Milk-flowered peonies - Chinese guests in our gardens

 Milk-flowered peonies - Chinese guests in our gardens

Milk-flowered peony, or scientifically lactiflora (Paeonia lactiflora), belongs to the herbaceous flowering perennials of the Peony family. In the common people, this specific wild-growing plant is more often called the Chinese peony, since it was from it that many varieties and hybrids were bred, the first of which were brought to Europe from China back in the 18th century.

Description of milk-flowered peony

In the wild, the lactobacillus peony is found exclusively in the Primorsky Territory, in Eastern Siberia, the Amur Region, in the south of the Far East, in the Chita Region, as well as in Japan, China, on the Korean Peninsula and in the east of Mongolia. It prefers to grow on rocky slopes, on dry open hills and valleys with well-drained soil, among bushes and along the banks of water bodies on pebble and sandy deposits. This wild species is included in the Red Book of Russia as vulnerable, the number of which is steadily declining.

Species wild-growing milk-flowered peony has medicinal properties and is widely used in folk medicine and witchcraft.

Specific milky-flowered peony of white or pinkish color

The appearance of the plant and flowers

Lactiflora is a bushy, erect shrub up to 1.2 m high with several monocarpic, bare grooved stems branching in the upper part, a rod-type root system with fusiform brownish-brown thickenings on the rhizomes. Saturated green dark leaves are alternate, trifoliate twice or thrice, about 18-30 cm long and almost the same width. Separate segments are elliptical or lanceolate with pointed tips and small serrations along the edges, tapering towards the petiole. The leaf blades are glossy and smooth above, slightly rough below, lighter, not pubescent.

Multi-flowered flowering shoots (3–6, sometimes up to 9 buds). The species has wide open, simple shape, large flowers with a diameter of up to 12-14 cm, petals in the amount of 5 to 8 pieces are milky-white (which is why these peonies got their name) or pale pinkish in color, occasionally they are bright crimson blurred spot at the base of the flower... There are a lot of golden-yellow stamens (up to 200).

Milk-flowered peony is densely covered with flowers

Garden varietal and hybrid forms can be both simple and terry, painted in white, pink, burgundy and sometimes even red tones.

Flowering occurs in early summer (May, June). Closer to the beginning of autumn (August, September), in place of flowers, 3–6 leathery-fleshy, thick-walled leaflets, arranged in the form of a complex star, ripen. Large brownish-brownish seeds 5–10 mm in diameter, oval, slightly curved in the shape of a crescent.

The specific milky-flowered peony is rarely used in landscape design.... But its numerous cultural varieties, of which more than one hundred have been bred, are dearly and devotedly loved by many gardeners. Peony bushes are used in various compositions, in groups and as a tapeworm. On one flowerbed, you can pick up varieties of different flowering periods (from super early to late), which allows you to maintain the decorative composition of the composition for up to two months. Peonies go well with other flower crops: irises, astilbe, roses, phlox, etc.

The variety of colors makes it possible to create spectacular decorative groups in which several similar or contrasting shades are used. Low-growing and dwarf drought-resistant varieties look great in alpine slides and rockeries, especially in combination with miniature conifers. Planted along garden paths, peonies beautifully frame and zone the site, decorating the area with lush flowering almost all summer.

Milk-flowered peonies are found in almost every garden

Characteristics of the peony lactobacillus

Milk-flowered peony is considered the most unpretentious and hardy species.... All representatives of this group demonstrate amazing resistance to various unfavorable weather conditions, as well as to diseases. They are distinguished by winter hardiness and heat resistance, equally well tolerating cold and high temperatures. Of all the species of peonies, lactiflora is the most winter-hardy; only young plants planted in the current season need to be sheltered for the winter.

Reasons for the popularity of peony lactic acid

Numerous varieties and hybrids of the milky-flowered group are very popular due to the following qualities:

  • Very aesthetic appearance.
  • The ability to take root in almost any climate. Plants tolerate sharp temperature changes, prolonged rains, drought and other weather events well.
  • Unpretentious and undemanding care.
  • Excellent frost resistance.
  • A pleasant aroma exuded by the flowers.
  • A variety of shapes and a wide range of colors.
  • The ability to grow well in one place for many years, practically without pain.
  • Long flowering interval. Varieties of various flowering periods (from very early to late) have been bred.
  • Preservation of decorativeness throughout the growing season. Peony bushes look beautiful not only during flowering, but also in summer (thanks to delicate foliage), as well as in autumn (because of spectacular unusual seed bolls).

Peony fruits look very decorative.

The peony growing on our site in the spring is densely covered with many pale pink flowers, which retain their decorative effect until the first heavy rain. Strong jets of water injure inflorescences and scatter shoots in different directions, even if they have support.

Objective flaws and difficulties

No objective flaws were found in lactic-flowered peonies.... The only difficulty can be considered the problem of choosing a particular variety among the huge variety of cultivated varieties, since they are all amazingly beautiful.

The specific peony is not so spectacular and its flowering is not particularly splendid.

Popular varieties of peony milk-flowering

Breeders have been working on breeding varieties of milk-flowered peony for more than three centuries. Their painstaking work resulted in many varietal and hybrid forms. Quite conditionally, several of the most popular can be singled out.

Bowl of Cream

The name of this spectacular peony, up to 80 cm high, translates as "a bowl of cream", which fully reflects the color of its petals, extremely reminiscent of whipped cream. A whitish-cream cup-shaped double flower with a diameter of 17-19 cm has a great, memorable aroma. Variety of medium flowering time, bred in 1963.

Bowl of Cream full of creamy white peony filled with golden stamens

Miss America

A powerful and strong bush of medium flowering time, growing up to 80 cm, with huge (up to 25 cm) boiling white airy inflorescences. In the open heart of the flower-bowl there are large golden-yellow stamens. At the initial stage, the petals of the opening buds have a slight delicate pinkish blush. Time of appearance - 1936.

Miss America - American Peony Society (APS) Gold Medal Winner


American medium-early flowering hybrid, commercially available in 1955. Sprawling shrub about 0.8–0.9 m tall with flexible stems that require a garter or support. Bright red, heavy, pinkish, double inflorescences 13–16 cm in diameter with shiny folded petals forming several tops. The flower has a pleasant light unobtrusive aroma.

One of the best hybrids is Carol's peony, the flower has repeatedly won at exhibitions

Honey Gold

A compact plant up to 90 cm high, bred in 1973. Peony of medium flowering time with large semi-double flowers (up to 17-22 cm in diameter). The inflorescence has an original color: along the edges there are several rows of wide snow-white petals, in the center there are narrow yellow petals. The aroma is pleasant, delicate and intense.

Terry, crown peony Honey Gold - the real embodiment of femininity and elegance

Marie Lemoine (Marie Lemoine)

Classic garden peony of hybrid origin, very late flowering, bred back in 1869. The bush is relatively low (70 cm) with dense, spherical, snow-white-pinkish inflorescences up to 16–20 cm in diameter. The petals are creamy-whitish with a lemon undertone, the edges of some of them are painted in a bright crimson color. The variety has a pleasant, rich sweetish aroma.

Peony of the Marie Lemoine variety is a herbaceous peony of extraordinary beauty with large and double flowers, reminiscent of crowns

Blush Queen

Large openwork bush up to 0.8-0.9 m high. Early flowering variety, bred in 1949. Inflorescences are large (up to 15 cm), multilayer, terry. Large and wide outer petals are cream-colored, the middle layer gives off yellowness, in the very center the narrow petals are pinkish with small reddish strokes, but by the end of flowering they become beige, almost white. The aroma emitted is refined and subtle.

Blush queen - blush queen

Features of growing this species

An unpretentious and very hardy milk-flowered peony does not require any special treatment.... Caring for him is standard, like for all other representatives of the extensive family of peonies:

  • regular and timely hydration (abundant, but rather rare);
  • loosening the soil under the bushes and removing weeds;
  • moderate and strictly dosed top dressing (an excess of mineral fertilizers is harmful, leads to a decrease in disease resistance and a deterioration in winter hardiness);
  • prevention of diseases and insect pests.

The species peony, like its varietal counterparts, grows well in open sunny areas, but it can also tolerate a sparse shade.... The plant is hygrophilous, but moisture stagnation is destructive for it. The flower grows best on well-drained, fertile loams with neutral acidity (pH 6–6.5). It mainly propagates by dividing the rhizome, but propagation by stem and root cuttings, renewal buds, and seeds is possible.

Peonies can grow in partial shade

It is not recommended to cut more than half of the flowers from one bush, as this depletes the plant and it will bloom poorly for the next season. In this case, be sure to leave the two lowest sheets.

Video: history of milk-flowered peonies in Russia

Milk-flowered peonies are native to China, where for a long time they grew only in the imperial gardens. Currently, any of us can enjoy the view of these magnificent plants. Among the huge variety of varieties and hybrids, even the most demanding gardener will pick up an attractive flower.

Herbaceous and tree-like peonies: description of species with photos

Many flowers - "travelers" over long distances, came to us from their homeland in warm southern countries with a mild and stable climate. Peonies are almost the oldest cultivated flowers. Older than them, only ginseng, whose age is estimated at tens of millions of years. In ancient China, peonies began to grow in culture more than one and a half thousand years ago, they were considered regal flowers and were called "favorites of the emperors." Peony seeds came to Europe from Asian countries along the Great Silk Road in bales of traders in overseas goods, spices and fine fabrics.

At first, flower extracts were used for medicinal purposes (peony tincture was used to treat asthma and relieve headaches). The sophisticated beauty of multi-colored inflorescences was appreciated later, and then they began to plant peonies for the sake of a spectacular "appearance" and a delicate smell. In the Chinese city of Luoyang, a peony festival is held annually, where flower "pilgrims" from different countries come to admire the bloom. This is reminiscent of the Japanese tradition of enjoying the sight of cherry blossoms in the spring.

Peonies are perhaps no less popular flowers than roses. Their delicate, fresh scent is intoxicating, and a lush cloud of delicate petals makes you dizzy and sets you in a romantic mood. Depending on the variety, they bloom for a very short time - from the end of May to the end of June. The spectacular show lasts no more than 20 days, but the Chinese believe that luxurious flowers symbolize life and the pursuit of excellence.

Among peonies there are many rare and endangered species, some of them are included in the Red Book of different countries. Scientists believe that the genus Peony is a dead-end branch of evolution, the reproduction apparatus in plants is imperfect - seedlings develop slowly, renewal buds are formed for a long time, annual forms are absent. Therefore, peonies deserve careful study and protection.

Features of species peonies

The category of wild species includes all peonies that have not undergone long-term selection and do not have a complex origin. At the same time, species plants may be more modest in flowering, but more hardy. Without exception, all species of peonies differ from herbaceous and tree-like peonies in a number of parameters that are easily recognized both externally and for use in garden design.

Wild or species peonies:

  • boast earlier flowering dates
  • in comparison with their competitors are more compact in size
  • flaunt mainly with simple or semi-double flowers.
  • are equally decorative and useful, and sometimes medicinal plants
  • are the most ancient representatives of the Peony genus introduced into culture
  • characterized by lush, cushion-shaped, thinly dissected foliage
  • blend in perfectly with natural fit
  • very fragrant
  • original fruit
  • abundant flowers, produce dozens and even hundreds of flowers
  • grow almost by themselves, without requiring complex care.

All original forms, the characteristics of which have not changed for millennia, are ranked as species peonies. Dozens of species are among the “progenitors” of garden pets, but less than ten basic varieties of peonies are grown as valuable ornamental plants.

Peony "Sorbet": description and cultivation

Decorative peony "Sorbet" is considered one of the most beautiful peonies with cupped flowers. Being a charming flower, it can become a decoration of the landscape of a summer cottage or a personal plot. The material of the article will help the reader to glean information about the nuances of growing this perennial.

Features of the

The variety "Sorbent" was artificially bred by breeders, this peony is distinguished by the power of the shoots and the height of the bush up to 1 m. The plant belongs to the milky-flowered group and is considered herbaceous, despite the height and width of the bush. Its stems are branched, and the leaves with the next arrangement are divided into narrow lobes, which gives them a kind of delicacy. In autumn, they change color from green to crimson.

The flowers of this variety are quite large: with an unusual structure, they reach a diameter of 16 cm or more. Each row of flowers is colored differently. As a rule, this delicate pink alternates with milky white. That is why, according to the generally accepted description, flowers are called three-layer. They are distinguished by the concavity of petals and an attractive aroma.

Terry peony "Sorbet" blooms in the first half of June. Due to the power of the bush and peduncles, the flowers do not hang with their caps down. The plant itself does not need to tie up the bush, although supports are needed to prevent decay. The variety is considered frost-resistant: the root system of the plant can withstand temperatures up to -40 degrees Celsius.


Peony "Sorbet" is planted in open ground, carefully choosing a place for the formation of a powerful root system. Within five years, it can grow to a depth of 1 m.Therefore, transplanting a plant in the future can become problematic. It is important to choose a place so that it is well lit, free from drafts and has deep groundwater in order to prevent root rot.

The plant loves fertile, slightly acidic and loose soil, and therefore, if necessary, it is flavored with peat or sand. The soil pH should be 6-6.5. If the soil in the region is clay, sand should be added to it; if it is sandy, clay should be added. When the soil is acidic, lime is added to it (within 200-400 g).

Terry peonies are planted or transplanted in spring or autumn. Landing is performed according to the following scheme:

  • in the designated area with an interval of 1 m, they dig holes 50 cm in depth, width and length
  • to the bottom of the hole it is necessary to lay a layer of drainage material, which will exclude stagnation of water and rotting of roots
  • then sand or peat is added, which will ensure the looseness of the soil
  • put top dressing in each hole organic or mineral type (for example, you can mix humus with wood ash and azophos) and on top - earth
  • in about a week seedlings are planted in the holes, after which they are sprinkled with earth and moistened.

If the seedlings are bought early, they can be planted in containers and wait until it gets warmer outside. The plant will begin to bloom when it reaches maturity. At the same time, it is more important for the grower that in the second year it does not bloom so much as it is healthy and developing in comparison with last year. The number of its shoots should increase.

How to care?

Like any plant, the peony of the Dutch selection "Sorbet" has its own nuances of care. Despite the fact that it perfectly tolerates winter and a sharp change in temperature, with regular care, it pleases the grower with abundant flowering and vigorous shoots. The culture is photophilous, if planted in fertilized loams with a neutral reaction, it can surprise with the first flowering in the third year from the moment of planting. To increase decorativeness, the plant must be provided with the required amount of moisture. And he also needs timely weeding, loosening.

As for dressings, they are applied 2 years after planting in open ground, since the peony is quite enough of the nutrition that is in the soil during planting. Then it will have to be fed twice per season (in spring and closer to autumn).


It is necessary to water the terry three-layer peony "Sorbet" not only in a timely manner, but also correctly. You can't do this too often, but a one-time water consumption can be 2-3 buckets per adult bush. This volume is important for the root system: it is necessary for the water to penetrate to the entire depth of the roots. Some of the gardeners create drainage systems by burying drainage pipes near the bushes with growing peonies, and pouring water directly into them.

As for the intensity of watering, it is more in early spring, as well as during the period of budding and flowering. As well as it is important to pay special attention to watering in the fall, when flower buds begin to form. It is worth considering that after watering the land must be loosened in order to improve aeration and curb the growth of weeds, which is the cause of the appearance and development of diseases of the bush.


Despite the fact that the plant is unpretentious to soil fertility, it is better to feed it. Top dressing, which is applied in spring, push the plant to active growth and development. At the end of the growing season, the peony is fertilized with phosphorus-potassium fertilizers, which will strengthen the tissues.

In the spring, when the crop appears shoots, it can be fed with fertilizer containing nitrogen, which will stimulate the growth of green mass. When the peony is in bloom, you can feed it with a liquid blended agrochemical for flowering crops. In this case, it is necessary to follow the instructions for a specific drug indicated on its packaging.

Preparing for winter

The plant lives in one place for no more than 7-10 years, if properly cared for. To prepare Sorbet peony for winter, you need to mulch it. To do this, you can use humus, sawdust or wood chips, as well as covering material, roofing material or spruce branches. They cover the plant until spring; adult plants do not need auxiliary shelters. However, the stems must still be cut for the winter.


The herbaceous tricolor peony can be propagated by cuttings, layering, or by dividing the bush. The latter method is considered one of the most productive... To do this, after the vegetation period is over, all shoots are cut off from the plant, and a shovel bayonet-length trench is made along the contour of the trunk circle.

After that, the rhizome is removed and placed in partial shade. You need to wait until the roots dry out a little and become soft, and the soil will easily separate from them. The rhizome, which was removed, is rid of excess earth, and then divided into several parts in such a way that each of them has at least three rather developed roots. The jumpers that prevent the separation of the roots are broken or cut with a knife, previously washed and disinfected in an alcohol solution.

Next, proceed to a visual inspection of the divided parts. If there are diseased areas on the parcels, they are mercilessly cut off. Even the slightest rot can cause disease, or even death of the plant. Places of cuts are processed with crushed charcoal. Someone prefers to use, instead of him, activated charcoal tablets.

In order to prevent various diseases, the parts are kept in a weak solution of potassium permanganate. After that, you can proceed to landing at a permanent place, following the standard disembarkation scheme. You can plant peonies at the central entrance to the house, a gazebo. They can be used in the landscape to separate the zones of the garden according to their intended purpose or to create flower arrangements.

Diseases and pests

Peony Sorbet may suffer from fungal diseases. For example, if the plant is affected gray mold, mold appears, leaves and buds turn black. The cause of the problem is overflow or low groundwater table. Everything that is affected must be cut off, after which the bush will have to be treated with copper sulfate.

If the leaves began to become covered with a whitish bloom, this indicates an attack on the peony. powdery mildew. The cause of the development of the disease is humidity and dampness. Here you cannot do without spraying the bush with a fungicide solution. It is impossible to start the onset of the development of diseases, since with their severe form it is not always possible to save the plant. Therefore, it is necessary to regularly inspect the bush.

The peony also attracts small pests (for example, aphids or even a bear). However, if it is not difficult to cope with aphids, then it is almost impossible to ward off the bear from the bush. They will have to make special traps, while to get rid of aphids, it is necessary to treat the bush with a special chemical.

See the video about Sorbet peonies below.


Autumn is considered the best time to transplant a white peony. During this period, the plant can easily take root in a new territory. The choice of location should be stopped in an open area that is well lit by the sun. Preparation should be done a few weeks before planting. The first step is to dig a shallow hole and fill it 2/3 with a mixture, including:

  • peat
  • humus
  • soil
  • sand.

And also in the substrate it is worth adding 0.5 liters of birch ash, a glass of superphosphate and a large spoonful of ferrous sulfate.

Digging up the rhizome of the peony must be done with great care. To do this, use a garden pitchfork.

  • The bush is dug around quite deeply, after which, with the help of shovels, the bush is pulled out of the ground.
  • The peony should be washed with water to ensure that the adhering earth is removed.
  • The dug out flower must be sent to the shade for 5 hours, after which the stem should be cut off 0.1 m from the root system.
  • The next step is to divide the peony. Using a sharp knife, it is necessary to divide the rhizome into parts, in which there are few roots and 3-4 buds.
  • After a careful examination, it is worth removing roots that are rotten or damaged.
  • Before the planting procedure begins, the root system of the peony is placed in a manganese solution, and the cuts are sprinkled with crushed coal and dried.
  • In order for the flower to take root well, it should be dipped in heteroauxin and then dried.
  • Landing in the hole is carried out in such a way that the buds are located 3-5 cm above the soil surface. The roots are sprinkled with a substrate and mulched with peat.

The peony is considered a couch potato plant, so it does not need frequent transplants. That is why the place for the growth of the plant should be selected responsibly so that the bush does not have to be disturbed. After 10 years have passed since planting, the peony should be dug up, its rhizome divided into parts and planted.

This flower needs good watering, but excessively moist soil is destructive for it. Fertilizers must be present in the substrate with which the hole is poured during planting, so the peony is not fed for the first couple of years. It is worth paying attention to the soil near the plant: it should not be compacted and requires loosening. Preparing a peony for winter requires pruning and good cover.

Peony breeding methods

In addition to the seed method of reproduction of the lactobacillus peony, there is also a vegetative method - dividing the bush. The most favorable time for dividing the bush is mid-August. The bush must be more than three years old. The bush must have at least 10 stems.

The bush is undermined with a shovel, and then divided into divisions so that each has a green mass and well-developed rhizomes. Parts of the bush are immediately planted and must be spilled abundantly.

Low-growing varieties

Low-growing peonies have been bred for alpine hills and rocky gardens. Their height does not exceed 60-65 cm; a minimum volume of soil is required for growth. Popular varieties:

  • Green Lotus - the culture belongs to milky-flowered peonies, its height is 60 cm. The flower is semi-double, the base of the white petals is greenish, and there are pink spots on the edge. Compact bush, early flowering.
  • Bouquest Perfect - height 60 cm, anemone flower. The petals are bright pink, the size of the bud is 10-12 cm. The stems are strong, the flowering is medium.
  • The touch of love (Loves Touch) - belongs to the milky-flowered group, stems up to 65 cm. The inflorescence is semi-double, the petals are light pink, in the center a few tones darker. Sweet aroma, medium-late flowering.
  • Ivory Whispers is a semi-double hybrid with a bowl-shaped bud. The petals are dense, slightly wavy. The color is white with a lemon tint and a yellow central part.

Growing a flower, how to plant it in open ground

Features of growing a peony at home.

Planting by root cuttings

A root cutting is a small piece of rhizome with a bud and a small root. Features of growing plants with root cuttings:

  • Dig out the rhizome, clean it from the ground, cut off the decayed areas.
  • Divide it into several pieces, so that each has a growth bud and a root. Cuttings should be 2-4 cm each.
  • Soak them for several hours in a weak solution of potassium permanganate for disinfection.
  • Then dry and roll in crushed charcoal.
  • Leave the cuttings overnight so that a thin crust appears in the places of the cuts.
  • Plant the cuttings in the beds at a distance of 30-40 cm from each other.

What time is the boarding

The best period for cuttings is July-August. Plants grown from cuttings are best replanted in autumn (until mid-October).

Location selection

The peony prefers to grow in sunny areas, sheltered from cold winds. It is not recommended to plant a plant in the shade. Flowering will be poor.

How to prepare the soil and flower for planting

Loamy soil is optimal for peony. A few months before planting, the soil is dug up and rotted manure is introduced. Then repeat the procedure again just before planting.

Planting procedure step by step

  • digging a hole
  • expanded clay is poured at the bottom of the hole
  • place the seedling in the ground and sprinkle
  • the root collar cannot be buried, the flower will take root for a long time.

At the end of planting, water the seedling abundantly with warm water. If several bushes grow nearby, the distance between them is at least 30 cm.

Seed planting

Growing a peony by seed is a laborious task. It is not always possible to achieve a positive result. Description of planting by seeds:

  • seeds are harvested from August to September
  • immediately after collection, the planting material is planted in open ground to a depth of 5 cm
  • on the eve of winter, the place where the seeds are planted is mulched with peat or sawdust
  • before the onset of cold weather, the mulch is covered with a layer of lapotnik.

Some sprouts appear in the spring the following year.

Watch the video: Planting Peonies Plants u0026 Tubers in My Garden! . Garden Answer