How to breed peonies and how to make peonies bloom

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How to breed peonies and how to make peonies bloom
How to breed peonies and how to make peonies bloom

Fragrant terry peonies outshine all early summer flowers with their beauty. Luxurious peony bushes are the dream of any gardener. But the realization of this dream requires certain knowledge and effort. We will tell you about the most important ones.

How to create a peony paradise in the country?

The peony has been living in our gardens for so long that we don't even think about its origin. Nevertheless, this flower came to Russia from distant China. Wild varieties of peony really live in China, and in Mongolia, and in the Mediterranean, and even in the Caucasus. In those distant times, people valued the peony not so much for its decorative effect, but for its medicinal properties. The pioneers in this area were, of course, the Chinese. A sedative tincture was made from a peony, with its help they treated coughs and heart pains, relieved muscle tension, convulsions. Revered peony and ardent lovers. But not for the beauty and flavor. It was believed that peony leaves interfere with conception. True, they were used rather strangely: when going on a date, they put them in underwear or shoes.

Today's luxurious peonies - white, pink, burgundy, salmon, striped and speckled, terry and not very, low and high, early flowering and late flowering of their descendants. They say that on the basis of "savages" 6000 varieties have already been bred. And they are all so different that scientists cannot agree on a classification. Most agreed that peonies should be distinguished by the shape of the flower.

On my own

The tree peony has been the favorite among peonies for the last five years. The remaining peonies with the first frosts go into hibernation, dropping foliage, tree-like ones go under the snow as a bare bush. Leaves appear on their branches in spring. But, unfortunately, not all tree-like peonies hibernate with us: it’s a bit cold for them. Although frost-resistant varieties have already been bred quite a lot. These peonies are native to China and Tibet. They grow there on fertile limestone soil. Therefore, we also love the land with a lot of humus.

In the spring they do not tolerate stagnant moisture, good drainage is needed. But during the growing season they need abundant watering. They need a sunny place. Closer to winter, they cover not only the root system, but just in case, they hide the branches under a blanket of spruce branches. And they constantly make sure that the root neck is sprinkled with earth (but not very deep) and not exposed. The abundance of flowering depends on this.

A place in the sun

Why do we love peonies so much? Most likely not only because they are beautiful. They perfectly endure all hardships and easily adapt to our climatic conditions. Many of them are real Spartans. They sit in one place for years, and they don’t need anything. A bush is known that lived in one place for 90 years! However, it would be better if we cater to their little whims.

First, they love the sun. But the winds are not very fond of. Therefore, it is better to take the place sunny and protected from the winds. They do not really like to sit on the south side of the brick wall of the house. They are stuffy and hot there. They do not like to sit near drains and in lowlands where groundwater is close. Secondly, they do not like to be disturbed often, divided, transplanted from place to place. You can divide the bush at the age of 6-8, not earlier. But the older the bush, the more difficult it is to divide it. This procedure is best done in August-September. It is better to make a hole in advance so that the earth settles. Otherwise, when settling with a bush, the root neck may be exposed and the bush will not bloom well.

Old bushes should not be divided “alive”, it is better to dry the dug bush (pre-cut the leaves to a height of 10 cm) for several hours to make the roots more flexible. Thirdly, peonies prefer clay or loamy soil, rather than sandy and peaty soil. Fourth, they love watering. Especially in the spring, when they are actively growing. And be sure to watch the neck - the first kidney on the bush. On light sandy soils, it needs to be deepened by 5-7 cm, on loams 3-4 cm is enough. And peonies also like to be fed every year. Mullein is best.

In the palm of your hand

Peony is a remarkable bush. He, like an actress in a red dress, attracts all the attention. Landscape designers treat such "activists" very carefully. Therefore, he needs to find a place worthy and at the same time unobtrusive. Peony, and any kind and variety, looks great on the lawn as a soloist. Or, as the designers say, a tapeworm. If you plant under the windows, then no closer than 2 meters from the wall. But it's better if there are green neighbors between the wall and the peony.

Choose fragrant varieties. Remember that there is no peony smell. They all smell in their own way: some lavender, some jasmine, some cut grass. Peonies also look good along the tracks. It is only necessary to take into account that every year the bush grows and creeps out onto the path. Therefore, when planting, retreat by about 50-60 cm. And of course, peonies look great in a mixed flower garden. Only here you need to carefully select the neighbors. The main thing is that they do not turn out to be aggressors who will clog the root system of the peony and then you won’t lure them out of there with any gingerbread.

Classification of peonies

Overseas peonies came to Russia in the 17th century. Then they were divided into two groups: “curly” and “dry”, that is, terry and simple. Today's peonies are "curly" so that they barely fit into five groups.

  1. Simple peonies. They have hardly changed over the millennia. A simple flower consists of several petals arranged in one or two rows. Numerous stamens in the center.
  2. Semi-double peonies. Have several rows of petals with numerous stamens in the center. Recently, these peonies are becoming fashionable, because their bush is slenderer than double and does not fall apart under the weight of flowers.
  3. Terry peonies. The most numerous. Thousands of breeders are working on the creation of new varieties, striking in the size and doubleness of the flower. Within the group, breeders have identified subgroups (crown, spherical, rose-shaped). They do not have stamens and pistils or they are not visible. These peonies are the most popular among flower growers.
  4. Japanese peonies. In a modest number of petals, they look like simple peonies. But the middle is filled with modified wide stamens called staminodes. These varieties were bred by Japanese breeders, so the group got its name.
  5. Anemone peonies. Something between Japanese and terry. Light terry and the same pompom inside. Varieties of this group are not very popular today.

In the last five to ten years, American breeders have bred very unusual peonies. Botanists do not know which group they belong to. Ruffled flowers with rugged petals resemble parrot varieties of tulips. Experts were skeptical about the novelty, calling them freaks. But the demand for them exists, despite the high price.

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