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What Are the Best Tips for Planting Peonies?

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  • Written By: D. Grey
  • Edited By: Susan Barwick
  • Last Modified Date: 10 April 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
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Some of the best tips for successfully planting peonies include placing them in a location with well drained soil, a minimum of six hours of sunlight each day, and an appropriate temperature, which may mean planting the peonies during a specific time of year. Planting and growing the most common species of peony generally requires some understanding of the species being grown and its individual needs. For example, tree peonies need more space for their roots to grow than anemone peonies. Furthermore, a tip for any gardener interested in planting peonies is to understand how to safely prevent diseases and pests when necessary.

Tree peonies, which are a popular variety of peony, are native to Asia and well liked for their hardiness and relatively undemanding nature. Also popular are herbaceous hybrid or bush peonies, which are similarly easygoing and tend to bloom in the springtime. When a bush peony and a tree peony are crossed, the resulting plant is an inter-sectional peony, which is usually shorter and smaller than its parents. In addition, gardeners may also choose to cultivate a further array of peonies, including, but not limited to, single peonies, Japanese peonies, and double-type peonies, which all produce different kinds of blooming flower. Investigating and understanding the specific breed of peony the gardener wishes to plant is a great help to the growing process and to being satisfied with the final result.

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Planting peonies in a light to average soil that drains easily benefits most varieties. Watering is dependent upon temperature and environment but is generally not very taxing to the gardener. It usually only necessary once every one to two weeks. Whenever possible, gardeners should plant peonies in an area that offers full sunlight earlier in the day and shade during the later hours, in order to keep too much sun from drying out the plants. Once established, peonies may need some sort of support structure, especially when in bloom. Carefully attaching the plant to a stake or wire hoop will prevent the heavier flowers from pulling or breaking the stems.

Diseases that should be watched for are generally fungal or bacterial infections, which can damage the leaves, flowers, or stems of the peony. For example, if a peony has been planted in an environment with too much rainfall, the plant may be susceptible to fungi such as botrytis or Phytophthora cactorum. Planting peonies in locations without these characteristics is the ideal preventative measure, but in the event that a peony shows signs of infection, such as blotches or shredding of leaves, the gardener can often remove all of the problem areas. He should then properly clean the pruning shears and deposit the waste somewhere other than a compost heap, in order to ensure that the disease does reintroduce itself to the peonies.

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