Peonies (70 photos): types and features of care
The beauty of peonies does not leave indifferent even experienced gardeners with many years of experience. Tall shrubs with large flowers are good along the shakes, fences and just in landscape compositions. Each variety has its own unique aroma and its own structure of delicate terry inflorescences. We tell in more detail!
Peony is an unusual grassy perennial, the upper decorative part of which dies in the winter, and wakes up again in the spring. He has one of the most powerful and developed rhizomes among all garden flowers. Tuberous storage roots accumulate nutrients that produce small and thin suction roots. And the accessory processes help the flower to grow and self-renew each year.
Peonies are able to grow in one place for 10-15 years, and at the same time do not cause trouble. The diameter of the flowers varies from 15 to 30 cm, so they are classified into small, medium and large flowered. Flowering lasts from the beginning of spring to summer - an average of 20 days, depending on the variety.
Types of Peonies
All the huge variety of varieties of peonies can be divided into three large categories. Grassy species are compact, dense, with a powerful rhizome and a variety of colors. Tree-like lignified over the years and do not die off in the winter. Breeding hybrids combine the properties of both categories.
In crowned peonies, the petals are arranged in three expressive tiers, which form the crown. The upper ones are the most delicate, the middle ones are thinner and narrower than the others, and the lower ones form an expressive substrate. The shade of the middle tier of the petals may vary.
Terry peonies are large, spectacular, with spherical volumetric colors. Among them are many bomb-shaped, spherical and hemispherical varieties. Pay attention to the delicate creamy Pink Cameo and the graceful lilac Monsieur Jules Ely.
Half Terry Peonies
The flowers of semi-double peonies are formed by approximately seven rows of petals, between which stamens hide. Among them there are very beautiful early varieties, for example, pink Anne Berry Cousins. The magnificent white Miss America with huge flowers up to 25 cm is noteworthy.
These are large flowers with petals in one or two rows. Large stamens can be seen in the middle, attracting bees and other beneficial insects. Among non-terrestrial peonies, subspecies with atypical corrugated leaves are found.
As the name implies, their flowers resemble large roses. Wide large petals grow in several layers, but they are all the same size. In the category there are several varieties with an islet of stamens in the middle - they are also called semi-pink.
These varieties have slightly modified stamens that form an elastic pompom. The number of layers of petals is completely dependent on the variety, but usually they are not very many. The burgundy, almost ink peony Hot Chocolat or the white tall Carrara looks flawlessly.
These varieties combine the features of Japanese and terry peonies. The wide and rounded lower petals seem to frame the more delicate and miniature upper petals forming a ball. Interesting look two-tone peonies Rhapsody with pink and yellow flowers and a large creamy Snow Mountain.
It may seem that peonies with their exquisite beauty are very moody. But in fact, this is not so, because more unpretentious garden residents still need to be searched.
Peonies feel great in temperate latitudes and do not need any warming. At a temperature of 0-10 degrees, the roots begin to grow actively - this is the so-called "cold start" during planting. In winter, the upper part of the herbaceous varieties dies, but the tree-like ones cope with this.
Peonies love the sun, so they need only a little shade for a couple of hours on the hottest days. They poorly tolerate winds and winter drafts. The bush can grow in one place for more than ten years, so carefully choose a location.
In winter, peonies do not need to be watered, so build a schedule starting in early spring when the soil is thawing. At this time, add a little potassium permanganate to awaken and disinfect the root system. Peonies need infrequent but plentiful watering, so for a hot summer, this is about 30 liters per bush every 10 days.
Peonies do not tolerate too swampy and moist soil, as well as a high level of groundwater. This provokes rotting and fungal diseases that can destroy even perennial shrubs. Use special garden soil and do not forget to mulch it with compost or mowed grass.
Fertilizers and fertilizing
Regarding fertilizers, peonies are also unpretentious, but rather “gluttonous” and absorb a lot of nitrogen and potassium. The first feeding is necessary in the early spring to stimulate awakening. The second - with special complexes for flowers during the laying of buds. The third top dressing is laid by the end of summer to lay resources for autumn root growth.
Transplantation and reproduction
We recommend planting peonies closer to the fall, because they are just starting the phase of active growth of the rhizome. And cool, humid weather stimulates intense rooting. As a result, closer to winter, the peony will be completely ready for the cold weather and will delight you next year.
Propagating peonies with seeds is not very convenient, because before the first flowering it will take more than 5 years. Not every gardener has enough patience to wait! In addition, most species with this reproduction do not retain their varietal characters.
Most often, peony bushes are propagated by division during transplantation. One rhizome can be divided into 2-3 parts, 2-5 buds per divis. Bear in mind that the root of the old powerful bushes will be difficult to parse - you may even need scrap.
Root cuttings are cut right near the ground with a sharp knife and immediately planted in nutrient soil. Stalk cuttings are harvested in early summer and planted in a substrate in a small greenhouse. Remove the film in three months, when the roots are strengthened.
Closer to cold weather, trim annual peonies right to ground level, and use dried tops in the winter to warm. Only leaves must be healthy, otherwise it is better to take compost or peat. Only young bushes need to be insulated, because perennial ones cope with that.
Pest and Disease Control
Peonies suffer from gray rot, powdery mildew and other fungal diseases. They are associated with an excess of moisture in the soil, with improper care, exhaustion of nitrogen or lack of space. The disease manifests itself in gray plaque on leaves, stems and buds. Affected fragments should be removed as soon as possible, burned, and all places treated with fungicides.
Since late spring, peonies are especially dangerous bronze, which eats leaves, stems and petals. Plant roots can affect nematodes hiding in swollen stem nodes. Aphids and thrips mercilessly drink all the juices from the flowers, and the ants gnaw the petals. Do not forget about the prevention of insecticides and regular inspection of seedlings!
Peonies - photo
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