Peony is a flowering plant in the family of Paeoniaceae. It is originated from Asia, Europe, and North Western America and in Mediterranean regions. The plant has large, deeply lobed leaves with fragrant flowers and colors ranging from purple, red, white and yellow. It grows well in spring and late summer season.
Peonies are the most popular garden plants that grow well in moderate climatic conditions. Peonies are purchased as cut flower or bouquets on large scale. They are used as ornamental or decorative flowers and have major applications in perfumes, oils, and powders by crushing petals.
It contains ellagic acid, myricetin, flavones, ethereal oils and crystals of calcium oxalate that are used in cosmetics and medicinal practices to treat skin problem, allergy, black spots, dandruff, and hair fall. It is also used in treating arthritis, aging and muscle cramps.
Peony Plant Varieties
|Plant Variety||Height||Color (flowers)|
|Herbaceous peonies||1-8 feet||Yellow or Gold|
|Tree peonies||3-7 feet||Purple or Red|
|Intersectional peonies||2.5-3 feet||Pink|
Can I grow Peony from seeds?
It’s fun to grow peonies and start from seeds in a pot for their beautiful fragrant flowers. The factors that are responsible for the peony plant growth are listed below.
Choose Hybrid Seeds: Pick up the hybrid seeds of peony plant that can produce color variations. Before sowing hybrid seeds in a pot, store them in a cool place i.e. refrigerator and also clean the pot with warm water to get rid of bacteria, dust, and worms. After a week or 10 days take out the seeds and sow them in a pot.
Soil & Temperature: Use well-drain fertile soil in a pot and if the soil is heavy or sandy enrich it with organic matter such as compost. Maintain soil ph to neutral or acidic i.e. 6.5-7. They cannot propagate flowers if the temperature is too hot. To maintain an optimum temperature of 65-70F to grow peonies.
Water & Sunlight: Water peony plants immediately after planting in the soil around the roots. During spring season plant does not require much water and you can water peonies once in 2 weeks. If you place in a shaded area, flowers will not bloom properly. So, make sure the plants get enough sunlight (6/8 hours). Peony seeds germinate within few weeks or months i.e. 10-12 weeks.
Fertilizers: For best results feed peonies in the spring season. Use balanced organic fertilizers high in potassium, nitrogen and bone meal to your loving plants. You can feed peonies in the ratio of 10-10-10 granular fertilizer when the stems reach to a height of 10-15cms. Avoid using lawn fertilizers rich in nitrogen, can damage the flowering.
Pest & Diseases
Pests: mealybugs, foliar nematodes, bulb mites, scales, ants, beetles
Peonies attract insects with their foliage. Ants are mostly seen on peonies as they are attracted to the blossoms. These ants do not harm or benefits peonies compared to other harmful insects that damage the peony plants. Spray pesticides on plants prone to pests and keep them away from spoilage.
Diseases: Powdery mildew, white mold, verticillium wilt, Phytophthora blight, root rot, measles
Bacterial and fungal diseases are due to the lack of nutrients supplied to the plants. It can also be due to the drainage and air circulation. To eliminate plant diseases completely, give them enough nutrients to thrive.
Harvesting: When the flower buds reach a particular size they are ready to harvest. Cut peony flowers at a length of 45-60cms using a sharp knife or scissors. Harvesting time depends upon the peony plant variety. Few plant varieties take 3-5 years time for the flowers to bloom. After harvesting place them in a wooden box and shift it to the cool place too long last flowers that spread beautiful fragrances.
Planting Peony in a Pot from cuttings
Peonies are commonly grown at outdoors. To plant a peony in a pot, pick up the right variety that fits in a pot or large container. Size of the pot should be 6-12 inches and holes at the bottom for proper drainage. Fill (1/2) of the container using peat-based potting mix rich soil. Add water to the soil to maintain moisture levels.
You can also add some compost to the soil for additional nutrients. In the spring season, prefer slow-release nitrogen fertilizers. Water the peonies in sufficient amount and place the pot in sunlight for 6-8 hours a day.
Some peony varieties grow to a height of 3-6 feet and width of 2-4 feet. Maintain the ideal temperature about 65-70F. It keeps the peony plant healthy and encourages flower blooming. Flower blooming and harvesting time depends upon the type of variety you have planted.
Precautions | Tips
- Do not over-water as it results from the plants to rot.
- Test the nature of the soil before planting peonies.
- Use gardening blades to cut the dead stems down to the soil.
- Dig a hole about 15 inches deep and wide to establish roots comfortably.
- When you grow peony indoors, place it near a window to receive sunlight.
- Separate peonies for every year when they are overcrowded in a large container.
- Water the plant once in a week to maintain the soil moist and not completely wet.
- Keep pets (dogs and cats) away from peonies as they can spoil beautiful flowers from blooming.
It’s fun to grow and enjoy peonies starting from seeds/cuttings in your garden space that spreads beautiful fragrance, purifies air and keeps surrounding hygiene. If you have wonderful ideas about growing beautiful peonies, please share your experience with us.
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