5 Rules for Growing Perfect Peonies – and Peony Overload!

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.

Tips for Growing Peonies kellyelko.com #peonies #peony #gardening #gardeningtips #perennials #gardening #gardeners #pinkflowers #bouquet #farmhousedecor

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

Read My Peony Planting Tips Here

How to make peonies last kellyelko.com #peonies #peony #gardening #gardeningtips #gardens #perennials

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.

Vintage bread box as a unique vase for pretty pink peonies kellyelko.com #peonies #peony #pinkpeonies #sarahbernhardtpeony #vintagedecor #farmhousedecor #breadbox #vintage #flowers #flowerarranging

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 love the color variations of peonies kellyelko.com #peony #peonies #pinkpeonies #pinkflowers #pink #bloom #gardens #gardener #perennial #peonybouquet

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.

Adorable Boston Terrier in a sea of peonies kellyelko.com #bostonterrier #peonies #peony #pinkflowers #cutedog #perennials #gardens #gardeners #pinkpeonies

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.

How to Grow Perfect Peonies kellyelko.com #peony #peonies #peonyflowers #perennials #gardens #gardeningtips #gardener #peonybouquet #flowerbouquet

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.

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram here to see lots more!

How to Grow Peonies

12 Fun Peony Facts

Free Peony Prinable

Share this Post!


  1. Thanks for all these rules, i’m sure they will help when i have problems. I can tell how excited Sushi was over your pretty peonies,haha!

    1. Sushi’s birthday is Monday and we are throwing her a party tomorrow! If you think she hated the peonies, wait until you see what I’m making her wear!

  2. Thanks for the info!!! We limbed up some deciduous trees in our front yard because our day lilies are not getting the sun they need to bloom.. also have a very leggy peony out there with one bloom.. So more sun should help them all..
    Is that your Boston Terrier?? How old?? Love BT’s…

    1. That’s great – the more sun the better! Yes – my Boston Terrier is Sushi and she’ll be 6 on Monday. I’m throwing her a party tomorrow – stay tuned for the pics!

  3. I just rec’d a peonies root, dark red almost black. Today us thurs. June11th
    Should I go ahead and plant it outside or in a pot inside till the fall?

    1. I would put the peony root in a pot in partial shade so you can control how much water it gets. Plant it in the ground in the fall Wanda and good luck!

  4. Thanks again for all things peony. It rained so much this year that mine had a very short bloom time. And I forgot to stake one group of them so the blooms died quickly. (Can’t believe I forgot. Is that considered peony abuse?). Life with a newborn has turned my brain to mush. I have white a dark pink peonys and their fragrance filled up my house. Thanks to my amazing husband who picked them and brought them in for me. I definitely needed the printable to take proper care of these amazing flowers.

    1. You win for the best peony picking husband Hope! I only have the light pink peonies and need to plant the dark pink ones! Next year will be my peony year! Hope you and your family are well!

  5. I absolutely love peonies and your 5 rules is awesome. For instance I totally did not know that peonies came in every color, but blue. I have only ever seen the white, purple,and light pink. I would love to see some more colors. Thank you for your amazing post.

  6. I love peonies as well! They are so beautiful and come in so many different colors. I have three of the herbaceous type (and have 2 more coming), and one tree peony. The flowers on the tree peony are literally the size of a dinner plate. Cute pup too btw😊

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *