I adore peonies. Especially the fern peonies! I have a beautiful pale pink peony that I received from a friend’s garden and I think of her each spring when it blooms.
I’ve always pronounced this word, pee-oh-nee, with the emphasis on the second syllable. When I moved to this small, Czech community, I’ve heard it pronounced with the emphasis on the first syllable. How do you pronounce it?
Follow these growing tips for beautiful, long-lasting plants and flowers:
- Peonies like sun – when you’re planting these beauties be mindful of where you plant them. Don’t place them near trees that will grow and shade them. It’s important to plan ahead since they DON’T like being transplanted; 6-7 foot long roots makes moving them difficult.
- Peonies like well-drained soil – they don’t like wet feet!
- Peonies like good food – fertilize them once a year in the spring while they are growing.
- Peonies like a trim – in the fall (after first frost), you can cut it back to the ground. When the foliage begins turning brown, the plant is finished storing food for next year’s growth.
- Peonies like support - stake tall varieties. The heavy blossoms tend to droop toward the ground and will welcome a bit of extra support. A ring-type support works great.
- Peonies don’t mind ants – and neither should you. Ants sip the nectar from the buds, but do not harm the plant. If you’d like to snip blossoms, gently shake the ants off before bringing indoors.
Tips adapted from article by Sarah Rummery, horticulturist at Reiman Gardens in Ames, Iowa.