Placing plants in the garden at first glance does not seem important, and very often, gardeners ignore this thing. However, too small a distance between the peonies can bring a lot of difficulties or even serious problems.
The distance between the peonies should be equal to the size of one adult plant plus a small gap (up to one foot). For example, if the width of the peony in maturity reaches 3 feet (the average width of most peonies), then the distance to other peonies should be 3.5-4 feet.
If you plant peonies of different varieties and their width is not equal, then the bulbs should be planted apart at a distance equal to the width of the larger variety with one extra foot.
An extra gap of one foot is needed so that the plants do not touch each other when they reach their maximum size. This will ensure free air circulation between them.
The size of peonies can vary from various factors, such as variety, place of cultivation, and more. So the space that the plants will need will also be different. I will tell you all about it in this article.
Herbaceous peonies are perhaps the most common type of peony due to their ease of cultivation. Their size is smaller than other types.
The popular Nippon Beauty variety spreads up to 2.4 feet (75cm) at the age of ten. Therefore, it is best planted at a distance of at least three feet from other plants.
Two varieties Sarah Bernhardt and Barbara, reach a width of 3 feet (90cm). The distance from plants of these varieties to others should be 3.5-4 feet.
Tree peonies are different from other types. They do not die in winter, so their size is constantly increasing. As a result, they grow to larger sizes than other peonies.
The smallest tree peonies are Showanohokori and Souvenir de Maxime Cornu, which extend up to 3 feet (90cm). Plant them 4 feet away from other plants.
The Crinkled Fuchsia variety reaches a width of 4 feet (120 cm) in adulthood. Other peonies should grow no closer than 4.5-5 feet from it.
One of the largest tree peonies is Paeonia lutea var. ludlowii, and they can spread up to 6.5 feet (200 cm). This large shrub needs a lot of space, so I recommend planting other plants at a distance of no less than 7 feet from this giant.
However, if other plants are much smaller, then the distance can be slightly reduced.
Let’s talk a little about the factors that affect the size of peonies. The distance between the plants depends on their size.
First of all, it’s sunlight. It is known that peonies love direct sunlight and bloom better in such conditions. However, as a result, its size is usually larger.
The second thing that affects the size of peonies is watering. If you water them generously but do not overwater, then they will reach larger sizes than usual.
And the last is feeding. With frequent fertilization, in addition to large flowers, you will get a large size of bushes that will be difficult to handle.
Exceeding one of these factors will not significantly affect the size of the peonies. However, together they can increase the plant by about one foot than usual.
Therefore, if you like to feed the peonies and water them often and they grow in full sun, the distance between them should be greater.
In such conditions, I recommend adding 1.5-2 extra feet to the size of an adult peony; this is the distance at which you want to plant them.
What if the distance between the peonies is too small?
If you plant peonies too close, in a year or two, they will grow and fill all the free space. As a result, plants will compete for water and nutrients.
In addition, in the absence of normal air circulation around the plants, there are bound to be problems with disease.
The most common disease is Powdery mildew. In fact, it is a very dangerous disease that can cause a lot of damage. Therefore, at the first signs (white plaque on the leaf), you should use all possible treatments.
The first is to spray the peonies with a fungicide designed to control Powdery mildew.
The second thing you can do is thin out the bushes a bit. Remove a few side branches so that gaps are formed between the plants in which the air will move.
Although this is more true for tree peonies because herbaceous peonies can re-thicken in the same year, do not remove too many branches so as not to deprive the plant of nutrients produced by the leaves.
However, the best solution, in this case, is to transplant peonies.
Move them correctly
I want to say a few words about how to properly transplant peonies because very often, mistakes lead to negative consequences.
The most important thing is the time of transplantation. I recommend transplanting in spring or fall.
Spring is the best time when the plants woke up and showed “eyes” but have not yet begun to grow vigorously.
In fall, transplant as soon as the summer heat subsides. Autumn is even a little better period because the sun is not so harsh, and the earth retains summer heat. It is important to have time to transplant 30-40 days before the first frosts.
Water your peonies several times a few days before moving so that they absorb enough water.
It is better if you choose a cloudy day. Morning is the best time to move peonies.
When you start work, dig up the entire root ball, try not to damage the roots at all. This is especially true for tree peonies, which are a little harder to tolerate transplanting.
Do not shake the earth from the roots!
Choose a sunny place and dig a hole there twice the size of the root ball of the plant you are transplanting. Fill the hole halfway with a mixture of compost and garden soil.
Put the plant in the hole. Do not bury the stems in the ground. The peony should remain at the same level in relation to the surface as in the previous place.
Fill all the voids with earth and lightly compress it.
Water the plant with a small amount of water. When the water rises, and the ground settles a little, add more soil and water again.
Can you plant peonies close to the house?
You should not plant peonies too close to the house. The distance from the peony to the wall should be equal to half the width of the plant in adulthood. Also, add one extra foot to this value.
If the peony reaches a width of three feet, it should be planted at a distance of 2.5 feet from the house.
Many people worry that if you plant a peony too close to the building, the roots can damage the foundation. However, this is not true. Peonies are not very strong plants to do so.
The downside of placing plants close to the house is that there will be moisture and poor air circulation. As a result, the plant may become ill, and the wall may be too moist and covered with mold.
Therefore, always follow the above recommendations, and everything will be fine.
The same recommendations apply to plant peonies near the fence.