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Is this a really bad spot to plant my new peonies...?

Posted by vikingkirken 6b (My Page) on
Sat, Aug 29, 09 at 18:43

I have a Norway maple in my front yard... yes, I know it is considered the worst kind of tree to plant ANYTHING under or near. But the tree has a high canopy, so the ground under it is actually pretty sunny. It's also right next to the street where the surrounding ground gets a ton of rainwater runoff. I have black-eyed susans and annual poppies thriving there right now (along with a big patch of weeds which I'd like to replace!) I even have a couple tomato plants there which are small but not doing too badly. So it's sort of a paradoxical spot.

So my question is, is this peony homicide to attempt to plant several 3-6 feet from the base of this tree? What if I sunk large clay pots in the soil (with the bottoms knocked out), to give the plants a chance to grow and establish without root competition?

Anybody done anything like this?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Is this a really bad spot to plant my new peonies...?

Not a Norway maple but I have cut through the root web of a maple tree and planted both herbaceous and tree peonies under it. It would be better to plant at a greater distance than 3-6 feet because the branches could keep the plants from getting enough moisture except in a very wet season.

Dig down through the root web to see how deep the root webbing goes. If you would put a pot or other barrier deeper than that you could retard the root growth in that area.

A herbaceous really like more sun than provided by a maple. Mine has grown and flowered but not sent up many stems. Bulbs of all kinds would do better.


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RE: Is this a really bad spot to plant my new peonies...?

I agree with the previous post. If you are going to try it, plant the peony out further than 3-6 feet. They aren't fond of root competition. Also, I wouldn't recommend sinking in a clay pot unless it is at least 3 feet in diameter. Peony roots like to branch and spread out as opposed to go down deep in the soil. Keeping them retained by a sunken pot or another barrier would make for a weak plant. Best of luck!


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