Peonies are coming into their full bloom! These gorgeously large, fragrant, and delicate blooms are the goal of pretty much every gardener. True, the blooms can be fleeting, but the plants are easy to grow!
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I use four types of peonies in my garden, all of which I find incredibly beautiful:
– fern leaf (paeonia tenufolia)
– herbaceous garden (paeonia lactiflora)
– itoh (paeonia intersectional hybrid)
– tree (saxifragales)
Fern leaf peonies are the easiest blooming and stay small, around two feet. They tend to be the most carefree and easy to care for: simply deadhead the spent blooms. In early summer, they die back to the ground. But don’t worry: they’ll come back next year!
Herbaceous peonies are the most iconic. They’re large shrubs around three feet in stature and feature big, fragrant blooms. Sometimes they can get too heavy, so make sure to support them with peony rings. Make sure to deadhead any spent blooms. They can be susceptible to powdery mildew, so make sure they’re grown in an area with good air circulation. This variety of peony is cut down to the ground every fall.
Itoh peonies are a cross of herbaceous and tree peonies. This makes them sturdy and upright with big blooms, but not as strong of fragrance. Make sure to deadhead the spent blooms. Like herbaceous peonies, these are cut back to the ground in the fall.
Tree peonies are the most sturdy with the largest blooms. Much like their name would suggest, the stems become thick and tree-like. What’s great is they only need pruning to remove any dead branches and a bit of time to deadhead the spent blooms. These stay green and vibrant all growing season!
If you’re interested in transplanting peonies, make sure to do it in September or in early spring when you just begin to see their green buds poke out of the ground!
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