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Peony Top Brass is a herbaceous perennial plant of the lactoflower group with creamy pink spherical flowers. The variety was bred in the USA in 1968.
Description of peony Top Brass
The bush reaches 90-110 cm in height, 100-120 cm in width. The peony grows rather quickly. Stems are low-leafed, strong, capable of sustaining massive flowers on their own. The leaves are large, smooth, dark green, double-pinnate with a glossy sheen. The rhizome of the Top Brass peony is large, with strong shoots. Able to grow in one place for more than 10 years.
The peony of the Top Brass variety belongs to the 4th group of frost resistance, it can withstand temperatures down to -34 degrees. The plant is grown in many Russian regions, including the Moscow, Vologda and Chelyabinsk regions. Prefers sunny open areas or light partial shade.
Important! The Top Brass variety needs at least 5-6 hours of sunshine every day during the season.
Top Brass peonies bloom up to 20 cm in diameter
Flowers of the Top Brass variety are double, in the form of a ball, bordered by two tiers of white petals. In the center, among the bright yellow staminodes, pink petals are formed, forming a crest. Top Brass blooms once, abundantly, 2-3 weeks in the second half of June, does not crumble for a long time. The aroma is light, barely perceptible. Adequate light is important for flowering. Several buds grow on a branch, bloom sequentially. The seeds ripen at the end of August.
Advice! After the petals fall off, wilted inflorescences are cut off, which will allow the peony to maintain strength and prevent the development of diseases.
Application in design
Recommended to be planted with brightly colored flowers and next to fences and gazebos covered with green foliage. Peonies are good in single plantings, but they can also become an accent in landscape compositions. Top Brass variety is used in rock gardens and rockeries, grown along paths in the garden and next to water bodies. The bush is decorative until late autumn, it serves as an excellent background for other plants. Suitable neighbors for Top Brass peony:
- miniature conifers (dwarf pines, spruces, firs);
- perennials with decorative foliage (hosta, barberry, thyme).
In flower beds, you should not combine more than 2 varieties of peonies - the flowers are bright and dominant, so the variety of shapes and colors will be excessive.
Combination of Top Brass with peonies of other varieties
Top Brass can set seeds, but more often it is propagated vegetatively. Seeds do not always retain varietal properties and bloom only 4-5 years after planting. The most popular way is to divide the bush. For this purpose, an adult plant is suitable, not less than 4 years old, and preferably 5-6 year old bushes. Division stages:
- The peony is dug in, carefully taken out of the soil without damaging the root system, and shaken off the ground.
- Divide with a sharp knife into divisions with several buds and young roots (at least 10-15 cm).
- Broken and old parts of the plant are removed.
- The plots are kept in a manganese solution for 30 minutes, the sections are treated with fungicides
It is advisable to split the Top Brass from the end of August until the second half of September. Other, less common methods include propagation by stem cuttings and layering.
Peonies are planted from August to October, in regions with a cold climate - to September.
Important! At least 6 weeks should pass from the time of planting to the onset of frost.
Peonies prefer well-drained fertile soil. Neutral or slightly acidic loams are best suited. Sand and humus are added to excessively clayey soil. In sandy - clay and peat.
Top Brass does not tolerate the close occurrence of groundwater and the location in the lowlands. Peony rhizome is sensitive to moisture stagnation and rots easily.
Gardeners do not recommend planting Top Brass near buildings, shrubs and trees - air circulation is important for peonies.
When buying a delenka in a nursery, pay attention to the absence of rot and nodular thickenings. It is important that the rhizome has several adventitious processes and buds for renewal.
- It is advisable to prepare a landing pit for soil subsidence in advance. Depth and diameter at least 50 cm, for large divisions - 60 cm.
- Drainage is laid out (expanded clay, pebbles, chipped brick, crushed stone, gravel).
- Fill with a nutrient layer - a mixture of garden soil, compost, sand, superphosphate or wood ash.
- Top Brass peonies do not tolerate a deep planting, the cut is deepened by no more than 7 cm.
- Cover with a mixture of soil with compost, water abundantly, gently tamp with your hands.
- When planting in hot weather, in order to avoid drying out of the roots, mulch with a thin layer of compost or rotted manure.
Advice! A week after planting, to stimulate root formation, Kornevin can be added to the water during irrigation.
When planting peonies in groups, they take into account that the bushes grow, so a distance of 1.5 m is left between the plants.
Peony seedlings ready to plant
Among perennial flowers, herbaceous peonies are the most resistant and require minimal attention. The Top Brass variety, planted in fertilized soil, does not need to be fed for the first 2-3 years. An adult plant at the beginning of the growth of shoots needs nitrogen and potassium, during the formation of buds and until the end of the growing season - potassium and phosphorus. Excess nitrogen is undesirable for peonies, as it increases the risk of developing gray mold. Top Brass is fertilized in the evening or on a cloudy day, otherwise there is a risk that the sun will dry out the fertilizer.
Good results are obtained by foliar dressing - foliage processing by spraying. Boric acid is used diluted in water in proportions of 1 g of substance per 1 liter of liquid.
When watering, it is important to consider the main points:
- peony needs regular hydration, but stagnation of water is undesirable;
- the plant especially needs irrigation during the growth period in early spring, as well as during flowering, budding and during drought;
- in the summer, the Top Brass variety is watered abundantly every week (20 liters of water per bush);
- avoid getting moisture on leaves, stems and flowers;
- the roots of the plant grow deeper, so surface irrigation will not be effective.
- with the onset of autumn and yellowing of the leaves, watering is reduced.
To retain moisture after watering and remove weeds, the soil must be loosened. The procedure is carried out carefully so as not to damage the root collar of the plant. Peonies are mulched with rotted manure, bark, gravel.
Important! When mulching, you should not use the bark of conifers. Pine is an intermediate host of fungal diseases that are dangerous for peonies.
Preparing for winter
In autumn, the stems of the Top Brass peony are cut with a pruner at ground level or small stumps are left. For the prevention of fungal diseases, the soil is treated with fungicides. A popular drug for these purposes is Fitosporin. Then the soil is covered with bone meal and ash and ground with earth (on average, 1 bucket per bush).
After cooling and freezing of the soil, rotted horse manure is introduced from above. This nourishes the roots of the peony, contributes to the further formation of large buds and abundant flowering. Top Brass winters well under snow, but in regions with a cold climate or lack of precipitation, it is advisable to shelter it. You can use special covering materials.
Pests and diseases
Top Brass variety has good immunity and is resistant to many diseases. For peonies, fungal infections and insect pests are fatal. The development of microorganisms occurs during stagnation of water, excessive moisture in the soil, and sudden changes in temperature. Most often, peonies suffer from:
- gray rot (Botrytis, Botrytis paeonia). When infected, the buds rot, and the stems and leaves darken, becoming covered with brown spots. Mold fungus develops very quickly, which leads to wilting and dropping of the bush;
- rust (Cronartium flaccidum). The fungus infects the leaves, covering them with brown spots and causing them to dry out;
- powdery mildew (Erysiphales). Leads to wilting of leaves, white bloom slows down photosynthesis, weakening the plant;
- septoria (Septoria macrospora), which promotes mottling and dropping of leaves and shoots;
- ring mosaic (Peony ringspot virus). Symptoms are light spots with a characteristic pattern. Infected peonies are destroyed.
Ring mosaic - the incurable peony virus
For the prevention of fungal diseases, Top Brass is treated with copper sulfate, dissolving the substance in water at a concentration of 50 g per 10 liters. Both the plant itself and the soil of the trunk circle are irrigated. Other warning factors include timely pruning, moderate watering, and limited use of nitrogenous fertilizers.
With the development of the disease, peonies are treated with antifungal drugs - fungicides. Affected plants are burned.
Top Brass can be damaged by insects: ants, whiteflies, aphids. For destruction, insecticides are used.
The roots of Top Brass peonies are damaged by nematode worms, weakening the plant and leading to the formation of seals. For treatment, pesticides are used, for example, phosphamide.
Peony Top Brass is easy to grow in fertile and well-drained, lighted areas. It is frost resistant and requires minimal maintenance. Flowers of white-pink and lemon shades bloom at the end of June and have an unusual shape.
Reviews of the peony Top Brass
Marina Shumeikina, 48 years old, Vologda
Top Brass has been growing on our site for 7 years. Peony is surprisingly unpretentious, the first years were not fertilized or processed. Now we are feeding with complex additives for the splendor of flowering. The color is unusual, the peony shimmers in several colors: white, yellow and pink. Fancy shape - a terry ball with a skirt. For the winter, cut, mulch and cover with burlap. In the summer we water and loosen. Top Brass is a grateful plant that blooms profusely, requiring minimal maintenance.
Elena Titova, 36 years old, Magnitogorsk
If the rose is the queen of the garden, then the peony is definitely its king! These flowers have surrounded me since childhood, and Top Brass is one of my favorite varieties. Each flower is unique and the blooming of the bud is always a surprise! The inflorescences are large, up to 20 cm. Top Brass is unpretentious, frost-resistant, with timely shelter it perfectly tolerates our Ural winters.