Selection: White, pink, or red;
double, single, or Japanese (anemone) form; you are
sure to find a variety just right for you among the
60+ herbaceous peonies we grow. Tree peonies are single
or double, in red, pink, white, yellow and purple.
Value: Our potted peonies are multi-stemmed,
mature plants that will bloom this year—in the
pot or in your garden. Talk about instant gratification!
Our display clumps are integrated into our garden to
give you great landscaping ideas. All our plants are
inspected and healthy, and we can provide the compost
and other tools to insure your success with the plants
Our knowledgeable staff will help you with planting
tips and future care.
More About Peonies: Peonies were the
stars of the Golden Age of estate gardening, possibly
because they have the size and “presence”
to complement the massive Victorian architecture of
that period. We are fortunate in Central New York to
have an abundance of old peonies. Not only did Professor
Saunders, the most prolific and distinguished hybridizer
of peonies before 1950, teach at Cornell and at Hamilton
College, the now-defunct Indian Springs Farm near Baldwinsville
was once the premier cut peony shipper in the nation.
Before World War Two, they grew or contracted over 200
acres of peonies, and shipped them by the railcar load!
There are lots of active peony breeders today, as well,
and many new varieties are notable for stronger stems,
as well as expansion of the color range. There is a
class of peonies (ITOH) which are crosses between herbaceous
and tree peonies, and it is from these that we expect
to have more yellow and purple/lavender peonies available
in the future. The American Peony Society maintains
an award system, certifies judges, holds conventions
where new varieties are exhibited, and maintains registration
lists. As with all specialty plant societies, membership
in the Society gives you the most up-to-date information
about peony varieties and culture. Phoenix Flower Farm
will provide you with a $10 gift certificate for future
purchases when you join the American Peony Society through
Quick Culture Summary: When you buy
a potted peony from us, be sure to plant it at the depth
it is in the pot. The single greatest cause of failure
to bloom is planting peonies too deep. When it comes
time to divide your plants, do it in September, and
plant the root buds 1 to 2 inches below the surface--no
more! Plant peonies as if you were planting a tree—for
your grandchildren. The hole should be twice as large
as the #10 pot we grow our peonies in, and refilled
halfway with a mix of compost (we recommend Nutri-brew)
and good soil. Set the root ball in the whole and put
back soil to the ground level. Water in well. Allow
a 3 ft x 3 ft space for each plant. Ongoing care consists
of regular watering, feeding with a good general fertilizer
early in the Spring, and maintaining good air circulation
around the plant. In later years, be sure the spot continues
to be sunny. The only notable disease is botrytis or
other fungal disease, and the best cure is prevention.
This means cutting down peonies to 1 – 2 inches
in the Fall after a hard freeze. Remove all the foliage
and do not compost it. Should peonies develop fungus,
remove and dispose of all affected leaves, and treat
according to package directions.
Special Events: If you’re really
“into” peonies and/or irises, ask about
our June 6th and 7th road trip to the Royal Botanical
Garden at Hamilton, Ontario. We will be visiting this
world-class garden at the height of peony season to
see their fine collection.
At the Farm you can see peonies from mid-May (species)
to mid-June and you can always “talk peonies”
with us—we’re all enthusiasts. One of our
September seminars will include a peony division demonstration,
including tree peonies.