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Paeonia hybrid

Peony Intersectional Hybrids
Paeoniaceae
Perennials

PAEONIA

Though a few species peonies may be found through specialists’ catalogs and seed exchanges, most garden peonies are hybrids. The basic types are herbaceous and tree peonies, both descended from Chinese species. A new third category, the intersectional hybrids, combines the best traits of herbaceous and tree types. All peonies are extremely long-lived plants of significant size; they provide choice cut flowers and are a mainstay of big perennial borders.

Plant peonies in fall, either as bare-root plants or from nursery containers. Ideally, the planting site for peonies should be deeply dug at least several days before planting. Work in plenty of compost, especially in heavy soil, and incorporate a high-phosphorus fertilizer; then allow the soil to settle before planting.

Peonies of all types can be grown in large (18—24-in.) containers. Replant every third autumn in the same or a slightly larger pot, replacing most of the soil when you do.

Paeonia hybrid

An emerging category, the intersectional hybrids combine the best traits of herbaceous (P. lactiflora) and tree (P. suffruticosa) types. They tend to bloom longer than herbaceous or tree peonies because they're sterile, and they come in a wider color range than either parent.

Peonies are extremely long-lived plants of significant size (2 to 4 ft. high and wide); they provide choice cut flowers and are a mainstay of big perennial borders. They demand more than ordinary care in site preparation—but in return for the effort, they can produce flowers of outstanding beauty for a lifetime. Intersectional hybrids leave woody stems standing when they die back after first frost, but since these stems rarely resprout, they’re best cut to the ground; as new growth emerges in spring, spray with copper fungicide. Usually grown on their own roots (compact rhizomes with thick, tuberous roots and several growth buds called eyes).

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