Surprising tree peony

pivoine arbustive

Although its sister-plant, the herbaceous peony, is more famous, tree peonies can reach 6 feet (2 meters) tall.

Certain hybrids produce gigantic flowers that span more than 8 inches (20 cm) across!

Tree peony, a true marvel

Flowers from tree peonies are among the great wonders of nature. Their delicate hues, their flaunting perfectly-shaped corollas, their elegant foliage make this plant a highly desirable addition to your garden.

Their hardiness and longevity will further our interest in this plant. Tree peonies are preferably grown in spots that are sheltered from direct sun and from strong frost.

Their longevity is truly outstanding, since they often live 50 years and more. Tree peonies must be planted with their graft line buried 4 inches (10 cm) below ground level. This leads to root development at the graft line, increasing resources available to the scion which will grow more vigorously.

Planting tree peony

Plant in a cool, well drained soil. Chalky soils are tolerated. Constantly moist soil is not recommended. Choose a sunlit spot that is shielded from excess heat. At planting time, you can add composted manure or organic fertilizer made with manure and seaweed: your plant will reward you generously!

Tree peonies grow slowly. A plant may need up to  7 or 8 years to reach its ideal 6-foot height. Pruning can be foregone if the plant naturally branches out, which is most often the case. Basic maintenance pruning is only called for to balance the silhouette, prune dead wood and remove wilted flowers.

More advice on tree peony

Mulch the base of your tree peonies at all times with a thick layer of decomposing manure or compost. Peonies hate being transplanted. If you have a generously blooming bunch of peonies, let it be, because if you try to move it around, it will sulk at you for quite a few years!