How to plant peony – the best tips for growing peony

How to plant peony – the best tips for growing peony

Peonies are considered one of the most beautiful flowers that bloom in late spring and early summer, and are distinguished by their wonderful petals and soft colors. “Ree Drummond is enjoying a plot of beautiful, soft peonies, planted at our house many years ago by the wife of Big John, the ranch’s longtime cowboy,” she says. “Big John has since retired and he and his wife have moved away. But every year for about three weeks, I have the largest white and fuchsia peonies of my life.”

These perennials are not difficult to grow in your garden and can live for up to 100 years. it’s the truth! No wonder they were popular on Drummond Farm, and indeed since Victorian times in many areas, often passed down from generation to generation. But because peonies need a period of cold with temperatures below 40 degrees for at least six weeks, they will not grow in hot climates. It grows best in USDA hardiness zones 3 through 8.

If you’re lucky enough to live in one of these areas (which has recently changed) and want to grow some plants of your own, you’ll find them sold as potted plants and as bare root, meaning they have no soil attached. It’s best to plant bare root in the fall, but if you bought a pot earlier in the season, put it in the ground right away to enjoy it among other summer flowers.

Here’s what you need to know about how to grow peonies.

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What kind of peonies should I plant?

There are three main types: herbaceous peony, tree peony, and Ito peony. Grassy species die back to the ground in winter. Tree peonies, also called woody peonies, are taller and bushier and have large flowers. The Ito peony is a mix of herbaceous peony and tree peony. They die back to the ground but their flowers are as large as a tree peony. All peonies range in height from two to six feet, depending on the variety.

Where do peonies grow best?

Find a location with full sun, which is six or more hours of direct sunlight per day. Your peony may do well with fewer hours of sunlight, but you’ll get lots of foliage and fewer flowers. Give them plenty of room to spread out, too. They don’t do well when crowded with other perennials or trees because they have to fight for moisture and nutrients. Also make sure to use well-drained soil as it does not like to stay wet.

Pioneer Woman Gardening Tool Set with Basket

Pioneer Woman Gardening Tool Set with Basket

Pioneer Woman Gardening Tool Set with Basket

How do I plant peony?

For bare-root plants, plant the tuber an inch or two below the ground. If planted too deeply, it will not flower. For potted peonies, plant them in a hole twice as wide and as deep as the pot. Add some compost to the hole as well. It’s a good idea to add a 10-10-10 slow-release fertilizer to the hole if you like. Also, don’t expect flowers in the first season. You maybe Get it, but many peonies take a year or two to get established before they bloom. Water well then during dry periods in the first two years.

What is the best month to plant peonies?

September is the best month to plant peonies, especially bare-root plants. You can also plant them in late April or early May, although they may be delayed in growth compared to those planted in the fall. They will do better in the spring with potted plants.


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How do I plant and care for peonies?

Growing indoors

If you’re ready to bring your flowers inside, rinse or shake them off to say goodbye to the ants. It is best to cut the peony at a certain stage for the longest flowering period in the vase. If they are already open, they will only last a few days. Instead, cut them when they are at the marshmallow stage: the bud has some color and feels soft, not squishy. Cut them in the morning when they are full of moisture.


After the flowers fade, cut off spent flowers so they do not expend energy developing seed pods. After the first hard frost of fall, cut herbaceous peonies to the ground. Remove and discard any fallen foliage from under any type of peony.

Unlike some perennials that need to be divided every year or two, peonies don’t need to be divided for decades unless you want more plants or if they become crowded or too shady. Use a digging fork or garden trowel to lift the plant in mid-fall. Many gardeners lift the entire clump and use a sharp, clean knife to divide it into sections so that you have several roots and three to five eye buds per section. Then you can replant. However, be aware that the transplants may not bloom for a few years after they become established.

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Arricca Elin SanSone writes about health and lifestyle topics in the areas of prevention, rural life, women’s day and more. She is passionate about gardening, baking, reading, and spending time with the people and dogs she loves.

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