Tree peonies

Tree peonies

Tree peony (Paeonia x suffruticosa), or semi-shrub - one of the representatives of the Peony family, which resembles a small shrub. In some botanical sources it is said that the flower has hybrid characteristics.

To date, scientists have about 500 varieties and garden forms of peony, most of which can be found in China, where the plant was managed by local breeders. Later, Japanese flower growers were engaged in its cultivation. They began to grow the flower when the seeds of the tree peony were brought to the islands. In European countries, the plant began to spread only by the end of the 18th century. Here, the culture gained wide popularity among ordinary gardeners and attracted interest from botanists.

Description of tree peonies

The shoots of the tree peony are capable of reaching a height of 1.5 to 2 meters. Thick and straight stems, covered with dense foliage, are brown in color. New shoots grow every year, which give the bush a spherical shape. Leaf blades are openwork and pinnate, have an ornament. The buds, located on the stems, open 12-20 cm in diameter during flowering. Flowers can differ in various colors. The most common are yellow, purple, pink and white peonies. Every year the flowering becomes more lush and abundant. The flowering of this representative of the Peony is observed earlier than the herbaceous peony. In addition, tree varieties exhibit increased resistance to cold.

Growing a tree peony from seeds

If you use seeds as planting material, then under favorable conditions the bushes are able to bloom only 5-6 years after planting. Seeds must be stratified before sowing. Germination properties deteriorate over time. The stratification procedure is performed in stages. Initially, the seeds are warmed and then hardened. However, it cannot be completely guaranteed that all seedlings will survive.

Planting tree peonies in open ground

If there is groundwater near the site where the peony is planned to be grown, then the holes for the bushes must be dug in the form of a cone. The bottom is covered with drainage material, for example, broken brick, gravel or sand. Sour soil is diluted with bone meal or lime. A young bush is carefully placed in the hole and poured with water until the roots are properly straightened. When the water is completely absorbed, the hole is filled to the top with soil, leaving the root collar intact. The distance between the seedlings should be at least 1.5 m, since the bushes grow strongly over time.

Tree peony care


Tree peonies need care and watering, like any other herbaceous perennials. After absorbing moisture, the soil is loosened and weeds are removed from the site. Since the root system is quite branched, there are about 6-7 liters of water for each bush. The bushes are watered twice a month. If the weather is very dry, then the frequency of watering is increased. In order not to damage the roots, loosening is performed no closer than half a meter in relation to the shoots. Mulching the soil with humus will save time on weeding and prevent moisture evaporation.

Top dressing and fertilizers

These decorative shrubs suffer from a lack of potash and nitrogen fertilizers. At the first stages of the development of the growing season, the area with peonies is enriched with nitrogen. When bud formation begins to occur, potassium and phosphorus are added. At the peak of flowering, nitrogen fertilization is repeated again. However, it should be remembered that an excess of such a mineral substance can provoke the appearance of gray rot. Before fertilizing the soil, water is plentifully, so that the root system will be safe and not get burned.


Peony pruning is carried out in the spring, before the onset of the growing season. For this, dry shoots are removed, and the old ones are shortened by 10 cm. In China, adult bushes are cut almost at the root, thus, their complete rejuvenation is performed, and the adventitious buds located at the base of the shoots are awakened. To observe the abundant and lush flowering, it is necessary to prune without touching the upper axillary point. Peonies are real long-livers among flowering dwarf shrubs. They are able to live for more than a hundred years under favorable conditions, and even five hundred-year-old specimens are found in China.


Bushes react extremely painfully to such events. In a new place, the plant is often sick and does not develop well. The recovery process takes a long time. Peonies are dug up by the root and transplanted together with an earthen clod. Sick root layers are removed. Places of cuts are treated with a 1% solution of potassium permanganate and sprinkled with crushed coal. Some gardeners transplant shrubs using divisions. Only parts that have roots and replacement buds are considered suitable for transplantation. Delenki are kept for half an hour in a clay mixture.

Tree peonies after flowering

After the completion of flowering, the faded branches are cut off from the bushes to the level of the location of the upper axillary point. In any case, most of the escape withers away. In the fall, the last feeding of the season is carried out. Fertilizer consumption for each bush is about 300 g of wood ash and 200 g of bone meal. After top dressing, the soil is carefully covered.


These representatives of the pion group are distinguished by good cold resistance and calmly withstand winters in our climatic latitudes. Still, do not forget about the cases of sudden spring frosts. Barely opened buds on bushes can die if they are not covered with snow or some other protective material. As a result, the growth of shoots will be disrupted and the plant will wither. For this reason, in the fall, flower growers advise tying the bushes with jute, covering with spruce branches, dry foliage and chopped bark, and mulching the soil around the trunk circle with a thick layer of peat. Such simple measures will provide the peonies with a normal and safe wintering.

Reproduction of tree peonies

Reproduction by dividing the bush

By dividing it is recommended to propagate bushes that have reached the age of five or six. The optimal time for a transplant is August.

Propagation by cuttings

Only semi-lignified cuttings are suitable. To do this, the leaf is cut off together with the bud, leaving part of the woody shoot. The finished cuttings are placed in a container filled with sand and peat. The covered container is ventilated daily and sprayed with water. Towards the end of September, cuttings dive in different pots and store in greenhouses until spring arrives, until the root system is properly strengthened. Then they are planted in open ground.

Reproduction by layering

This is one of the most time-consuming breeding methods. You will need to take the most developed shoots and make an incision on the side that is directed towards the soil. The incision is treated with a special growth activator. Then the shoot is pressed to the ground, sprinkled with a small layer of soil and watered. After 3-4 months, when the roots are formed, the shoot is separated from the main bush and transplanted to another place.

Reproduction by vaccinations

Experienced growers use a method of propagation by grafting, which is more reliable than other methods. Herbaceous peonies are best grafted. The harvesting is done in August. Cuttings with two buds are chosen. Their lower part is sharpened, then inserted with a sharp end into a groove located in the root. The junction is wrapped in a film material. The grafted peonies are placed in pots containing wet sawdust. A month later, the cuttings are transplanted into pots, driving the lower peephole 5 cm into the soil. Peony pots are stored in greenhouses and looked after for 1.5-2 years before being sent to the open ground.

Diseases and pests

Tree peonies are rarely affected by diseases and pests. However, replanting weakens the health of the bush. The danger is gray rot, which affects most ornamental representatives of the flora. An effective method of control is spraying the shoots with a solution of potassium permanganate. Take 3 g of the substance in a bucket of water. If potassium permanganate is not at hand, use a 6-7% solution of copper sulfate, diluted in 10 liters of water. Infected bushes and specimens with signs of the disease are dug up and burned, otherwise the fungus will quickly spread to healthy plantings. Brown leaf spot is another serious fungal disease. For prevention purposes, the area where the flowers grow is treated with a 1% solution of Bordeaux liquid.

Types and varieties of tree peonies

Among the most famous varieties of tree peonies are called Lemoine, yellow, Delavey and Potanin. All of them belong to deciduous shrubs. Many varieties described in botanical literature are found in China and are divided into several groups:

  • Sino-European peonies - with large double flowers, the heads of which are lowered down, and the color varies from pale pink to bright purple;
  • Japanese peonies - with less airy flowers;
  • Hybrid forms - yellow peony and Delaway peony.

Treelike peonies also include varieties:

  • The Qiao sisters - have both burgundy and cream petals, buds open up to 16 cm in diameter;
  • Sapphire - bushes during the growing season are strewn with pale pink inflorescences;
  • Coral altar - the color of the buds is mixed, one part of the petals is coral, and the other is white;
  • Green Jade - one of the rarest and most unique varieties with delicate light green flowers.

Garden head - Tree peony care

Peonies are one of my favorite flowers, I love them of any color and adore their smell, but today I want to tell you about tree-like peonies, which are the real decoration of our garden.

For many, this beauty is controversial, since this peony takes up a relatively large amount of space, and its flowering period is short. The height of an adult bush varies from 150 to 200 centimeters, and the flowering time is only 14-21 days. But just imagine this huge bush covered with large flowers!

And you can admire, and easily arrange a photo session with such and such a background.

I cannot name with certainty the exact number of tree peonies that we have, but there are about a dozen of them. Today I will show only the two largest bushes with white and crimson flowers. We also have three medium bushes, which bloomed for the first time this year (also two white and one kind of beige, but I missed the moment to take a picture), the rest are still small.

We bought a pink tree peony seedling without flowers, but unfortunately it turned out to be white. In the spring, in our city, they often sell large peony bushes with flowers and an open root system (that is, simply dug out, with bare roots), and such bushes do not take root well in general, and even more so in spring. Plants with a closed root system can be planted at any time, but planting with ACS is best done in September, but in the fall you will not find such a bush on sale, and even if you find it, you cannot be 100% sure without a flower that you are buying the desired color.

The cost of these beauties is different everywhere, this year I again bought a seedling of a pink tree-like peony in our Green House for 100 hryvnia (about an elbow). An average bush with flowers can be bought from hand for 500 hryvnias. On different sites, depending on the variety, the price can reach more than 1 thousand hryvnia per seedling.

The tree-like peony has erect brown shoots, which grow more and more every year.

This year, on March 19, there were already such leaves.

I love to watch how the tree peony changes. Buds and leaves grow at the same time, Flowers are placed at the ends of the stems. They were in this form on April 7th.

On April 22, the bush looked like this. There are many buds, every year there are more flowers. Overgrowing with leaves, the bush takes on a spherical shape.

But most of all, I like it when the buds of tree-like peonies bloom. (May 10, 12 and 14.)

The bushes look neat, the buds are very delicate, beautiful. Flowers bloom gradually, not all at once. When a white peony is in bloom, its flowers have a delicate pinkish tint.

Our raspberry tree peony always blooms a few days earlier than the white one. The first photo was taken on May 11.

In real life, the color is more saturated and slightly darker.

This white peony appeared with us the very first. Now I don’t remember exactly, but he is over 10 years old.

Well, these flowers are very beautiful, I love to go out into the garden and just admire them. What could be more beautiful than nature?

The flowers are lush, their center is also beautiful, with many bright yellow stamens that stand out against the general background. Bees also love tree peonies.

The flowers are quite large, ranging in diameter from 12 to 20 centimeters. When they are in full bloom, the leaves are lost between the petals.

There are many varieties of tree peonies, but by their scientific names I am not strong I really want a pink peony (I hope this time I bought it) and yellow. Unfortunately, in our city there are not a lot of varieties of peonies, I thought to order at the agro-market, but with this MI there was an unpleasant situation, after which I do not trust him. This year they were going to go to the exhibition, but quarantine intervened in the plans.

To date, about 500 varieties of tree peonies have been registered, most of them are Chinese. Varieties are divided into three groups:

  • Sino-European - with double flowers,
  • Japanese - with non-double and semi-double
  • hybrids of yellow peony and Delaway peony (with yellow flowers).

The flowers are gorgeous, but they fade too quickly. Sources write that the flowering period of treelike peonies varies from 14 to 20 days, but many other factors affect flowering. For example, if too much sunlight gets on a bush, the flowers may "burn" and lose their appearance faster. Rains also affect this, in addition to the fact that frequent rains can knock off the petals, they also lose their appearance of stamens, becoming faded and lethargic. According to my calculations, the flowering of tree-like peonies in our area takes about two weeks.

When a tree peony overflows, it looks sad. The petals gradually fall off, leaving behind seed pods.

We always cut off extra boxes, if necessary, we can leave 1-2 stars for seeds.

We water and feed tree peonies without fail, we do not cover for the winter (our winters allow this).

Tree peonies are completely unpretentious, resistant to disease and cold. I will not describe how to care for a peony, how to plant and similar information, because in any case, before planting, it is better to ask advice from people who specialize in this. Plus, there are many articles on this topic that you can read to complete the picture.

I am delighted with tree peonies and will definitely buy other varieties in the future. It is a pity that this peony has such a short flowering period, but the bush in bloom looks awesome.






1. Dryagina I.V. Radiation in the selection of fruit and flower-ornamental crops - Moscow: Rosselkhozizdat, 1974. - 136 p.

2. Efimov S.V. Complex study and assessment of morphological characters of peony (Paeonia L.) during introduction // Scientific notes of the Taurida National University named after V.I. Vernadsky. - Series "Biology, Chemistry". - Volume 27 (66). - 2014. - No. 5. Special issue. - S. 47 - 62.

3. Krinitsyna A.A., Murashev V.V., Rappoport A.V., Speranskaya A.S., Uspenskaya M.S., Churikova O.A. Micropropagation of ornamental crops.Tree peony (Paeonia suffruticosa). - M .: publishing house Mosk. un-t., 208 .-- 40 p.

4. Krinitsyna A.A., Murashev V.V., Uspenskaya M.S. Micropropagation of Paeonia suffruticosa Andrews for the purpose of introduction into urban phytocenoses // Bulletin of the Irkutsk Agricultural Academy, publishing house Federal State Budgetary Educational Institution of Higher Education “Irkutsk State Agrarian University named after A.A. Ezhevsky ", 2011. - Volume 44, No. 2. - P. 82 - 89.

5. Uspenskaya M.S. Peonies. - M .: JSC "Fiton +", 2002. - 208 p.

6. Uspenskaya M.S. Tree peonies: collection of the botanical garden of the Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov. - M .: "Penta", 2017. - 144 p.

7. Uspenskaya M.S., Murashev V.V., Krinitsyna A.A. Tree peonies in the botanical garden of Moscow State University / Ed. senior researcher V.V. Murashev. - M. "Forest Country", 2016. -104 p.

For citation:

Uspenskaya M.S., Murashev V.V. HISTORY OF THE BREEDING OF THE PION OF THE TREE. Plant biology and horticulture: theory, innovation. 2017(145):155-161.

Tree peonies

Tree peonies

Genus peony (Paeonia) has more than 40 species, 14 of which are found in our country. Herbaceous ordinary peonies can be found in almost every garden, but tree-like ones are rare.

Tree peony (Paeonia suffruticosa) Is a monoecious deciduous shrub up to 2-2.5 m high, slightly branched, with strong erect stems and dark brown bark. For the winter, the bush does not die off, like a herbaceous peony, but only sheds its leaves. Single flowers up to 20-25 cm in diameter. The fruit is a five-membered, densely pubescent leaflet. Seeds are black, shiny, round, large, 0.8-1.1 cm in diameter. Treelike peonies bloom in the first half of May, simultaneously with lilacs and tulips, for 8 to 18 days. A 10-15-year-old bush can have 30 to 120 large flowers. The seeds ripen in late August - early September.

Tree species I propagate peonies by seeds, and varietal - vegetatively - by dividing the bush, layering, grafting and cuttings. The division of the bush is suitable for young 5-6-year-old plants. For layering, I choose slightly curved annual shoots, carefully bend them away from the bush and make a few scratches from below. I press the escape at the wound site to the ground with a wire hook, cover it with 10 cm of soil and systematically moisten it. I separate the layers from the bush two years after the formation of roots on them.

I plant a tree peony in August on the root of the herbaceous peony P. albiflora or P. officinalis, as well as on the tree root. The rootstock length is 10 - 12 cm. The rootstock should not be thinner than the scion. I take a scion stalk with 1-2 buds. I cut the lower part of the stem into a wedge on both sides. I insert the graft with the kidney located on the outside into the split at the root. I tighten the grafting tightly with a thick wire, sprinkle the cut with some fungicide, plant it in a greenhouse under glass or film, shade it from direct sunlight, water it regularly. After 3-4 weeks, the vaccination process ends.

In September, I plant the grafted plants in a permanent place at an angle of 45 °, deepening the bud by 8-10 cm, at a distance of at least 1.5 m from each other. I water each one with 1.5-2 liters of water. I do not remove the wire from the inoculation, since the root-stock of a herbaceous peony grows strongly without it, resembling the root crop of fodder beet, and depletes the scion. In the spring, grafting sprouts, and then its own roots are formed. Further care for tree peonies as for herbaceous ones.

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Vaccinated or self-rooted?

Tree peonies can be grafted or self-rooted. Both have their own disadvantages and features, which must be taken into account when growing. Their care requirements may also vary slightly.

Own-rooted peonies in optimal conditions they live for a very long time - more than twenty years (and theoretically 200). They are resilient, tolerate winter well, and are resistant to various diseases. Easily multiply by dividing the bush. The disadvantages include a protracted time before flowering: it lasts from 4 to 5 years after planting. Plants grow up to 70 centimeters by this time.

Vaccinated tree peonies grow rapidly, and flowering begins, if not in the first year, then the next, for sure. The most hardy and especially resistant varieties of herbaceous peonies serve as stock for these plants. They grow very quickly, on average, about 50 centimeters per year. Among the disadvantages are the following:

Such peonies do not differ in durability, because the herbaceous plants on which they are grafted grow rapidly, become hollow inside and eventually rot.

Grafted peonies cannot be propagated by dividing the bush.

When purchasing a peony for planting, pay close attention to its appearance. The roots of the grafted and rooted are strikingly different from each other. The former are more like the roots of a herbaceous plant - they are thicker, 4-5 centimeters in diameter. In the second species, they are thin, longer and more numerous, of a light brown shade. Experienced gardeners recommend growing both species on the site at the same time: while some will develop and reach the flowering age, others will bloom magnificently.

Peony varieties of Ito hybrids

Ito hybrids of peonies appeared as a result of the desire of breeders to obtain herbaceous cultivars with flowers, the petals of which are colored yellow. When breeding varieties of Ito-hybrids, milky-flowered and species tree-like peonies were crossed. The leader in this area was the Japanese breeder Toichi Ito, after whom these beautiful plants were named. Toichi Ito began his painstaking work back in 1948. The work of breeders in the ITO direction continues to this day, making it possible to obtain all new, more advanced forms.

Peonies the latest varieties - "target =" _blank "> Peonies can be an adornment of absolutely any personal plot. All types of peonies are valued for their beautiful appearance. The bushes are covered with luxurious large fragrant flowers, the beauty of which is successfully emphasized by juicy green leaves. Peonies are used for single and group plantings in mixboders, on front gardens and lawns. In addition, they are commonly grown for cutting.

Ito hybrids are perennial plants with completely (or mostly) dying off ground stems every year. Bushes 50-90 cm high, wide, growing to the sides, densely leafy. Stems are often deviating or curving. Leaves, similar to the leaves of tree-like peonies, do not fade for a long time in autumn - before the onset of severe frosts, some change color in autumn.

Most varieties of peonies of Ito-hybrids have a fairly long flowering - up to 2-3 weeks, thanks to the gradual dissolution of the apical buds and then flowering of the lateral ones. The buds are shaped like chestnut fruits and are often brownish colored.

The flowers of the peony varieties of Ito-hybrids are similar in description to tree-like ones, but have spots in the center. Often scented. In the cut, they are short-lived, but more persistent than tree-like ones.

The instability of the shape and color of flowers is noted, depending on the age of the plant, external conditions, and the instability of hereditary traits.

Watch the video: Tree Peony Alley - Peonies in Bloom OMG