Peonies, flowers meant to last

Peonies last a long time in the ground and in a vase.

Peonies are long-lasting flowers much appreciated in our gardens.

They are special in that they are hardy and can be handed down from one generation to the next. This blooming wonder is no exception!

Peonies, flowers meant to last

Peony is a plant that may be a bit choosy at times, but it’s always full of charm. It often outlives the person who planted them, and older bunches always bear flowers in great numbers at the end of spring. This plant owes its long lifespan to the deep roots that protect it from climate variations.

Peonies are hardy. Since they aren’t vulnerable to freezing, they can theoretically be planted all winter long. However, since blooming is in spring (from March to June), it is recommended to plant them in fall. This lets roots develop over winter and settles the plant in.

  • To propagate peonies, just collect a portion of the stump in September, together with several leaves, as if you were cutting a slice out of a cake.

Peonies like sunlight, but not too much of it.

The soil must run deep, and is best when rich and well drained. If the soil is very hard, break it up first with a spade. If the soil is a bit too poor, add organic matter (horse manure, dried blood…).

Peonies complement climbing roses well, since they cover their base.

  • Roses bloom just after peonies do, so they ensure a constantly flowered view on that particular garden spot.

There are two categories of peonies on the market: herbaceous peony and tree peony.

  • As their name hints, tree peonies can normally become full-sized shrubs. But they are even more finicky, and their growth is excruciatingly slow!
  • However, among the herbaceous peonies, there are thousands of hybrids to chose from. They all produce well-endowed flower bunches within a reasonable span of time.

Two peony flowers, white with a dash of red, visited by a ladybug

Long-lasting peonies on social media

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Credits for images shared to Nature & Garden (all edits by Gaspard Lorthiois):
Peony in vase by Rosalyn & Gaspard Lorthiois, own work
Peonies with ladybug by Rosalyn & Gaspard Lorthiois, own work
Peony flower bud (also on social media) by Rosalyn & Gaspard Lorthiois, own work