Fern Leaf Peony Care: What Is Fern Leaf Peony?
Fern leaf peonies are a type of annual flowering shrub with small white flowers in clusters. They grow from 2 to 3 feet tall and have long stems up to 6 inches. Their leaves are opposite, slightly pointed at the tip and dark green or purple-red in color. The flower buds are yellowish-white and are surrounded by a ring of tiny red berries. These fruits are edible when ripe but they do not taste very good.
The name “fern” refers to their habit of growing from the ground up into branches and then spreading out again. This is called branching which gives them their common name. The word “leaves” comes from the Latin word for “branch.”
Fern leaf peonies are native to Europe and Asia and were introduced to North America in the early 1800’s. They are now grown throughout much of the world. They are hardy plants that tolerate most conditions including hot summers, cold winters, drought, salt spray and pests such as scale insects.
How To Plant Fern Leaf Peonies For Sale Near You?
When you get fern leaf peony seeds, the first thing you should do is pick a spot in your yard that gets full sun most of the day. These plants need 6 or more hours of direct sunlight every day. Then, prepare the ground by digging a hole 3 feet across and 2 feet deep. Mix compost and rotted manure into the soil to improve its fertility.
Now you are ready to plant the peony seeds. Follow the directions on the packet but generally, you will just press the seeds into the soil about 1 inch deep and keep the ground lightly moist. If you live in zones 4 or 5, keep the seedbed covered with a hoop house or plastic sheet for the first year to protect young plants from cold weather.
A month after planting, thin out peony seedlings to 3 to 6 inches apart.
The next spring, after danger of last frost has passed, plant them in their permanent spot. Space the plants 2 to 3 feet apart. Water them in and keep the soil moist for the first year.
After that, water only during extended dry periods.
Fern leaf peonies bloom in late spring or early summer and grow well in partial shade but perform poorly in deep shade. They need about 150 chill hours so they are not suitable for growing in tropical climates.
How To Water Fern Leaf Peonies?
Watering fern leaf peonies is important because they grow best when their soil is moist but not soggy. The soil under the peony should be kept evenly moist and free of debris like large leaves or grass clippings. If you have a lot of peonies, it helps to water them early in the morning. This allows the soil to dry a bit before night when dew is more likely.
Water fern leaf peonies deeply at least once a week and more often when they are planted in an area with poor drainage or if there has been no rain for several days. Always water paeonia tenuifolia seeds from the ground. If you do it from above, you might injure the shallow roots.
Fern leaf peonies planted in a windy areas may need staking.
Fertilizing Fern Leaf Peonies?
Once peonies have become established, they do not need any extra fertilizer. Too much nitrogen will actually produce lush foliage and fewer flowers so hold off on that top dress of mulch.
If your soil is low in phosphorus, crumbled egg shells will provide extra phosphorus in a slow-release form. Add them in the spring.
Never put grass clippings, or any other type of clippings, among peonies. This can cause fungal infections and other problems. Also keep peonies away from lawn chemicals, especially when they are planted near the edge of the lawn.
How To Prune Fern Leaf Peonies?
After peonies bloom, cut off the blooms down to the soil. New flowers will develop during the summer months. If you are careful, you can do some light trimming to remove brown or yellow leaves in the early spring before new growth begins.
How To Get Fern Leaf Peonies To Rebloom?
Fern leaf peonies naturalize by spreading underground stems called rhizomes which grow and produce new shoots.
Sources & references used in this article:
Passion for Peonies: Celebrating the Culture and Conservation of Nichols Arboretum’s Beloved Flower by JGN Davidson, AB Beaverlodge
Paeonia Itoh Hybrids by D Michener, RB Grese – 2020 – books.google.com
Herbaceous peony (Paeonia): genetics, physiology and cut flower production by M Page – The Plantsman, 2005 – martin-page.com
Peony: The Best Varieties for Your Garden by R Kamenetsky, J Dole – Floric. Ornam. Biotechnol, 2012 – globalsciencebooks.info
The Results of Plant Monitoring in the Semistozhki Area of Stavropol Region by DC Michener, CA Adelman – 2017 – books.google.com
Sequence of Bloom of Perennials, Biennials, and Bulbs by RR Clausen, T Christopher – 2015 – Timber Press
Growing cut flowers for market by EN Seliverstova, VV Khrapach, VV Volkova… – KnE Life …, 2019 – kne-publishing.com