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Peony, cultivation and meaning

Peony, cultivation and meaning

Peony: cultivationmeaning in the language of flowers, flowering and useful tips for growing peonies in pots or in the garden. The varieties to grow according to your needs.

Therepeonyit is a very common ornamental plant for the beauty of its speciesflowers. It's possiblegrow peoniesherbaceous orpeoniesarboreal (also known as shrub peonies).

In this plant we will seehow to grow peony in pots or in the garden, what to do if the peony does not bloom, which are the most common varieties and advice on cultivation.

Herbaceous peony

The herbaceous peonies they are characterized by single-flowered stems, the flowers are very showy but without perfume. Betweenherbaceous peoniesthe oldest is thePaeonia officinalis, a species native to Italy and the southern areas of Europe. This species is characterized by light green leaves, theflowering periodit runs from April to May with a single flower 5 to 15 cm wide, cream colored. There is no shortage of varieties with colorful flowers and cultivars of Asian origins such asPaeonia lactiflora(native to Mongolia and Siberia, more tolerant to cold and always producing simple flowers).

Theherbaceous peoniesthey reach a height of 60 - 100 cm. In autumn they dry up completely to regain the vegetation by emitting their jets in spring.

Shrub peony or tree peony

With the terms of shrub peony or tree peony, the same group of plants is identified. Often these plants are also calledwoody peonies.

The tree peonies (or shrubby) see flowers that smell with the same fragrance as roses, each stem carries more flowers and this is the first difference between the flowers of shrubby and herbaceous peonies.

Theflowering periodit always falls between April and May. In some varieties the flowers can reach 30 cm! These are very long-lived plants that are appreciated in Italian gardens.

Japanese peony

Among the woody (or arboreal) peonies, very popular is theJapanese peony: the plant is very rustic therefore easy tocultivateeven in a low maintenance garden. ThereJapanese peony, in fact, it is very resistant to drought and is able to give flowers from the beginning of spring.

The name "Japanese peony" is somewhat misleading as this variety is not native to Japan; this country has admired and cultivated this type of peony for a long time, so much so that the name "Japanese" has been structured over time and not due to its origins!

Very similar to theJapanese peonyand thepeony anemoneor aneomine peony. These two plants are distinguished by the stamens which in the anemone peony (peony anemoniflora) are wide filamentous while in the Japanese peony they flatten and almost resemble petals. The photo above shows the flower of an anemoniflora peony.

The colors of peonies flowers

The period of thefloweringit begins with the rising temperatures in spring, when the buds sprout and open to give life to flowers of considerable size and multiple colors. Thepeoniesare available in allshades of pink (from ruby ​​red to pale pink), in cream and white colors. There is no shortage of peonies with yellow, red, burgundy or purple flowers.

Not only icolors of the petalscan be the subject of attention: even the type of flower. With herbaceous peonies we talked about "simple flower" or "single flower", in shrub peonies the plant can produce clusters of single petal flowers, semi-double flowers or double flowers. Some varieties with double flowers have such an intensity of petals as to give the inflorescence a globular shape, in fact we speak of "bomb flowers", that is bomb flowers!

Peony, meaning of the flower

In eastern countries, especially Japan and China, thepeonyis considered theQueen of flowers. The name Peonia derives from the Greekpairs which literally means "heal". This term is not related to themeaningof the flower, but to the properties of its roots.

For the oriental tradition, the meaning of peonies is linked to immortality but for us Westerners, its flowers are a symbol of transience because the blooms are destined to fade in a short time. Despite the rapidity of flowering, peonies are widely used in weddings: they symbolize love and affection, like aroyal crown, are bearers of prosperity and nobility of mind, with particular attention towhite peonya symbol, among other things, of nobility of soul and candor.

Peony: cultivation and care

Therecultivation of peony, especially if you chooserustic varieties, it's not difficult at all. If you want to startgrow peonies from seed, this news may discourage you: peony seeds take about 2 years to germinate and the cultivation process that starts with sowing is very long!

To get startedgrow peoniesyou can carry out a multiplication of the tufts starting from already well developed plants or buy specimens from your trusted nursery.

When to grow peonies: the best time

The best time forplant peoniesruns from September to the end of November. During this time it is possible to plant both bare root plants and plants purchased in pots.

It is not recommended to start a plant in the coldest months of the year, however those who live in southern Italy, if the soil is not frozen, can do it.

After March you can startcultivation of peoniesbut onlyin pot. The cultivation of thepeony in vaseit does not require special care, to keep your peonies in pots looking good you can follow the care and advice for growing in the open garden.

How to grow peony

Thepeoniesthey grow well in different types of soil but prefer a fairly clayey soil, rich in organic matter, humus, deep, drained and permeable. The pH reaction is slightly acidic: the optimal pH ranges from 6.5 to 7. Avoid irrigating the peony with calcareous water, for all the information on how to bathe peonies, please read the guide dedicated to theirrigation of acidophilic plants.

In very humid soils, before planting the plants, carry out a deep dig to loosen the soil and, when digging the hole, on the bottom, prepare a layer of 5 cm of gravel.

How to grow peony in pots

For thecultivation of peony in potsyou can use a specific soil for flowering plants or prepare a mixture of sand and peat, enriched with well-ripened organic fertilizers.

How to fertilize peony: care for peony that does not bloom

If in the grow peony some mistakes are made, you run the risk of skipping the classicfloweringspring. Peonies need nutrient-rich soil: if thepeony does not bloomand you have recently performed arepottingDon't worry, the plant needs time to readjust and may flower by the following spring.

If the peony is grown in the open field or you have not repotted for a long time, then it is necessary to resume with the fertilizations and with the renewal of the soil in case ofpeony in vase.

If the plant is very large (shrub peonies reach considerable size), instead ofrepot the peony, you can just remove (wearing a pair of gloves) the first 10 cm of soil from the pot and replace it with fertile soil. In both cases (both for potted peonies and those grown in the garden) it is essential to support flowering by administering a specific fertilizer with a well-balanced supply of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. The classic universal fertilizer is not suitable for peonies as it excessively stimulates the production of leaves at the expense offlowering.

On the market you can find liquid fertilizers for geraniums, these are perfect for the peony as the needs of these two plants are similar ... so much so that two herbaceous peonies could share the same flower bed, making sure that the foliage of the herbaceous peony does not shade too much the geraniums.

Among the various fertilizers on the market, I point out the Compo fertilizer enriched with microelements essential for the growth and flowering of the peony. The fertilizer mentioned can be found on Amazon at a price of 10.94 euros and free shipping costs…. For all information: Compo fertilizer. In garden centers or online, you can buy any other type of fertilizer, the important thing is that it is a specific fertilizer for peonies or geraniums.

For additional information and photos of the flowers, please visit the pages:

  • How to grow peony
  • Peony, flower


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