Monday, September 27, 2010


Peonies are, as I've mentioned before, in my top 10 favorite perennials, and now is the proper time to plant these beauties!  For fall planting, they come bare-root, with 3-5 "eye" divisions.  (Eye is the industry term used for "bud").  They are usually shipped out in September through November, depending where you live.  I ordered a beautiful herbaceous peony to plant this fall, "Party Time", and it should be here any day now for fall planting.  Planting in fall gives the peony time to take root and all the energy goes into the root, not into leaves, as it would if planted in spring. The exception is if you buy container-grown plants and plant them in the spring.  The little red buds, or eyes that you see will be the top of the plant.  You should have at least 3 healthy-looking buds.  If they look dried out, you can soak them in water for a few hours before planting.  Always try to plant your roots as soon as you get them.  If you can't, moisten the packing material or "heel-in" the roots in a shady spot in your garden until you can.  Make sure your hole is deep and wide enough to accommodate the grown plant--usually 12-18".  If you need to, add some compost and mix in.  I always add a handful of bonemeal as well, and mix it in with the soil.  (I do need to add that bonemeal may attract dogs--they think there may be a bone buried there--so you may want to protect the spot after planting to avoid that trouble).  Space plants so that they will have plenty of room to grow to maturity--usually about 3-4 feet.  I have some of mine a  little closer, and so I have to ring them in spring to make room for other perennials in my limited areas.  The most important thing to remember when planting is DON'T PLANT TOO DEEPLY.  (They most likely will not bloom if you do).  The eyes should be no deeper than 2 inches below the surface of the soil.  2 inches gives them the winter protection they need.  I've learned that if they're in a newly prepared site, the soil and roots usually tend to settle, so plant a little shallower.  After planting, water in well  and mulch to prevent heaving in the winter--this only needs to be done in their first year, however.  Over the past few years, I have added some beautiful peonies.  Pictured here are some of my favorites.  I think there are few blooms that are more beautiful in late spring!
Susanne Holland Spicker Mother, Grandmother, Homemaker, Gardener, Teacher, Photographer

Passion is defined as the love of, or the object(s) of affection and emotion. I am passionate about family, friends, flowers, food, photography and fabulous music! This blog is dedicated to those loves.

1 comment:

  1. So I've got to know- are you a professional, do you own a nursery or a flower shop, or it this just a hobby of yours? You are so knowledgeable about ALL flowers, it's great...I'm sure many gardeners or freelance florists would love to run across your blog, there's so much valuable info contained within it! These peonies are gorgeous, they leave me wanting to smell them through the computer screen.