Everything you need to know to grow gorgeous peonies. Learn how to plant peonies so they bloom and reward you with tons of blooms every spring! These peony care tips are great for any gardener.
Peonies! I’ve dreamed of planting them for years but some unknown force was trying to keep me and my precious flowers apart.
Not anymore – I’ve finally fulfilled my peony dream (similar to my dream of growing amazing hydrangeas).
I wanted to do this right so I picked the brain of experts at the garden center on how to plant peonies so they bloom like this!
There are three types of peonies: herbaceous, intersectional and tree. I have herbaceous peonies – the most well known type and my tips below are for herbaceous peonies only.
How to Grow Peonies
Like all perennials, peonies often take a few years to produce flowers. It could take two to three years for your peony to bloom.
Hint: If you want instant gratification, don’t buy bare root peonies. I bought two-gallon container plants and they bloomed a few weeks after planting in May.
Or you can choose from this Gorgeous Selection of Peonies in tons of beautiful colors.
* Plant in early spring or fall.
* Choose a spot that gets at least five hours of full sun (more is even better and more sun = more blooms).
* Space peonies three feet apart.
* Dig hole twice as wide as the root ball but only 1/2 inch deeper.
* Add one part peat moss to three parts soil.
* When planting peonies, it’s all about depth. 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.
* Peonies have a tendency to flop from the weight of their blooms so stake your peony with a peony ring before it gets too big (preferably in the early spring). The peony will grow through and around the stake.
* 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.
Hint: If a mildewy fungus appears, cut off the white leaves and throw them away so they don’t contaminate other plants.
* When your peony becomes enormous, you can divide it in the fall (but you may not get blooms for a year or two).
* Deer don’t like peonies so plant away and don’t worry about them being nibbled on.
* Ants love peonies and don’t be surprised if some come inside with the blooms. To avoid this, cut the stems when they are buds (see below) or cut flowers at night when ants are less active.
* Get the most out of your peonies by cutting them when they just start to bloom. You can watch them fully blossom inside and enjoy them much longer. Check out my post on when to cut peonies for lasting blooms.
Lots more peony info in the links below …
Don’t procrastinate like I did.
Plant some peonies today – they will bring happiness to your garden and your home and will make you richer and thinner (well, maybe not the last two).