How to care for tree peonies
A lush peony bush up to two meters high attracts the eye of a keen grower and any connoisseur of beauty. To grow such an attractive plant on your site, you need to provide full care for tree peonies. It is important to immediately choose a suitable place for planting, fertilize the soil, then water and cut the plant on time so that it develops well.
These centenarians can grow in one place for up to a hundred years, delighting the skilled gardener with annual flowering. They dramatically embellish landscaping, fitting into a variety of styles, from retro to modern. For a plant to be healthy and strong, it is important to take responsibility for each stage of cultivation..
Secrets of the correct fit
According to agronomists, planting a tree peony in autumn is the best time. To be more precise, this is the end of August – the beginning of October. It is during this period that the seedling will be able to take root and prepare to grow new shoots with the arrival of spring. A moderately sunny place, protected from drafts, is best for growing. Planting in the shade of a house or a large tree will prevent the shrub from thriving and can lead to underdevelopment and stuntedness..
In order for the plant to have a presentable appearance in the future, you need to properly prepare the soil: add sand, be sure to clay, turf and humus. So it will turn out to be nutritious and at the same time it will be well aerated. If there is loamy dense soil at the landing site, then it must be mixed with sand and organic fertilizer.
Peonies do not like acidic soil. The soil for tree peonies should not be more acidic than pH 7. If necessary, a small amount of lime is added to the acidic soil..
Proven landing technology
How to plant a tree peony in the ground so that it quickly takes root and grows? The main thing is to observe the landing technology:
- prepare a seedling (remove excess shoots and dry roots, treat roots from pests);
- dig a cone-shaped hole (about 80 cm deep and the same in diameter);
- ensure good drainage of the soil, covering the bottom with expanded clay or crushed stone;
- pour a part of humus with turf or chernozem on top of the drainage layer;
- a peony is placed on the nutrient layer and watered well;
- after the hole is covered with soil to the level of the root collar and compacted.
Correct planting and caring for several tree-like peonies in one area will bring good results if the distance between the bushes is at least one and a half meters.
How to store seedlings
It happens that it was possible to acquire a peony only at the end of autumn, or even at the beginning of winter. Of course, it should not be planted at this time. During this period, it is important to properly preserve it until spring. To do this, you can carry out several preparatory measures:
- carefully examine the acquisition for rotten or dry roots, remove them with a sharp sterile knife;
- choose a small container that is suitable for the size of the roots;
- plant a seedling for wintering in nutrient soil in a container and put it in a basement or in a cool room.
There must be perforations in the transshipment tank for draining the water so that the roots do not rot.
The temperature of the outside air and the condition of the seedling will tell you how to properly plant a tree peony in the spring on the site. If the temperature in the room in winter was maintained at about zero degrees, then the shoots will not grow. The plant will grow the root system over the winter. And only with the onset of warm days will new buds appear. Planting technology should be the same as in the autumn period (good watering, drainage and nutritious soil). After planting, you need to try to pay attention and provide systematic care for tree peonies..
Tree peony care
If an adult shrub is already growing on your site, then it will not require intensive care. All you need to do is water on time, loosen the soil between waterings for good aeration of the roots, remove weeds, periodically apply fertilizers.
The tree peony should not be watered a little every day, but once every two weeks, a bucket of water under each bush. And so that between waterings the water does not evaporate quickly, the hole is mulched (with straw, dead leaves or hay).
Another important point in creating comfortable conditions for growth and flowering is the correct versatile fertilization of the soil. Thanks to him, a larger number of buds are laid in the plant, they acquire a brighter color, and the period of their flowering increases. Begin feeding the tree peony in the spring during the active growing season. Nutrients are applied until autumn, adjusting the sequence of potash, nitrogen and phosphorus fertilizers.
A beautiful aesthetic appearance of the plant can be given by trimming excess shoots and faded buds. Pruning the tree peony on time is also an important part of proper care. It is carried out in early spring during the formation of buds on healthy shoots. It was at this time that dead branches are visible, which can be removed. Another pruning is carried out in the fall: once every 10 – 15 years, an adult bush is shortened to the base in order to rejuvenate the branches and more lush branching.
Features of the first flowering
For what year does the tree peony bloom? Is it worth waiting for flowering in the first year? These questions, quite expectedly, arise for every gardener who has planted varietal peonies on his site. Everything here is individual, and depends on the strength of the plant, the number of roots, planting time, favorable weather conditions and the quality of maintenance. Usually a young specimen gives good flowering in the second – third year. And in the first year, flowering is not pronounced. The flowers of double full peonies can be completely ordinary. Do not get upset and uproot the plant. Patience and proper care will definitely pay off..
A young tree peony, when in bloom, requires the removal of a large number of buds. It is important for the first flowering to remove the topmost bud even before it has blossomed. The second flower must be cut after it has blossomed. Pruning is carried out carefully with a sterile sharp pruning shears, taking care not to damage the growth point.
More specifically, it is worth dwelling on the formation of a beautiful tree or bush. After all, its appearance depends on how to cut a tree peony. When forming a shrub, the shoots are pruned evenly at the same height, contributing to their branching. Young branches develop quite quickly, so pruning should not be feared. The plant will only get better from this..
It will take more effort to shape the tree. It is necessary to highlight the strongest central branch, ridding it of side shoots. The top must be forced to branch, forming a crown. Pruning in order to rejuvenate the plant and remove dry branches is carried out in early spring, while weak branches are shortened to 20 cm from the ground. It is important to remember that the abundance of flowering will depend on the number of mature branches, because the buds do not appear on the branches of the first year..
Do not spare the buds, they also need to be cut. The more flowers formed on the peony, the smaller they will eventually grow. If you cut off a third of the inflorescences, then you can get large and full flowers..
Growing a tree peony is a fun process, especially when breeding existing specimens. After all, you can get more colors in several ways:
- divide an adult bush into several parts;
- root a few cuttings in the ground;
- get layering;
- grow new plants from seeds;
- plant a new variety on an existing shrub.
Dividing the bush
Tree peony, care, reproduction of which takes place in compliance with agricultural technology, brings good results. For division, a large plant is selected and dug out so as not to damage the root system. Then it is divided by cutting with a sterile sharp knife. You can divide not only in half, but also into more parts. The main thing is that there are at least four shoots on the parts..
When cutting, you need to try to minimize the damage to the roots and not introduce the virus into them. For this, the cut sites are treated with a pink manganese solution and covered with charcoal or activated carbon powder..
For division, you can not take plants younger than five years of age..
To propagate a tree peony with the help of layering, it is enough to bend the lower branch to the soil, cut the outer part of the trunk, sprinkle with root powder and cover with soil. In this case, the branch will continue to feed on the mother plant. And soon it will put down independent roots and new shoots. When can a tree peony be transplanted and separated from the main bush? It is with the growth of new shoots. It is best to root the layers in the spring, and plant the young specimens in a separate container in the fall..
For grafting choose a strengthened bush, 4 – 5 years old with good woody branches. The best time for the procedure is the beginning of July. The cuttings will have time to take root before the onset of cold weather. To plant a stalk, cut off a part of the stem with several buds. The upper cut is made straight, the lower cut obliquely. In order for the sprout to take root well, the lower cut is treated with a stimulant (root). The soil also plays an important role in rooting: you need to use peat and sand. It is better to water the seedling with warm water. After watering, it is covered with a jar or cut-off plastic bottle. If possible, use a mini greenhouse. It will be possible to understand that the cutting is rooted by the new shoots, which it will eventually release.
To carry out the vaccination procedure, you will need some skill and, as gardeners say, “light hand”. For sections, necessarily sterilized instruments are used; it is better to carry out work with gloves. Usually, a varietal (terry, multi-colored) is grafted onto a simple strong bush. A branch is cut from a varietal plant, the lower part of which is cut in the form of a wedge. On the main bush, the lower branch is selected and a part is removed from it, also in the form of a wedge, into which the scion is driven. The junction must be treated with garden varnish and wrapped with foil.
Not all vaccinations are successful. In order for everything to work out, you need experience and the right time for the work. August is best suited for this..
Removal from seeds
How to care for a tree peony to get good seeds? It is necessary to leave the largest and most beautiful inflorescence, without cutting it off after wilting. And give the seed pod to ripen properly. The resulting seeds are pickled and prepared for winter planting in a container. Sprouted shoots are dived and transplanted into the peat mixture in the spring. It is impossible to plant young growth immediately in open ground, otherwise it will die. The best conditions for young animals can be created in the greenhouse..
Getting a plant from seeds will not work quickly. And it may take several years before flowering. The seed propagation method is often chosen by breeders for breeding new species..
Tree peony: transplant
The process of planting and transplanting flowers differs in only a few points – this is digging and processing before planting. The rest of the events are very similar:
- determination of the landing site;
- preparation of the hole for landing;
- direct planting and further care.
An adult plant will not tolerate a change of place of growth more than once every five years. And will respond to the stress caused by the disease. It is better not to disturb peonies unnecessarily.
Transplanting a tree peony in the fall will allow the plant to take root and prepare for spring growth. You need to choose a time when the cold has not come and there are no frosts at night. When digging, it is worth considering the fact that the root system is highly developed and can penetrate deep into the soil up to a meter. Digging everything onto a shovel bayonet can damage the delicate roots. Forks are more suitable for digging, with the help of which the chance of breaking roots becomes less..
Shelter methods for the winter
You can talk about how to cover a tree peony for the winter, focusing on a specific growing region. Or a specific climatic zone. In seaside towns with warm winters, flowers do not cover. In the middle lane or Siberia, you simply cannot do without shelter. After all, severe frosts, freezing rain and a blizzard will not spare gentle shoots.
To prepare the bush for wintering, you need to prune the leaves. You can cover when the temperature approaches zero..
Spruce or straw hut
One of the most common shelter methods in central Russia is the construction of a hut made of straw or spruce branches. The structure is fixed over the plant and fixed so that it does not fly away with the first wind. In this way, the shoots in winter are protected from a heavy layer of snow that can break them. When a good layer of snow falls out, the hut needs to be well sprinkled with it. So you can create comfortable temperature conditions inside the shelter during the frosty period..
Leaning to the ground
If the branches of the peonies are not too stiff, then for the winter it can be bent to the ground and pinned down with dense steel wire. Cover with fallen trees or spruce branches from above. For adult specimens, this method is not suitable, since during bending, old branches will easily break.
In the spring, with the onset of warming, the shelter must be removed in time, otherwise the risk of overheating and rotting is possible.
Peonies beautifully decorate the yard and any area. They delight with their flowering for a long time. The tree-like peony, which was taken care of with care and love in autumn and winter, will certainly thank the hostess with abundant flowering. When starting such a plant at home, you should be ready for planned activities: pruning, fertilizing, spraying against diseases, transplanting. Without them, it is simply impossible to grow a magnificent large specimen. The time when you can transplant a tree peony also needs to be selected with great care, taking into account the age, condition of the plant and the season..