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Catalog: Tree Peonies
Tree Peonies have some of the most beautiful blossoms you can grow
in your garden. The blossoms are huge with ruffled, satin-like flowers
and come in a wide range of colors. Tree Peonies originated in China,
where at one time, only the Emperor was allowed to own one. In the
8th century AD, Tree Peonies were introduced to Japan. Japanese Tree
Peony blossoms are more open and delicate in appearance than the Chinese
Tree Peonies. Tree Peonies are woody shrubs that have stems that don't die back
over the winter, like regular garden peonies do. We've found that
Japanese Tree Peonies are very winter hardy in northern Zone 4.
And even better yet, the rabbits, mice and deer don't eat them!
Hooray! We've also found that Tree Peonies grow slowly, so you have
to be patient and wait 4, 5 or up to 10 years before they reach
their mature size. But, they are very long-lived plants. Every garden
should have a Tree Peony! Plants are shipped bareroot (no soil or
pot) and dormant (no foliage) from early April to mid May.
Tree Peonies do best in a sunny to partly shady site, in average, well-drained, evenly moist garden soil that has a neutral pH. Space plants 3-feet apart for a hedge. Tree Peonies rarely need pruning, except to maintain a desired shape and size or to remove damaged canes.
Our Tree Peonies are grafted plants. Plant the graft union 4 to 6 inches below the soil surface as shown in the photo to the right. This helps the plant develop its own roots in addition to the grafted roots. The graft union looks like a bulge on the main stem just above the roots. After planting, only an inch or two of the woody stem may show above the ground. So, be sure to mark where you planted it!
Tree Peonies are slow-growing plants that reach mature size
in 5 to 10 years. Try not to transplant them, as this will
slow their growth as they reastablish their roots in the new
location. Tree Peonies can live up to 100 years or more!
Soil: Tree peonies tolerate a wide range of soil conditions, but do best with soil that’s high in organic matter to help provide the nutrients needed for blooming. Add compost or rich, black soil to the soil mix used in the planting spot.
Fertilizing: Don’t add fertilizer right after planting. Wait a month and then use a well-balanced, natural or organic granular fertilizer applied to the soil surface. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer package. Also add a shovel full or two of compost around the base of the plant to add organic matter, improve soil structure and provide slow-release nutrients.
What's a "bareroot" plant?
is a term that describes how a plant is shipped to you. A bareroot
plant is not in a pot, and is usually dormant (not actively growing).
See the photo to the right that shows what a bareroot Tree Peony looks
like. The bareroot plants that we ship to you were harvested in
the fall and placed in cold storage over the winter to keep them
dormant. In the spring, we ship the bareroot plants to our customers,
from early April through mid May.
Bareroot plants are easy to grow. We include planting instructions
with your order. When you receive your plant, take it out of the
packing material and place it in a bucket of water so that the roots
are completely covered. Let the roots soak for 4 to 24 hours, then
plant it in your garden. Full planting instructions with photos
are available on our Planting