not possible to prepare the pit in advance, then the soil is compacted as it is filled, and then watered.
In the first year after planting and transplanting, peonies, as a rule, do not bloom, look weakened, and the number of stems does not exceed 1-2. In most cases, it’s not scary if in the second year the plants did not bloom or bloom defectively. They just have not yet reached maturity. It is much more important that in the second year the plants look healthy and significantly increase in development compared to the first year: the number of stems should increase to 3 - 6. It is noted that interspecific hybrids are ahead in the development of the milky-flowered peony variety and often bloom in the second year.
Peony care: top dressing, watering, mulching
Young peonies are best fed in a foliar way. Starting from the second week of May, once a month the leaves are watered from a watering can with a sieve with a solution of a complete mineral fertilizer, for example, “Ideal” with the concentration recommended in the instructions. To better wet the surface of the leaves, add a little soap or washing powder (1 tablespoon per 10 l of solution). Foliar top dressing is carried out in the evening or in cloudy weather.
Adult plants at the beginning of the growing season also need foliar feeding. It is carried out three times with a three-week interval, starting from the 2nd week of May. The first time, peonies are fed a urea solution (50 g per 10 liters of water), the second time microfertilizers are added to the urea solution (1 tablet per 10 liter of solution). The third time watered only with micronutrient solution (2 tablets per 10 liters of water).
At the beginning of growth, pions absorb mainly nitrogen (N); during budding and flowering - nitrogen, phosphorus (P) and potassium (K); when laying flower buds of the next year - only phosphorus and potassium. With this in mind, fertilizers are applied 3 times per season.
In late March - early April, even in the snow, fertilizers containing nitrogen and potassium are scattered. With melt water, they fall into the soil and are absorbed by plants. Under an adult bush, 10-15 g of the active substance are added. The second time, peonies are fed during the budding period: in late May - early June, they add full mineral (NPK - 10:20:10) or organic fertilizer (mullein - 1:10, bird droppings - 1:25) under the bush. The third top dressing is carried out 2 weeks after flowering. Mineral fertilizers during the second and third top dressing are evenly scattered in an annular groove around the bush, moisturize abundantly and level with earth.
Peonies are not often watered, but they consume 2-3 buckets for each adult bush. Water should moisten the soil to the depth of the roots. For convenience, you can dig 50 cm long drainage pipes near the bushes and pour water into them. Sufficient hydration is especially necessary in early spring, during budding and flowering, and in August when flower buds are laid. After watering, the soil must be loosened, which helps to maintain moisture in the soil and improves aeration, and also inhibits the growth of weeds. They deprive peonies of nutrients, interfere with air circulation, and contribute to the spread and development of diseases.
The life span of hybrid peonies originating from the medicinal peony is limited to 7-10 years. Then they should be divided and planted in a new place. Varieties of peony milky and wild species remain healthy and plentifully blooming much longer, 25-30 years, and some 100 years, with good care.
In the fall, before freezing, the stems of peonies are cut at the level of the soil and burned. The remains of the stems are sprinkled with ash - 2-3 handfuls per bush. Shelter for adult plants is not required.
All peonies can be propagated by seeds, cuttings, layering and dividing the bush. Most promising to propagate by dividing the bush.
Peonies grown from seeds bloom only in the fourth to fifth year. It is best to plant freshly harvested seeds in the ground, then they can germinate the next year in the spring. They are sown in August in loose, moist soil. Stale seeds germinate only in the second or third year.
The highest multiplication coefficient of peonies was noted when using root cuttings, when a small piece of rhizome with a sleeping kidney becomes a planting unit. It is separated from the bush in July, by September it is rooted. But such cuttings develop slowly and bloom in the 5th year.
Peonies can be divided from 3 to 4 years of age, provided that they have already blossomed normally, the number of their stems has exceeded 7 and they do not grow from a single point, but occupy a certain area with a diameter of at least 7 cm. The last condition is evidence that the rhizome is sufficiently developed and can be divided into several parts. In the middle lane, the optimal time for this is from mid-August to the third decade of September.
Stems are cut off at a dug bush of peonies at a height of 10 cm. The roots are washed with water and left in the shade for several hours so that they lose fragility and do not break during division. The standard planting unit — the division, should be with 2-3 buds of renewal and part of the rhizome 10-15 cm in size. The larger divisions take root worse, and the smaller ones need additional care.
Immediately before planting, the peony splint is disinfected for half an hour in a dark pink solution of potassium permanganate or in an infusion of garlic, and then immersed for 8-12 hours in a heteroauxin solution (1 tablet in 10 l of water). When it dries, the sections are overwritten with powdered charcoal. Divlenki is also useful to dip in a clay mash with the addition of copper sulfate (1 tablespoon per bucket of water).
The prepared peony dividend is planted in a hole on a sand pillow. From above, they fill it with garden soil so that its layer above the kidneys is no more than 5 cm, and watered abundantly. In the first year for winter planting, you need to mulch with peat (with a layer of 5-7 cm). In spring, the mulch is not removed until reddish sprouts appear on the surface (they are very fragile and easily break off). When the shoots grow a little, they mulch off the mulch to the side and loosen the soil.
The first 2 years, peonies build up the root system, so you need to be patient and not let them bloom. In the first year, all buds are necessarily nipped off, in the second one you can leave only one. When it bursts, it is cut off as short as possible and put in water to examine the flower. However, the first flowering may not be characteristic of this variety. The flowers corresponding to the variety in peonies appear only in the third year and even later.
Diseases and pests of peonies
Most often, peonies are susceptible to the disease. gray rot - botritis. The first signs appear in mid-May. Young stems rot, affected tissues collapse, and stems fall. The disease can affect stems, leaves, and buds. All organs of the plant are covered with gray mold. The development of this disease is promoted by cold rainy spring and summer, an excess of nitrogen fertilizers, too dense plantings.
To save the plant, their diseased parts are cut and burned outside the site. In early spring, peonies are sprayed for prophylaxis (50 g of copper sulfate in 10 l of water or 5-8 g of potassium permanganate solution in 10 l of water). You can apply a solution of garlic (8-10 g of chopped garlic in 1 liter of water). Both the plant itself and the soil around it are sprayed.
Powdery mildew - Another common fungal disease that affects peony leaves. A white powdery coating appears on the surface of the leaf blade. Spraying with a copper-soap solution (200 g of green or laundry soap and 20 g of vitriol per 10 l of water) helps.
Types of Peonies
About 30 species of peonies are cultivated in Russia and in the countries of the near abroad. But the most common in our gardens were:
- Milky-flowered peony (Paeonia lactiflora);
- Tree-shaped peony, or semi-shrub peony (Paeonia × suffruticosa).
Since childhood, I remember these magnificent flowers with my grandmother in the garden! And how proudly she walked to school, carrying a huge bouquet of colorful peonies! Such colorful, beautiful, just the pearls of any garden. Do they grow in your garden?