Peony, Sarah Bernhardt
A late-season bloomer, plants display gorgeous flowers for weeks.
Zone This refers to the USDA hardiness zone assigned to each part of the country, based on the minimum winter temperature that a region typically experiences. Hardiness zone ranges are provided for all perennial plants and you should always choose plants that fall within your range.
Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.
Height The typical height of this product at maturity.
Spread The width of the plant at maturity.
Bloom Season The time of the year when this product normally blooms.
Ornamental Use Ways in which the product may be used in the garden for ornamental effect.
Beds, Borders, Cut Flowers
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Peony: Bare Root Perennial
How to Plant
Planting Bare Root Plants:
- Choose a location in full sun with a rich, well-drained soil. Peonies are long lived plants so be sure to choose a location where they may grow undisturbed for many years.
- Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 6-12 inches removing any debris, and lightly raking as level as possible.
- The addition of organic matter (leaf mold, compost, well-rotted manure) benefits all gardens and is essential in recently constructed neighborhoods.
- Dig a hole deep and wide enough to accommodate the bare root.
- Hold the root with the “eyes” pointed upward and plant about 2 inches below the soil surface, and not deeper.
- Fill in and around the root with soil until the hole is filled.
- Firm the soil and water well to fully saturate the roots and soil.
- If you are using a plant support, place it at planting time and, in future years, before the foliage emerges in spring.
How to Grow
- Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their germination.
- Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. For perennials, an organic mulch of aged bark or shredded leaves lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil as it breaks down in time. Always keep mulches off a plant’s stems to prevent possible rot.
- Careful watering is essential in getting perennials off to a good start. Water thoroughly at least once a week to help new roots grow down deeply. Soil should be damp at about 1 inch below the soil surface. You can check this by sticking your finger in the soil. Water early in the morning to give all leaves enough time to dry. One inch of rain or watering per week is recommended for most perennial plants. You can check to see if you need to add water by using a rain gauge.
- Until plants become established, some protection from extreme winds and direct, hot sunlight may be necessary. Good air movement is also important.
- After new growth appears, a light fertilizer may be applied. Keep granular fertilizers away from the plant crown and foliage to avoid burn injury. Use low rates of a slow release fertilizer such as Garden-tone, as higher rates may encourage root rots.
- Remove and discard foliage after a hard frost in fall. Remove plant support for the winter.
- In colder regions, apply another layer of mulch (1-2 inches) after the ground freezes in fall. Evergreen boughs (from Christmas trees) provide additional protection. Remove this mulch in the spring.
- In general peonies do not require division. Divide only if the plant is not performing well or you wish to enlarge your planting. Any division should be done in the fall.
- Peonies make wonderful, long lasting cut flowers.
- Peonies make great landscape plants, are good for beds and borders. Always remember that they only bloom for about two weeks, but their foliage is attractive all season.