At Plant Exchange blog, we celebrate Spring with delicate peonies.
Long-lived peonies are a perennial staple of the Northern Plains. Colorful blooms are commonly 3 inches in diameter. No wonder they are among early favorites for flower bouquets.
Peony shrubs grow well in temperate climates, USDA Zone 3-6 or so. The buds require chilling temperatures for formation and soil that has warmed before they open. Local wisdom is that heat-loving cantaloupes can be planted in the garden when peonies bloom.
The single genus Paeonia has about 30 species of single and double-bloom flowerers. Early, mid and late blooming peonies offset the short duration bloom of the spring flower.
Peonies have few diseases and are easy care, once established. They grow well in amended soil with organic mulch which lessens the high pH soil of the region a little. Like for most perennials, improved soil, not fertilizer, supports plant health. Dead-heading spent blooms and trimming stem growth at the same time, minimizes plant care.
A sunny, protected location with adequate moisture and space for air circulation is a good site for planting peonies. The plants are deer-resistant, which is welcomed in the country setting.
Ants are commonly associated with peonies. They are drawn by the nectar and help the plant defend against scale insects and aphids.
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When you are ready to see what other garden bloggers would show you in bloom, please go to May Dreams Gardens in Indianapolis, IN for her June 15thpost. At the bottom of her post that day, see the links to garden bloggers around the United States and in other countries, waiting to show you what’s in bloom! Here’s the link: