When a peony is loaded with its heavy blossoms,
it has a tendency to fall over, especially after a heavy rain. To
prevent this, early in the season set a plant support ring over the
plant just as it's beginning to grow. As the peony grows, its stems
will grow through the grid inside the ring and be supported. Tall
flower stems can be individually staked as well to keep the stems
from falling over.
Peonies grow and bloom best in full sun, although
in my garden they get by with part sun and they bloom relatively
well. Sometimes a peony growing in full sun will fail to bloom. When
this happens, it's most likely planted too deeply, resulting in
what's called a "blind peony." Peony has buds on its roots
called "eyes" and should be planted so the eyes are no
deeper than two inches below the surface. This includes mulch. If
it's planted deeper than two inches or if mulch covers the crown too
deeply the peony won't bloom. Keep mulch away from the center of the plant.
are dozens of varieties of peony with flower colors to suit every
taste. One of my favorites is called 'Raspberry
Sundae.' It's a beautiful double peony with a row of
creamy-white outer petals surrounding a cluster of ruffled,
raspberry-pink center petals. It really does look like a bowl of
vanilla ice cream topped with raspberries. Its flowers are six inches
wide or more and very fragrant. It grows to about 30 inches tall.
'Edulis Superba' is an early-blooming variety. What I like
most about this peony is its fragrant blossoms. It bears many
fully-double flowers with ruffled petals that are intensely fragrant.
The flowers are pink with a deeper-rose center. It reaches three feet
tall or so.
Double fernleaf peony has a look unlike most
peonies. It has finely-divided foliage instead of the broad, divided
leaves most peonies have. The finely-divided foliage has a feathery
appearance and is quite attractive. It bears large, fully-double,
deep-red flowers. It's a shorter peony, only growing 12 to 15 inches
tall. It also blooms earlier than most peonies. It's in full bloom in
my garden right now.
peonies die back to the ground in winter, but there is one type of
peony, called tree peony, that does not. While it doesn't really grow
to tree heights, it does have a woody stem that can reach four feet
tall or more. The bare stem of tree peony is topped with foliage from
early spring to fall. The flowers are held atop the foliage. Flowers
are large, easily six inches across or more and bloom in shades of
white, pink, red, maroon, salmon, and lavender. Tree peony blooms a
little earlier than herbaceous types. It's in full bloom in mid to
late May. Unlike herbaceous peonies that need full sun to grow and
bloom best, tree peony grows and blooms well in partial shade and
actually prefers it.