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Robust, picturesque flowers and an early flowering period at the beginning of May make Paeonia stand out. Peonies have been inspiring people for centuries because of their floral decoration and are often found in monastery gardens or parks. The round, rose-like flowers are a real eye-catcher in your own garden. In order to support the flowering and high robustness of the peony, it is important to fertilize it. As a fertilizer, home remedies are of course ideal for this.

Fertilize peonies

First of all, it is necessary to clarify the question of whether it is necessary to fertilize peonies at all. The peonies (bot. Paeoniaceae) are extremely undemanding plants and only need the right location to bloom every year and survive the winter. Above all, the common peony (bot. Paeonia officinalis) is unproblematic to grow in Germany. Despite this ideal adaptation, you should not do without fertilizer. However, you need to fertilize much less often than you might think:

  • do not fertilize again in the year of planting
  • from the 2nd year is fertilized


Since the plants are about weak feeder is, you generally only need to fertilize very little. If the location has been adapted exactly to the needs of the plant, it is sufficient to administer nutrients only once in spring, just before new sprouting. You can recognize the sprouting by the red stalks that grow out of the site. As soon as these show up, the right time has come. For the rest of the year, you have two options for feeding the plants:

1. After the first fertilization in spring, you can apply small amounts of fertilizer every four weeks until the end of August or the beginning of September. It is important not to overdo it, otherwise the "roses" will quickly become over-fertilized, even if the remedy is natural.

2. Alternatively, distribute a larger amount in July to provide the plant with sufficient nutrients. This amount should roughly correspond to that from spring and is sufficient to prepare the plant for the coming winter.
You should never distribute the nutrients at the end of summer, otherwise there will be an excess and the peonies cannot go into hibernation. This would put unnecessary stress on them and either delay budding in the following spring or even damage the peony. Paeonia overfeeding happens very quickly and the pretty plants sometimes have a hard time recovering from it. You should therefore pay particular attention to not too late to fertilize.


Before you can incorporate the fertilizers below into the soil, you need to prepare the location for the peonies. This serves to loosen the soil, improves air circulation and the nutrients can be distributed without any problems. Preparing the site for fertilization is easy with the following steps:

  • Clear the site of weeds
  • just steal a lot of nutrients from the peonies
  • loosen the soil
  • it is best to use a hand cultivator for this
  • larger tools could injure the delicate roots
  • especially to loosen the soil around the plant
  • the fertilizer will later be incorporated into these

When preparing, be careful not to choose a day that is too dry. If the soil is very dry, you could accidentally damage the roots. The peony does not mind a moist fertilizer time at all.

tip: When preparing, be careful not to damage the roots of the peonies. These are very sensitive and can quickly wither away as soon as they have been processed too vigorously.

5 natural home remedies as peony fertilizer

If you are looking for a suitable fertilizer for peonies that is organic or natural, you should use classic fertilizers and home remedies. You can and should refrain from giving artificial fertilizers, as these do not really have a positive effect on the saxifrages (bot. Saxifragales). Organic fertilizer makes more sense, because artificial fertilizers usually cause more damage to the plants, especially if it is a product with a high mineral content. For this reason, you should rely on one of these fertilizers for your peonies:

1. Compost

Well-ripened household compost is an ideal source of nutrients for your peonies. You can decide for yourself what ends up on the compost and is thus passed on to the peony. Compost that has matured very well and no longer contains many coarse components is particularly suitable. Prefer animal ingredients in particular, because they contain more nitrogen, which the peonies will like. You can even let fingernails and toenails rot on the compost. The compost is distributed in the following way:

  • check for pests and fungi
  • Make it a little finer before spreading, so break up larger clumps
  • distribute in the loosened soil around the peony
  • Now work it in very carefully with the hand cultivator
  • don't touch the ground

Your compost will be even better if you compost worms use. This makes it particularly fine and therefore ideal for peonies. You can use the resulting worm tea as fertilizer for numerous other plants.

2. Slightly rotted manure

Use horse, sheep or goat manure that is slightly rotted. Since this is a nitrogenous fertilizer that also has sufficient phosphate and potassium, the plant can develop its picturesque flowers and at the same time grow robustly and vigorously. However, you should not use too much of the manure in order not to over-fertilize the peonies. This is incorporated in the same way as the compost.

3. Coffee grounds

It is best to give coffee grounds every four weeks. This unfolds its ideal effect and can specifically support the peonies. It is also used like compost and manure, but the coffee grounds must have the following properties:

  • dry
  • cold
  • mold free

It is best to choose a coffee without additional spices, as is the case in some Christmas mixtures or blends. You really only need the coffee itself.

4. Horn shavings

Horn shavings are just as easy to spread and lend themselves to direct distribution. Due to the high nutrient content, you should use this exclusively two times a year fertilize.

5. Bone Meal

Bone meal has established itself as one of the best fertilizers for Paeonia and if you have a bone grinder you can even make your own. It is biologically harmless and ensures that peonies develop numerous flowers that shine throughout the season. Fertilization in spring and mid-summer is also recommended here, as bone meal promotes the growth of the peonies, which could be a bit tiring for the plant towards the end of summer. Just work this well into the ground and you can look forward to picturesque peony blossoms.

No matter which home remedy you choose, never give it directly or in high doses to the roots of the peonies. The roots cannot absorb the nutrients so well in this way and they often suffer from the stress. Because of this, you must incorporate all of the above remedies into the soil around the plant. This is enriched by the nutrients and your peonies can then pull them out of the ground on their own. When using fertilizers, make sure not too much lime to administer. Paeonia prefer humic, acidic soil and home remedies such as wood ash deacidify the location.

tip: You can use other types of flour made from organic materials as long as you don't overdose. In addition to bone meal, there are blood, feather or crustacean meal, which are used in the same way and allow the undemanding Paeonia to have a good supply of nutrients throughout the season.


As an alternative to actually fertilizing, you can easily mulch the peonies. The perennial peonies (bot. P. lactiflora) and tree peonies (bot. P. suffruticosa) are particularly grateful for a layer of mulch at the beginning of spring and from autumn before winter. However, do not mulch here with bark mulch or grass clippings. For all peony species except P. suffruticosa a thin layer of foliage is used, which is renewed only in autumn. The addition of fertilizer is canceled in mid-summer. At the beginning of spring, one of the home remedies mentioned above is still used as fertilizer. Tree peonies, on the other hand, should be mulched with compost. The advantage: mulching stores moisture and nutrients and suppresses weeds.

tip: If you have wild peonies that grow in dry, open areas with lots of sun, you should use mineral mulches. Gravel and grit are best suited.

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