For the peony to develop its full beauty in early summer, it is important to be meticulous when planting. We’ll show you how to do it right.
If you want to bring the queen of ornamental plants, the peony ( Paeonia ), into your garden, then it is important to prepare your move well. This plant is actually known for its uncomplicated care. However, a good foundation should be a prerequisite for everything to flourish in later years.
Regardless of whether you have chosen a perennial, shrub, or hybrid peony – the first thing that matters is the right location. If you are still having trouble choosing the right peony, you will find all the information about the most beautiful peonies and types here.
When to plant peonies
Peonies should be planted in the fall. The plants then have enough time to take root before winter. Planting in autumn also increases the chance of receiving the first flowers in the following year.
If you were to plant or transplant in spring, there is a risk that the tender shoots that then form would be injured and the peony would suffer development-inhibiting damage.
Planting peonies: the right location
Peonies need a sufficiently large and “quiet” location. Once the plants have been planted, they shouldn’t be moved again – they don’t like moving around at all. It often takes a few years for the peonies to bloom again. Therefore, you should think a little longer when choosing the location.
Above all, the space should be large, as the shrub peonies, for example, take up to 1.3 m in length and width. The perennial plants also like to have enough space to unfold – 60 x 60 cm is required here. One should also note that the peony, as the peony is also called, can reach a height of up to 1.80 m and more. It is best to choose a place that has not previously been occupied by a peony. However, if a peony has previously lived in the selected place, it is advisable to replace the soil generously so that there are enough nutrients for the new plant from the beginning and no diseases that have remained in the soil spread to it.
| If you still want to transplant your peony, we have summarized everything important here.
The ideal soil should be loose and permeable so that no waterlogging occurs. Peonies are deep-rooted and don’t grow very quickly. It, therefore, promotes their development if there are no plants in the vicinity with strong root growth, such as forsythia. The peonies, whether as a perennial or a shrub, love the sun. At lunchtime, however, it can get a little partial shade, otherwise, the heat doesn’t bother you. And if the place is also a little sheltered from the wind, then it offers ideal conditions to welcome a peony into your garden.
Procedure for planting peonies
The planting hole should be around 35 to 40 cm in diameter on average, depending on the size of the plant ball. The depth can be based on the height of the pot in which the plant was delivered. However, if a drainage layer consisting of a layer of clay granulate has to be inserted due to the required soil permeability, the excavation should be 10 cm deeper
Please do not mix compost soil into the planting hole, otherwise, the peony would have too much organic matter available and this is not good for the plant. As with waterlogging, it would then be much more susceptible to fungal diseases. Peonies love well-drained, loose soils. A slightly humus-enriched, loamy soil is ideal.
In the first year, they need little or no additional fertilization. You can find out how they are ideally cared for afterward in our article on fertilizing peonies.
When planting the peony, a distinction should be made between shrub and perennial plants. Shrub peonies are planted 12 to 15 cm deep, with a tip of the trunk protruding from the top. The excavation is filled up again and carefully pressed down.
The root ball of the herbaceous peonies is only 3 to 5 cm deep underground. Again, lightly press the filled bottom down again.
Please make sure to leave enough space between the individual plants. The shrub peony needs up to 130 cm in width to be able to unfold optimally – the perennial peony after all 60 cm.
Last but not least, the freshly planted peony needs to be watered well. Although it forms deep roots and can survive for a long time without a regular water supply, until the time comes, it takes a good year in which should be watered regularly. Even in later years, it should always be well supplied with water during the flowering period and a long drought.
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Caring for peony after planting: so it goes on
Even if the peony is very frugal, it also needs a little care over the course of the year. In the following, we will reveal how you can optimally care for your plant.
Peony n overwinter
If one or more peonies have found their way into your garden, then these plants should be protected from their first winter outdoors, even though they are actually hardy. Because the first winter is always a special challenge for a young plant. It is therefore advisable to cover the fresh seedlings with leaves and sticks. In later years, the shrub peony, in particular, should be protected from kinking due to heavy snow loads by tying the branches with a tight rope.
Depending on the type of peony, you should proceed separately when cutting: The perennial peonies, like other perennials, are cut off at ground level in autumn. To provide ideal winter protection for the shoot buds, which are particularly close to the surface, the dried leaves can also be left to insulate the rootstock until spring. But then you have to proceed very carefully so as not to damage the shoots that may already be pushing when cutting.
The bush peonies usually do not need pruning at all. This is only necessary if the branching is not progressing well and needs to be stimulated by pruning. If the main shoots are damaged, scissors can of course also be used.
The intersectional hybrid peonies are cut back to just above the ground, similar to the herbaceous peonies. Only the approximately 10 cm high woody stems remain.