The Moutan Botanical Centre is a monothematic garden dedicated to Chinese Peonies
The Garden stretches for 15 hectares, and on a walking tour, it is possible to admire the flowering of over 150,000 specimen of tree peonies as well as a whole hectare of herbaceous peonies.
The 600 different varieties gathered at the Moutan Botanical Centre bloom at different times. The Garden has been conceived so that peonies bloom in turns and that is in three different times during the blossoming season.
For this reason the garden will never be totally in full bloom at the same time.
The first to bloom are single flower tree peonies such as the beautiful p.ostii, one of the most vigorous and rapid growing peonies among all species. Its blossoming is very precocious and long lasting and generally begins between the end of March and the beginning of April.
Generally between the 10th and the 20th of April the garden gradually takes a thousand shades of pink with the blooming of semi-double flower peonies, like "Twin beauties" or "Coral Throne", just to name a few amongst the most appreciated suffruticosa tree peonies.
Just when the blooming of the the suffruticosa tree peonies is coming to an end, around the second half of April, here begins the most interesting blooming of all, botanically speaking: It is now time for the p.rockii to bloom, one of the rarest and most beautiful tree peonies in the world. Its blooming generally goes on until the first decade of May.
Whilst Rocki peonies begin to wither, the one hectare field with herbaceous peonies is coloured with a thousand subtle shades of pink. A carpet of flowers that suddenly explodes in a myriad of colours just before the visitor. The blossoming of the herbaceous peonies generally takes place from the first week of May and goes on for approximately two weeks.
The blossoming season can be subject to variation due to the meteorological course. We suggest you to follow our daily updates on the social media.
Peonies grow well in the ground as well as in large terrarium or wide pots, with any kind of soil, better if neutral or alkaline. In case of acid soil, it is suggested to add lime to raise the pH. The ideal would be a limestone soil, rich in sand that ensures a very good drainage.
Peonies are very easy plants, needing just few precautions and treatments to delight us with splendid blooms. The most common reasons why peonies fail to bloom might depend on a series of incorrect actions and deeds. Let's hence verify that our plant is well positioned and that the soil is well irrigated, avoiding water stagnation that could cause diseases. Proper fertilization is to be carried out as well, together with an accurate soil check.
In case of a potted peony, the size of the container should be large enough to enable a smooth root growth. Another reason could be that of the plant having suffered some sort of stress because of a recent transplant, in this case it will just need time to recover.
It is possible to nurture the plant with an organic fertilizer as well as with complex chemical fertilizers. The organic fertilizer can be administered in November, in case a non organic fertilization, it can be administered in January. In mid March, in order to facilitate and boost the blossoming, it is suggested to use a fertilizer low on nitrogen but rich on phosphorus and potassium.
The most frequent diseases attacking both tree and herbaceous peonies are:
- Botrytis (grey mould, at the base of the trunk and of the buds);
- Cladosporium (black mould, shows up in small red round stains ).
Both diseases show up because of an excess of humidity in the soil or in the environment. In this case it is advised to treat the plant with specific products.
The greatest danger for Peonies are nematodes (roundworms) attacks: nematodes are very small worms, almost invisible. They enter deeply among the roots generating some malformation that lead to the death of the plant .
Peonies are very resistant plants that can withstand both hot and cold temperatures. That being said, you can place tour peonies in sunny spots, or half sun in case of very hot regions. The ideal spot is under deciduous trees, that can protect the plants from possible winter's tail hits or very cold first days of spring. A shielded position is advised to protect from strong winds that can harm the tallest and least vigorous tree peonies. It is advisable to make sure that in the chosen position the soil is well drained to avoid stagnation.