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Tree peony


By Arlene

Swansea, United Kingdom Gb

I have 6 tree peonies in small pots and need to get them into bigger pots as they are starting into growth but would like a recipe for a good compost mix .
I tried potting one into John Innes number 2 which is recommended but it was like cement and it died.
I would like to avoid a repetition of that !
If anyone can give me any advice many thanks in advance!



The quality of John Innes composts depends on the quality of the loam used in it. These days it seems to be almost impossible to get anything decent. The product is very silty and does, indeed, go 'like cement'.
If you can make your own compost then my recipe would be for equal parts of loam: 6mm grit: leafmould or composted bark ( I am anti-peat). I add 3oz bonemeal to a gallon of the mix.
If you cann't make your own then try a peat alternative multi-purpose compost with added grit and, maybe, a little bonemeat as tree peonys are greedy feeders.
Tree peony has a large root system and grows into a medium sized shrub so is probably going to be difficult to keep in a container for very long.

2 Mar, 2009


Thanks Bulbaholic
I have sharp sand,bark,bag of topsoil,supagro and grit and can get some leafmould from the local wood where it has been piled up 2 feet thick so I will give it a go~I have some very big pots15'' up to 20" so do I go straight into that or move up gradually?
Thanks Arlene

2 Mar, 2009


I would think that it would be better to do it gradually. On the other hand tree peonys do not like to be disturbed, at least when being lifted in the garden. I don't really know the answere, Arlene, and hope that someone else joins this discussion.
Twenty inch pots, they are big. I refuse to go more than twelve inck for my show plants - too heavy.

2 Mar, 2009


that's okay~don't worry! I think that gradually is probably better~there is a very cold wind outside today so not today I think!

2 Mar, 2009


Paeonies (both tree and herbaceous) are best moved in late autumn immediately after they go dormant. They start into growth very early in the seaon and it is best to do it before they get going. But you could always try potting on one or two now and see if it works

2 Mar, 2009


try mixing your ji 2 with a multi- purpose compost 30:70 or 50:50 and see how they do with that. it will by less cement like. add bonemeal/slow release fertilizer too as some said earlier they can be greedy but beautiful.

2 Mar, 2009


Thanks for this question, it's helping me with another plant!

2 Mar, 2009

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