It’s that magical time of the year … peony season! Every time I post a peony pic on Instagram or here on my blog, it gets so much love! Today, I’m sharing my 5 Rules for Growing Perfect Peonies so that you too can enjoy these special blooms. Peonies are a pretty low maintenance flower but there are a few tips and tricks that you must do to ensure your peonies prosper. Plus I always love sharing my peony pics with you each season so prepare for peony overload!
Unfortunately, not everyone can grow peonies because they need at least 400 hours of temps below 40 degrees in order to bloom in the spring. This is why they don’t grow well in warmer climates.
5 Rules for Growing Perfect Peonies
Rule Number 1: Sun! Peonies love sun and need at least six hours of full sun per day. The more sun the better because more sun = more blooms!
Rule Number 2: When planting peonies, it’s all about depth and you don’t want to plant your peony too deeply. Too deep and the little shoots near the root won’t get the necessary “winter chill” which makes it impossible for them to produce flower buds. Make sure that the top of the root and the shoots are planted no more than 1/2 inch below the soil and that the base of the plant is not covered with mulch. If you have a peony in your garden that doesn’t bloom, it’s probably because it was planted too deeply. You can dig it up on the fall and replant it at the correct depth.
Rule Number 3: Plant your peony in well draining soil. Peonies are pretty low maintenance and can live for 100 years if they are planted in a place where they can thrive.
Rule Number 4: Water peonies at the base of the plant and try not to get the leaves wet which may cause them to develop a white fungus. If they do, remove the leaves and throw them away so that they don’t contaminate other plants.
Rule Number 5: Peonies can’t store up energy for next year’s blooms without leaves. When cutting flowers, don’t remove more than half of the blooms and make sure to leave enough stem (with at least 3 or 4 leaves) on the plant.
Tip: Remove dead blooms in spring but wait to cut peony bushes to the ground until after the first frost
You can plant peonies in the spring or the fall but I prefer planting two or three gallon shrubs in the spring for instant flower gratification. You can also plant bare root peonies in the fall but you may need to wait a few years to see blooms.
Did you know that peonies come in every color of the rainbow except blue? Lighter pink blooms like my Sarah Bernhardt peonies are much more fragrant than dark pink ones. My house smells absolutely amazing! Next spring, I plan to plant some hot pink and white peonies to the side of my sunroom because peonies love full sun and need at least six hours a day to flourish.
I like to think outside the vase when arranging flowers and this vintage green bread box is large enough to hold millions of peonies. I put a few smaller vases inside the big bread box which makes it easier to change the water while not damaging the box.
Did you know that peony petals are edible as long as they have not had any pesticides sprayed on them! I even tasted them so I could report back to you and they are a little bitter with floral notes. I think they would be amazing in a salad or resting on top of white frosted cupcakes.
Over the years, I’ve written lots of posts about all things peonies where you can find all of my planting, growing, arranging and more tips and even a free printable so you can have peonies all year long.
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