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Herbaceous Perennial

Paeonia tenuifolia 'Plena'

peony fern-leaf 'Plena'

A small, upright and bushy herbaceous perennial with attractive, very fine, dissected, green foliage tinged red in spring. Erect stems holding showy, spicily scented, double, deeply cupped, red flowers appear in spring for a short period of time

Synonyms
Paeonia tenuifolia 'Rubra Plena'
Paeonia tenuifolia 'Flore Pleno'

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Size
Ultimate height
0.1–0.5 metres
Time to ultimate height
2–5 years
Ultimate spread
0.1–0.5 metres
Growing conditions
Chalk
Clay
Loam
Sand
Moisture
Moist but well–drained
pH
Acid, Alkaline, Neutral
Colour & scent
StemFlowerFoliageFruit
Spring Red Green
Summer Green
Autumn Green
Winter
Position
  • Full sun
  • Partial shade
Aspect

East–facing or South–facing or West–facing

Exposure
Sheltered
Hardiness
H5
Botanical details
Family
Paeoniaceae
Native to the UK
No
Foliage
Deciduous
Habit
Clump forming
Potentially harmful
Pets (dogs, cats): Skin irritant. For further information and contact numbers regarding pets, see the HTA guide to potentially harmful plants
Genus

Paeonia may be herbaceous perennials or deciduous sub-shrubs with large, divided leaves and showy large bowl-shaped flowers, usually in early summer

Name status

Accepted

How to grow

Cultivation

Will grow well in fertile, humus-rich, moist but well-drained soil in full sun or partial shade in a sheltered position. Plant in autumn, add fertiliser in spring to promote good growth and mulch avoiding the stem area. Irrigate regularly until the plant becomes established after which it should not require routine watering. See tree peony cultivation for more details.

Propagation

Propagate by grafting, from a semi-ripe cutting or layering

Suggested planting locations and garden types
  • City and courtyard gardens
  • Cottage and informal garden
  • Flower borders and beds
Pruning

Prune dead stems to a healthy bud in late winter and cut flowered shoots just above the new growth in summer or autumn. Cut stems by a third in autumn to encourage vigor if the plant becomes leggy. See Pruning group 1 for more details.

Pests

May be susceptible to leaf and bud eelworm and soil-dwelling swift moth caterpillar

Diseases

May be susceptible to a virus, honey fungus, Verticillium wilt, peony leaf blotch and peony wilt

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