Thinking of pruning your peony? With their sweet-smelling and vibrantly coloured flowers, peonies add a touch of class and romance to any floral display. Whether blossoming beautifully in the garden or displayed as cut flowers in a vase, they will attract everyone's attention. Available as single or double flowers in colours ranging from white to candy cane pink, light yellow through to deep dark red; this Chinese bloomer comes in many different varieties. Whether planted as a solitary feature plant or displayed in a group, peonies are well-suited to an English garden. Did you know that the peony stands for happiness, love and health? It is no mistake that peonies are often used in summery bridal bouquets or as a gift marking a special occasion. A hardy perennial, they are quite easy to care for; as soon as the plant’s leaves become unsightly, it is time to give them a prune. But how do you prune a peony?
How do I prune peony?
How do I prune peony? Pruning your peonies is not generally necessary and usually is only advised when a mature plant is getting too large, or the branches are growing too thick. October is the best month for pruning. Cut away the oldest and thickest branches and leave the younger, newer shoots behind. When choosing where to make your cuts, ensure there are at least two branches left so that the plant can still store energy for further growth. Be sure to give them a generous dose of manure after cutting as well. Do you have a herbaceous peony? Prune the plant back to about three centimetres above the ground in September/October, and remove any unsightly leaves come autumn. Be sure to discard everything, and do not leave any branches or leaves lying around in your garden. Fungi and diseases can survive through winter on the pruning waste of peonies and will attack the healthy plant come springtime.
Caring for peonies
Caring for peonies is not that difficult as they are a species that needs little attention. Once positioned in a beautiful spot in the garden you can enjoy this hardy plant for years. Peonies are real sun worshippers and require at least five hours of sun per day to flourish. They dislike wet roots and harsh, cold winds though. Peonies thrive in clay soils, but if planted in sandy soil will need extra manure. In any case, it is advisable to use compost or spread mulch around its base just before the new growth and flowering period starts in March. If a peony grows so large that the flowers begin to hang and droop, place some supports under the branches to support them. Peonies bloom more fully and vigorously the longer they have been left in the same place, so avoid moving them wherever possible. Only transplant a peony during autumn if it does not bloom or is producing very few flowers.
When transplanting peony, the most important choice you will need to make is where to position it. It is also vital that you do not re-plant it too deeply into the soil, as it will cause it to flower poorly (or perhaps not at all!). Dig a wide pit around twenty to thirty centimetres deep, then spread the roots out well making sure that the eyes of the peony are placed no deeper than three to five centimetres below the topsoil. Be sure to provide plenty of space around the plant as it will increase considerably in size; a square meter is usually sufficient. Has it stopped flowering since being moved? Do not panic, as it usually takes a year to flower again after transplanting. By carefully choosing the new location and not planting it too deeply, you will ensure you will be able to enjoy your peony for many years to come.
Peony Plant Supports
Prevent peonies from drooping when they get too top-heavy, by adding a plant supports.
A plant support ensures that your peony stays upright when it starts flowering. The large flowers can sometimes make the plant top-heavy, which can cause the flower stems to droop. And you prevent the plants from tipping over when it gets very windy of after heavy rainfall. Plant supports are available in various sizes. As soon as the Peony starts to grow, stake the plant support above the plant using bamboo or Tonkin canes. As soon as the plant grows, the leaves help conceal the plant support. Plant supports are also suitable for other large flowering plants like Dahlias and Gladioli, as well as other tall perennials that can use a little support. The supports are sold in sets of 3. View Plant Support 30 cm - Nature
and Plant Support 40 cm - Nature
What is the best season for peonies?
What is the best season for peonies? It is spring, and in the months of May and June peonies are in full bloom and readily available in beautiful bunches to purchase from your florist. The right season to plant or transplant a peony is in autumn, and if you do you will have every chance of enjoying their beautiful flowers come the following spring. Prune your peonies regularly and place the cut flowers in a vase on the table to truly bring a touch of floral joy into your home!