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Peonies

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We have an umber of Peonies in the garden,  i am reluctant to get rid of them but i am struggling to love them.  

Each year they come up in spring and give us a beautiful display of flowers which lasts about 2 weeks.   However by June the leaves start to go red and blotchy and they become a half dead mess and makes my borders look a right old state.  I know they are supposed to remain evergreen for the rest of the summer and only die back when it gets cold, but mine always seem to go down hill right after blooming.  

Is this suppose to happen?  is it something i can prevent? 
  • May 2021 Grocery Challenge :  £198.72 spent / £300 Budget
  • June 2021 Grocery challenge : £354.19 spent / £300 Budget

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  • twopenny
    twopenny Posts: 5,695 Forumite
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    What do you feed them HappySloth?
    What part of the garden, sun or shade, dry or damp, sandy or clay soil?

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  • Happy_Sloth
    Happy_Sloth Posts: 316 Forumite
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    I tend to feed the whole border with blood and bone in the early spring... it's 99% herbacious so it's pretty empty early in the year.   We do have a big tree that sheds it's leaves ALL over the garden in autumn which i leave as a heavy mulch till spring before raking them up. 

    It's a spot that gets partial sun, direct in the morning... partial till about 2pm, then it becomes a little more shaded but not deep shade by any stretch of the imagination. 

    it's well draining but it does hold moisture better than the full sun side of the garden side of the garden which is in full sun all day 

    PH neutral the woman who owned the house before us planted them and was an avid gardener.  the soil was immaculate i mean seriously you'd be hard pressed to find a single rock or stone. She planted the peony's in the first place. 
    • May 2021 Grocery Challenge :  £198.72 spent / £300 Budget
    • June 2021 Grocery challenge : £354.19 spent / £300 Budget
  • twopenny
    twopenny Posts: 5,695 Forumite
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    Very envious of your garden. My plot had never been touched.
    I would bet it's the shade that's doing it. Had that happen to two of mine. When I drastically took the hedge in hand they came up magnificently and were stunning. You need to dead head to get a long flowering season. 
    The foliage will look good for the rest of the summer if it's supported.
    Contrary to popular opinion they can be moved. If you don't want it please pot it up for a charity stall. They take years to develop. My 50yr old one the buyers stacked breeze blocks on for a year. Someone will love it.

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    The only normal people you know are the ones you don’t know very well


  • Apodemus
    Apodemus Posts: 3,384 Forumite
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    I'd think it might be the feeding.  Peonies are one of the few things that seem to do really well in my garden and I am in the north of Scotland, so we don't see a lot of sun!  I moved them about fifteen years ago and I am still getting them coming up through the lawn where they used to be!  My soil is on the acid side.  They need a support ring to stop them flopping all over the place after flowering.

    I give them a handful of chicken manure pellets several times through the growing season and it was when I started doing this that they really took off.  By contrast, my mother used to have good peonies that she looked after really well, including feeding, but since she died and that garden has been less intensively cared for, the peonies are struggling.  In both cases, feeding seems to have made a big difference.
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