I started this blog to get to know other gardeners and track my own garden's progrss. It is a wonderful way to honor the stewardship I have over my plot of ground I have been blessed with. Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Fertilizer Friday - A Little About Peony's

Thanks to Toostsie for hosting - you find the links to other Fertilizer Friday Gardens at: http://www.tootsietime.com/


It is cold and I am sitting at my computer watching a blizzard. It is snowing and the winds are gusting at 60mph. It is a good time for me to do some "Plant Studying " and recover from being so "OUT OF YARD SHAPE!"
When I cleaned out my beds last week I have peonies just peaking through.

I have two kinds - pure white which was my mom's plant........

.....and I also have dark pink which belonged to my paternal grandmother. She was born in 1890 and died about 45 years ago. My uncle was cleaning out his flower beds and had these plants from her garden. He gave me quite a few starts, so I have them planted all over my yard.

My dark pink one's look like this:

I always use a peony ring or a cut down tomato cage each plant to help give them support.

A Little About Peonies

The care of peonies is a relatively simple and maintenance free task. These beautiful plants with their large flowers and subtle fragrance have been cultivated for hundreds of years and are really quite easy to grow. Once you have an established plant it can grow on for up to 50 years!
PLANTING - The care of peonies starts with the planting. Peonies are best suited for climates that have a winter season. They work best in full sun but will be tolerable of some afternoon shade. They like a well drained soil and can benefit from adding a bit of compost into the hole when planting. Plant in early fall with the eyes being no deeper than 2" in to the soil.
CARE - Once you have them planted, the care of peonies is rather simple. It might take 2 years for them to bloom if you planted them from roots, but if you plant from a plant growing in a pot, you could see blooms that year. Fertilize in early spring and mid summer. A low nitrogen fertilizer is best and try to keep the fertilizer away from direct contact with the plant.
FERTILIZING - Apply mulch in the spring and water frequently in summer. Remove the side buds for larger flowers on the ends. Peonies tend to grow long stalks and can break or bend over almost to the ground if not staked -avoid letting them touch the ground as I have found that ants like to eat them and ruin the flowers! Remove the flowers as soon as they fade - they make a wonderful and fragrant bouquet in a vase!
***The peony is the Indiana State Flower - they also have an abundance of information to aid in planting and caring for these beautiful, vintage flowers. http://www.hort.purdue.edu/ext/ho-76.pdf


Wishing you all a Happy Easter!
I would love to have you visit me in my Easter Blogging room,
when you have some time. http://www.bucketsofspringideas.blogspot.com/


Darla said...

Oh, your weather sounds dreadful..it was 86 degrees here yesterday. Love the little shoots popping out of the ground.

Anonymous said...

Wow, I don't know where you live, but I'm feeling sorry for you having a blizzard. I know what you mean about getting out of gardening shape! I spend 1 hour outside and I'm beat. I hope the cold doesn't harm your plants.

Erin said...

Oh, thanks! I really need just those kinds of tips...I'm just a novice and sometimes it can be so intimidating.

Angel said...

SO sorry to hear about your weather, what a downer!! Your peonies are Beautiful!! ( by-the-way, you need the ants to help the peony flower to open, no ants no flower ...)

Anonymous said...

Paula, I can't believe you're having a blizzard! Come to my house!! We have real spring! And you will, too, before you know it. :) The white peony is 'Festiva Maxima.' A beautiful vintage peony. The dark pink/red one is probably 'Karl Rosenfeld.' Another beautiful old peony. Love them both. Good to see you on FF. ~~Rhonda :)

Tootsie said...

You are fighting the same battles as us! I saw my first little peony shoot today...I did a happy dance!!! I hope spring takes off for you!!! thanks for linking in to FF with me...I apologize that it took me so long to get over here and visit!

linda may said...

That is really cool that someone other than me keeps plants that once belonged to relatives and friends as sentimental mementos to remember them by. I have many.

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