Peonies, with the scientific name Paeoniaceae, are a whole family of plants that originate in Europe, North America and China and its surroundings. The species of wild peonies, which are 3, can be found in the Iberian Peninsula and in the Maghreb. One of its legends tells that this plant receives its name from Paeon, a medicine apprentice of the god Asclepius, who came to provoke the envy of his teacher for having more talent than him and was transformed by Zeus into the flower that receives his name.
It is also a plant that has traditionally been used for its medicinal properties, especially in the treatment of menstrual cramps in women, and to alleviate asthma symptoms. If you want to know how to care for peonies at home and their meaningkeep reading us in this EcologíaVerde article.
How to sow and plant peonies
Before you put on sow peonies seeds, it is important to choose well both a good location and the right season. The best time to plant peonies is autumn, or even in winter if you live in a not too cold climate. The species of peony you are going to plant also influences: tree peonies are best planted in the autumn months, while some bushes respond better to a spring planting.
Once chosen, follow these steps to sow and plant peonies:
- Find a location where the plant receives at least eight hours of sunlight a day, but where it will be protected from the wind.
- Once the optimal location has been chosen, bury the seed. If it is an arboreal species, bury it about 5 cm deep while, if it is a bush peony or one of the herbaceous peony species, plant it a little more than 10 cm deep.
- Once this is done, pay to enrich the soil and water it.
- If you plant several, respect at least 1 meter distance between them.
- If you plant a cutting or transplant a peony seedling, prepare the fertilized soil in the pot with a hole in the center and place the plant well, centered, and cover it with soil until the roots are covered and the stem is well secured.
- After this, water with water and a little diluted rooting agent.
How to care for peonies – basic care
These are the basic care of peonies:
location and light
As we have indicated before, it needs at least eight hours of sunlight daily, but we recommend that you do not give it direct light during the strongest hours of the sun, a semi-shaded area will be better at least in the central hours of the day, which is when the sun is more powerful.
Nutrients and fertilizer for peonies
One detail that you must take into account is that this plant is very demanding when it comes to soil nutrients, so you must plant them in areas where there have been no other plants with similar characteristics, or enrich the soil with organic fertilizer. In the same way, the fertilization must be carried out twice a year, in autumn and spring. Paying it in excess will harm the flowering of the peony.
Drainage, humidity and irrigation
It is also important that the soil has good drainage, so that it does not stagnate when you water. The peony needs a good level of humidity, but an excess of it with waterlogging in its roots will be very harmful to the plant and even fatal.
For watering, once a week is sufficient during the winter and cold months, and twice a week from spring.
To finish, remember that peony flowers and fruits are toxicand should be kept away from children and pets.
Peonies: general meaning and by colors
there is a huge variety of peonies, and all of them are attributed different meanings that depend on the area. In Asia, it is a symbol of beauty and good luck, being somewhat akin to the eastern equivalent of the rose. For example, in some of these Asian countries this is the meaning of peonies:
- In China, the peony is known as “The king of flowers”, and is attributed a relationship with honor and good fortunebesides symbolizing the national beauty.
- In Japan this flower is related to happiness, luck and prosperitysimilar to how it is done in China.
In addition, in the art of feng shui it is used to bring peace to the spirit and calm lovesickness.
In the West, on the other hand, the peony is related to shame and shyness traditionally associated in ancient times and in some cultures with feminine beauty. The Greeks, in fact, had a myth that the nymphs, to hide from the eyes of men, ran naked behind bushes of peonies.
The meaning of peonies according to the color of its flower is also variable:
- Red peonies symbolize wealth, honor, respect and prosperity. Here we show you another 15 plants with red flowers perfect for outdoors and indoors.
- Pink peonies are used to symbolize the beauty of marriage, although they are also associated with crushes or love at first sight.
- White peonies receive the traditional symbolism of shyness and shame, although they are also used to express regret for some mistake made. If you like white flowers, we recommend this other EcologíaVerde post about 10 white flowers for the garden.
- Finally, the purple peonies are directly related to the myth of Paeon, and embody the envy of Asclepius and the punishment that this unleashed.
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