Peonies come in many extravagant varieties, from herbaceous types to trees. They are low-maintenance and provide lush, bright foliage on your landscape. Peonies can survive in conditions ranging from dry to moist and are adaptable to many regions, but are hardiest in USDA Zones 2 to 8. When caring for peonies, there are some key things to keep in mind to ensure the optimum health and growth of your flowers.
Make Planting Easier
When planting peonies, the key is to wet the soil when planting and keep it consistently wet down to the roots every time you water. When you plant the peony, spread the roots out and remove all the excess dirt with your hands and by shaking the root ball. Water the bottom of the hole generously, then place the peony into the planting hole to help the roots start growing strong. Water the peony throughout its life frequently in order to keep the soil always moist down to the roots. The top couple inches of the soil should never be dry. When watering, use low pressure and give it time to sink into the layers of loose soil.
Provide Support For The Flower
Peonies must have proper support because the large flowers can occasionally be too heavy for the stem. Although the drooping of the plant won't kill it, it will shorten its life. Secure a wooden stake next to the flower and make sure it is stable in the ground. Loosely tie the plant stem to the stake with twine or a plant tie for support.
Pruning is an important part of peony care. Prune in late autumn after the first frost. Cut back all of the foliage from the plant so there is only about 2 inches of the plant left coming up from the ground. It is important to wait as long as possible so the leaves can store up enough energy to provide the plant with nutrients throughout the winter season. Also, make sure the pruning shears are clean and disinfected with rubbing alcohol so as to not spread disease to the plant from other pruning jobs.