How to Grow Peonies
The fattest and most scrumptious of all flowers, a rare fusion of fluff and majesty, the peony is now coming into bloom.
–Henry Mitchell, American writer (1923-93)
Yes-yes, what can be better than peonies?
I’ve noticed they are really popular here in Singapore, especially among brides. But OMG, they are so expensive… My heart beats so quickly every time I buy them here! In Moscow, where I am from, you can get a bunch of them during peony season (early summer) for only $2 from a granny who grew them on her village house and now is just trying to get rid of them.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m not a granny – but I also grow them at my village house along with many other flowers, herbs and veggies; and because I’m spending this summer in my motherland, I can’t help but share the growing process of peonies with you – I bet you have no idea what they look like before appearing in your vase.
Peonies are extremely beautiful in bloom, with lush foliage all summer long, which can be achieved with minimum maintenance and care. They can grow at the same spot for 50 or even 100 years, and can withstand arid or freezing climates. Actually, they like cold winters as they need the chilly weather for bud formation.
They like open sunny areas with enough of space in all directions because of their big root system and bushy nature. If you plant them in a shady place they’ll still grow, but don’t expect a good bloom from them. The soil should be loamy and well-drained.
Peonies are usually planted in the fall: in late September and October.
Once you’ve chosen a good spot, planting peonies are simple:
- First dig a generous-sized hole, about 60 cm deep and 60 cm across.
- Set the roots so they are just 5 cm below the soil surface.
- Fill the hole, taking care that the soil doesn’t settle and bury the root deeper than 5 cm.
- Water thoroughly.
Take note not to plant them too deep! The peony’s eyes (buds) should be no deeper than 4 to 6 centimetres below the soil line.
Peonies make wonderful cut flowers as they last for more than a week in a vase. Cut its long stems when the buds are still fairly tight, but make sure you leave 1-2 green leaves behind and don’t cut more than two-thirds of the bush. It will help the bush to gain its powers back and bring joy to you again the following year.
Oh, yeah, don’t forget to order a peony bouquet from us! Drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org