Unlike other plants with large flowers, such as dahlias, the peony is hardy. To be more precise, it is their tubers that can easily survive even sub-zero temperatures underground. So that they have enough energy to sprout new plants every year in the garden (and to withstand their own weight), not only a well-drained soil is important – but also a good supply of nutrients: Although peonies are considered easy to care for, the right time is crucial. Below you will find out which fertilizer is suitable and what else you should pay attention to when caring for it.

An important note in advance: If you have just bought new peonies and planted them in the ground, no separate nutrient supply is necessary. It is recommended that you only fertilize the tuberous roots (also called rhizomes) for the first time after one or two years in the garden – ideally once after the winter break, before the first flowering: Depending on whether you have perennial or shrub peonies, The first buds appear between the end of April and the beginning or middle of May. Accordingly, it makes sense to use the fertilizer beforehand. And then a second time in mid-summer when the plants have bloomed for the last time, i.e. between July and August. Which nutrients are particularly important for peonies and which fertilizers are suitable will be clarified in the next section.

Even though peonies are easy to care for, they are still sensitive and do not tolerate every fertilizer: In order to optimally supply the perennials with nutrients, organic and mineral long-term fertilizers are recommended, which are rich in phosphate and potassium, but contain little nitrogen:

Organic fertilizers (preferably organic) with a long-term effect are best suited for peonies. The nutrients required in it must first be broken down by microorganisms so that they are available to the plant. However, this slow process is just right for the delicate perennials. So that the roots can absorb the fertilizer, it must be carefully worked into the upper layers of the soil.

Blaukorn is a mineral fertilizer that can be used for peonies – but with caution. On the one hand, there is a risk that you will over-fertilize the plants (if used incorrectly). For this reason, you should definitely follow the manufacturer’s dosage recommendations. On the other hand, the fine balls must be moistened with plenty of water so that the nutrients can be absorbed by the roots. Apart from that, mineral fertilizer is not as environmentally friendly as organic fertilizer.

Another tip: You can use horn shavings instead – you can read about what they are and how to use the fertilizer correctly in our article.

Aside from organic and mineral nutrients, there are home remedies that are suitable as fertilizers for peonies: On the one hand, you can use mature compost soil in the garden. On the other hand, horse manure, goat or sheep compost is also suitable if you have access to it. It is best to distribute the natural fertilizer over the ground twice a year (once before the first flowering, once after the last flowering) and then work it into the upper layer of soil – for example with a garden claw. Dried coffee grounds can also be used as fertilizer for peonies growing in a pot. Distribute this around the root area and then water the soil.

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