How to take care of peonies ?

WATER FRESH SOIL AND WELL-DRAINED

  • Do not over water your peonies.
  • Watering once a week is enough in the dry summer season during the first two years.
  • Most of the time rain water is enough.
  • For established peonies, water them before blossoming and in August/September.

FERTILIZER: DEEP SET ORGANIC FERTILIZER

Peonies should be fed each year by adding a considerable quantity of fertilizer. Spread out a substantial quantity of well-aged manure, horn meal, bone meal or organic matter and compost hoed into the soil.

TAKING CARE OF THE SOIL : HOEING AFTER RAIN FALL

This is the most important task to take care of peonies. Hoe regularly around the peonies, not too deeply under the foliage to avoid damaging the roots. Hoe largely around the plant. Prefer hoeing to mulch which retains humidity – not good for peonies.

PRUNING: JUST SLIGHTLY

TREE PEONIES

  • Tree peonies do not need trimming. However trimming back at the end of the winter could be useful to give the peony tree a particular shape, to cut down too long foliage or to balance out the plant.
  • It can be done over a 2 to 3 year period to avoid sparse flowering.
  • Dead wood should always be cut.

HERBACEOUS PEONIES

  • In August/September, your herbaceous peonies should be cut down to 10 cm high.
  • Burn the dry foliage to avoid fungus development.

FLOWERING : SUN, NUTRIENTS AND SPACE

To obtain abundant flowering, a sunny location, organic matter each autumn and no overcrowding with other plants are the keys to success.

TREE PEONIES

  • Patience is needed because it takes a few years to get abundant flowering.
  • Cut wilted flower just above the last leaf bud.

HERBACEOUS PEONIES

  • If you cut the flowers to make bouquets, please leave 2 or 3 leaves at the base of each stem so the vegetative cycle of your peonies is not disrupted.
  • Eliminate wilted flowers.
If a herbaceous Peony plant does not give satisfactory flowering, there can be several causes:
– The young plant was buried too deep.
– The plant was placed in a large undivided tuft.
– The plant is too in the shade.
– The plant is suffocated by other plants.
– An attack of rust or botrytis may have occurred and the flower buds are affected.
If the peony needs to be transplanted for one of the previous reasons, imperatively divide the tuft, taking care to leave on each new plant only 4 or 5 beautiful roots and 3 or 4 eyes only. Any large clump transplanted as it is, usually does not bloom again.

How to treat peonis ?

Peonies have two main diseases that can appear due to over-watering

BOTRYTIS

On tree peonies, the symptoms are a twisting of the branches, leaves or flowers. This phenomenon can occur within 12 to 24 hours although the plant seemed perfectly healthy beforehand.

For herbaceous peonies it attacks stems, buds and leaves.

The stems have brownish spots covering about 2 cm above and below the soil.

The infected parts show large, irregularly shaped spots on leaves and brown flower buds that are covered with a mass of gray, fuzzy fungal spores.

These spores are transported by insects to the flower buds where they germinate, penetrate the tissue which turn brown and die. The stem often rots just under the bud.

Some of the buds can bloom at least on one side while the rest of the petals rot.

CLADOSPORYUM PAEONIA

It is a fungal organism usually active during the hot, wet season during the blossoming or immediately after.

It can affect both tree and herbaceous peonies on the stems, leaves, bud scales, and flower petals

Spots may appear on the leaves as small elongated reddish areas that enlarge to lesions purplish in color with red spots.

The tip of the foliage has a burnt aspect. The cultural management in this case is to rid the plant of the all the infected parts but not to dig out the plant. It can grow back the following year.

TREATEMENT

These two diseases can be preventively treated in the same way.

As soon as the buds start to grow and the leaves develop, treat the plant with an appropriate fungicide.

Rovral, very difficult to find for individual gardeners, can be substituted by a product containing IPRODIONE + MANÈBE, easier to find. Repeat applications every 10 to 15 days and alternate the products.

There is no particular cure for these diseases. The only thing to do is to cut and burn all the infected parts of the plant; continue applying the fungicides more often – once a week.

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