tree peony / tree paeony
Understated bone hardy tree peony - May flowers usually in deep-red and often freesia scented, set against divided glaucous foliage on a handsome framework
- Position: full sun or partial shade
- Soil: fertile, moisture-retentive yet well-drained
- Rate of growth: average
- Flowering period: April to June
- Hardiness: fully hardy
Prized for their blowsy, glamorous blooms and glossy, deeply cut foliage, peonies are held in deep affection by many gardeners, despite their short flowering season. It's easy to see why. The young leaves of this tree or shrub peony are flushed burgundy and in late spring, lustrous, single, maroon flowers appear among the handsome dark green foliage. This magnificent tree peony is ideal for a sunny border, planted among shrubs that flower later in the summer. Plant spring bulbs around the base to prolong the season of interest.
- Garden care: Protect from cold winds and early morning sun. Support the branches of young trees with canes. In early spring apply a top-dressing of a balanced, slow-release fertiliser around the base of the plant and mulch well with well-rotted compost or manure. The older stems of tree peonies have a tendency to become brittle and snap, so cut these back to the ground in autumn every two or three years.
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Q:I have just bought 2 tree peonies from you but, apart from a general sheet entitled 'caring for your plant' there are no specific instructions for them. Can you tell me if the plants are grafted or were grown from bare roots?Asked on 2/18/2013 by ladygardener from Hampshire
The species Paeonia delavayi are propagated by seed so are not grafted. They are sold in a 2 litre pot and we do have quite a lot of info on our site regarding their care - please just click on the following link to go straight to the relevant page.
I hope this helps,Answered on 2/19/2013 by Helen from Crocus
Q:How big are your tree paeonies?
I am looking to order a Paeonia delavayi from you. It comes in a 2litre pot but please could you tell me the height this would be?Asked on 11/4/2007 by Anonymous
A:Paeoniaes die down in autumn, so although this plant will be around 3 years old, it will only look like a little stick at this time of the year. When planted out though, I would fully expect it to grow to around 1.5m tall next summer, before dying back again (temporarily) for winter.Answered on 11/5/2007 by Crocus
Q:How do I look after my Paeonies?
I have two newly established Paeonies (2nd year - still no flowers) and the leaves have now turned brown. Am I meant to prune them? Is there any other advice regarding their general care?Asked on 11/8/2005 by Bets Ingram
A:Paeonies can take a few years to establish and produce flowers, so I would not be too despondent. As for general care instructions, it all depends on what type of paeony you have - a tree paeony or a herbaceous type. If your paeonies still have a woody stem at this time of year then they are more than likely tree paeonies. The herbaceous paeonies die right down, so any foliage now would have collapsed due to the frosts The later need very little care. Do not prune the plants at all, but remove the dead foliage in autumn to tidy them up. In early spring apply a balanced slow-release fertiliser around the base of the plant and mulch with well-rotted compost or manure. If you have a tree paeony, you will need to treat it a little differently, but you will still need to remove the dead leaves, making sure the remaining stem remains intact. Depending on the size of the plant you have bought, they can take up to to four years to start flowering after planting. Sometimes a newly planted tree peony will appear to make very little growth in its first season, but all its activity happens underground as its energies are going into producing a good root system. Providing the foliage looks reasonably healthy, there is nothing to worry about and this may just be a 'settling in' period. Occasionally the main stem may die back a little. This might be a little worrying, but wait until the following spring when vigorous growth should resume from the lower part of the stem or even from below soil level. Tree peonies are heavy feeders and they respond well to a generous, early autumn top dressing of blood, fish and bone, a slow release organic fertiliser. Its high potash content encourages flowers to develop. A light sprinkling of a general fertiliser such as Growmore can be applied in the spring if you wish. They also respond well to pruning. Ultimately you should aim for a broad, multi-stemmed shrub of up to 120-150cm in height, which will not need staking. Chinese and American types have a naturally branching habit and will need less regular pruning than the Japanese and French types. While the plant is still young, don't be tempted to prune, apart from removing dead wood during the first two years to help get the plant established. After this if your plant forms a good shape, no regular pruning is needed. However, if your plant has few stems and is poorly shaped, then prune hard in late winter or early spring, just as the growth buds are swelling. This may mean that you sacrifice some flowers in the coming year. If this is a big issue, you can also prune it directly after flowering but the regrowth will be slower.Answered on 11/9/2005 by Crocus
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