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Peonies: Please pardon my newbie ignorance (blush)

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Forum: PeoniesReplies: 2, Views: 40
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River Vale, NJ

June 11, 2010
6:46 PM

Post #7880136

I planted three bareroot peonies early last spring (then later learned they're best planted in fall?). They had some growth last year, so I was pleased.

This spring, two emerged quickly. One had two blooms, and the other had one. The blooms were lush and gorgeous! However, I was surprised at how the plants looked -- very tall with little branching. Not that shrub look I see in other gardens.

The third had no growth at all, but a few weeks ago some foliage peeked out. Pretty much no growth since then.

Is this normal for so soon after planning, or should I be doing something different? Do peonies need to be pinched back early, or do I just let them do their thing?

By the way, they're in full sun with good moisture and drainage.

Kansas City, MO

June 11, 2010
7:26 PM

Post #7880241

The type of peony you have can not be pinched back. Were they the same cultivar (named the same)? How deep did you plant them, should be only a couple of inches below the surface? The third one definately sounds like it was planted too deep. If so carefully remove some of the soil then dig up this fall and replant at the correct depth.

Although peonies are recommended that they be planted in the fall I have planted in every season. The fall planting is that the tops are removed leaving only the root. The root has several options but hopefully will start putting out feeder roots. If planted in the spring and summer the soil temps would indicate to the root that it was time to put up foliage. Lacking the feeder roots a weak plant could use all of it's energy into top growth and none into increasing the strength of the root. Some have enough energy and live as yours did, others will die.
springfield area, MO
(Zone 5b)

June 13, 2010
9:33 PM

Post #7886503

It could be that it was planted too deep. That is my guess. The tops of the roots should just barely be below the soil. They are also very brittle and break off easily when digging and handling.

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