Is there a good peony ring out there?

poppydog(5)May 30, 2006

I have those lame three-legged one's that are neither strong enough or tall enough to keep my plants from completely flopping over. I bought plants that supposedly have sturdy stems. Wrong. Is it possible to use individual stakes? Seems like a pain and I'm afraid to shove too many things into the roots. What do you ues? Thanks.

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maifleur01

I have not found a good ring but I am cheap on somethings. If the plant is going to flop I let it. Some gardens do use bamboo stakes to hold the blooms and on tp's stems. What I have seen is to either tie a state to the stem and then gently push just into the ground away from the root but at an angle from the stem. This lets the stem and stake form part of a triangle with the ground the third side. Move the stakes until you reach the right angle before pressing into ground. The stem should be able to balance on the stake and only wobble a little. Then press into ground.

Always remember to remove the stakes and ties after blooming. If you do not want the seeds take the stem in one hand and gently hold, follow the stem down to the larger leaves(some peonies have small leaves under the flower) cut carefully at an angle just above the leaf. This will remove the stems and allow the leaves to build food for next year.

    Bookmark   May 30, 2006 at 9:38PM
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Mozart2(Zone 5 Michigan)

Poppydog:

You may find a very good quality Peony stakes at the link below. They're somewhat expensive, but these folks do sell excellent garden equipment and stand behind their products.

I suspect that doing a search on "google" for "peony stakes" will bring you up to other sources as well.

The other alternative is to take a heavy duty wire edging device - I don't know if they're still available or what exactly they are called - and cut it to the necessary diameter, push the edging device into the ground in a circle and tie the two ends together. Years ago, I remember my mother making use of a few of these and they did the job.

Another alternative is to take some steel "bamboo" or real bamboo stakes, push them into the ground, use a good twine to "link" them together and keep your peonies upright.

Hope this source or suggestions work for you!

Bill

Here is a link that might be useful: Lee Valley - Peony Support

    Bookmark   June 1, 2006 at 2:59PM
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poppydog(5)

Maifleur and Bill,

Thanks for your suggestions. I should have researched before I posted, (as the site srongly recommends!) Anyway, what do you think of this idea? I found the link here on gardenweb. The support is for dahlias, but I found it when I searched for "peony stakes." I'm a little confused, because people have said that this works great, but if the circle supports narrow as they go up and the peony spreads as it goes up, I can't picture how this works. Please look at the link and help my shrunken brain!

Here is a link that might be useful: supports w/o stakes or something like that

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 12:30AM
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maifleur01

Poppydog, you could use the tomato cages similar to this cutting off the legs and using them to stablize the cage placed in the normal position. The problem with using cages the way suggested is dahlias leaves come from a central stalk while peonies are multi-stemmed. The dahlia leaves will cover the cage but I do not think peonies would do so.

I do have a first for me. Although we got down to zero for a couple of days one of my dahlia's has overwintered. I did not cut the stalk back or anything and about the first of May there it was. No I don't know what it was we have a dahlia society that I go to their sale and pick the cheapies and/or what are not selling well as I plan on treating them as annuals/

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 1:40AM
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msbernard(z4 cental OR)

I get my peony guards from Song Sparrow Perennial Farm which used to be Klehm's Nursery. You get 6 guards for $39.95 which includes shipping. They work great. They look like an oversized tomato cage. Look under books + accessories on their web page.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 1:44AM
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poppydog(5)

A. Mailfleur - Surely you are not asking me for advice of any kind. I believe you are regarded as an expert on this site. I have never grown a dahlia.

B. My point exactly, but people on the peony site have used this method. Problem is, I have never grown a tomato or used a tomato cage. Are you saying that I should follow the same instructions, but put the rings going up in size? I think this could work, seems to make more sense as long as the suppost is staked.

C. MSBernard - Please begin by telling me you're not Maurice Benard from General Hospital. Or, better yet, tell me you are. Never mind. I only have three peonies and one of my problems is the three legged support, they are just too flimsy. They seem tall enough, but do you find them to be sturdy?

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 2:21AM
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Mozart2(Zone 5 Michigan)

Poppydog:

Your preference for Peony stakes basically comes down to a matter of aesthetics, budget, the number of peonies in your garden that need staking, etc.

After taking a look at the suggestions and links in this forum, I have no doubts that the "Peony Support" offered by Lee Valley is extremely well made and is far, far better than those offered by Klehm's, but then so is the price.

Aesthetically, I much prefer those supports offered by Lee Valley, - mostly because they don't look like tomato cages surrounding a peony bush and thus distract from the beauty of the peony - but with five peonies already in the ground - those supports would cost us more than $150.00.

For example, with the use of the Lee Valley device, you could more easily "hide" a single post and ring by simply planting some other plants near the stake; with the use of a tomato cage type of device, that may or may not seem possible.

But then again, it depends upon whether or not you wish your garden to be a "pristine" showpiece or not. ;>)

I am not certain that such aesthetics preferences are worth $150.00 even if I had that kind of extra money to burn. Quite frankly, I'd rather spend that kind of money on various types of perennials. Better return on the investment - to put it into strictly monetary terms.

By the same token, I am not certain that the "work" involved in creating a Peony support out of a good quality tomato cage as was described and illustrated is worth the amount of effort, when something very similiar can easily be purchased through Klehm's.

Obviously and for the price, the supports offered by Klehm's would be the choice to make - at least to try them and see how they work before adding more of them to accommodate the rest of your peonies. If you have a great deal of Peonies in your collection, this would be a good budget choice.

There is, however, another set of possibilities that I failed to convey in my first response. I think my brain might have been a little "foggy" when I wrote it up. Lee Valley also offers two other means of supporting plants.

Here's the first, which seems to be a less expensive version of the first one I suggested in that it is height adjustable allowing the leafs and blooms to spread a bit - according to one's preference. These, I'd probably opt for, if I didn't go with Klehm's, if I choose to add peony stakes next year or so.

For the record, my five peonies are in their first year and are only three-fourths the height of when they will be mature. Presently, they only have a few blooms on them - and I am truly looking forward to experiencing them in their first year.

Super Plant Stakes and Rings

The other type of support is through the use of their "Link Stakes", but I am not so certain as how well these devices might work with heavy blooming peonies. You'll note that they are shown being used with Foxgloves, which I've never grown. They'd be interesting to try, but if you're on a "gardening budget" I'd opt for those offered by Klehm's Here's the link to the second alternative:

Link States

I want to let you know that all of this discussion is making my brain work exceedingly hard. ;>)

Why?

Because I am trying to remember my many visits to several botanical gardens in the midwest. I am refering to some of the larger botanical gardens, such as the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, MO, the Boerner Botanical Gardens near Milwaukee, WI, the Mitchell Domes in Milwaukee, the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL, my former home town botanical garden - the Glen Oak Botanical Garden in Peoria, IL, the Botanical Garden & Reese Carillon in Springfield, IL and a few others and I don't ever remember seeing any kind of a peony ring or support device being used.

But then, again, perhaps, I wasn't paying attention. ;>)

Well, there you go, now you have more information than you ever thought possible or, perhaps, even wanted. ;>)

By the way, when and if you link to the Lee Vally site, explore the site until you find their "request catalog" - they offer several and place your name on their mailing list. They're an excellent company and have much to offer.

Again, I hope that this additional information is more useful than ever.

Bill

William Harrison, Librarian (now you know the reason for the information) ;>)

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 11:58AM
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maifleur01

Poppydog,

A. No/Yes. I am not an expert by any means I just talk a lot. I like doing research and observing what is happening and why it appears to happen. And Yess I need all of the help I can get. In fact I am trying to find nurseries or growers that are local or regional not just the national ones(which I love). Many of the regional ones may have some of the older cultivars or ones they developed but are only know by word of mouth.

B. Yes, the basis of the instructions as I interperate is that you use the legs or stronger wire to form a loop to hold the cages down directly with the earth. Most tomato/plant hoops come with legs that you raise as your plant grows taller.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2006 at 8:53PM
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claydog

I have about 25 peonies. For years, I have used three stakes and two rings for support. I have found it very frustrating and time consuming to put them together by inserting the rings through the loops in the stakes.
This year, I bought bungee chords (rubber tie downs) and wrapped them around the plants. I think that they work great. For me, it's a perfect solution. So easy and effective.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 4:08PM
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suel41452

Bungee cords sounds intriguing - how exactly do you use them? I mean, do you put stakes around the peony & wrap a bungee cord around the stakes? Or just wrap a cord around the plant itself and pull tight?

    Bookmark   April 26, 2010 at 10:33PM
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flowergirl70ks

Get the ones from Song Sparrow-I have some that came from Klehms that are over 40 years old.I put them on when I plant and they never come off. If you can't stand the silver color, spray them green.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2010 at 9:11PM
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summerstar(Z7VA)

Claydog! What a great idea and this does sound easy. The trick would be to get cords long enough to avoid squeezing the stems. Is there more you can say about this?

    Bookmark   May 2, 2010 at 5:16PM
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claydog

Summerstar,

Thanks for the comment.

The bungee chords that I have used for mature plants are four feet long. That is the circumference of the hoops that I bought from Lowes. I have a strong hunch that I will not need the hoops next year.

If you like, I can send you a picture when the peonies are in full bloom - just starting to bloom now here in East Tennessee.

To make a shorter chord, you can tie a knot or two in the chords.

Happy Gardening.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 12:42PM
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summerstar(Z7VA)

Claydog:

Thanks for your reply. I'm going to try it. As someone else said, I'd rather use the $$$ to buy plants. I DO think the adjustable hoops at Song Sparrow are the best thought-out peony supports I ever saw!

Read Sue141452's question about four replies up from this one. She asks about how you wrap the cord around the plant for success with them.

Thanks Clayboy for the great tip!

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 1:00PM
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claydog

No stakes, just bungee chords work for me.

    Bookmark   May 3, 2010 at 10:06PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Some years ago I purchased 5 peony rings with the green coating and a metal grid on top. They are about 16" across and pretty heavy duty. Around $10 each, IIRC. When the peonies shoots are about 12" tall I put up the rings, and then guide the shoots through the grid for a few days. This is a bit too much fussing for my taste, but they seem to work pretty well.

Once they're through they grow nice and upright and the foliage hides the ring by blooming time. This pic is from last June and you can't tell the rings are there -

    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 5:50PM
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oscarthecat(z7MD)

Gardeners Supply has a good 4 legged support that works well. Steve S.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 10:05AM
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prairiegirlz5

terrene~Your peonies are so lovely! Please share the names of the varieties you have pictured, I am trying to get ideas to add some spring and early summer interest to my garden. Thanks in advance.

I use a tomato cage on my peony, I can't remember if it's cut down or not. You can't really see it when the peony fills in.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 9:53PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Hi Prairiegirl, I'm not 100% sure about the cultivars, because I inherited the Peonies from the previous owner. But I think the light pink in foreground is Bowl of Beauty, the darker pink is Rosea plena (very fragrant), and the white one is Duchess de nemours (blooms earlier but also fragrant). But they could be something else similar!

I think a tomato cage could work pretty well, but I like the grids on top because it keeps the shoots nicely spaced.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2010 at 11:52PM
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