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Herbaceous Peony Rose
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Native to: China, Tibet & Siberia.
Plant type: Herbaceous rhizome.
Flowering time: Early Summer
Size: Bushes to 1m tall x 60cm wide.
Planting time: Ideally during Winter.
Soil preparation:Although these plants are not at all fussy if planted into a rich, well drained & dug soil, they are very long lived so we thinkit's worth putting effort into soil preparation.
Start by selecting a well drained site & dig a hole 60cm in diameter and 30cm deep. Mix in loads of well rotted manure (fowl is best, cow is NOT recommended) or compost plus 50g of bone-meal or other complete fertiliser. (Peonies are hungry!)
Although peonies tolerate a wide range of pH levels they prefer a soil that is neutral to slightly alkaline so add dolomite lime to help assure their preference.
Let the site rest for a week before planting.
Position: Sunny or partly shaded with shelter from strong winds.
Water: Water well during dry periods over Spring & Summer whilst the plants are actively growing.
Fertilising:Top dress these heavy feeding plants annually in Spring with blood and bone plus old fowl manure, compost or leaf mould.
Pest/diseases: If their basic needs are catered for, you'll have no problems.
Cutting: These blooms are delightfully fragrant and look wonderfully romantic in vases and posies.
Pruning: Always remove the blooms from the bush as they fade.
Climatic Tolerances: Cool to temperate.
General care: Peonies needa grass and weed free area round their base.
Depth and Spacing: Plant so that the 'eyes' are 4-5cm below the surface & lightly firm the soil around the roots (but not too roughly as to damage the 'eyes'). Space at least 60cm apart. Disbud side shoots to get bigger blooms; snip off spent flowers to prevent them fromforming seeds.