London (change)
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01/04/2013 at 16:08

Which have you bought?  Herbaceous peonies are pretty straightforward to look after. Don't plant too deep, mulch every year and divide when necessary. I do not follow the general rule which states that you should not move once planted. Yes, its ideal not to move them, but you can get large numbers of plants by dividing every five years or so. I have had no problems using this method. As for Tree peonies, I find the most important advice is to stake early to avoid collapse.

01/04/2013 at 16:14

I agree with Tom but would add that I always plant tree peonies deep, so that they are at least 6" (15cm) deeper than they were originally planted (judged by looking at the soil mark on the stem if supplied bare-rooted.)

01/04/2013 at 16:17

 Paeonia mlokosewitschii (Molly the Witch) ready for another season. She's totally unphased by weather. I've grown her babies from seed and hope the first crop will flower this year. Easy. She cost me 50p at a Hardy plant Society sale but it was a lot of years ago.

01/04/2013 at 16:18

I have Paeonia officinalis Rubra-Plena, the deep red one, grows around three-four feet high needs to be staked well as if flowers May-June and usually when we have high winds that can knock the large flowers down.
My other ones are Paeonia lutea Chromatella yellow again around three feet or a bit more and also needs staking, I only get half the flowers that I get on the Rubra and much as I love them often wonder if they are worth the space they take up.
Plant them in a spot sheltered fro early sun after a frost but then they need sun the rest of the day so south and west facing is good.
Plant them with the crown just clear of the soil or they may not flower, rake in some bone meal and water in well then once a year mulch with well rotted manure if you can get it or good compost, keep the mulch back off the crown, never cover that and spread it well around the plant.
After flowering I dead head them leave the plant alone until spring, books will say cut back the foliage in Autumn when it dies off I found it a good frost guard for the crown so cut it back as spring arrives, a little late this year. I grew up with a bushy shrub of Rubra that was fifty years old when I was a bairn and still going strong 30n years later, I have a cutting of that plant. A position sheltered from the winds is better for them.

01/04/2013 at 16:24

The tree types have had occasional die back of stems but over all they suffer neglect and don't let me down



01/04/2013 at 16:42

Nutcutlet - I'd totally forgotten this beautiful paeony Paeonia mlokosewitschii - it's on my wsh list - it'll be perfect in my new front garden border (if I ever get it dug). Thanks for the reminder 

01/04/2013 at 17:03

Brumbull, I have had two of them for about 4 years, a white one and a pink one, both now about 4 feet tall. I planted them to the same level as in the pot, give them some tomato type fertilizer in early Spring. You may have to stake them as they get bigger. I cut off the dead flowers but leave the leaves, as it looks quite nice just with just the leaves. Have tried to leave one flower until it grows seed pods and tried to sow the seeds, but it didn't work! Each spring cut of dead stems down to the lowest buds.

Hope this helps.

01/04/2013 at 17:17

I agree with SSue about depth of planting but I like to let them seed. Mine crossa nd I get some interesting mixes.

I'd like a white one.

01/04/2013 at 17:29

I have two tree poenies which I do nothing with as I didn't realise you needed to and they have been going strong in my garden for 28 years.  I took them from my Dad's garden before it's sale.  I'm sorry that the flowers, although beautiful, are so short lived. Used to leave the pods but, probably talking out the back if my head, found that the leaves died.  Since I have cut the finished flower off, they stay green all through Summer.  Do any of you remember what that is?

01/04/2013 at 17:42

Hi Brumbull, planting depth for tree peonies depends on whether they are grown on their own roots, or grafted.  If in doubt, see the RHS advice, here:


01/04/2013 at 17:57

BB. If/when it ever arrives, please do not let me moan that it's too hot, as I have been known to do, often. 

01/04/2013 at 18:00

Heheh, Tina - I'm like that too - this Bob flourishes only in a very narrow range of temperatures!

01/04/2013 at 18:15

When I was young I could sit in the sun all day, every day.  Not any more.  Don't like the cold either so, all in all, that's how I became a recluse.

Bob as you feel the same about the heat, it's not a 'ladies' thing then. Is it an age thing Bob?

Sorry, this was a thread about Poenies.

01/04/2013 at 18:56

You shouldn't have said that BB.  You've opened the floodgates. My mum was once asked whether I had been vaccinated with a gramophone needle.  Can't think what they meant

01/04/2013 at 19:32

Tina, I think it's definitely an age thing. Like you, when I was young I could lie on the beach from 9-5 roasting both sides, now anything above 26°C makes me wilt! I thought I would die during 2003!

01/04/2013 at 19:57

Hi folks - hope you Tree Paeony experts can advise me. Mine is in a pot, but burst into growth here in the cold damp North West of England - in January !! The lead bud and one side bud are the two that are growing, but there are other buds still dormant, I'm pleased to say.I've brought it into the coolest part of the house, but still not cool enough to stop it growing. Trouble is, it's now wilting, and some of the leaves look to be dying back. Will it survive ?

01/04/2013 at 20:15

Where was it when it burst into leaf Richard? It's April now and none of mine are in leaf.

02/04/2013 at 00:20

Thanks for your reply. It was out on the patio. It's 2 years old, but not flowered yet, and didn't do this last winter. Can't understand it, as it was really cold here in January (and got colder every month since !)

02/04/2013 at 08:12

I think it made an error of judgement there Richard. I think it should be outside, sheltered but not in the full sun. My guess is that it won't die but it won't flower or look to good this year. That's just a guess, I've never had this happen to one of mine. 

07/04/2013 at 18:11

Thanks for the update, nutcutlet, and apologies for the late reply - been away with work. I'll put it back outside then, and keep everything xxxed !

1 to 20 of 27 messages