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  • Writer's pictureMatt

3/26/2022 - Tree...peony?

Last year, we were scrounging around the garden center like we always do, in search of discount deals and hard to find plants. We knew we always wanted to try peonies again because our first couple of rounds were not successful. In a later story, we actually were successful in growing them.

We came across something that I didn't know existed, but actually is quite common around Asia. A tree peony! Typically, our peonies in the US are the herbaceous bulb style. You can grow those like any other bulb as long as it's in fairly free draining soil. Don't keep them soaking wet like an iris or elephant ear.

We found ourselves a tree peony instead! It's a hardy plant that is woody like a bush or shrub. We're zone 7 and ours survived over the winter and a freak late frost in March that wreaked havoc on everyone's plants. Here's some garden tips on how to successfully grow your tree peony:

  1. You can plant it in a pot or in the ground. For us. we planted ours in a pot. Free draining soil is the key. We used a good garden soil, perlite, and some grit. We leave ours on our deck where it can get rain water, but you may want to water it more often in the summer. Give it lots of light like you would regular peonies.

  2. There's no need to prune! It'll absorb all the light it can to feed the plant after it blooms.

  3. Flowering time? Ours is already budding in late March. We'll let you know if it blooms again.

  4. We do fertilize ours with comfry tea or a seaweed. High iron and phosphate can help it too.

One last thought, there are three types of peonies: herbaceous, itoh (hybrid), and tree.

Weather report: It's cool and super windy! Spring is here because the robins are running around and eating worms. Cardinals say hello. High of 62, Low in the...30s?! Gotta cover our plants!

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