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  1. Why are there ants on my peonies?

    Ants are attracted to and eat the sweet nectar secreted by the peony bud.  Ants do not harm the plants, and the plants do not require ants to open. 
     
    Before taking peony flowers into your house, you can turn them upside-down in a bucket of water to get the ants off.

    September 7, 2012

  2. Why aren’t my herbaceous peonies blooming?

    • Young plants – peony plants can sometimes take up to 3 or 4 years to produce blooms
    • Small divisions – if a plant was recently divided sometimes it takes longer to produce blooms
    • Poor nutrition – peonies are heavy feeders and like heavy soils with some clay.  If you plant a peony in sandy or poor soil it will require...

    September 7, 2012

  3. How many species of peonies are there in the wild? How many cultivars in gardens?

    The current scientific review by Dr. Hong recognizes 54 species in the wild. His most recent review in English is Peonies of the world: taxonomy and phytogeography, published by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in 2010. The number of species found in the wild is quite different from the number of cultivars (human selections) found in...

    December 4, 2012

  4. What is the difference between tree, intersectional, and herbaceous peonies?

    Tree peonies have woody stems that stay above ground all year.  Their leaves are deciduous and drop every fall. 
     
    An intersectional peony is a cross between the tree peony and the herbaceous peony.  The flowers look like those of a tree peony, but the stems die back to the ground each fall.
     
    ...

    September 7, 2012

  5. Do you sell cut peonies for flower arrangements?

    We do not cut our peony flowers for sale. This is a living museum exhibit of historic peonies that is open for all to enjoy. Removal of any flowers would degrade the experience. Cut peonies may be ordered in advance through your local florist, and some of the commercial sources listed in our Peony Resources under "Peony Organizations and Links...

    December 4, 2012

  6. Where do I find cut peonies for sale, and how do I keep them?

    Ask a florist for peony availability. For visitors in our region, a Michigan-based grower of cut peony flowers is Bridgewater Gardens here in Washtenaw County (see Peony Resources). This is not an endorsement but is for...

    April 29, 2016

  7. Which peonies here are favorites of the Peony Advisory Board?

    Each of our Advisors has decades of experience with peonies or historic garden plants. Each brings her or his unique perspective for favorite peonies at the Nichols Arboretum. Here are their top choices in their own words.

    Lindsay D'Aoust of Quebec, Canada

    '...

    December 19, 2012

  8. How do I find a local peony society?

    There are a number of peony societies in the United States and Canada. We have world-wide list of peony societies with their web links on our Resources page. If you'd like to explore North American organizations, check out the web sites of the...

    January 20, 2017

  9. Where do I find good 'Question and Answer' peony forums on the web?

    There are several excellent peony 'Question and Answer' web sites. These links will take you directly to the 'Q&A' pages maintained by the American Peony Society and the Canadian Peony Society....

    May 29, 2015

  10. Why are there empty beds since they were full last year?

    We are re-organizing several peony beds around themes. Since peonies are best moved in the fall, last fall we relocated two of each kind to the other peony beds. The currently empty beds will be amended this season, and replanted this fall, 2015. The themes for these beds on the south side of the Peony Garden are in order:

    Historic...

    May 29, 2015

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