My peonies are blooming like crazy! I have quite a few peonies in colors of pinks, whites, corals and yellow.
There are three versions of peonies. Most of us are familiar with the Herbaceous or the Perennial Peony which die back in the fall and come back in the spring. Then there is the Tree Peony which is a woody shrub which blooms before the Perennial Peony and finally the Intersectional Peony also known as Itoh which is a combination of both the Perennial and Tree Peony. I have all three versions and love them all. The Perennial Peony has blossoms which are about 5" in diameter and a variety of blooms such as double bloom, semi-double, single, bomb, and Japanese. Just to explain what the bomb and Japanese blooms look like. The bomb is a single layer of petals at the base and a cluster of petals in the center that looks like a large pompom. Japanese is similar except a smaller cluster in the center.
The Tree and Itoh Peonies come in single, semi-double and double blooms which are 5-7 inches in diameter.
Spectacular flowers, super easy to grow. The only problem that I have ever come across is after heavy rain the plants spread apart due to the weight of the blossoms. It is recommended that you get peony supports to keep this from happening. Be sure to add those supports before the peony is too big. These are primarily the Perennial and Itoh Peonies. The Tree Peonies are well supported by their woody branches.
The Perennial Peony makes excellent cut flowers. Just cut them when the buds feel like a marshmallow, soft and squishy. Here's a bonus they are Deer Resistant!
They do attract ants, but they won't hurt the peony, they are after the sweet honeydew sap that the peonies produce. If you choose to cut peonies to bring them in, cut them before they are in full bloom and you can shake off the ants, or gently spray them off or dip them in a bucket of water. Any or all of those options will work.
The peonies here are the Perennial Peonies, you can also cut the Itoh peony, and if you want to use the flowers from a tree peony, be sure not to cut below the woody stem.
This fall I will be transplanting many of my peonies to a new location on my property. For some, it has been many years and it's time for division and refreshing. Others are just not doing well in their current location or have to be moved because of my dogs. It will be a big job and the fall is the best time to transplant peonies. This will also be a big learning experience for me.
See you next week!