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Herbaceous and Itoh peonies are hardy temperate climate plants and need a period of frost to induce flowering the next spring. They are easy plants, and real survivors. With the hints and tips provided we hope we help you to grow healthy and strong peonies next season.
SOIL: A well-drained soil is imperative. Peony roots are like thick carrots; sitting in a waterlogged soil does not do them any good. Peonies grow in most soil types. Additional garden compost worked into sandy and heavy clay soil improves the structure and allows for a better water management and nutrition base.

LOCATION: A peony can grow to a very old age, 50 years is no exception. Therefore it is important that the right location is selected from the start. Always provide sufficient space, 70cm (2') for a small compact peony to 1m (3') for a large growing variety is recommended. Do not plant peonies under trees or shrubs. Competing for light, air, moisture and nutrition with established trees and shrubs is a very exhausting business. Provide plenty of sunlight and as important airflow. A peony needs approximately 6 hours of sun.

PLANTING: Plant in sufficiently deep loosened soil, you will have to get the spade out. Peonies are greedy; mix extra bone meal and/or any other SLOW release fertilizer into the planting hole. Don't let the roots touch the fertilizer. When planting a peony do not plant the eyes any deeper than 4-5 cm under the soil level. In warmer areas it should be no less than 2-3 cm under soil level. A bare root peony is best planted in autumn, so the plant has sufficient time to produce new roots. Peonies in containers can be planted throughout the year, just after flowering has preference. In a very hot summer, planting is best postponed until early autumn.
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AFTERCARE: Check regularly, especially the first year, if your plant has sufficient water during hot summer days. Water generously twice a week, instead of small quantities on a daily basis. Cut of the top growth at 10cm before winter and remove it from your garden.

DISEASES: If your peony shows any sign of fungus attack on the leaves, shoots or flowers, cut out the affected parts and remove them from your garden. Also pick up and remove the fallen leaves. If you wish apply a fungicides, several are available in garden centres, always use as directed. However addressing the cause of the problem should be your first concern. Stuffy surroundings, not enough sunlight and bad water management are definite areas, which should be tackled first.

PESTS: No real pests are known. Ants are no pests. They love the substance the peony buds secrete. They take it home to their loved ones. Once the substance is gone, they stop coming for more. Itoh and tree peonies do not secrete this substance and could be a lovely alternative if the ants bug you.

MORE: In doubt, please feel free to use the contact form to pop your question. In our Newsletter we try to address different peony-related issues. If you have not registered yet, now is maybe the time to do so!

Happy planting,


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