Monday, 11 January 2016

The 9 Basic Rules of Peony Care

Rules of Peony Care

1)The first rule of peony care is that established Peony plants  should be fed in early spring and perhaps again half way through their growing season.

2)The second rule of peony care is that  established peonies should be treated with a moderate amount of a complete fertilizer, Apply fertilizer to the soil around each peony clump before the new pink shoots emerge in early spring  Keep the fertilizer off the roots, stems and leaves as it may burn the plant .I Apply miracle grow to my peonies twice a year when I apply it to the rest of my perennial flower beds first when the flower buds are only two or three inches tall and still pink in color and . Repeat the process once or twice during the growing season and they appear to thrive.

3) Third rule of peony care is do not over fertilize peonies , especially with a high nitrogen plant food, results in weak stems and reduced flowers.
4) Fourth rule of proper peony care states that during the dry summer months, especially in times of very dry weather Peonies require regular, deep waterings.
5)Rule number five in my guide to proper peony care says in the spring provide an  application of 2-4 inches mulch ,any  leafy, organic mulch will do the mulch  will help to conserve the soils moisture while simultaneously  keeping the ground cool and weed free also controls grass grass growth around the base of the peony flower which is just as bad as weeds for stealing nutriments and water from the root system of the peony plant.
6) Good peony care  rule six larger peony flowers will be produced by the plant if any side buds that may form (dependent on variety) are removed as soon as they are seen.  only the terminal bud should be  left  at the tip of each stem.
7)Peony care rule seven To help prevent the peony’s flower heads, because of their enormous size from breaking off the plant, or the peony flower stalks bending and snapping  during  winds or rain, provide a sturdy plant stake and tie the peony stem loosely to it, with garden ties or strips of cloth.,Peony cages are sold commercially just for this purpose or you may utilize tomato cages I prefer to stake mine or support them by tying them to a nearby fence.
Peony care rule eight remove  peony flowers as soon as they have faded, to prevent seed pods from developing, which will use up needed energy sources ,and  food reserves, and effect next years  peony blooms.
Most gardeners are not interested in saving peony seeds because the most popular peony  cultivars don’t come true from seed. also generally, the big double peonies the most popular ones – are infertile (they don’t produce pollen or seeds).
If you do have a seed producing peony usually the single variety, you will need great amounts of patience as from seed to flower, can take as long as five years,perhaps  as long as 7 years to produce a full sized peony flower for these reasons most gardeners don’t bother. I harvest a lot of my peony stems that bear seed pods and dry them to use in dried flower arrangements in which I think they look quite attractive . Apart from the length of time it takes for peonies to flower from seed , to grow peonies from seed is quite easy.
9)Final peony care rule In the fall, after the foliage dies back, you can cut the stems back to within two or three inches, of the ground as part of you fall garden clear up procedure.

Dividing and Moving Peonies

Peonies should only be relocated or divided when  absolutely necessary. An established and productively flowering peony  plant may not need division for ten to fifteen years or longer. if you begin to notice that your very well established previously abundantly flowering peony clump is beginning to throw up less and less peony flowers each season then it is probably time to divide the plant.Never divide plants less than three years old because it may retard their flowering capacity for several years.
Always try to divide peony plants in early fall.Very carefully dig all around and under the peony plant making every attempt possible not to  cut off any roots.  Remove the pony clump entirely from the hole. Cut away all old spent foliage, and clean the soil from the root ball with a garden hose  Carefully with a sharp knife or if you prefer pull them apart the peony roots by hand dividing them into pieces of roughly the same size making certain each individual section has at least two or three  of eyes. Peonies grow from tubers, or underground chambers that store food.
New growth develops from buds or eyes on the peony tuber. A single tuber may have many eyes, but  must have at least three to grow well. Pare away any soft or damaged root sections . Next dust the cut surfaces of each peony root division with a fungicide powder this will help prevent  disease and infection and root rot. Replant into a freshly prepared planting hoes in suitably sunny locations around your yard .Water newly planted peonies each week for their first season. This helps them establishes their root systems  in the soil. After the peony plant has a firm foot hold say in its second season , water peonies only often enough to keep the soil moist, but not wet. Allow the soil to dry out  between waterings.
It is not generally thought a good idea to re  plant a peony division in the same location  where they were previously growing. I am assuming now that this is because it is believed that the peony flowers having lived their for years may have depleted that spot of soil nutrients ,However I have never payed much attention to this practice I have always treated this site with compost and bone meal just as any new site and as to yet I have not encountered any problems.
Peony Flowers May Fail to Bloom Because :
They are situated in too much shade
Poor soil drainage can prevent peonies from producing flowers
Peonies will not flower if the eyes on the peony tubers are too deeply planted  in the soil
If peony leaves are cut back prematurely in the fall season  before their foliage turns brown, can prevent peonies from flowering.
Eyes or growing buds should be no more than two inches below the soils surface.
Peonies need room to spread they may not bloom because they are being crowded out by other plants or shrubs .
Help I have Ants on My Peony Flowers !
A common garden myth or old wives tales is that peonies need ants to produce flowers this is definitely not true . The main reason you often see ants on peony flowers is that the peony buds produce a sweet sap that the ants love to eat. The ants do the peony no harm at all usually they will leave once the bud opens. Ants serve many beneficial functions in the garden .
On the other foot, ants in the kitchen on  counters and worktops from peonies you may have cut and taken in doors is another kettle of fish entirely  After I cut peony flowers for use indoors  I turn them upside down and giving them a a quick shake that seems to get rid of most ant passengers sometimes  when faced with particularly adamant ants I swish the peony flowers around a couple of times in a bowl of cool water this seems to dislodge any tenacious hangers on.

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