Table of contents:
Video: Peonies. Planting, Care, Cultivation, Reproduction. Diseases, Pests. A Photo
“Favorite of the Greek gods and Chinese emperors” - so figuratively they say about peonies. The first mention of them as ornamental plants dates back to the 1st century. n. e. In China, peonies were widely used in folk medicine. The Roman writer Pliny identified the peony as the oldest of all cultivated flowers.
Peonies appeared in Russia in the 16th century. These were mainly wild-growing forms and were found only in the gardens of wealthy people and the so-called pharmaceutical gardens.
At the end of the 18th - beginning of the 19th century. varietal peonies from China were imported into France, and already in the second half of the 19th century. there were bred excellent varieties, which are still adornment of gardens: Festival Maxim, Marie Lemoine, Monsieur Jules Elie, Felix Cruz, Sarah Bernhardt, Le Sin and many others.
In 1903, the American Peony Lovers Society was founded in America. In the 30s, American breeders manage to cross different types of peony and get non-double, semi-double and double hybrids with bright and juicy flower colors: Red Charm, Red Red Rose, Angelo Cobb Freeborn, Henry Boxtos, Diana Paquet, Carol, Helen Cowley, etc. …
Large selection work is carried out in our country both in botanical gardens and amateur flower growers. Dozens of first-class varieties have been developed: Arkady Gaidar, Yubileiny, Lyubimets, Memory of Gagarin, Varenka (breeder Krasnova NS); Iceberg, Evening Moscow, In memory of Paustovsky, Yablochkin (A. A. Sosnovets); Russia, Nadezhda, Uncle Vanya, Valentina Tereshkova (M. I. Akimov); Foam, Snow Globe (T. I. Fomina).
Why are peonies attractive? Firstly, a huge variety of shapes and colors of flowers, high decorativeness of bushes for 25 - 30 years, long flowering period (up to 1.5 months), persistence of cut flowers. Secondly, their excellent adaptability to various climatic conditions - from southern regions to northern ones. After all, the peony is not afraid of frosty winters and grows well in arid regions. Moreover, domestic varieties are much better adapted to the climatic conditions of our country than varieties of foreign selection.
Given that the peony is a perennial plant, correct planting is of particular importance. The depth of the planting holes should be at least 60-70 cm. This makes it possible for the bushes to form a powerful root system that goes to a considerable depth. The distance between the bushes of 70-100 cm will further facilitate the processing of the bushes, as well as provide sufficient air circulation and largely prevent the appearance of fungal diseases.
It is better to plant peonies in open, sunny places, although they tolerate light partial shade. In the shade, they develop well, but do not bloom.
Soils prefer loamy, well aerated and drained, and do not tolerate wet swampy. Therefore, if the groundwater in the garden area approaches closer than 80-90 cm from the soil level, then the bushes should be planted on high ridges or drainage ditches should be arranged. On acidic soils, liming is desirable - 200-300 g of lime per 1 planting pit.
I prepare the planting holes in advance, in July, so that by the time of planting the earth in them has settled properly. When preparing the pits, I set aside the top cultural layer of the soil, and remove the rest of the soil. In the lower part of the pit I put 15-20 kg of organic fertilizers (preferably a mixture of rotted manure with compost and peat), 150-200 g of superphosphate or 300-400 g of phosphate rock (bone meal) and 150-200 g of potassium sulfate. On clay soils, I add 0.5-1 buckets of river sand to the mixture, on sandy soils - 1-1.5 buckets of clay. A mixture of fertilizers, sand and fertile soil from the upper layer is thoroughly mixed and tamped in a pit; on top I pour about 20 cm of fertile garden soil, preferably from other crops.
I dig out the peony bushes intended for division after the completion of the formation of renewal buds on the rhizome (for the middle lane - from August 10-15 to mid-September). I wash the roots with a stream of water and put them in the shade for drying for a day - then they break less when dividing. I split the rhizome into divisions with 3-5 large renewal buds. I carefully clean the root collar of rot, cut out the diseased and intertwined roots, shorten the remaining ones to 10-15 cm.Delenki for several hours I dip into a dark solution of potassium permanganate, after which I sprinkle all the sections with crushed charcoal, it is possible with the addition of colloidal sulfur (20-30%). After such processing, the cuttings are dried in the shade for a day, so that a cork layer forms on the sections, which prevents pathogenic microflora from entering the wounds.
Some amateur growers divide the bushes into large parts with 6 or more renewal buds and leave a significant part of the root system without pruning. In the 1st year, the plant really develops rapidly due to the nutrients accumulated by the roots, but the formation of young roots is inhibited, which affects the development of the bushes in subsequent years. I was convinced that full-fledged shrubs with an excellent rejuvenated root system, which provide abundant flowering, grow from delenki with 1-2 buds in the 3-4th year after planting.
If the planting is not done immediately, then I place them in a shaded hole, where they can stay up to 1 - 1.5 months.
I plant peonies from the second half of August to early October. The most important thing when planting is not to deepen the buds of renewal, they should be at a depth of no more than 5 cm, otherwise the peonies will bloom poorly in the future. If, on the contrary, leave them on the surface, the plants develop poorly, get sick. It is advisable to cover the rhizome with the buds with sand. For good rooting, watering after planting is very important, and in dry weather - until late autumn. Covering young plantings in the middle lane, if the planting dates are met, is not required. However, at a later date, as well as in northern and cold regions, they are covered with a layer of leaf, high-moor peat or compost of 10-12 cm.
Some plant peony bushes in the spring. But then the plants form few young sucking roots, develop poorly and get sick. If there is such a need, then the transplant is done pano - as soon as the soil thaws. Plantings are immediately mulched with peat or compost in order to retain soil moisture longer, and in dry weather they are regularly watered.
With proper planting, young bushes in the first two years of development do not need care and feeding with mineral fertilizers, not counting weeding, loosening and watering. In the 1st year, the aboveground part of the plant is small - 1-2 stems 15-25 cm high, during this period the formation of the root system intensively occurs, which is not yet able to assimilate the nutrient elements of feeding. In the 1st year, I give foliar feeding with an interval of 10-15 days:
- 1st feeding - 40-50 g of carbamide (urea) per 10 liters of water immediately after the growth of the aerial part;
- 2nd feeding - 40-50 g of carbamide with the addition of trace elements per 10 liters of water;
- 3rd feeding - 1 tab. microelements per 10 liters of water.
© Christer Johansson
For foliar dressing I use a garden sprayer. I spend them in the morning or evening. For good wetting of the surface of the leaves, add 1 tablespoon of washing powder to 10 liters of solution.
Starting from the 3rd year of development, the peony bushes begin to bloom profusely, and then mineral fertilizing is required. Usually in the spring-summer period I give them three times.
Especially important is the early spring nitrogen-potassium fertilization: nitrogen - 10-15 g, potassium - 10-20 g. I sprinkle fertilizers over the snow or immediately after it disappears around the bush. Having dissolved, they will fall to the roots with melt water. When sprinkling fertilizers, you should avoid getting them on the neck of the bush.
2nd feeding - during budding: nitrogen - 8-10 g, phosphorus - 15-20 g and potassium - 10-15 g. The main purpose of the second feeding is to get flowers of good quality.
3rd feeding - two weeks after flowering: phosphorus - 15-20 g, potassium - 10-15 g. This feeding contributes to the formation of large buds of renewal and, thus, ensures high-quality flowering in the next year.
I apply fertilizers in the form of a 0.5-0.6% solution (50-60 g per 10 liters of water) or dry in a groove around the bush before watering. Additional foliar dressing with microfertilizers is very effective during these periods.
Peony bushes, having a large leaf mass, evaporate a lot of moisture, therefore, once every 10-12 days they require abundant watering (3-4 buckets per bush). Watering is especially important in early summer, during the period of active growth and flowering, as well as in July, when the formation of renewal buds occurs. After watering, I loosen the soil around the bushes, which allows you to retain moisture in the ground.
To obtain large flowers when grown for cutting, it is necessary to pinch the lateral buds when they reach the size of a pea. If these buds are left, then the flowering period and decorativeness of the bushes will lengthen. It is recommended to remove all buds in the 1st and 2nd years after planting (in the 2nd year you can leave 1-2 buds on the bush) in order to activate the growth of roots and the laying of buds of renewal.; In this case, in the 3rd year, the bush will grow, and full-fledged abundant flowering will come.
The most common diseases of peonies are gray rot (botrytis), rust, and annular leaf mosaic.
Stems, buds, leaves are affected by gray rot. Young shoots are more often affected in the spring, during the period of active growth. A gray bloom appears at the base of the stem, then the stem darkens in this place, breaks and falls. Especially the disease develops in wet weather. Since the causative agent of this disease hibernates in the soil, then as a preventive measure in the spring I spend two sprays of the bushes and the ground around them with a 0.6- 0.7% solution of copper oxychloride or 1% Bordeaux liquid (consumption 2-3 liters per bush): the first spraying - at the beginning of the growing season (the appearance of buds above the ground), the second - after 10-12 days. When gray rot appears on the stems, I immediately cut them out to the rhizome and fill this place with one of the specified solutions.
Rust is a dangerous fungal disease of peonies. After flowering (in the Moscow region - the first half of July), yellowish-brown spots with a purple tint appear on the leaves. The disease spreads quickly: peony bushes on large areas can be affected in 2-3 days. The leaves curl and dry out, as a result, the accumulation of nutrients in the roots stops, which negatively affects the establishment and development of renewal buds.
For the prevention of fungal diseases, a complex of agrotechnical measures is of great importance: digging the soil around the plants, timely and correct feeding, destruction of the affected leaves, and in September - pruning and burning of the entire aerial part of the plant, unseen planting of bushes, regular weeding, etc. Very effective autumn (after trimming the leaves) or early spring (before the appearance of buds) spraying the soil on plantings of peonies with nitrafen (200 g per 10 l of water). To prevent rust disease, I spray the plants with the same preparations as against gray rot, but after flowering with an interval of 7-10 days and immediately as signs of the disease appear. I cut off the affected leaves and burn them.
Ring mosaic of leaves is a viral disease. Light green and yellowish stripes, rings, half rings appear on the leaves, which worsens the decorative effect of the bushes, but does not reduce the growth and abundance of flowering. It is distributed when cutting flowers from diseased and healthy plants without intermediate disinfection of the instrument with a strong solution of potassium permanganate. On the bushes there can be both diseased and healthy shoots at the same time. During the budding period, diseased shoots are cut to the rhizome and burned.