Spacing for a peony hedge

amyjeanApril 29, 2009

I would like to plant a hedge of Sarah Bernhardt peonies but am uncertain as to the spacing. I've been told that they could get to be 3 ft. across; if this is the case should I plant them about 2 1/2 feet apart so that they will meld together? Any help here is appreciated!

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calistoga_al

I would expect a peony "hedge" to have a problem with air circulation and disease as a result. Have you seen a peony hedge? Al

    Bookmark   May 2, 2009 at 10:14AM
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irinas(6B NJ)

Hi,

I agree with Al, in general, peony is not the best plant choice if you try to create a hedge in the true sense of the word. And Sara Bernhardt is not a good landscape plant in particular. It requires staking, and looks particularly messy after rain.

So if this information did not deter you, and you are set to carry out your plan anyway, this is what I would suggest:

1. Space them more generously than you would plants in a hedge (I would do 3 - 31/2 feet), they have nice green foliage and are pretty spread out, a little extra space would help them stay healthy and at the same time would not create terribly big gaps.

2. Find a good way of staking them - or rather a way to provide support. I have 9 SBs - if not supported, once they start flowering, they are on the ground most of the time. And messy does not start to describe how they look after rain.

3. Do take advantage of the mass planning of SB and cut flowers for the house - they are beautiful.

Irina

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 12:21PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

Hi Amyjean, do you already have the SB peonies? Or are those the variety you covet for the hedge? I agree with Irina that there will be a lot of work that goes into a "hedge" of SB. I planted some peonies in a row on my slope and spaced them about 3' apart which seemed to work well to form a sort of hedge. I chose Scarlet O' Hara because they have sturdy stems and require no staking at all. The flowers last for a very long time and stand up well to heavy rains. They are a single though, so that may be out of the question for you if you are looking forward to the fuller flowers of SB.

I have another area of the garden where I have "hedges" of peonies. I also spaced them about 3' apart. I do have SB in those borders and others that require support and cleanup to keep the area looking neat after rains. Although the full blooms are more work, they really are beautiful. I'm sure if SB is what you want you will find that the extra work will be well worth it. I would go with 3' spacing for a "hedge" look.

    Bookmark   May 5, 2009 at 6:08PM
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