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How to Plant and Grow Tree Peony

Tree PeonyPeony Roses are magnificent spring flowering perennials with sweetly perfumed blooms reminiscent of roses. The Chinese regard these plants as the Queen of flowers and are thought to represent good fortune, love and prosperity.

Flowering period: Late spring to summer

Likes: Cold winters, mild/ hot summers.

Soil: Slightly alkaline soil (ideal pH is around 6.5-7.5) well drained with plenty of added organic matter.

Position: Full sun or partial shade. Choose a planting position where it will receive at least 6 hours of sunshine a day. They are also quite heavy feeders so they enjoy moist, fertile soil with good drainage. Avoid planting in soggy soils, as this is likely to cause the crown of the plant to rot. If your soil is less than perfect then you can improve it by adding plenty of well-rotted manure or compost before planting, to improve moisture levels and soil fertility.

Planting. When planting a 20cm Peony pot, dig a 50cm deep hole and incorporate a generous amount of Dolomite lime (i.e. enough to fill your 20cm pot) with your existing soil. Place your plant into the hole and replace the soil.

With a 30cm Peony pot, dig a 60cm deep hole and follow the above instructions.

Feeding Your Plant. Feed with a handful of Dolomite Lime and slow release fertiliser twice a year; once on Melbourne Cup day and once on Australia Day.  This is essential for the production of flowers. Be generous with the lime.

First Year: After planting you can expect lots of small flowers. For the best results, remove the flowering bud when it appears. This will prevent the plant and feeder roots trying to sustain a flower before it has the energy to do so, due to transplanting.

Garden Care Second Year: Deadhead after flowering. In early spring apply a balanced slow-release fertilizer around the base of the plant and mulch with well-rotted compost or manure. Fungal diseases may occur in cool, wet springs so prune out any affected parts and spray the remaining sections with fungicide.

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