Easy Peasy Peony

peony after rainThe peony provides beautiful, massive blooms for your spring garden. Blooming anywhere from the middle to end of May here in Pittsburgh, peonies are a great addition to add to your flower garden in almost any climate. (My peonies have started blooming immediately after my rhododendron faded, so there has been a constant bloom in my garden this spring. Yay!)

As a gardener, you have to be patient with this perennial, as it will not bloom the first and oftentimes the second year after planting. But your patience will be rewarded, as year after year this perennial will produce beautiful flowers– and with little maintenance on your part. Peonies are considered a long living perennial and can continue to bloom for as long as 100 years!  peony4

Peonies thrive on neglect. They do not need to be divided like other perennials– unless you want to share with friends or neighbors.

But before you decide to plant a peony, make sure you have the right place picked in your garden, because peonies do not like to be moved. Choose a place in your garden that has a minimum of five hours of sun and a soil that is well draining. (Peonies can develop a fungus if the soil is too damp and the beautiful, green stems turn black.) Peonies grow about 3 to 4 feet in height and about 2 to 3 feet in width.

It has taken three years for my newest peony to bloom, but it has been worth the wait. It has bloomed with a deep pink color. Not only are the blooms huge, but the fragrance of these flowers  is so pleasant. I planted this peony in the spring three years ago. Isn’t it beautiful? I love how it catches the rain drops after a spring shower.peony after rain2If you plant a peony in the spring, it takes about three years to bloom; I have read that it takes one to two years to bloom if you plant peonies in the fall. Although my peonies are shades of pink, peonies can be bought at garden centers that bloom in shades of red, white and yellow.

I also have an established peony that is about eight-years-old. Its blooms are prolific. This peony has a lighter pink color than my newer one I planted: Below are some pictures of its magnificent blooms.

light pink peony2

lightt pink peony

Ants are attracted to the sweetness of the blooms, but the ants are harmless, and in fact help to open the blooms.  De-head the blooms once spent, and mulch and fertilize as you do with the rest of your garden. The peony is so easy to care for, I encourage any home gardener to add this perennial to your home– just be patient as  you do have to wait a few years for the blooms to arrive. light pink peony3

Next year when my peony starts to so how signs of shoots, I am going to add a ringed support system so the stems will be able to support the massive blossoms.  Aren’t the blooms gorgeous? Happy gardening!


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