Garden flowers

Peony in a pot: 4 tips for success

You fell under the spell of peonies and would like to have some at home. Yes, but there you have it, you only have a balcony or terrace. No problem !

By following certain rules, it is quite possible to cultivate a potted peony to enhance your exterior.

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1. Choose the right pot

Which size to choose?

Flowers are like us: they don't like to have cramped feet. The peony is no exception and, as it loves deep soils, you have to choose a pot or a container that has a good height. The ideal depth is around 50 cm. This figure is important, because when grown in the ground, the peony does not like to be moved. Too small a pot would then mean frequent repotting which would harm the plant.

The base of the pot should also be wide enough to ensure a good stability with peony in case of strong winds.

Smart tip : to know when to repot your peony, look under the pot. If the roots are sticking out through the weep holes, now is the time.

Which material to choose?

Nowadays, there are many types of materials for pots: wood, terracotta, plastic, resin, etc. The main difference lies in the porosity of matter. Since wood and terracotta are more porous than plastic and its derivatives, they tend to dry out the soil they contain more quickly. For a potted peony, the soil should always be moist (not soggy). For this reason, a plastic jar or in resin seems more appropriate.

2. The substrate: the key to a beautiful potted peony

Peony, whether herbaceous or shrub, needs a rich and humus soil to develop properly. The substrate that you put in the pot must therefore meet these requirements. The ideal is to use potting soil mixed with well decomposed manure. However, the latter must not be in direct contact with the roots.
A technique for keep the soil moist consists of incorporating vermiculite (otherwise called perlite in commerce). It makes it possible to capture the irrigation water and then return it little by little.
Last important element: the drainage. For this to be done correctly, place a layer of gravel or clay balls at the bottom of the pot, taking care to do not block the drainage holes.

3. Add fertilizer

In the ground, plants find the elements necessary for their growth in the soil, following the degradation of organic matter (dead leaves, decayed wood, etc.). A container culture does not allow this. It is therefore up to you to provide your potted peony what it needs to develop. There are several possibilities to do this:

  • Provide fertilizer rich in nitrogen and in phosphorus in spring and high-content fertilizer potassium in autumn.
  • Apply a organic mulching (maritime pine bark for example) around the foot of your peony. As it decomposes, it will provide the plant with nutritional resources. In addition, it will allow retain soil moisture.

4. Monitor watering

For a potted peony, the earth must always be wet. This is why it is important towater regularly, but not excessively so that the plant does not have to suffer from lack of water.

To make up for any forgetting or to avoid watering every day, place a saucer under your pot. It will retain the excess water and gradually restore it according to the needs of the plant.