It has long been known that greenhouses can be used not only for growing various green, vegetable, or berry crops, but also for growing various flowers. One of the brightest candidates for such cultivation is peony.
Popular peony types for growing in greenhouses
The peony is a part of the buttercup family. Its distinctive quality is the presence of very beautiful colors. There is a huge number of peony species which can be grown in greenhouse conditions. The most common ones are the apothecary peony and the Chinese peony.
The first species are bushy plants, which can reach a height of up to 80 centimeters. They have very strong stems on which their peduncles are formed. The apothecary peony flowers are large and are located individually while having a huge number of coloring options. The leaves of this species are big and have lanceolate edges. This species of peonies has a unique feature – they bloom 5-10 days earlier than the Chinese species.
And the second one – the Chinese peony – has slightly different external characteristics. This plant, on the other hand, has straight stems which reach a height of almost 1 meter. Its dark green leaves are large and shiny and grow on long petioles. Flowers are quite simple, sometimes they are also called terry. Both can look very different in terms of color and shape. Even if peonies didn’t have such flowers, they still wouldn’t be left unnoticed, attracting the general public with their gorgeous, lush leaves.
Planting and care
It should be noted that peonies are quite easy to look after, however, they prefer soils rich in mineral and organic fertilizers (e.g. humus).
Peonies in greenhouse conditions reproduce in two ways:
- by seeds (herbaceous peonies)
- vegetatively (tree peonies – bush division, cutting, branches, and grafting)
Many gardeners believe that grafting is one of the best and most productive ways to reproduce peonies. However, planting depth should be 5 cm either way. The land where the peonies are to be planted should be well dug beforehand. Add nitrophosphate and superphosphate (50-60 g each) to the already dug up soil, some wood ash (about 600 g) and manure, which is also called humus (at least 8 kg per 1m2). After all the necessary fertilizers have been added, the soil must be thoroughly dug up once again and only after that can the planting be started.
After planting, the seedbeds should be watered, then the soil surface near the plants should be covered with mulch, approximately 1.5-2 cm thick. This process is called mulching. It creates a protective layer and preserves the soil properties.
Peony care in greenhouse conditions
Peony care includes a number of activities such as: watering, weeding and loosening the soil. Once the plants have started growing, you should fertilize them a couple of times a month, alternating between mineral fertilizers and chicken droppings (1:15 ratio).
Note that the feeding solution must be liquid. Add approximately 200 g of wood ash to one bucket of solution (10 l). 0.5 liters of this solution should be added to 1 plant. When the planting is complete, pour some clean running water to avoid burns.
It’s impossible to give any specific advice on the peony type choosing process, because there are so many of them, but we can give a couple of examples: Rubra Plena, Nemesis, Rosea Plena, Duchesse de Nemours, Kelway’s Glorious, Avalanche and many others.