Hi everyone!!!

shiao(6a Boston)May 21, 2005

Hi I am very new to the forum as well as gardening. I recently purchased my first house, and noticed that the ground is quite neat but unadorned. So I decided to plant some interesting and pretty trees and shrubs. I have just planted a baby Japanese maple, a pink dogwood, and a Jane magnolia tree. I also created a bed for about 9 azaleas, two star magnolia shrubs and a verigrated red twig dogwood bush. Now I am turning my attention to some real flowers, and have discovered that tree peonies are by far easiler to take care of, and look more stately than the common rose...and they dont have the thorns. So today, I purchased two baby tree peonies from a local nursery...one is "light red" and the other is "light pink". I am looking for a deep red specimen as well. In any case, I will create a flower bed for these baby shrubs...they will get full sun all day, and I am told that I should plant them now (they are in pots) with back fill soil mixed with lobster shell compost. I will do this when the rain stops coming down, but I am quite excited. I am aware that these tree peony babies are actually grafted on the Hibaceous (sp) variety. If so, should I bury the soil to the point where the graft is so that the tree peony part will actually grow root? when I mention this question to the lady at the nursery, she was very perplexed. She wanted me to treat these babies as I would a baby tree or any other new potted planted...that they should be set as deep as the depth of their own "rootball" from the pot. Can someone please advise me on this? Thank you in advance, and I am very happy to have found this great forum. Hopefully, I will slowly develop a green thumb with all your guidance.

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shrubs_n_bulbs(z8/9 UK)

Remember your tree peonies will have stunning flowers for only a few weeks in spring. Those flowers will also crisp off very quickly in full sun, although the plants do need plenty of sun for the rest of the year. So look for nice foliage and think about other flowers to place with the tree peonies as a backdrop during the summer.

You should plant potted peonies now. I'm guessing they haven't flowered yet? Maybe they are too small to flower this year. You don't have to use lobster compost, but tree peonies prefer somewhat alkaline soil and certainly not the very acid soil that is common around Boston. They also prefer good drainage and deep soil where they can establish a very deep root system. I would rather amend native soil to improve drainage and alkalinity, rather than backfilling with something different. Ideally, amend the whole planting bad to have sufficient limestone and organic matter. Don't just throw a bunch of gravel into the planting hole - that's called a french drain and it will fill up with water from the rest of the garden :)

You should plant the graft, if you can see it, around six inches below the level of the soil. Otherwise, just plant the whole thing six inches deeper than the level in the pot. This will reduce the number of herbaceous peony suckers, possibly you'll get none, and will allow the tree peony to grow its own roots eventually. This is another reason to provide deep soil, since you will already have a hole well over a foot deep and the roots haven't even started to grow yet!

I can recommend Rimpo as a dark red variety but there are many others.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2005 at 7:49AM
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shiao(6a Boston)

My three tree peonies are about one foot tall from the top of the pot. I think I can locate the graft spot. If I were to plant the whole think 6 inched below the top level of the pot, then my plants would look strangely "submerged" in the dirt bed....is this ok? or have I misunderstood you. Thank you for your time. By the way, I acquire my third tree peony yesterday at another nursery...it is a purple flower variety with a long japanese name (I dont have it with me). So I will seek out the red type that you had mentioned. mike

    Bookmark   May 23, 2005 at 8:29AM
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