Peonies or flowers of honor. How to take care of them properly

Peonies or flowers of honor. How to take care of them properly

Perhaps the beauty of peonies seems intimidating at first glance. They are proud, delicate, plump and smell so good! Peonies are the flowers with a great magnet for the fairer sex. Many women love to decorate their gardens, vases and bridal bouquets with peonies. Caring for them is not as complicated as you think. Many specialists are of the opinion that if you have a little patience you will be able to enjoy their charm because they are very resistant to diseases, so they do not need different fertilizers and they do not need water in large quantities.


  1. How are peonies planted?
  2. Types of peonies
  3. How to properly care for peonies?
  4. What are the most interesting curiosities about peonies?

1. How are peonies planted?

Peonies bloom in early summer, but the exact blooming time varies depending on the variety. If you plant a mix of early, mid and late season flowers, then you can extend the peony season to a month, maybe even more. Peonies are ideal companions for other early summer perennials, such as iris, alliums and sweet-smelling roses.

But how to plant peonies correctly?

Here are the most important aspects to take into account when you want to plant peonies:

  • peonies are usually sold as bare root tubers with 3 to 5 buds from a 3 or 4 year old plant
  • space the peonies up to 12 centimeters apart to allow good air circulation between the plants. Stagnant, humid air can be a recipe for disease, so try not to skip this step.
  • dig a hole of generous dimensions, about 60 centimeters in a well-drained soil and in a sunny place. The soil would benefit from the addition of organic material in the planting hole. If the soil is heavy, dry or very sandy, enrich it with compost
  • don't plant the root too deep, and in the southern areas of the country look for varieties with early flowering and plant them at about 5 centimeters and in an arid area benefit from a little shade
  • water the soil well at the time of planting


You also need to prepare a support for flowers in advance, especially if you plant herbaceous peonies. Hang the peonies either on a stand that you build yourself, or on a peony ring bought from a specialty store to keep the flowers as tall as possible. Once a peony blooms, it is very heavy, and more than likely it will fall. So be careful!

2. Types of peonies

You can choose from three types of peonies, each of which varies in shape, color and scent:

  • Herbaceous peonies
  • These peonies have thin and flexible stems, growing in voluminous and very rich bushes. Due to the weight of the flowers, which are massive and abundant, the stems bend easily. Herbaceous peonies grow to about 1 meter in height. Once matured, the plants can produce up to 40 large flowers simultaneously.

  • Tree peonies
  • Tree peonies can reach up to three meters in height. They are woody shrubs with much larger flowers than herbaceous peonies. Also, they are characterized by robust and woody branches. Due to the resistance of the branches, they remain intact and strong throughout the winter season and produce flowers that last a long time.

  • Itoh peonies
  • Also known as intersectional peonies, itoh peonies are hybrids of the first two types presented above in the material. That's why they share the characteristics of both species, and like herbaceous peonies, they can be cut to eight or ten centimeters in autumn, thus encouraging the growth of new stems. They produce long-lasting flowers, just like tree peonies.

    At the same time, keep in mind that peonies must be planted in autumn, preferably at the end of September and the beginning of October. And if you have to move a mature plant, autumn is the time to do it, especially if the plant is inactive. Although peonies can be planted in the spring, horticulturists warn that they will not last very well and there is a good chance that they will not grow as they should.

    planting peonies

    3. How to properly care for peonies?

    Once you've finished planting your peonies, you have to take care of them, right? Here are some indications that you must take into account in order to transform your garden into a floral paradise:

  • And peonies need time
  • Especially if you want to wear a bouquet of peonies to decorate your home or give to someone you love. Thus, peonies are plants that must be fixed well in order to succeed in blooming. Besides, you shouldn't expect them to bloom completely in the first two or three years after planting, but with proper care and good soil, they will start producing flowers enjoying their charm for many years to come.

  • Give them room to grow
  • You must leave at least 12 centimeters in the soil between plants, because planting peonies too close to each other can lead to plants with long stems and leaves, without flowers, because they fight for space. But if you provide enough space between the plants, this will encourage the creation of air flow, which helps the flowers to prevent pests.

  • Plant peonies away from the house
  • Ants and peonies go hand in hand. Do not be alarmed if you find ants on peonies, although they do not need ants to bloom, the nectar that the plants secrete attracts these insects. Ants do not harm peonies, but before taking a few strands into the house, it would be good to rinse them or immerse them in a bucket of water so as not to bring unwanted guests inside. For this reason, it would be good to know clearly where you will plant the peonies. In no case close to the foundation of the house or the windows.

  • Fertilizers for peonies?
  • Remember: peonies do not need a lot of fertilizers. We recommend that you work the soil as well as possible before starting planting, mixing it with compost, organic matter and a little fertilizer.

  • Cut the peonies
  • Cutting peonies helps them last longer. The best time to cut them is when you see the buds shyly budding. Do not cut the stem straight, but in a slight diagonal, preferably in the coolest part of the day, in the morning or in the evening after 20:00. Moreover, properly cared for peony flowers will remain fully open for 48 hours and can last up to 10 days.

    Peonies can thrive for decades (if you take care of them correctly) because they don't like to be disturbed, that's why it's good to choose a specific place for a long period of time. Both herbaceous and tree peonies can tolerate the scorching sun, but the flowers will last longer if a bit of shade appears daily.

    Also, to take care of the peonies in the vase correctly, it is important to cut the stems at an angle. Then, you should remove the lowest leaf and put them in a vase with warm water. Do you want to help your peonies last a long time? Then add a spoonful of sugar to the vase or replace the tap water with mineral water, and the flowers will stay fresh much longer than you think.

    care peonies in the vase

    4. What are the most interesting curiosities about peonies?

    Peonies have different meanings, they are, for example, the symbol of love, but also of honor. Originally from eastern China, they first arrived in Europe in the 19th century, when many new varieties were bred in France by famous flower breeders such as Monsieur Lemoine. Moreover, peonies have a long history in traditional Chinese medicine and are cultivated in China also for their roots, which are used to treat various inflammations, asthma, migraines or convulsions.

    Their petals are edible, so you can add them to salads or they can be used as cake decorations on which the confectioner sprinkles plenty of sugar.

    types of peonies

    Because peonies symbolize love, they are considered a good sign for a happy marriage. They are also the traditional flower for 12 years of marriage, although interestingly, flowers represented shame and shyness in the Victorian era.

    In China and Japan, they represent strong and positive virtues, such as courage, honor, respect, nobility or prosperity.

    In conclusion, it is well worth giving a loved one flowers in a box , as elegant as peonies or a simple bouquet of flowers , because they will certainly be appreciated. And if you want to plant them and take care of them, it is impossible not to succeed, as they are plants that are easy to grow and love.

    Photo source:

    California Flowers - Livram zambete si flori, acum si in Bucuresti!

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