The Proper Care and Maintenance of your Peony Bush
A peony bush can make for a beautiful addition to any garden. With their big beautiful pink or white flowers, these bushes make for great border hedges and bushy building borders. Peonies also make for great plants because they are amazingly hardy long lasting flowers and because a peony bush can last up to a century in one location.
Wild peonies are the stuff of poetry largely because of the Romantic tradition of looking for beauty in the natural world (rather than in the world controlled by humans). Part of the reason peonies have been taken up so often by poets is because of their resilience and ability to survive in harsh conditions—especially cold conditions.
If you are going to have peonies, however, you should still plan to spend a certain amount of time taking care of them, not just because it is well worth taking the time to just be in their presence, but because if you do take the time, your peony bush is likely to be even more robust and happy.
Best Soil Conditions for your Peony Bush
The best conditions for your peony bush is to have relatively mild to cold weather. The peony bush thrives in most kinds of weather, though it tends to have less success in desert weather where it has difficulty coping with the harsh temperatures. If you live in an area where it tends to get very hot, like Arizona, then you should look for a spot where your peony bush can get some afternoon shade to shelter it from the desiccating force of the desert sunlight. With a bit of a respite from the heat’s worse influence during the afternoons, you give your peony the best chance to thrive.
The spot that you choose should be one where you can water you peony bush, but where the water washes away leaving the earth moist rather than pooling there. Pooling around the base of the bush can lead to that deadly effect of root rot. On the other hand, you want to make sure that your peony’s soil does not get too dry, since as with most plants, lack of water can be just as deadly as drowning them.
Despite their heartiness, peony plants are susceptible to a series of diseases. You can avoid this by taking adequate care of your plant. If, however, you have largely left your peony bush to its own devices, except when it needed a bit of water, you may notice that the bud on you peony bush have taken on a blackened unhealthy look. This is because they are being affected by some kind of disease. In order to keep this from spreading to the entire plant you should get your shears and cut the problem out at it its root source.
Watering and Maintenance
You should be sure to water your peony every day when it doesn’t rain and twice a day if the weather is particularly harsh in terms of heat. Be sure, or course, to over water and leaves pools around the roots. To determine when water stick your finger in the soil and if it feels moist, the peony does not need more water.
You may also want to trim your plant early in spring to help stimulate growth. If your peony has many weak or unhealthy branches trimming will help keep your plant focused on growth.
If you give love to your peony, it is sure to show it back by getting big, bomb like flowers that just explode in pastels.