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December 30, 2010

Transplanting Peonies for summer blooms


I'm digging three holes around the new house and transplanting the peonies from pots to the holes. I found some good advice from the "Gardner's Helper". The best time to plant peonies is in early fall. (early September until mid October are ideal) so they will have time to become established in the soil before winter. I"m assuming because mine are in pots this will not be a problem.

Mature plants will reach a diameter of three feet or more and so it is important to give them enough room to grow and develop. The planting hole should be at least 18 inches deep and about 18 inches in diameter. At the bottom of the hole, add a 4 inch layer of organic matter such as compost, pine bark, or well-aged manure. A half cup of a good organic plant food (10-6-4), bone meal or superphosphate should be mixed into this layer. You should avoid adding fertilizer to the soil that will be in direct contact with the roots.

Fill the hole half way with a mix of garden soil and compost, and then set the root division in place with the eyes facing upward. Spread the roots outward and evenly. Water thoroughly. Watering will not be a problem as it has rained and is supposed to keep raining for at least a week.

Make certain that the eyes will be no deeper than two inches when the planting is completed, or your Peony may fail to bloom. If potted peonies are being planted, plant them at same level as they are growing in the pot. I'm using potting soil and also returning some of the clay I dug for the hole. The rest I'll make a circle dam around the plant for easy watering in the summer.

After the division or plant is in place, work the soil in around the roots, finish filling the hole, and then water again. If root divisions are planted in the spring, they may not bloom for up to two years. However, peonies which are potted and already growing may bloom for you the first year when planted early enough in the spring.

"If childhood memories include gorgeous pink peonies from your grandmother's garden, ones with lots of full blossoms and perfume that made you swoon, there's a very good chance the variety was Monsieur Jules Elie. First introduced in 1888, this peony has graced countless gardens, edged thousands of driveways and been the featured flower on dining room tables across America for generations. Monsieur Jules Elie is an early bloomer with large, fully double rose-pink blossoms and plants that grow to almost three feet with a two foot spread. Deer resistant."

At Peony Monsieur Jules Elie - One 3/5 Eye Rhizome

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Posted by Marilyn Renaker at December 30, 2010 7:24 AM
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