Tuesday, September 25, 2012

2012 How to Plant an Intersectional Peony

Intersectional Peonies

Intersectional Peonies should be planted similar to Herbaceous Peonies, except a bit more care should be taken to make sure the root is facing the proper direction. This is important for herbaceous peonies as well, but more so with intersectional, and even more so with tree peonies.

Dig Hole for Intersectional Peony

The first step and perhaps the most important step in planting a peony is preparing the soil. I usually dig at least a 3 foot round hole for each root, spading the soil with my shovel to make sure the dirt is nice and loose. After the hole is dug and the soil has been loosened, I add some organic fertilizer and lime (dolomitic limestone) to the soil in the hole and mix it in. The fertilizer is used to add nutrients to the soil and the lime is used to adjust the PH of the soil. In my area, most soils are acidic, and peonies prefer a more neutral to very slightly acidic soil, around a PH of 6.0 to 7.0.

Put Intersectional Peony Root in Planting Hole

Next take a look at the peony root and make a small hole in the middle of your 3 foot round hole that will accommodate the size of the peony root. Intersectional peonies are hybrids of tree peonies and herbaceous peonies, and they exhibit some characteristics of both. The intersectional peony roots usually have a definite delineation between the roots and the stem. The stem usually has pink buds on it, from which the new shoots and foliage will begin to emerge. So make sure to put the roots into the soil and put the stems/buds pointing up towards the sky. In my southern climate the point where the roots meets the stem can be planted even with the soil, so that the roots are below the soil and the stems/buds are above the soil.

Cover Intersectional Peony Roots with Soil

Once the peony root has been planted, I cover the planting hole with a 1-2 inch layer of mulch. You don't want to put too much mulch on peonies in this climate. Otherwise the roots may not get enough chilling hours needed for blooming. They do however need enough mulch to retain moisture (It does get really hot here!) and prevent weed growth. After the peony has been mulched, I water the newly planted peony root. You can water your root before or after you mulch it. I just like to water mine afterwards because it seems like the soils stays in place a little better with the mulch already on top.

Mulch Intersectional Peony

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