Saw Sorbet and Sara Bernhardt at Lowe's today. Wow! Those flowers are so pretty.
Can someone tell me about planting peonies and what kind of care they need. I know they only flower in the spring. What happens over winter. Do they die back.
The ones at Lowe's were $12.98, some have 4 stems and most about 24" high. Would you buy them at Lowe's or perhaps larger (and more expensive) at a garden center?
I have bought a couple at a local nursery and a couple from a specialty nursery online. They cannot be planted too deep, they need sun and they should not be moved once they are planted. It takes a while for some of them to grow so I might start with a larger plant. The coral one I ordered online has taken 4 years to form several buds. But, the tree peony that I got last fall from the same nursery has a flower now. Klehm's Song Sparrow specializes in peonies. I follow their planting instructions. Some of the plants flop over so I put round supports around the plants. My regular peonies die back in the winter and come up each spring. Tree peonies lose their leaves. They live for a long time so I as mentioned above, find a good spot and leave them there since they really hate to be moved. I've attached a blurry picture of my tree peony bloom. I really wanted a deep pink so that's why I ordered it online since I could not find one locally. FYI Sarah Bernhardt is for sale at a specialty nursery online for $18.95, Sorbet online at various places is $6.95-15.95--it all depends on the size.This message has been edited. Last edited by: 16paws,
I have the mostly the old fashioned white w/pink good smelling peonies. They get top heavy due to the amount of blooms on thin stems...so I too, use support rings. I have bought Sorbet and some red one, forget the name. So far, only the old fashioned ones have that deep beautiful fragrance. I don't think any of the hybrids do...if so, I haven't found one.
As to your question about buying the Sorbet from Lowes.......there is nothing wrong with buying them there. My Sorbet came from a bag at Wal Mart and has performed beautifully. The reds I ordered from Brecks. All this was a few years ago. It took both varieties about 3 years to bloom.
Soil and planting depth are the most important things to remember about peonies. The soil needs to be well drained and full of amendments...with a light fertilize every spring just when the red shoots start appearing. If buying in a pot, plant it no deeper than it is in the pot. If buying a tuber, plant it about 2 to 3 inches in the ground, depending on the size of the tuber...with the "eyes" pointed up. Peonies won't bloom if planted too deep or too shallow. This is about the only fussiness they have. Not to worry, if it doesn't bloom in a couple of years, dig it up and put it a little deeper.
The old fashoned ones make big clumps that are easy to divide. So far, the hybrids haven't reached that point.
They do die back in the winter and emerge in the spring where they reward you with those gorgeous blossoms. With your winters you might need some mulch or leaf cover...here I do nothing to mine.
Here is an informative link for you that might help. I know planting in Minnesota is quite different from planting in the south.
16paws & VE: Thanks so much for all the great info. Most of the plants had two flowers on them, plus 2 buds that will open soon. I didn't pick any up as the tag said to plant in part shade/sun. The spot I have for them is in sun from about 10-5 pm. Do you think they should be ok there?
Yes, that should be ok. They really love sun. Really liked the link ve, that has lots of good information. I have mail ordered mine to get older plants that bloom quicker, but that being said, I got fooled into buying one that the website said was coral but the bud is coral and the flower turns white on the second day, now that was a real bummer!This message has been edited. Last edited by: 16paws,
Nance, I agree with Paws.........full sun will be ok for the peonies. All of mine are in full southern sun and they are thriving! Go for it!
Paws, what a bummer. I hate it when websites are deceiving like that. So since it's white, is it fragrant? I wish my red ones were...they are pretty, but I miss the peony fragrance.
nance425, The only thing I can add is that they don't like to be crowded. Have Sara Bernhardt which is an old fashioned one and two others. Anything under $15 isn't a bad price for peonies. Ring supports are a must. You'll love them.
Vera Ellen's mention about planting at the same depth they are now in the pot is right on.
Since the plant already has some height, and bloom, the depth they are now should be exactly how the plant likes it.
With peonies, their depth is the most important thing about them.
In spring we like to cultivate, move things around, add some compost or such.....but that can be the worst thing about peony...if you add soil to the area, then you are effectively putting them deeper and it may cause them to not flower. So side dress them only.
One plant will never be enough. You'll want more and, as mentioned above, they do grow 3 - 4 feet wide 3 1/2 - 4 ft high....so do give them room. Feed with a 15/30/15 every couple weeks.
You do not have to cover them for the winter. I'm almost 300 miles north of you and I've never covered mine and they are fine.
No, that peony is not fragrant. It's called Coral Charm and it's only got a coral bud not a flower. The flower actually fades during the day. I am looking for a true coral peony. I don't have a lot of space so I can't buy a bunch of them.
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