How to feed peonies in autumn: mineral and organic fertilizers


Peonies are a culture that is quite unpretentious to the conditions of care. A shrub with beautiful flowers and lush greenery requires nutrients that cannot always be obtained from soil. In order to provide plants with a complex of essential minerals, they are fed three times a season, and the last feeding is done in the autumn. It is not recommended to neglect the procedure, as it can negatively affect the appearance and condition of the plants. How to feed peonies in the fall, and how to carry out the procedure correctly?

Autumn feeding: all pros and cons

Top dressing of peonies in the fall plays a big role in the flowering of culture

Peonies are perennial crops that grow in one place for a long time and bloom actively in the summer. During this time, they give almost all the nutrients to flowers and leaves, so the quality of new inflorescences can deteriorate significantly.

The main feature of peonies is that the development of the root system of the bushes continues even after active flowering. If you take a closer look at the roots, you can see small thickenings on them, in which the nutrients necessary for the formation of buds and inflorescences accumulate. Accordingly, feeding peonies in the fall contributes to the appearance of lush flowers in the next season and helps to prepare for the winter cold.

Many gardeners consider the procedure for applying top dressing in the fall to be impractical and useless, but in fact this is not the case. You should not ignore it, otherwise next spring the flowers of the peonies will be small, and the leaves are pale and sparse.

What should be fed?

Minerals needed for peonies in autumn - primarily potassium and phosphorus

Like all other flowering plants, peonies need nutrients necessary for the formation of leaves and inflorescences:

  • potassium;
  • phosphorus;
  • nitrogen.

The peculiarity of autumn feeding is that the application of fertilizers with a nitrogen content can lead to a deterioration in the frost resistance of plants, therefore, after flowering, peonies only need potassium and phosphorus. As a top dressing, you can use both special mixtures that are sold in shops for gardeners, and natural organic fertilizers.

Feeding rules in the fall

The rules for feeding peonies in the autumn period depend on their age and the climatic conditions of the region. You need to feed only those bushes that have reached the age of three. Fertilizers are not required for young plants, and the effect of the procedure may be the opposite. Ripe peonies, on the contrary, require regular feeding, and the older the flower, the more nutrients it needs.

The optimal time for top dressing is from the second half of September to the first half of October, but the work must be carried out in such a way as to finish them 1–1.5 months before the first frost. The type of fertilizer depends on the characteristics of the soil and weather conditions:

  • on sandy and depleted soils, too much minerals can inhibit the growth of flowers, so it is better to apply fertilizing twice with an interval of two weeks;
  • for alkaline and slightly acidic soils, it is recommended to use superphosphate, which contributes to the formation of beautiful, lush inflorescences and improves the characteristics of the earth;
  • organic matter and potassium-phosphorus fertilizers are suitable for any soil - they contain the whole range of nutrients and saturate the soil well with them.

In dry weather, fertilizing is applied in liquid form, and when a large amount of precipitation falls, dry (granular) mixtures are used - liquid fertilizers will simply be washed off with water and will not benefit the plants.

How to feed tree peonies in the fall

The peculiarities of fertilization depend on their type - it is not recommended to change the dosage and recommendations for feeding the plants on your own, as this can lead to the opposite result and worsen the condition of the bushes.

Mineral fertilizers

To avoid burns, fertilize the plant with extreme caution.

How can you feed peonies in the fall? First of all, these are potassium and phosphate, which can be applied to the soil both in dry and liquid form. In the first case, the algorithm of actions is as follows.

  1. Dig small grooves 6–8 cm deep around the bushes, then slightly moisten the soil.
  2. For each bush, take 20 g of phosphorus and 15 g of potassium, sprinkle the fertilizer, avoiding getting the mixture on the sensitive neck of the plants, otherwise burns may remain on them.
  3. Spill the soil again so that the granules dissolve well.

To add potassium and phosphate in liquid form, dissolve in a bucket of pre-settled water at room temperature, then pour the solution over the bushes. You can use multicomponent fertilizers - superphosphate, potassium sulfate, Kemira-Kombi or Kemira-Autumn. Most often, they are sold in the form of tablets, the optimal dosage is 1 tablet per bucket of water, top dressing is applied in the same way as the potassium-phosphorus mixture in liquid form.

Do you need organic fertilizers to prepare for winter

Natural fertilizers, or organic matter, interact well with the soil and saturate it with all useful substances, so they can be used to feed peonies in the fall. Most often, for these purposes, they take cow dung, bird droppings, peat.

Mullein, chicken droppings and superphosphate

When feeding plants, organic fertilizers should be alternated with other mineral additives.

Mullein and bird droppings in combination with mineral fertilizers can be used to prepare a nutrient mixture that will significantly improve the flowering of peonies in the next season.

  1. Dissolve fresh mullein in a barrel at the rate of 1 bucket of manure for 5 buckets of water (if bird droppings are used as top dressing, you need to take a bucket of droppings for 25 buckets of water).
  2. Put the resulting mixture in the sun for 2 weeks so that it ferments well.
  3. Add 500 g of ash and 200 g of superphosphate to the fermented solution.
  4. Immediately before the fertilization procedure, the mixture must be diluted with water - when using manure for 1 part of the nutrient mixture, take 2 parts of water, if the plants are fed with bird droppings, the proportions are 1 to 3.

When feeding plants with mullein and bird droppings, you must follow the same rules as in the case of mineral fertilizers - water the bushes carefully so that the mixture does not fall on the necks of the flowers.

Compost and peat

Compost is another organic fertilizer that works well for feeding peonies. For its preparation, they take any waste of natural origin - dry leaves, branches and grass, weeds, vegetable peels, which are left to rot in a special pit. To improve the quality of the compost, you can add droppings, peat or humus to it, alternating layers with each other.

To feed the peonies with compost, the bushes are covered with a thin layer of fertilizer mixed with the ground, after which the plants are watered - the compost will not only serve as top dressing, but also protect the roots from frost. From above, you can additionally mulch the plantings with hay, straw or dry leaves.

Rye bread

One of the folk remedies for feeding peonies is rye bread

Despite the fact that rye bread belongs to the folk remedies for fertilizing peonies, it gives a good result and does not require serious financial costs.

  1. Take a loaf of rye bread or about 500 g of crusts that remain after eating.
  2. Pour the bread over with cold water and leave for 12 hours to swell well.
  3. Dissolve the resulting gruel in a bucket of settled water at room temperature, then water the plants at the rate of a liter of mixture per bush.

Top dressing from rye bread can be used together with mineral fertilizers, observing the interval between procedures so as not to provoke inhibition of the growth and flowering of peonies.

Other fertilizers

In addition to the above mixtures, other store-based or natural fertilizers can be used to feed peonies, following the recommendations for the procedure.

  1. Wood ash. Ash is introduced into the soil at the rate of 0.5 cups per square meter of land - it is poured around the plants, after which they are watered and mulched with hay or grass. Bone meal can be added to wood ash in proportions of 1 to 1 - this product contains potassium and phosphorus necessary for planting.
  2. Peat. For peonies, it is recommended to use high-moor peat, especially if the flowers grow on sandy soils. The procedure is carried out every 4–5 years - peat is laid out around the bushes, observing the following dosage: a bucket per square meter of land.
  3. Biohumus. Vermicompost is an effective fertilizer that is a waste product of earthworms. The dose is 6 kg per square meter, and the introduction of such fertilizer significantly improves the quality of the soil.
  4. Siderata. Siderata are plants that are resistant to low temperatures, which serve as fertilizer and protection for flowering crops - mustard, oats, rye, wheat. In the autumn, they are planted between the bushes of peonies, and in the spring they are buried in the soil with the help of a flat cutter - the siderata will be repaired and become an excellent food for plants.
  5. Ready-made organic fertilizers. Concentrated organic fertilizers - Baikal, Biomaster, Agroprirost - are sold in shops for gardeners. They are easy to use and nourish plants well, which is especially noticeable on soils with low fertility, clay and loamy soils. Dosages and rules for adding mixtures are indicated in the instructions for the preparations.

Video: how to feed peonies in autumn

Autumn feeding of peonies is an effective procedure that should not be neglected. Plants that receive enough attention and care will more than reward their owner with abundant and lush flowering.

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Any culture needs feeding, because a plant, unlike a person, cannot get up and go to another place in search of better nutrition when the soil in which it grew is depleted. And this happens sooner or later. Each crop needs an individual set of its own nutrients, which it mainly draws from the soil. Since the peony is a perennial plant, such a process of depletion of the natural substrate is inevitable. And then the problem of applying the necessary fertilizers arises.

When a peony blooms in its third (or even later) year of life, it needs to be fed. This is done in three stages:

  • in early spring, when the snow has just melted
  • during bud formation
  • a week or two after flowering.


General rules

For adult peonies, you will have to make more dressings.

Before you start feeding peonies, it is recommended to pay attention to the following factors:

  1. Season. Fertilizers are recommended to be applied throughout the growing season, which lasts from spring to autumn. But it should be borne in mind that at different times the peonies require certain feeding.
  2. The age of the peonies. In the first 2 years after planting, these plants do not need to be fertilized. Then it is worth doing only with foliar dressing. Sometimes organic matter can be applied at the root in a small amount. Peonies over 8 years of age will need a larger amount of both mineral and organic fertilizers.
  3. Time of top dressing. It is advisable to apply any kind of fertilizer after sunset.

The feeding scheme does not depend on the plant variety. All peonies, during budding and active growth, require organic and mineral fertilizers in a certain amount, which should be applied at a specific period, alternating with each other.

Almost any fertilizer is suitable for feeding peonies, but they must be applied correctly so as not to harm the flower. First of all, this rule applies to nitrogen-containing preparations, which negatively affect the flowering of peonies. It is undesirable to use such dressings during the budding period. Since nitrogen promotes active growth, it is not recommended to apply it in the fall, when the plant is preparing for wintering.

Chlorine is already contained in sufficient quantities in the soil and therefore it is possible not to feed the peonies with chlorine-containing fertilizers. An excess of this substance leads to developmental delays.


How to fertilize correctly

Answering the question of what exactly peonies love, it is worth choosing the right method of fertilization.

Root dressing

When using this method, the nutrients should be added in several stages. For the first time, it is recommended to feed peonies in early spring. Already with the arrival of March, mineral fertilizers can be applied, which should be scattered under the bush. With melt water, they are gradually absorbed into the soil and quickly get to the roots.

It is recommended to deposit twice more in the summer. In this case, dry mixtures must be scattered under the peonies, after which the soil should be well watered.

Foliar dressing

Young and adult bushes should be fed foliarly once a month. To do this, you can use a solution of a ready-made mineral product, for example, "Ideal". In order for the substance to better adhere to the leaves, you need to add laundry soap or washing powder to the composition.

It is worth using foliar fertilizers in several stages:

  • for the first time, you can feed the bushes when the ground part germinates - while it is worth using a urea solution
  • the second feeding is carried out a few weeks after the first - while special tablets are added to the urea solution
  • the third treatment is performed after the end of flowering - at this stage, only micronutrient fertilizers are applied.

Important! Many substances can be applied to the bush with a spray bottle. But when using soap compositions, it is recommended to spray the peonies with a long-bristled brush.

Peonies love foliar feeding


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