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The peony group with the somewhat cumbersome name "Intersectional hybrids" has become well known among gardening friends only in recent years. Botanically, this is a small sensation: the Japanese plant breeder Toichi Itoh succeeded in the middle of the last century, a staudig growing noble peony (Paeonia lactiflora) with a yellow shrub peony (Paeonia lutea) to cross.
The result is highly impressive, as the Intersectional Peonies, also referred to as Itoh hybrids, have inherited the best qualities of their parent species: they grow stoutly-compact and lignify only at the stem, bear healthy foliage and have excellent winter hardiness. They show the elegant, often with fine gradients drawn flowers of shrub peonies.
After the first successful crossing, it took quite a long time before a small but fine assortment of different colored intersectional hybrids was available. This is due to the difficult crossing processes and the very slow development time of the daughter plants resulting from the seed. From germination to the first flowering, the precious things can take a few years time. But only on the basis of the flowers, the breeder can finally decide whether one of the offspring is suitable for the garden or whether it would even be worthwhile to advance the further breeding by crossing the new selection.
Conspicuous in the case of the intersectional hybrids is the long flowering period - from May to June - because the buds do not open all at once, but gradually. Unfortunately, the beautiful plants have their price, but they justify that with their longevity and robustness. Among the best known representatives is the variety 'Bartzella' with large, bright yellow flowers that adorn themselves with red basal spots. The nursing claims are similar to those of perennial peonies. Even if the shoots at the beginning easily lignify and do not completely freeze back in milder weather, the Intersectional peonies are cut back in late autumn to a hand's breadth above the ground. Then the plants can rebuild well from below next year and reduce the risk of infection from fungal diseases.
Plant intersectional hybrids correctly
Although potted peonies are available year-round, autumn is the preferred season when planting in the perennial border. Then the peonies can still root and start right in the spring right. A place in the sun is perfect for the Intersectional Hybrids. They also thrive in the light shade, but flourish there less lush. Our choice fell on the red-flowered variety 'Scarlet Heaven'. Some perennial nurseries offer the Itoh hybrids in autumn as bare root. Incidentally, the best time to transplant and split plants is also from September to October.
The following pictures show you step by step how to plant an Intersectional Hybrid correctly.
Lift a planting hole that is about twice as wide as the pot bale (left) and loosely loosen the sole with the spade. Give the peony enough space to develop - you should plan for at least one square meter. Gently pull the Itoh peony out of the pot (right). If the root ball dissolves badly, briefly put the plant in a water bath with the pot before tamping. Peonies can cope with most garden soils, but they do not like waterlogging and root competition. Very lean soil is enriched with some compost
At the planting depth, one looks for the upper edge of the bale (left). For root-bare or freshly divided plants, the following applies: classic perennial peonies about three centimeters, intersecting about six centimeters deep into the ground. Then firmly earth the ground (right)
In the next year, the new outcrop will be mainly from the soil, partly from the buds on the lignified stem (left). These should protect you after shortening in the late autumn with a little brushwood. A pouring rim (right) ensures that the water slowly seeps into the root area and the filled soil fits well around the root ball. This so-called bottom closure facilitates the growth of peony
Basically, the intersectional hybrids are as undemanding as the perennial peonies. However, they are grateful for "feed to the roots" - a gift of good compost or organic fertilizer in the spring.
The flowering of flowers next spring (May / June) shows that 'Scarlet Heaven' feels good
Despite the large, mostly half-filled flowers need the Intersectional peonies no support.In winter you can recognize them by their short, about five to ten centimeters high Zweigrodüst, otherwise they grow herbaceous. Like all peonies, the intersectional hybrids develop best when they are allowed to remain undisturbed for years in their place.
Intersectional peonies: Recommended varieties
Start photo gallery
'Lollipop' shows a wide variation in the flower color. The flowers appear light yellow at first, then the violet-red stripes develop in full bloom
'Love Affair' gets 80 to 90 centimeters high and blooms pure white in late spring
'Bartzella' combines bumpy, compact habit with large, full-bodied yellow flowers, which were originally found only in varieties of the Yellow Shrub Peony (Paeonia lutea)
The large half-filled to filled flowers of 'Hillary' open cherry red and later fade to cream
The bright, light red blossoming, simple to semi-filled flowers of 'Julia Rose' turn to orange and apricot over time to cream
The large flowers of 'Yellow Crown' are very filled and shine in bright yellow. They form a beautiful contrast to the deep green foliage