Peony, Delphinium and Lily, Original Oil Painting by Ryn Shell. 3' x 4' SOLD
Growing Peonies in the Goulburn Valley
Climate zone 4 - Hot dry summer, cool winter.
For the tree peonies, I add an insane amount of dolomite lime and manure into and through an insanely deep hole. Buy the most advanced tree pony II can afford and plant it in an exposed area where it will never need to be moved, and not under trees or eves of the house, as I want it to get the full winter frosts. They need full morning sun but some summer afternoon shade from a deciduous tree if you are in a hot climate. They won't grow well in humid climates.
I buy as large a corm as I can get, and as many as I can find a spot for. I treat them similarly to my roses, like and manure in the soil (not the bucket leads that I give the tree peonies though. Sunny exposed spots. (you provide temporary shade during heat waves) and treat the same as roses for fertiliser.
My schedules being to live soil July 1st dynamic lifter on 1sh August, Sudden Impact rose food on the1st September, and fortnightly fish emulsion liquid manure, an occasional worm-wee treat if the orchids aren't looking. Blood and bone and mulch goes down in October-that job completed by November 1st. Deep water twice a week late spring through summer and early autumn. I don't do summer and autumn feeding as we have hot summers and fertilisers can stress heat affected plants. In a cooler climate, I would feed six weeks before Christmas and again in early autumn.
If flowering isn't good in your area, drop a bag of ice on the ground over the dormant peonies half a dozen times through mid-winter to fake a cold climate winter We had a cold winter, so I'm expecting great flowers this year.
It is important to grow peonies where there is a free flow of air and to keep the foliage dry late in the day in the warm weather to discourage fungal growth. If you can grow roses, you can grow peonies is alkaline soil. They aren’t as fastidious as I’d always been led to believe they were.
You plant a peony for the future. The tree peonies can live beyond one-hundred years—which is why you prepare the planting hole well.
Be patient with a peony
To buy peonies at the best price, subscribe to a good online plant nursery and watch for the overstocked or unnamed miked variety specials. Be cautious if purchasing from home gardeners over the internet. The cheapest plant could become the most costly if you bring mealy bugs or fungus into your garden.
My most recent flower painting is this salmon rose