Green Circle Growers Blog

Elegant Old-Fashioned Peonies Add Drama to Garden

Green Circle Growers - Tuesday, May 18, 2010

In late spring, garden drama moves into its second act when the scene-stealing Paeonia Peony (Paeonia Peony), also called Peony, take center stage. Once daffodils and tulips fade in the spring, the garden stage takes a short intermission before summer’s second act begins.

Lovely, giant-headed peonies are among the first to dance onto the summer stage. Blooming from late spring, through early summer, bushy peonies sport elegant, massive, multi-petalled blooms in dense scalloped rosettes skirted by masses of bright green leaves. An old-fashioned favorite, peonies are definite garden stars, demanding attention whether planted in showy borders or as accent pieces in small groupings. Available in white and various shades of pink from pastel pink to deep maroon, peonies showcase the beauty of the summer garden. Because of their bright colors and showy blooms, peonies make a gorgeous accent point against a wall of evergreen shrubs.

Easy to grow in nearly any garden location, peonies do well in both sun and partial shade, thriving with 3 to 6 hours of sun a day. Fertile, humus-rich, well-drained soil will promote prolific blooming. Soil should be kept moist and watered freely during day weather. For the best display, remove faded flowers. Fertilize with slow-release plant food in the spring for showiest blooms. You may want to stake peony plants as the flower heads are quite heavy for the plant’s slender stalks and may tend to droop. Garden centers sell special circular peony stands that help support the plant. Peonies should be trimmed to just above the ground in the fall. Take care not to over-mulch. The highest crown bud on a Paeonia Peony plant should not be planted more than 2 inches below the soil surface or the plant may not flower. Mature plants can be divided in the fall.