Peonies, Paeonia, are beautiful to look at and fragrant, too, peonies are among the aristocrats of the plant world. Peonies were prized by the Chinese for many hundreds of years. Peony flowers may be single or double and come in every shade of pink, red, purple, white and cream, many with a delicious light perfume. Some flowers have a large central boss of golden stamens, and some have fringed or crimped edges on the petals. Among the categories of flowers recognized are small, 2-4 inches across, medium 4-6 inches across, large 6-8 inches across and very large at over 8 inches across. Peonies need full sunlight or semi-shade, with protection from strong winds. Soil must be well drained, but heavily enriched with manure or compost. Dig it over deeply to allow the free spread of roots. Hard to 0 degree Fahrenheit. Divide in April, transplant in May, sow October-December and flowers typically in June.
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