Thursday, 7 May 2009

In The Flower Garden (Tree Peony)

I think that this week in the flower garden the Tree Peony is the plant to see, its something you have to make the most of while its here because it won't be here for long and it will be a long time returning to flower although the foliage can be enjoyed in the mean time.

If you ever buy a tree peony you have to give it time to develope, don't expect flowers for three to four years after planting. You probably won't get any buds in the first year and even after that its best to remove them for a couple of years as this helps the plant in future years of which there will hopefully be many. You will need to plant it up to six inches deep, about half that if grown in a pot and before back filling work some blood fish and bone in to the hole and after planting water in and don't allow to dry out during the next year. They will grow in most soils as long as they don't dry out or become water logged. They will also thank you in their own special way for a mulch of blood fish and bone meal mixed with some compost every October. If you have a plant already and feel the need to prune it this should be done in February, take out any dead or diseased wood back to a new bud, or if your Peony is old take out one old stem a year down to a new shoot or bud that is about twelve inches above soil level.

[Click on the pictures to enlarge]


Sara said...

That is gorgeous. I have only tried regular peonies, not the tree variety.

Thanks for all those helpful hints. I would be one to yank the plant out of the ground, if I didn't get flowers after a year or two. Patience pays, in this case.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info on the peonies...I didn't know about the blood, bone and fish meal. Would the same information work for the other peonies? That's what I have. I gave up on the tree peony because the blooms only lasted 1 or 2 days - the wind always blew the flowers off! Oh, and patience is also needed for when you transplant - they resent it, don't they!
Kim in Japan

UKBob said...

Hi Kim, Thanks for the comment and the question. Blood Fish and Bonemeal is a balanced organic fertiliser so its a good alround fertiliser to get things growing in spring. Later on when you want to encourage flower or fruit rather than growth you would just use bonemeal as this is a potash fertiliser. Basically you can feed these to any of your plantschoosing one or the other depending on what you want the plant to do. If for some reason you wanted a plant to make a lot of growth you could just use blood on its own (this comes in a powder form so don't go slitting your wrists or anything). Blood is high in nitrogen but as with any nitrogen fertiliser care has to be taken or you will end up with lots of weak leggy growth.

EB said...

A lovely plant. This is one of the first things I'd put in to a new garden, once I'd worked out roughly what I wanted where. This and asparagus!