Peonies forum: Peonies - For Beginniers

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2
Views: 932, Replies: 25 » Jump to the end
Name: Terri
Hudson Valley, NY (Zone 5b)
Image
TaStahl
May 2, 2014 6:12 PM CST
The lovely people over in the Plant ID forum quickly identified these plants as peonies. Any tips and tricks for a newbie? We bought the house in June 2012, and these guys were already planted. No idea how long they've been in the ground. Unfortunately, I can't find any pictures of them in bloom. I'll get some this year!


Thumb of 2014-05-03/TaStahl/e0f4f0


Thumb of 2014-05-03/TaStahl/75023a

allons-y!
Name: Wes
Ohio (Zone 6a)
Image
Wes
May 2, 2014 6:25 PM CST
Currently only growing one but I have fallen for the fern leaf variety and will be purchasing some this fall.

Very hardy here in central Ohio. I had a mowing client years ago who had two long rows in her backyard and once the bloom was over she'd have me buzz them down at 3". Sounds downright cold-blooded but I never noticed any losses over the years. I've found digging mature specimens to be quite a chore. Heavy clay and planted against a garage, the root system grew both down and out away from the building. I'd recommend starting "wide" if you decide to transplant to avoid accidentally cutting roots.
Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
Peonies Winter Sowing Dahlias Region: Colorado Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Hummingbirder Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Dog Lover Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
LizinElizabeth
May 2, 2014 9:33 PM CST
Peonies are pretty low maintenance. With your cold zone you should have no trouble with them blooming. 6 hours or so a day of full sun in a non-boggy area is really all they require. They don't like having their roots crowded, keep the grass/weeds pulled around the crowns and they'll reward you with gorgeous flowers for ages. Some varieties need to be divided more often than others and Wes is right, dividing a large clump is VERY labor intensive. You'll know if they need to be divided because you'll get less blooms, typically they'll die out from the middle. Divide/move in the fall if you can. They're actually fairly zeric once established, don't need a lot of water unless the summer gets really hot and they have no shade at all. If you see them droop in the summer just water them at ground level and they'll perk right back up after the sun starts to set. Fertilize if you want after blooming is over with pretty much any fertilizer you like that is for blooming plants or with compost. Those who fertilize their peonies typically do so early spring before there is much growth, but can do so after the flush of growth is over in the summer or in fall, too. Make sure you post pictures when they bloom! Good luck with your peonies!
Liz
Name: Maria
Victoria, BC (Zone 7b)
Region: Canadian Peonies Hummingbirder Birds Irises Seed Starter
Image
Pwinget
May 2, 2014 10:51 PM CST
Liz pretty much said it all. Welcome to the peony forum!
Name: Annette
Duluth, Ga (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Birds Tropicals Hummingbirder Bulbs Region: Georgia
Lilies Irises Peonies Clematis Plumerias Roses
Image
Cem9165
May 4, 2014 6:16 AM CST
I agree Welcome! I echo Liz's advice.

Peonies are wonderful plants that will reward you with gorgeous blooms. Some people fertilize their peonies, and some don't. I do fertilize mine in the fall with bulb food, and composted manure around the crowns. if you plan on fertilizing, use something low in nitrogen, or you'll get a lot if leaves, and not very many blooms.

Also, the tubers don't like to be planted deeply. I keep around the plants and crowns fairly clean from mulch and fallen leaves.

Best of luck with your new plants. It looks like you'll be getting blooms this year Hurray!
"Aspire to inspire before you expire"

author unknown
Name: Terri
Hudson Valley, NY (Zone 5b)
Image
TaStahl
May 4, 2014 9:40 AM CST
Thanks everyone. I might move them to the front of the house instead of the back/side. Of they don't like their roots crowded, I do need to move them. They seem to be growing in an over-grown day lilly bed.
allons-y!
Name: Terri
Hudson Valley, NY (Zone 5b)
Image
TaStahl
Sep 28, 2014 1:18 PM CST
I left the peonies go this summer and they did bloom pretty good. I guess I don't know how they should bloom, but there were quite a few flowers on them. today, I had the shovel out because I was dividing some irises and decided to dig at the peonies a bit. Now what do I do with them? How do a divide them?


Thumb of 2014-09-28/TaStahl/e3d99a

Thumb of 2014-09-28/TaStahl/a9c11b

allons-y!
Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
Peonies Winter Sowing Dahlias Region: Colorado Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Hummingbirder Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Dog Lover Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
LizinElizabeth
Sep 28, 2014 2:42 PM CST
Most herbaceous peonies are pretty easy to divide. Once they're out of the ground, spray the roots with a pretty hard spray of water to get the remaining dirt off and see what you have. You'll probably see a big twist of roots with little pink or white eyes (like those on a potato that's left for a while) clumped near the base of the stems. If it's a big clump it's easiest to use a shovel or spade to split the root into a couple of pieces. Most of the time you can gently twist/bend the remaining pieces and natural places to cut to divide will be apparent. Make sure you leave a couple of the big, fleshy roots attached to the eyes and that's it. Cut the stems down to an inch or so and replant your newly divided roots so that the eyes are pointed up and around an inch under ground when fully covered.

I've see it posted that it's easier to divide them once they've been out of the ground for a day, the roots are supposed to be less brittle. I've always divided mine as soon as they were dug so I'm not sure which is best.

Peonies are pretty forgiving plants and the roots can withstand quite a bit of manhandling. Some of the feeder roots will probably break off as you're trying to get it out of the ground. If you leave them planted where they broke off some varieties will form new eyes and create a new plant that way, too.
Liz
Name: Terri
Hudson Valley, NY (Zone 5b)
Image
TaStahl
Sep 28, 2014 3:55 PM CST
Thanks Liz! Now I need to figure out where to plant these guys. When I started digging at them, it looked like some creature had made a small hidey-hole on one side, then my husband goes, "watch out, there is a hornets nest in the ground over here" and points to the other side of the group. So....these guys need to go in a new area and I've got a few places in mind. Next I have to tackle the other peony, but he can wait a few days.
allons-y!
Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Region: Canadian Bulbs Winter Sowing Enjoys or suffers cold winters Lilies
Peonies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Image
CarolineScott
Sep 28, 2014 4:31 PM CST
Good luck with your peonies.
Thanks for sharing the pictures.
Name: Linnea
Southern Maine, border 5b/6a (Zone 5b)
Irises Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Permaculture Composter Organic Gardener
Garden Art Daylilies
Image
Linneaj
Oct 7, 2014 1:33 PM CST
I was digging up Siberian Iris and ended up with a couple of long rhizome looking things. I think they are off the nearby Peony. How deep do I replant the 2 nice long chunks?
Don't make fear based decisions.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Oberon46
Oct 7, 2014 2:06 PM CST
If there are any eyes, they should be about 2" below ground.
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Linnea
Southern Maine, border 5b/6a (Zone 5b)
Irises Winter Sowing Plant and/or Seed Trader Permaculture Composter Organic Gardener
Garden Art Daylilies
Image
Linneaj
Oct 7, 2014 8:58 PM CST
Okeedokee Smiling I will get them in the ground.
Don't make fear based decisions.
Name: Sheila
Central Kansas (Zone 6a)
Be thankful for everything you have
Irises
Image
pinkbubbless66
Jan 9, 2015 8:30 AM CST
My flower bed is about 2 years old. There were peonies there already and I basically gardened around them rather than get rid of them because they were my mother-in-law's. There were several that the backhoe dug up in the prepping of the bigger garden and I put them back and they grew. I have them come up every year in about 10 different places. The problem is that they get about 10-15" tall and that is it, no blooms, no nothing and by the end of summer, they are just plants... They are in among iris, daylily, roses, hibiscus, and many other perennials that flourish. What am I doing wrong? I don't even know what color flowers they have.
Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
Peonies Winter Sowing Dahlias Region: Colorado Plant and/or Seed Trader Enjoys or suffers cold winters
Hummingbirder Cat Lover Lilies Daylilies Dog Lover Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
LizinElizabeth
Jan 10, 2015 1:28 PM CST
Since they're among other perennials that bloom fine the only thing I can think of is maybe too deep? Don't know what zone you're in but the eyes should be no more than 2" deep in cold areas and only 1/2 to 1" deep in warmer zones. I'm sure from the other flowers you mentioned that they're in a sunny spot. Is there room around the roots? They don't like to be crowded. One other thing could be too much water. If the area stays very wet the peony roots will eventually rot. You should post some pictures of the area they're growing in as they come up and through the early summer, maybe someone can come up with an absolute answer.

Only other thing I could think of is how big were the pieces that your replanted? Typically after moving a 3-5 eye division or bigger will take 1-2 years to bloom again. If there were fewer or no eyes it can be a year or more longer.
Liz
Name: Celia
West Valley City, Utah (Zone 7a)
Pour vivre parmi les fleurs
Irises Garden Photography I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Butterflies Birds
Cat Lover Enjoys or suffers cold winters Hummingbirder Plant Identifier
Image
Zencat
Jan 15, 2015 7:48 AM CST
I agree with what Liz said. I've found the biggest reason peonies don't bloom is that they're planted too deeply. Do you remember if they bloomed for your MIL? I would do as Liz stated and take/post pics of the areas now and as they're coming up so we have a better idea what may be going on.
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
Charter ATP Member
Image
Oldgardenrose
Jan 15, 2015 11:10 AM CST
I know this disputes an almost carved in stone edict that peonies must be planted at a certain depth in order to bloom but, in a peony society magazine, an expert wrote advice that peonies seek their correct depth on their own accord. The first year, and possibly the second year, depth is important but the plant will succeed in later years. My personal opinion is it is better not to have blooms the first year in order for the nutrients to be used to create better roots. Many times, I pinch all the buds off my new fern leafs for that reason.
Name: Mary Stella
Anchorage, AK (Zone 4b)
Peonies Ponds Dahlias Canning and food preservation Lilies Permaculture
Garden Ideas: Level 2
Image
Oberon46
Jan 15, 2015 4:41 PM CST
Hard to say. One of the other gardeners here had plants for 3-4 years and no blooms so when she heard about the depth thing she dug them up and replanted. And voila, they bloomed. Makes you wonder. Mine are surely on the shallow side, even being here and not putting an mulch on mine. They quite often bloom the next spring. Of the couple that haven't I think I will dig up and see what goes on. One has been in the ground three years this spring. Time enough. And it isn't the ground as there is one next to it that is about 36" tall and has gorgeous large flowers
"What a person needs in gardening is a cast iron back with a hinge in it" Charles Dudley Warner (spelling edited by Dinu lol)
Name: Jerry
Salem, IL
Charter ATP Member
Image
Oldgardenrose
Jan 16, 2015 2:41 PM CST
I usually plant mine about an inch below the grade level due to the normally mild winters we have here. By the third year, some will have roots at the top of the ground. Never had a blooming issue except for 'Windchimes' which was damaged its first year by the wind and then was smothered by shade and roots from a honeysuckle plant. It has been relocated so I am looking forward to some blossoms this year.
Name: Neal Linville
Winchester, KY (Zone 6a)
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Bulbs Cottage Gardener Roses Irises
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Image
gemini_sage
Jan 21, 2015 9:42 AM CST
I wonder if some soils are too dense for them to correct themselves? The mention of backhoe work reminded me of when some of mine were moved around during septic work. I also found pieces growing here and there. Some matured into blooming plants, others seemed to disappear over time. I think those that disappeared were really deep, under clay subsoil.
"...and don't think the garden loses its ecstasy in winter. It's quiet, but the roots are down there riotous." Rumi

Page 1 of 2 • 1 2

« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Peonies forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by Paul2032 and is called "French Marigold"