INTERSECTIONAL PEONIES (Itohs) are hybrids between Tree Peonies and Herbaceous Peonies. They are long lived and initial proper preparation would assure your success in your peony garden. Their blooms are large just like the tree peonies' and the foliage is like that of the tree peony as well. Their stems die back in the fall and must be cut back just like the herbaceous peonies.
ITOH Peonies have advantages over the other peonies in that:
- They have stronger stems and are able to hold the flower upright.
- Vigorous growth and are floriferous, up to 50 flowers on one plant when mature.
- Flower colors such as Yellow, Orange, Flares are flower colors available to this variety.
- They have healthy attractive foliage right through fall.
Planting and Maintenance for ITOH Peonies:
- Plant in full sun and in rich, well drained soil.
- Dig a hole 18-24 inches deep and 18-24 inches wide.
- Can benefit from soil mixture of 2 parts top soil, 2 parts compost and 1 part Peat Moss. If you have poor drainage, add sand and perlite instead of the peat moss.
- A slow release high phostate fertilizer added at planting time ensures rapid root development.
- Avoid high nitrogen levels at all times and late fall applications of fertilizer.
- Plant the elongated stems parallel to the ground at a depth of 2 inches.
- If you purchased a containerized plant, the top of the root ball should be level with the soil and firmly heeled in.
- Water immediately after planting.
- During the winter season, mulch with straw-type mulch to prevent thawing and re-freezing
- Take care as you would an herbaceous peony.
It is affectionately nicknamed "Itoh", after Toichi Itoh, the hybridizer that created the first of these plants. These plants are long lived and can be divided like Herbaceous Peonies (with a little more effort).
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Peony Viewing Days: May 15 to June 30
Bartzella Itoh Peony, featured at Peony Farm, WA.
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