They have a long history and have been in cultivated in China for over a thousand years. Known for their light scent and large blossoms, peonies make beautiful garden flowers and equally attractive cut flowers. With a wide number of attractive varieties, one can have lots of color and beauty added to their landscape.
They are believed to be named after a physician to the gods, Paeon, who received this flower on Mount Olympus from Apollo's mother. Another legend says that Paeon was saved from the fate of dying by being turned into the flower, the peony. In the language of flowers, this means shame or bashfulness, as mischievous nymphs were said to hide in its petals.
Peonies can be propagated by division of clumps, softwood cuttings, or through seeds. But the division of clumps or through roots is considered as the best option. Peonies are suited for both ground and container gardening. They like rich, well drained soil and plenty of organic compost. Compost must be added while preparing the soil for planting peony.
After planting the clumps, mount the soil lightly and water the clumps. Make a berm around it, to ensure water does not run out. Don't pour water directly on the clumps.
Although this is only when they reach their full height which happens within a couple of years of their planting. Putting a fertilizer high in phosphorous two weeks prior to blooming will help in bloom longevity as well as enhancement of its quality.