Peonies – Old Fashioned, Fragrant Perennials

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Peonies can live for decades and will take minimal care in the garden. They will bloom in the late spring and will need to be planted or transplanted in the fall. The “eyes” on the peonies root are next year’s shoots.  They will look like small pink bumps and will elongate into white shoots.

It’s simple to plant peonies but there are a few need peonies have that are best served at planting time. Where to plant and how deep to plant need to be considered.

 

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Photo by: Mark Freeth

 

Peonies are transplanted as plant or by planting the tuberous roots.  There really needs to be 3 eyes on the roots whichever way to plant.  The reason for three eyes is that means that the tuber is large and strong and should bloom within two years. Roots with one or two eyes will grow well but will take longer to fully grow and bloom.

The peony eyes are small reddish bud, look like an eye of a potato and will become the stems of the plant. Be sure and plant with the eyes facing upward and spread the roots.

 

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Photo by: ctrac87

 

Peonies are generally tolerant of soil conditions but they do best in well-drained, slightly acidic soil (6.5 to 7.0 pH). Clay soil will need to be amended with compost or a soil mix before planting to make is easier for the plant to get started.  Since peonies can remain in the same spot for more than 50 years taking the time to consider the location and preparing the soil is time well spent.

 

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