How long do tree peonies bloom

My Blooming Tree Peonies - The Martha Stewart Blog

May 24, 2018

My tree peonies are blooming so beautifully.

I adore tree peonies and have been collecting them for a long time. I have a tree peony border planted under a stand of giant, shady maples across from my Summer House. Many of the specimens were transplanted from my Turkey Hill garden. Others were added more recently, including several that were planted just last year from Cricket Hill Garden in Thomaston, Connecticut. All of them continue to thrive here at my Bedford, New York farm. 

The tree peony season is very short - only seven to 10 days, but these unimaginably large, and often fragrant, white, pink, yellow, red, and burgundy flowers are some of my favorites. Here are photos of what is flowering now - enjoy.

I love my curving border of tree peonies, Paeonia suffruticosa. There are very few plants that can compete with a tree peony in full bloom. They flower from late April to early May but the season often varies from year to year.

Unlike the more common herbaceous peonies, which flop over if not staked, tree peonies bloom on graceful woody stems. Many of my more established shrubs came from Peony’s Envy in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

Native to Europe and Asia, peonies were brought over to England by the Romans in the year 1200. In ancient times, peonies were used for medicinal purposes including curing headaches, relieving pain during childbirth and for the treatment of asthma.

Peonies are the floral symbol of China. Paintings of peonies are often seen hung on the wall in order to bring good luck.

In Japan, the peony is looked upon as the humble king of flowers and is a symbol of strength, courage, and future good fortune.

Marco Polo, famous merchant and explorer, described peonies as “roses as big as cabbages”.

When planting tree peonies, choose a well-drained location, with four to six hours of direct sun or dappled sun and shade all day. A place with protection from drying winds is also helpful.

Keep in mind that most tree peonies will grow four to seven feet tall and about four to five feet wide, so select a spot that can also accommodate a mature plant.

Tree peonies prefer airy, reasonably open spaces as air movement around the plant helps prevent fungal diseases like peony wilt.

It may take two to three years for a plant to settle in before blooming heavily, but the wait is worth it to any gardener.

A mature plant can have in excess of a hundred flowers and each bloom can reach 10-inches or more in diameter.

The soil for tree peonies must be deep, rich and loose, with a pH between 6.5 and 7.0 – they prefer a slightly alkaline soil.

Once established, tree peonies are drought tolerant plants. Excess water will suffocate the roots, so do not water until the soil is dry below the surface.

The flowers of the tree peony are usually much larger than its herbaceous peony cousins, but both are available in single and double forms.

They come in colors that include all ranges of white, pink, magenta and dark maroon.

Pink flowers are more fragrant then maroon flowers. Plus, they are deer resistant, which makes them even more appealing.

Fall is the best season to plant tree peonies, because it helps the development of new roots and the recovery for normal growth the following spring.

Tree peonies are heavy feeders and respond well to a generous, early autumn top dressing of bone meal or rose fertilizer. The high potash content encourages flowers to develop. A light sprinkling of a general fertilizer can be applied in spring.

Tree peonies set their buds in late summer into early fall so any desired pruning should be done right after they flower to prevent the loss of next year’s blossoms.

They don’t need much, but I often prune the tree peonies myself and have found that pruning to about a four to five foot height creates a wonderful eye-level view of blooms.

Flower buds produce large quantities of nectar which attracts ants. In fact, ants play a role in the opening of flower buds and provide protection against harmful insects. Flowers emit a subtle, sweet fragrance which also attracts pollinating wasps and flies.

The peony is a perennial plant that can survive up to 100-years when it is cultivated under optimal conditions. I look forward to many seasons of these most stunning flowers.

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Tree Peonies Blossom in Dappled Shade

Light yellow stamens highlight the center of ‘Peach Blossom Complexion’, a single flower in coral pink with frosted edges.

I first met Kasha at a dinner party I had for a few friends back in the early 1980s. At the end of the party, I offered her a tree peony blossom from my modest garden, hoping it might cast a romantic spell. It did. And not too long afterward, we began making plans for our wedding and the peony garden we would nurture together.

Our search for a proper garden site took more than a year. This paled in comparison to our search for plants. We specifically wanted to grow Chinese tree peonies that were not readily available in the U. S., so for years, we wrote to individuals and organizations in China. When we finally found someone, they insisted that we purchase several hundred plants. Wanting only a few of the best specimens, we scrambled to sell the rest. But through the years, our passion for tree peonies has blossomed into a full-time business.

Tree Peony
Paeonia suffruticosa
(Pay-own-ia  suf-froot-i-cosa)

• Slow-growing, woody shrub that reaches 4 to 10 feet tall and displays large, silken blossoms.
• Adaptable to USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 9 (–40°F to 20°F).
• Flowers best in dappled shade, with three to four hours of sun.
• Requires excellent drainage, so plant on a hillside or in a raised bed with plenty of organic matter.
• Enrich soil with compost, and feed with a foliar spray of seaweed or fish emulsion in spring.

Herbaceous peonies and tree peonies: Distinctly different plants

‘Louyang Red’ sports magenta-red flowers with a rich, glossy texture. This semidouble flower was named for a city in China famous for its tree peonies.

Peonies come in two basic types: herbaceous and tree forms. Herbaceous peonies grow to 4 feet, have flowers 6 inches in diameter, and are easy to propagate by division. They thrive in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 7 (–30°F to 0°F), and may have 40 or more flowers on a mature plant. Most bloom in early to mid-June and die back to the ground after first frost.

The tree peony, however, is a distinctly different plant. Tree peonies are woody shrubs; some grow 10 feet high without support. Their flowers—which come in a multitude of shapes, colors, and fragrances—are much larger and usually bloom two weeks earlier than herbaceous peonies. Although they lose their leaves in the fall, they maintain a graceful branching structure throughout the winter. Tree peonies can be grown in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 to 9 (–40°F to 20°F).

Tree peonies prefer dappled shade and good drainage

Each silver-red petal of ‘Coral Terrace’ is scalloped, forming a dense, round flower. This flower appears in Chinese paintings of tree peonies.

Unlike herbaceous peonies, which bloom best in full sun, tree peonies prefer partial shade, with three to four hours of sunlight. The plants grow faster in sun, but the flowers burn and vanish in a day or two. On occasion, when we do plant tree peonies in full sun to spur plant growth, we shade the blooms with a parasol or cloth awning, which rewards us with blooms that last a week to 10 days.

Tree peonies need a well-drained location, such as a hillside; standing water will kill them. And while they are not particular about soil acidity, a pH range of 6.5 to 7.0 is ideal.
Unlike herbaceous peonies, tree peonies do not require a freezing period to bloom, but rather a rest period of several weeks with temperatures of 35°F to 40°F. For this reason, they thrive as far south as Tuscaloosa, Alabama. They are hardy as far north as southern Minnesota, where winter ­temperatures can fall to –30°F.

Tree peonies are classified as Chinese, Japanese, European and American hybrids, and Itoh or intersectional hybrids. Tree peonies are generally considered derived from the species Paeonia suffruticosa. However, peony taxonomy is a complex subject, and lately there is a growing body of evidence that Chinese tree peonies may actually be descendants of two or three species. In the nursery trade, cultivar names are most easily recognized and appreciated. After all, one can only delight in names like ‘White Light in the Night’, ‘Amber Moon’, ‘Tiger Tiger’, ‘Necklace with Precious Pearls’, ‘Princess Zhao Marries Beyond the Great Wall’, Intoxicated Celestial Peach’, ‘Coiled Dragon in the Mist Grasping a Purple Pearl’, ‘Great Winged Butterfly’, and ‘Taoist Stove Filled with Pills of Immortality’.

Chinese tree peony diversity
The Chinese tree peony, or mudan, has been the favorite flowering plant in China since the 7th century Sui Dynasty. In fact, its popularity has been likened to the tulip craze that swept Holland in the 17th century.

The Chinese describe their mudan flowers as silky, and we agree. While some blossoms reach 1 foot in diameter, most average 8 to 10 inches. Of all the tree peonies, the Chinese cultivars offer the most diversity. Flowers may be white, pink, red, magenta, maroon, violet, shades of these colors, or multicolored. Some flower petals are darker toward the center, while others have frosted tips. As light falls on the petals, their colors often change before your eyes, softening in the sunlight. Light yellow flowers fade to white; dark purple petals turn to lavender.

Flower shapes are broadly classified as single, semidouble, or double. But within these classifications, there is much variation. We have grown the single, light semidouble, heavy semidouble, double, ruffled ball, thousand petal, crown, and rumpled forms. Furthermore, blossoms may be up-facing, side-facing, or down-facing. We believe each has a place in the garden.

Many Chinese tree peonies are fragrant, with scents ranging from sweet to spicy, sometimes even woodsy. One of our favorites, ‘Grand Duke Dressed in Blue and Purple’, has such a delicious aroma it defies description. Let’s just say that if heaven had a candy shop, that’s what it would smell like. Altogether, the Chinese recognize more than 600 cultivars of tree peonies; we grow about 80 of them in our Connecticut garden.

Japanese tree peony availability
In the 8th century, the Chinese introduced the Japanese to the tree peony as a medicinal plant. It was presented to Japan again in the 17th century, this time for its beauty. In our opinion, many of today’s Japanese tree peonies are actually Chinese tree peonies, because in the 400 intervening years, the plants have not changed.

Of course, there are exceptions. One is ‘Island Brocade’, a branch mutation of ‘The Sun’.  It produces stunning pink and red variegated flowers. The Japanese, for their own aesthetic reasons, grow only single and semidouble cultivars, which bloom about a week after the Chinese mudans.

Of all the tree peonies, Japanese cultivars are the most readily available in the United States. They can be purchased through mail-order sources, as well as at local garden centers.

Hybrids emerge in the West
Around 100 years ago, a new species with small, yellow flowers (Paeonia lutea) was introduced to the West. Over the years, it has been hybridized with semidouble varieties through­out Europe and the U.S. In the U.S., this hybridization was done by A.P. Saunders, and many plants now carry his name. Flowers are smaller, often side-facing or down-facing, with a lovely, citrus-vanilla fragrance. They bloom later than either the Chinese or Japanese tree peonies, thus extending the bloom season for tree peonies.

In their second generation of hybridization, led by Nassos Daphnis and David Reath, the flowers are larger and the color palette expanded. Flowers with yellow undertones like ‘Redon’ and ‘Exotic Era’ are much sought after.

A botanical curiosity
About 30 years ago, a Japanese hybridizer named Toichi Itoh succeeded in crossing tree peonies with herbaceous peonies—adding new colors and shades to the peony palette. A botanical curiosity, these intersectional or Itoh hybrids have the leaves and flowers of tree peonies, but die back to the ground in the fall like herbaceous plants.

Plant peonies in the fall

Tree peonies need good drain­age. Here, ‘Imitation of a Lotus Flower’ thrives in a raised bed.

Fall is the time to plant and move all peonies. Plant your tree peonies at least six weeks before the ground freezes; spring planting simply does not allow time for roots to develop, so they are unable to support emerging foliage. As a result, spring-planted peonies often weaken or die, giving them an undeserved reputation of being hard to grow.

To plant tree peonies, dig a hole about 2 feet in diameter and in depth. Build a hill in the middle of the hole and spread the tree peony’s roots over it. Use good garden soil with plenty of organic matter to refill the hole, watering thoroughly when half filled and finished. Make sure all shoots are underground; it’s actually difficult to plant tree peonies too deeply. And remember, tree peonies can grow to considerable size, so space holes about 5 feet apart. If plants are subject to heaving in your climate, it’s smart to mulch your peonies the first year.

Tree peonies are heavy feeders

Tree peony flowers fade in bright sunlight, so grow them in dappled shade, where they receive morning light, or protect the blossoms with an umbrella for extended bloom.

Since tree peonies have a lot of leaves and large flowers, they tend to be heavy feeders. Although we don’t fertilize them at planting time, we do feed them with compost in subsequent years. With the exception of fresh manures, which need time to break down, any available compost should do.

Rather than layering the compost on top of the soil, we dig a 1-foot-deep and 1-foot-wide trench along the drip line of the plant, and fill it with the compost. In a year or two, once roots have grown into the trench, we repeat the process further out. Each spring, we also feed our tree peonies with a foliar spray, such as seaweed or fish emulsion. After blooming, we water the plants with this same solution.

Tree peonies are plants with enormous vitality. Even if you run over them with a lawn mower, they’ll usually come back. With proper care, they’re virtually pest- and disease-free. After blooming, we deadhead the flowers, and in the fall, we take all the fallen leaves away. This cleanup helps prevent botrytis from infecting the plants in the spring.

We know of only one insect pest that preys on tree peonies: the rose borer. It works its way into the pith of older plants and deposits its eggs from spring to fall. If you see its telltale hole or a wilted branch, cut away the affected wood.

Older plants provide the blooms

Silk petals are the signature of ‘Embroidered Pink Ball’.  This flower is named for the silk balls tossed by Chinese brides.

Young tree peonies do not bloom. For this reason, we recommend that you purchase plants at least three years old for a first or second year show of color.

There’s another good reason to purchase plants. Tree peonies are difficult to propagate. Although many single and semidouble cultivars produce fertile seeds, the offspring often revert to the species, losing the desired characteristics of the parent plants. Even if they don’t, it can take up to seven years for a plant grown from seed to produce flowers.

The most widely accepted method of propagation is grafting new stem growth, or scions, onto root stock. Another method, with which we have had some success, is branch layering. It’s relatively easy to propagate low-growing and spreading plants, but is not an option for upright varieties.

While tree peonies may be challenging to propagate, established plants are easy to grow. They require little attention, yet can provide years of beautiful, fragrant flowers.

—David Furman and his wife, Kasha (who contributed to this article), collect, grow, and sell Chinese tree peonies at Cricket Hill Garden in Thomaston, Connecticut.

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planting and care in the open field - REVIEW! + PHOTO

Introducing the rules for planting and caring for a tree peony in the open ground: place, soil, distance, depth and planting hole. We consider care in spring, summer and autumn: flowering, top dressing, watering and pruning. Let us dwell separately on preparing for winter and sheltering a peony.

Contents of the article:

  • 1 Own-rooted and grafted tree peonies: is there a difference?
  • 2 Planting a tree peony: location, soil, distance and depth
  • 3 How to plant a tree peony? Manual
  • 4 Planting a tree peony in spring or autumn: when is the right time?
  • 5 Care for a tree -like peon after landing
    • 5.1 The first flowering
  • 6 Tree peony: Care in the spring, summer and water)
    • 6.1 Curtains in the spring of the peony
    • 6.2 Feedlessness and fertilizer: Subtleties and procedure
    • 1111111111111111111111
    • 6. Preparing for winter: is it necessary or not?
    • 8.2 Shelter for the winter tree peony
  • 9 Pruning tree peonies: bush formation and rejuvenation
  • 10 Diseases and pests
  • 11 Which seedling is better to choose?
  • 12 An interesting fact for residents and guests of Moscow
    • 12. 1 Afterword

Own-rooted and grafted tree peonies: is there a difference?

Own-rooted peonies

Dignity. Long life expectancy from several tens of years to several centuries (usually bloom profusely for at least 25-30 years). High vitality and resistance to frost and disease. Free reproduction by division of the rhizome.

Inconvenience. Conventionally, the shortcomings can be called: slow growth and development of the plant in the first five years, so it blooms later - in the 4th-6th year. At this age, the bushes are usually 60-70 cm in height.

Grafted peonies

Virtues. Rapid growth (20-40 cm per season) and flowering (1-3 years).

Inconvenience. Shorter life expectancy. They cannot be propagated by dividing the bush and must be immediately planted in a permanent place - they do not tolerate transplantation well.

The grafted peonies often form a shoot near the bush, which can be dug up and planted. And in the opposite case, it must be removed so that the flower develops better.

How to tell?

A sapling of a self-rooted peony has many long and thin roots (thickness - 6-9 mm), they are lighter. In a grafted flower, the roots from a grassy peony (cylindrical succulent rhizome) are thicker (3-5 cm) and darker.

Japanese seedlings of grafted tree peony


Some flower growers, in order not to wait a long time for the flowering of their own rooted tree-like peony, plant seedlings of two types. It turns out that the grafted specimen quickly blooms and brings joy, and the own-rooted one gradually grows and becomes a symbol of the family for many years.

Planting a tree peony: location, soil, distance and depth


Experts advise immediately choosing a permanent place with optimal factors for the development and flowering of a tree peony. It should be well lit in the morning and evening, and during the day it is better to have a little shade, since the midday heat reduces the flowering time.

  • Therefore, it is better to plant on the east side so that there is a maximum amount of light in the morning. Protection from strong winds and drafts is also necessary, frequent gusts of wind worsen the laying of flower buds.

Do not plant in lowlands, high water tables or areas prone to waterlogging. Even 1-2 days of water during melting snow or a downpour lead to negative consequences. If there is a possibility of such a situation, plant on high ridges and make gutters.


The distance between peonies is 1.3-1.8 m, other small plants can grow between them. The distance to the nearest large shrubs and buildings is at least 2 meters, and to trees - 3 meters. The roots of shrubs and trees will impoverish the soil, and the walls of buildings will heat up in summer.


Tree peonies are not selective, but prefer loamy soil with high moisture and air permeability.

Heavy soils should be diluted with sand and humus, fresh manure should be avoided. Sandy loamy soils need to be improved with the addition of clay and compost, but still the flowers are less decorative and age faster.

Peaty soil is the worst because of high acidity, so more wood ash and extra slaked lime are added.

The optimum acidity level is pH 6.1-6.8. Excessive acidity must be reduced.

Recommended reading: « SOIL ACIDITY: HOW TO KNOW AND REDUCE? ".

How to plant a tree peony? Manual

  1. Planting hole. Cone-shaped, width - 70-75, and depth - 65-81 cm. It is better to dig a hole 18-35 days before planting.
  2. Drainage. It is recommended to make a 16-19 cm drainage layer of gravel, broken bricks or sand at the bottom of the planting hole.
  3. Soil mix. Put rotted manure on top of the drain. The soil mixture is prepared in equal parts from the earth (top layer), peat and humus + add 140-210 g of superphosphate and 310-390 g bone meal or wood ash. If the earth is clay, then you still need to add 7-9 kg of river sand, and 1-1.5 buckets of clay in sandy soil.
  4. Planting depth. The root collar is placed in the soil so that the renewal buds are at the level of the soil surface. Grafted specimens are planted so that the grafting site is 9-14 cm below the ground surface.

    Peony planting depth adjustment

  5. Landing. The components are mixed and poured into the pit. The roots are spread on the seedling for maximum contact with the soil, and they are planted on the resulting cone. The root neck should not touch the humus to prevent fungal diseases. After planting, pour water over the hole, and then fill it with ordinary earth, no more than 3-4 cm on top of the renewal buds.
  • If the pH is below 6.5, add 100 grams of slaked lime to the dressing layer, and if it is below 6.0, 200 grams per bush.

Planting a tree peony in spring or autumn: when is the right time?

According to scientific experts, the most favorable time for planting a tree peony is from August 20 to September 30 (Middle lane, Moscow region). Moreover, September 15-25 is considered the best period, according to Chinese masters - the autumn solstice + - 1 day.

Seedlings with ZKS (closed root system) can be planted in spring, and even in summer. Still, it is better to dig a peony in a pot bought in the spring in partial shade until August - September, so that it adapts better. Then you transfer (necessarily with a clod of earth) to a permanent place and make a shelter for the winter.

Transshipment of peony into the ground

But it is better to plant seedlings without a pot (OKS) only at the indicated favorable time or, in extreme cases, in early spring.

Why is it better to plant tree peonies in autumn than in spring?

It is better to store seedlings dug in the area from spring to autumn, not because of fear of their death.

But because planting in the spring will deprive them of nutrients intended for the growth of shoots and flowering, which are accumulated in the storage rhizome. Because of this, the flower will not develop suction roots and will not make up for the losses.

As a result, a lot of time will be spent on restoring strength for the next flowering. And planting a seedling in a container creates favorable conditions for it. Low temperature prolongs the dormant period, it is easier to protect it from drying out and waterlogging, as well as from frost and drafts.

How to save a seedling until planting in August or September?

Often seedlings with an open root system are brought in bulk from China at the end of winter. In this case, plant the delenka in a 3-4 liter pot, put it in a cool and dark place (cellar, basement) and moisten the soil a little (without waterlogging (!)) so that the flower stays dormant for as long as possible.

After the shoots begin to grow, move the pot to the windowsill and water as little as possible. In May - June, put in the garden in a quiet and shady place. And in August or September, already land on a permanent place.

Tree peony care after planting

The first spring is a key time in a flower's life. From May to mid-June is the most favorable period for feeding.

  1. Pour a solution with a complex mineral fertilizer (for example, "Kemira Spring-Summer") + nitrogen (ammonium nitrate 40-50 g) into a circular hole to accelerate the formation of the root system and intensive vegetation.
  2. Foliar top dressing is more effective in the first growing season. Spray the bush three times: 1. After the shoots begin to grow - 30-40 grams of urea / 5 liters of water. 2. Through 14-19days 30-40 g of urea (carbamide) and a tablet with trace elements / 5 l of water. 3. After 2-3 weeks, two tablets / 5 liters of water.
  3. If there is no rain, then water every 2-3 days for the first 15-19 days after planting. In the future, water the bush during drought better less often, but plentifully: 11-16 liters per bush. Loosen the soil the next day to provide oxygen to the roots.
  4. Preparation for the 1st-2nd winter. In mid-October, seedlings should be covered with a 11-14 cm layer of peat and covered with a bucket. It is not recommended to use straw, foliage or manure. The mulch is removed in the spring, and covered again the following fall.

What year will the tree peony bloom after planting?

A grafted seedling with normal development usually blooms in the 2-3rd year, and a rooted seedling in the 4-6th year.

First bloom

Tree peony does not need to rush to pick the first flower (not like herbaceous species). If he was able to form a flower bud and bloom, then it means that he has sufficiently developed the root system.

Cut off the first flower after full bloom, i.e. as soon as it is fully opened.

If the bush has two sprouts and buds, then wait for the colored bud stage. Then gently remove the top bud (pinch) or pierce its base with a needle. Then it will dry out, and the plant will not spend nutrients.

If the bud is cut before this stage, the growing point located at the top of the shoot will be damaged, which is fraught with stopping its growth.

  • At the first flowering, the flower often does not match the declared characteristics of the variety. All varietal characteristics usually appear at the third flowering, especially in densely double flowers and with an unusual shape of the petals.

Tree peony: care in spring, summer and autumn (fertilizing, watering)


You can remove the winter shelter after the snow has completely melted, at the time when crocuses begin to bloom. Approximate dates for the Moscow region: end of March - beginning of April.

Pruning in the spring of a peony

Before the start of the growing season (March-April), it is recommended to prune to beautifully form and prolong the life of the bush. To do this, cut off the shoots at the level of the first growth bud from the top, and shorten the weak ones by 9-12 cm height from the ground.

Attention! If found, do not prune frozen shoots and wait until the end of May. If the flower does not recover, then cut them back to the first living bud, then it will begin to grow again.

Pruning a tree peony in spring

Top dressing and fertilizing: subtleties and order

The best top dressing for a tree peony is wood ash, bone meal and mineral fertilizers with a high concentration of potassium and phosphorus, and a low concentration of nitrogen. Top dressing is convenient to produce along with watering.

Autumn is the best time to apply organic fertilizers. The bush can be overlaid with compost (rotted manure) - 3-5 kg, and then dig the soil 11-14 cm deep. Fresh manure is categorically not advised to use, from contact with it, the roots are affected by rot.

  1. Prophylactic. After the snow melts, water the soil around the peony with potassium permanganate (2-3 grams per five liters of water - one bush) to prevent diseases.
  2. Nitrogen-potassium for growth. As soon as the snow has melted, it is better to apply nitrogen and potash fertilizers - 1:1. Scatter on the surface of the earth at a distance of 16-21 cm from the rhizome, 16-21 grams of nitrogen (ammonium nitrate - 40-60 grams) and potassium (potassium salt - 16-21 grams).
    You can replace 40-60 gr of nitrophoska or take something like "Kemira spring/summer". Then dig the soil 9-11 cm deep and cover with a thin layer of compost. Together with water after rain or watering, the substances will get to the roots.
  3. Potassium-phosphorus for powerful flowering. At the beginning of budding (12-16 days before flowering), liquid top dressing is carried out with potash (40-50 g) and phosphorus fertilizers (20-30 g) - 2:1.
    Potassium and phosphorus will ensure abundant flowering. Additionally, you can pour 10 liters of mullein infusion (only bushes older than five years) or dissolve mineral fertilizers in it.
  4. Flowering. During the flowering of the peony or after 3-5 days after it, repeat the potassium-phosphorus top dressing.
  • Nutrient overabundance should be avoided and nutrition should be moderated.
  • To improve nitrogen metabolism, it is desirable to carry out foliar feeding (spraying) with boric acid - 1 gram per 500 g of water every 15-20 days before flowering.

Watering the tree peony

Mandatory watering: 13-16 days before flowering (15-25 liters) and 13-16 days after flowering. Do not allow the soil to dry out in July - August (often dry and hot), and the plant is laying the buds of renewal and needs water. Watering is stopped at the end of August.

In general, it is better to water infrequently, but abundantly. Usually it turns out 2-4 waterings per summer with sufficient rainfall. Be sure to loosen the soil after watering (rain) so that there is no crust, and maximum oxygen enters the roots.

Hole around the bush for watering and fertilizing

Summer: flowering, after-flowering care for peony and pruning


Tree-like peonies bloom in late May - early June (Middle strip, Moscow region). First non-double, after 3-5 days - terry, and later for 1-2 weeks yellow-flowered semi-shrub. In mid-June, medium varieties bloom, and from the end of the month to early July, late varieties.

Flowering period - 11-16 days, in hot weather a little less, and in cool weather more.


  • Cut no more than half of the flowers to make it easier for the peony to recover.
  • When the flower is cut, the remaining shoot must have at least 2-3 leaves on the bush.
  • Tip. For fuller blooms, cut off 25-30% of the buds formed at the "pea" stage.


For large-flowered cultivars, make supports around the flower with rebar or stakes with a wire ring. Now there are special bush holders for sale, for example:

Ready support for peonies

3728409. Copy the address and paste it in a new tab.

Post-flowering care: pruning

After flowering, cut the stem two buds below the faded bud. Weeds are also regularly pulled out. Water and fertilize according to the recommendations in these sections.

Pruning a tree peony after flowering

Tree peony: care in autumn and preparation for winter

Autumn care for a tree peony comes down to digging up the trunk circle (60-80 cm in diameter) at a depth of 10-13 cm. Top layer can be removed from above and pour sand into which to plant small-bulb flowers (anemone, kandyk, crocus, muscari, blueberry, scylla). They bloom in early spring and decorate the wintering place with their flowers.

Transplantation and reproduction

Read about replanting tree peony in autumn and reproduction in a separate article at the end of the page.

Preparing for winter: is it necessary or not?

In the Moscow region and throughout the European part of the CIS, tree peonies normally winter without shelter in a quiet and wind-protected place. Although in winter the ground can freeze more than a meter deep, and the temperature drops below -30 degrees.

  • In an open area: Middle lane, Moscow region, North-West, Urals and Siberia, it is better to cover them for the winter "just in case of a fire".
  • But young (1-2 years old) tree-like peonies must be covered for the winter. To do this, it is enough to pour a layer of peat around the bush 11-14 cm and cover with a bucket.

Should tree peony be cut in autumn for winter?

Experts do not recommend pruning tree varieties in autumn. It is better to spend it in the spring. More details in the chapter - "Cropping".

Shelter for the winter of a tree-like peony

  1. Be sure to tie a bush with a ribbon, tourniquet or rope in mid-late October, but not tight and neat, so that the branches do not freeze to the snow and break off in the spring.
  2. After the onset of stable sub-zero temperatures (November), cover the bush with spruce branches, white (!) Burlap, agrofiber or lutrasil (leave gaps for air at the bottom).
    Instead of a spruce hut, a tree-like peony is often covered for the winter with a cardboard box, plastic boxes or a barrel. If the branches rest against the bottom, it is better to cut them a little, because they will freeze and in the spring they will still have to be cut.
    Covering with burlap allows you to save peonies in winter and often serves more as a protection not from frost, but from hares and birds - so as not to damage the kidneys.
  • To increase the frost resistance of the flower due to better maturation of the shoots, you can cut the leaves to 2/3 of the length at the end of September.
  • Even if the buds of a bush that had bloomed for 2-3 years before, freeze over, don't worry. At the end of May, cut off such shoots to the first living bud, and then they will easily grow back.

Pruning tree peonies: bush formation and rejuvenation

In general, the flowers are well tolerated by pruning and grow quickly with new shoots. When cutting a bush, you need to understand that it will bloom on last year's shoots.

Formation of a bush

To form a bush, it is recommended to cut off lignified shoots at a height of 70-90 cm. It is this height that contributes to the excellent development and flowering of the tree peony in our climate, and also makes it easier to shelter for the winter. Although the bush itself can grow up to 2-2.5 meters in the conditions of the European part of the CIS.


To rejuvenate the flower and awaken adventitious buds, it is recommended to cut the stems of a tree-like peony every 10-20 years to the upper axillary point (3-4 cm from ground level). This procedure contributes to more lush flowering and prolongs the life of the plant, up to a hundred years or more.

Diseases and pests

Tree peonies are very resistant plants, including pests and diseases. The greatest danger is gray rot, and the best remedy is prevention.

Treat plants with fungicide if infested. For example, potassium permanganate - 3 grams per 10 liters of water or copper sulfate - 60-70 grams per 10 liters of water.

For prevention, be sure to spray flowers in spring (mass regrowth), before and after flowering with a fungicide.

For example, copper sulfate (40 g per 10 liters of water or 4 g per m2), iodine solution (1 ml per 400 ml), potassium permanganate (1 g per 4 l) or infusion of onion peel (100 g pour 5 liters of water and insist for a day).

Read more in the article: HOW TO FIGHT POWDER DEW? Section - funds and preparations.

Which seedling is better to choose?

It is best if the tree peony seedling has 2-3 lignified shoots with unblown, rather large dark red glossy buds (dormant state) 18-25 cm in height.

  • The high cost of seedlings is explained by the fact that when dividing a bush, few divisions are obtained (2-5).

Most of them are brought from nurseries in China, Japan and Poland. Many experts believe that foreign planting material is less prepared for our climate and recommend buying seedlings of Russian varieties.

Russian tree peonies have high winter hardiness and develop well in the Moscow region, the North-West, the Urals and Siberia.

However, there are more chances to buy them from residents of Moscow and the Moscow region, since many of them are grown in the Botanical Garden at Moscow University. A great merit in this belongs to Marianna Sergeevna Uspenskaya.

  • Be sure to study the characteristics of the variety: winter hardiness, survival in your climate and external signs (height, flowering time, flower features - doubleness, shade and diameter).


  1. If the buds have already blossomed in a division with an open root system (without a pot), then its quality is much reduced.
  2. When buying a seedling without a pot, be sure to inspect the root system so that there are as few rotten or broken roots as possible. And their length should ideally be equal to the height of the seedling.
  3. The larger the seedling, the longer it will take root in a new place.
  4. If at the base of a lignified shoot there is a cylindrical succulent rhizome, then this is a graft of a tree-like peony on a herbaceous rootstock. (See reproduction by grafting).

Important! Bud damage during transport or planting delays flowering by 1-2 years.

An interesting fact for residents and guests of Moscow

In the Russian capital, the oldest botanical garden founded in 1706 by Peter the Great is known as the Apothecary Garden. So, tree-like peonies were planted in it back in the 19th century, and they still bloom there. Now they are about 140-160 cm in height.

Near the botanical garden (Prospect Mira metro station) there are many greenhouses with exotic and rare plants open to the public. And also there is a website and an Instagram profile where you can find out the time and cost of excursions. In addition, a plant shop operates there from mid-April until the end of autumn.









In this manual on planting and caring for tree-like peonies, many of the recommendations are consistent with the article from the appendix "Homestead" from the magazine "Selskaya Nov". The author of the article is MS Uspenskaya, the issue was signed for publication on 10/23/1991. And also the book "Peonies" from Marianna Sergeevna.

Marianna Sergeevna Uspenskaya is familiar to every person who is interested in peonies. This is a real guru and a legendary man, candidate of biological sciences (1982), senior researcher (1967) of the Botanical Garden at Moscow State University and the author of many varieties.

By the way, on the Internet, 95% of the information about the agricultural technology of tree peonies is the processing of the works of Marianna Sergeevna. However, most of them resemble the game "broken phone" and contain conflicting information. Our editorial office keeps the original of this issue of the journal and the book, i.e. we studied the original.

Finally, a video with the participation of the legendary Marianna Sergeevna and her advice live.

We wish your flowers to be healthy and bloom profusely every year!

Drainage Pion - Care and Growing, Photo and Reviews, Reproduction

Content of Article

  • 1 Drain Piones: Description
    • 1. 1 Flowering of the Tree Pion
  • 2 Growing in open soil 9000
  • 2.1 Requirements to the soil and place for the soil and place for the soil and place for the soil and place
  • 2.2 Planting a tree peony
    • 2.2.1 Planting in spring
    • 2.2.2 Landing in the fall
  • 2.3 Growing from seeds
  • 3 Care for tree peonies
    • 3.1 Watering
    • 3.2 Feeding
    • 900 3.4 Message 900 3.5 Messenger Reproduction of tree peonies
    • 5 Care after flowering
      • 5.1 Preparation for winter
    • 6 Peculiarities of growing at home
    • 7 Types and varieties of tree peonies
    • 8 Frequently asked questions from amateur gardeners
    • 9 Tree peonies in landscape design
    • 10 Conclusion
    • 11 Testimonials

    Paying attention to plants and flowers on their site, gardeners and landscape designers often prefer shrub flowers. One of the luxuriantly flowering and unpretentious care is the tree peony. The plant comes from China, hybrid origin.

    Tree peonies: description

    Latin name - Paeonia suffruticosa. Semi-shrubs of the genus Peony are perennial plants, about 1.5 - 2 m high with straight shoots, with flowers at the end. Flowers are lush and large. In diameter, with proper care, they reach 18 - 20 cm.

    Such an ornamental bush pleases the eye with different colors of flowers: red, white, yellow, purple, pink, as well as rare blue and green.

    Distinguishes tree-like peony:

    • The bush has a superficial root system.
    • Tree peony blends beautifully with different plant varieties without losing its charm.
    • Unlike the herbaceous peony, the semi-shrubby peony has woody stems that do not die off, but every year a larger and more magnificent bush is formed.

    Flowering tree peony

    The plant blooms profusely in the third year.

    If the flowers are weak, but bloom in the first year after planting, then they are removed while still in bud, so that the plant does not lose strength and takes root better.

    This plant is widely used in the Moscow region, the Urals and Siberia, as it tolerates winter cold well. For the harsh regions of the country, separate varieties of tree peony have been invented.

    Advantages of tree peony varieties for growing in cold regions:

    • winter hardiness;
    • early flowering period;
    • fast growth.

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    Outdoor cultivation

    This plant is not fast growing. A landing site should be chosen, avoiding marshy stagnation, drafts, nearby buildings and large trees.

    Shrub peonies prefer light areas , as they stretch out in the shade, and therefore lose the roundness of the bush. In the cold regions of the country, in Siberia, the Sapphire species with a closed root system survives well.

    Soil and site requirements

    Ornamental shrub peonies are planted in all types of soil. Choose well-drained, loose soil.

    Cannot tolerate peony:

    • stagnant moisture;
    • hyperacidity;
    • drafts;
    • more than 60% shading during a sunny day.

    Planting a tree-like peony

    The first stage in planting - how to choose a seedling:

    1. Pay attention to the root system - it must be healthy, not dried out, without rot.
    2. The plant has at least 2-3 stiff branches.
    3. Need a seedling with sleeping buds that have not yet begun to bloom.
    4. Optimum sprout height is about 20-30 cm, a larger plant will not take root well.

    In order for the tree-like peony to take root and take root well, it is necessary to follow simple planting rules:

    • Hole size - not too big or small. Tree-like peonies have a superficial root system, the optimal hole is 70x70 cm in size.
    • It is preferable to line the bottom with gravel, crushed stone, broken bricks or other materials for drainage.
    • The earth for falling asleep holes interfere with compost, inert flour.
    • Peony should be placed so that the root collar is level with the ground.
    • Then the sprout is covered with earth, compacted, watered abundantly.
    Planting in spring

    The peculiarity of planting this ornamental shrub in spring is that it is necessary to choose a period when the strong spring frosts have passed . Despite the frost resistance of some varieties, young peonies that are not rooted in a permanent place are very vulnerable.

    For successful engraftment, you can fertilize the plant when planting with nitrophos, which promotes the growth of young branches.

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    Planting in autumn

    When planting a tree peony sprout in autumn, it is necessary that the plant has time to take root before the first frost.

    Following the basic recommendations when planting a tree peony, the plant should take root within two weeks. The peculiarity of the autumn landing is that the soil around the peony must be mulched , and before the onset of the first frost, the young plant is covered for the winter .

    Growing from seeds

    This method is very time consuming . The collected seeds must be sown in the season when they are ripe. The place of crops is marked with something, since seedlings will appear in two seasons, and the first flowers can be seen in five years. Due to the slow growth and poor development of shrubs, this method of reproduction is rarely used.

    Caring for tree peonies


    Since peony shrubs do not tolerate excess moisture, watering for full growth is done abundantly, but not often. Once every two weeks, 6 - 9 liters of water are poured under the bush. With a lack of moisture in the spring, the plant needs watering.

    In the hot summer period, control the condition of the soil and prevent drying out. At the end of summer, irrigation is gradually reduced, completely removing additional watering.

    Do not recommend a sharp temperature drop, in hot weather, pour cold water in the morning or evening, so as not to stress peonies.

    Top dressing

    Trace elements that have a positive effect on the growth of tree peony:

    • phosphorus;
    • potassium;
    • urea;
    • nitrogen (in small quantities).

    The plant also likes fertilizing with organic products, such as:

    • wood ash;
    • compost;
    • bone meal.

    Feeding rules:

    • Carry out the procedure in the morning or evening.
    • Thoroughly water shrubs before fertilizing.
    • For autumn top dressing, use superphosphate or a solution of ash with water.


    Tree peony is pruned before the start of sap flow in the spring, and also after the flowering period. How much to trim is curled because when the procedure is performed - in spring or autumn.

    The procedure is carried out as follows:

    1. In spring, dried branches are removed, old shoots are shortened to 10 - 15 cm.
    2. After the flowering of the bushes, faded buds are torn off, the shoots are cut off, retreating two buds from the top.

    This pruning forms a round shrub and helps bloom abundantly in subsequent seasons. In some types of tree-like peonies, buds after flowering can not be cut off, spring pruning is enough.


    Mature plants do not tolerate transplantation to another place well. Long take root, get sick. Therefore, if you need to transplant a tree-like peony to a new place, then this site should be prepared in advance. Loosen the soil, if acidity is increased, add a little bone meal. And also the site should be without drafts.

    Pests and diseases

    The tree peony is an unpretentious ornamental shrub that is very rarely subject to diseases.

    Of the diseases, peonies are most often harmed by:

    1. brown spot;
    2. gray mold.

    Methods of treatment:

    • treatment of bushes with a solution of 1% potassium permanganate;
    • spraying with Bordeaux mixture;
    • If present, affected branches and leaves are removed.
    Diseased peony leaf

    Propagation of tree peonies

    These flowering shrubs are propagated by the following methods:

    1. By dividing the bush. This is a common method when an adult plant is dug up and shoots with roots are divided into several smaller bushes. Then the sprouts are planted. Since the peony does not like transplants, it takes root by dividing for a long time, blooms in a few years.
    2. Cuttings. With this method, the main bush does not suffer. For propagation, cut shoots with buds are used in late spring. The cuttings are planted in the soil, covered with a film, regularly watered. By the end of autumn, the sprouts will take root, then you can transplant.
    3. Layers. To propagate a peony by layering, part of the stem must be attached to the ground and sprinkled with earth. In order for the layering to take root, it is necessary to water periodically and prevent the soil from drying out.
    4. Inoculation. The method of propagation of shrub peonies by grafting is used to breed new varieties. Apply as follows: a tree-like shoot is grafted onto the roots of an ordinary grassy peony. This method is used at the end of summer. After the shoots have taken root to the root, they are grown for two years in greenhouses.

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    Post-flowering care

    To maintain vitality and prevent diseases of the bushes, peony must be regularly looked after.

    Care includes:

    • remove weeds;
    • loosen the soil around plants;
    • mulch the ground;
    • fertilize;
    • watered in a timely manner.

    Preparing for winter

    Despite the cold resistance of tree peonies, they need shelter for wintering.

    Staged preparation of tree-like peonies for winter:

    1. mulching the soil around the bush;
    2. shoots are not tightly tied together;
    3. cover branches when permanent frosts occur;
    4. can be covered with leaves, needles, spruce branches, bark.

    Features of growing at home

    The plant is unpretentious in growth and care, so every gardener can easily decorate his plot with it.

    Growing rules:

    • Choose a sunny place to plant a decorative shrub peony at home.
    • To make the bush look beautiful, it is cut in the spring to form a lush crown.
    • So that the plant takes root and does not hurt, the soil should not be too oxidized and not excessively wet. Since these plants do not tolerate stagnant water.
    • Planting such peonies is recommended immediately to a permanent place of growth, as they are very difficult to tolerate transplants.

    Types and varieties of tree peonies

    Abundantly flowering and beautiful tree peonies are hybrid plants that were bred and brought to us from China. Liked shrubs for beautiful and fragrant flowering, breeders bred in many varieties.

    The most successful and widespread are the following varieties of peonies: sapphire, yin and yang, dragon, kinko, phoenix, michelangelo, roca.

    Variety Kinko Yin-Yang variety Variety Phoenix Variety Dragon Roca variety Variety Sapphire

    They differ from each other:

    • shapes and colors;
    • flower sizes;
    • cold tolerance;
    • flowering period;
    • growth rate.

    Frequently asked questions from amateur gardeners

    • Why is the tree peony not blooming? This plant flowers once per season. The first flowering may appear in a three-year-old bush that grew in a permanent place. If the bush grows from seeds, then it will bloom in 5 - 6 years.
    • Why doesn't the tree peony grow? This ornamental dwarf shrub grows very slowly so it doesn't seem to grow at all. For support, fertilize the plant, then it will begin to develop faster.
    • What is the best way to preserve a tree peony before planting? If the stalk is already available, and it is too early to plant it, then you need to store the plant in the cellar, having previously treated the sections of the roots with potassium permanganate or ash.
    • Is redness on the leaves normal? Redness on the leaves may be a reaction to an increase in lighting or a lack of nutrients in the soil. It is necessary to fertilize the plant with phosphorus and potassium.

    Tree peonies in landscape design

    These ornamental flowering subshrubs go well with all garden plants. They are planted in compositions and separately.

    Learn more