Sunday, 23 February 2014

Tree Peonies, do they need pruning?



Tree Peonies are now for sale at the garden centre. The other day I bought one as a birthday gift for a girlfriend of mine.

In May the  "paper" flowers of the Tree Peony will blossom. When they are flowering I would fancy sitting next to them all day! Tree Peonies are true eye-catchers. However, despite the name, they are not exactly a tree, but more of a large shrub, about 1.50 m high.

I have already seen buds on my white Tree Peony this week. Touching, to see those little rolled up baby leaves. A little bit early though because this a dangerous period for a Tree Peony. If we get some frost, the buds might freeze. To prevent this, I'll cover the buds with a piece of bubble wrap or an old sheet. However, I do not expect much frost to come for the rest of this winter. Happy me!

I have been asked on a regular basis whether I prune the Tree Peonies. The answer is: yes I prune them, but very little.


The procedure is as follows. At this time of the year you will be able to see what parts can be pruned off. The flower and leaf buds that will bloom the coming season have a soft red colour. Keep all the buds with this colour. I cut off anything that sticks out above these soft red coloured pieces, probably an old seed head or a piece of branch without buttons. 

This magical plant is actually quite easy. Just a little pruning in spring. That's all. And don’t forget to enjoy it when it is flowering. It only last for a week!

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Tree Peony in May.

In full bloom.

Tree Peony against the old barn.

The same spot, in Februari.

The soft red coloured buds.

Prune above the bud.

And again.

Old seed head.

Touching, to see those little rolled up baby leaves.

2 comments:

  1. Tree peonys are just fantastic! Even if they just bloom for a week, they are charming all the year around. Look forwards to the blooming :-D

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  2. It will be soon! Spring is on its way to Holland.
    Groetjes,

    Hetty

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