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Peonies

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Taken in my garden, late spring 2007.

Credit: Michele Rose
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Botanical name: Paeonia

Plant type: Flower

USDA Hardiness Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Sun exposure: Full Sun, Part Sun

Soil type: Loamy

Soil pH: Neutral


Flower color: Red, Pink, Yellow, White

Bloom time: Spring

The fattest and most scrumptious of all flowers, a rare fusion of fluff and majesty, the peony is now coming into bloom.
–Henry Mitchell, American writer (1923-93)

Peonies are outrageously beautiful in bloom, with lush foliage all summer long. These perennials may live longer than you do—some have been known to thrive for 100 years. The plants require little maintenance as long as they are planted properly and establish themselves; they do not respond well to transplanting.

Peonies take your breath away every spring. They're hardy to Zone 3 and grow well as far south as Zones 7 and 8. In most of the country, the rules for success are simply full sun and well-drained soil. Peonies even relish cold winters, because they need chilling for bud formation.

Peonies make fine sentinels lining walkways and a lovely low hedge. After its stunning bloom, the peony's bushy clump of handsome glossy green leaves lasts all summer, and then turns purplish or gold in the fall, as stately and dignified as any shrub.

In mixed borders, peonies bloom with columbines, baptisias, and veronicas, and combine well with irises and roses. Plant white peonies with yellow irises and a froth of forget-me-nots; set off pink peonies with blue Nepeta or violets.

Planting

  • Grow peonies in deep, fertile, humus-rich, moist soil that drains well.  Soil pH should be neutral.
  • The soil will benefit from the addition of organic material in the planting hole. If the soil is heavy or very sandy, enrich it with compost. Incorporate about 1 cup of bonemeal into the soil. Tamp soil firmly.
  • Peonies are not fussy but choose your location wisely as they resent disturbance. Provide shelter from strong winds. Plant away from trees or shrubs as peonies don't like to compete for food and moisture. Space them three to four feet apart for good air circulation.
  • Peonies like full sun, and though they can manage with half a day, they bloom best in a sunny spot.
  • Peonies are usually sold as bare-root tubers with three to five eyes, divisions of a three- or four-year-old plant.
  • Plant peonies in the fall: in late September and October in most of the country, and even later in the South. (If you must move an established plant, this is the time.)
  • Peonies should be settled into place before the first hard frost. Spring-planted peonies just don't do as well, experts agree; they generally lag about a year behind those planted in the fall.
  • Dig a generous-sized hole, about two feet deep and two feet across in well-drained soil in a sunny spot. If the soil is heavy or very sandy, enrich it with compost. Incorporate about one cup of bonemeal into the soil. Tamp it firmly.
  • Set the root so the eyes face upward on top of the firmed soil, placing the root just 2 inches below the soil surface. (In southern states, choose early-blooming varieties, plant them about an inch deep, and provide some shade.)
  • Then backfill the hole, taking care that the soil doesn't settle and bury the root deeper than 2 inches.
  • Water thoroughly.

Tip: Don't plant too deep! In most of the country, the peony's eyes (buds) should be no deeper than 1-1/2 to 2 inches below the soil line!

Care

Like children, young peonies take time to develop. They usually need a few years to establish themselves, bloom, and grow.

Peonies thrive on benign neglect. Unlike most perennials, they don't need to be dug and divided.

  • Spare the fertilizer. Work the soil well before you plant, mixing in a little fertilizer, and that should be enough.
  • If your soil is poor, the time to apply fertilizer (bonemeal, compost, or well-rotted manure) is early summer, after the peonies have bloomed and you have deadheaded. Don't fertilizer more than every few years.
  • Help the stems. If peonies have any structural weakness, it is their stems, which are sometimes not strong enough to support their gigantic blossoms. Consider three-legged metal peony rings that allow the plant to grow through the center of the rings.
  • Deadhead peony blossoms as soon as they begin to fade, cutting to a strong leaf so that the stem doesn't stick out of the foliage. Cut the foliage to the ground in the fall to avoid any overwintering disease.
  • Don't smother peonies with mulch. Where cold temperatures are severe, for the first winter after planting you can mulch VERY loosely with pine needles or shredded bark. Remove mulch in the spring.

Pests

Peonies are generally very hearty. They are prone to Verticillium wilt, ringspot virus, tip blight, stem rot, Botrytis blight, left blotch, Japanese beetle, and nematodes.

Many gardeners wonder why so many ants crawl on the peony buds. They are eating nectar in exchange for attacking bud-eating pests. Never spray the ants; they're helping you nurture peonies to bloom.

Recommended Varieties

Peonies are spring-bloomers, but you can plan your garden for a successive display of flowers from mid-May to early June. Here are some choices:

  • 'Early Scout': very early, red single flowers
  • 'Firelight': very early pale-pink single
  • 'Karl Rosenfield': midseason double with large crimson blossoms
  • 'Norma Volz,' midseason large, white, fully double flower
  • 'Elsa Sass': late-season double with pure-white, camellia-like flowers

Wit & Wisdom

Tip: Peonies make wonderful cut flowers, lasting more than a week. For best results, cut long stems when the buds are still fairly tight.

Had I but four square feet of ground at my disposal, I would plant a peony in the corner and proceed to worship.
–Alice Harding, The Book of the Peony

E-Cards

Credit: Catherine Boeckmann

Send a free e-card of a glorious peony. Click here to see more peony images in our e-card gallery.

Comments

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I read that you can not plant

By J Sear on August 9

I read that you can not plant a peony where another peony had once grown. What is the reason for this? I want to dig up a peony that I do not like the color of, and replace it with a different variety. Can I do that?

If you are replacing a

By Almanac Staff on August 10

If you are replacing a healthy peony plant there is no problem planting in the same spot. You may want to add some compost to the soil before planting the new peony.

what are the big pob like

By Gina DiCmillo-Dow on August 5

what are the big pob like thing fter the flowers have gone by? They have little white beads unside.

live in Canada niagara

By peacelily

live in Canada niagara region. can you plant peonies seeds to grow outside and what would be the best time???

You can plant the seeds in

By Almanac Staff

You can plant the seeds in pots or plant them directly in a sandy loam about 2 inches deep in the fall. Space seeds 1 to 2 inches apart. Water well. If you have black seeds (with a hard seed coat) you can try to lightly file the seed coat to help it germinate. Be aware that it may take several seasons before the plants are big enough to bloom.

My gardener cut back my

By steve565

My gardener cut back my peonies to the ground last week (mid July) We live in michigan
They had been transplanted a few weeks ago and looked very poorly

Will they come back?

thanks

I think in most cases they

By Rhino1

I think in most cases they would be fine but when they had just been planted it may help because all energy will go to root to grow good luck.

I summer in Northern Calif.

By Karen Andros

I summer in Northern Calif. we planted 6 peonies 2 years ago. Last year we just had foliage this year we had foliage and only one bloom. They are not getting full sun only partial during the late morning and late afternoon. I noticed on some of the plants there looked liked the start of buds but they just turned brown. Is this a watering problem or a lack of sun.

Hello, And thank you in

By bobbi doerr

Hello,
And thank you in advance for giving your wise advise.I have a number of tree peonies and find as the years have gone by they are starting to develop bush varieties within the tree shrub, like a standard peony perennial. (I hope I am explaining that clearly)Should I cut away any sign of this type of peony from the tree variety? My concern is that the more established these type of peonies become they will overtake the tree peony.
Best,
B

Hi, Bobbi, We are not sure

By Almanac Staff

Hi, Bobbi,
We are not sure who/what you are referring to with "they are starting to develop bush varieties." If you mean nurserypeople/plant breeders...well, anything that "they" develop will not affect your plants.
If you mean "they" as your plants "becoming" standard bush varieties...it sounds like you need to prune your plants. Tree peonies respond well to pruning. Do it in early spring. Cut out extra growth in the interior: Select 6 to 10 of the stongest branches as the major stems. This helps the plant focus its energy and not use it to produce excess leaves. You want to allow more light and air to circulate around the plant. If you want to see wood at the base, prune out leaf buds low to the ground.
Hope this helps!

I have a beautiful peony bush

By Doris Newberger

I have a beautiful peony bush for about six years and get beautiful blooms each year. This year after only about a week and a half we had a bad rain storm which soaked the blooms and that was it for the blooms. Now they are all gone but instead of the nice dark green leaves I see white spots in the leaves and some of the branches. Is this Botrytis? Should I cut it down or try to spray it with an anti fungus spray? If so what should I buy? Please help as that is the beauty of my small garden.

I wanted to divide and

By rose nelson

I wanted to divide and transplant a couple of my gorgeous plants, did so, and the leaves are curling like they were burned or wilted..I fertilized soil with Miraclo gro..is that my mistake..they haven't grown or bloomed. I did this back in May.

If the leaves are curling,

By Almanac Staff

If the leaves are curling, it's possible that your plant has a fungull disease. You'll want to remove any infected parts. Sometimes this happens because of cool, wet weather. Sometimes it happens because your soil is to compacted. You may need to replant in lightweight, loose soil. Next year, spray the plants with a fungicide. Speak to your garden center for local recommendations.

I have several peonies that

By sandilg

I have several peonies that bloomed beautifully this spring. My mother-in-law was very proud of them and now that we own the house, they are a feeling of her presents here. This is my the first time caring for them. I didn't know that you should deadhead them so I didn't and I have noticed there are some type of pod where the blossom was. What is this and what do I do now?

I have had 3 peonies that

By Michele Guindon

I have had 3 peonies that were there when I bought my home 6 years ago. They all bloomed gorgeously for 4 years and are about the same size, etc. Last year the 3rd one that doesn't get as much sun came in much smaller - only a few stems shot up and this year only 2 stems came up with one bloom. I do have a vine like thing that covers the ground there that seemed to get the 3rd one worse as well. I pulled out as much of the vine-like weeds and will dead head, fertilize and trim them down this fall. Is there anything else I can do? It used to bloom equally well as the other two and would like to get it back to its glory!

It's best to dig up the peony

By Almanac Staff

It's best to dig up the peony in the fall and see if you can divide it. Each root division should have 3 to 5 "eyes". Then plant the divisions in a sunny spot in well-drained soil. Add compost or aged manure to the soil. See more planting tips above.

Can Peonies be started from

By pamela leahy

Can Peonies be started from seed?? Thanks

Have a few seeds from the

By anna rupert

Have a few seeds from the flower itself. Can I plant them? Do I let them dry out? Thanks, Anna

Technically, you could grow

By Almanac Staff

Technically, you could grow peonies from seed but it's a very complicated process and it also takes 5 to 7 years. Instead, what most gardener do is simply divide their peonies!

I would like more info on

By janellfriedrich

I would like more info on seed growing. Just harvesting the buds. Cutting them open to let seeds dry. Now what, when to plant?

I have a peony plant I

By Connor

I have a peony plant I inhereted when I bought my house two summers ago and it has yet to bloom. It is rather larger, probably 3ft by 3ft and a few feet high, but no blooms. A box store peony plant I bought and planted last fall has already come up and bloomed this spring. I'm in southern NY. Last fall, after no blooms, I followed the winter instructions but again no blooms. The plants look like there are tiny blooms that never develop. What might be wrong?

Your peony is probably

By NinaPants

Your peony is probably planted too deep. They won't bloom if too deep but grow foliage well.

I have a friend who has the

By Ray Newman

I have a friend who has the 'Bowl of beauty peonies, she would like to know if you can take and grow cuttings from them

Many peonies can be

By Almanac Staff

Many peonies can be propagated from root cuttings but not from stem cuttings. The best way to propagate a peony is to dig it up in the fall and divide the rhizome. You may get 4 to 8 divisions from a medium size plant.

I have had a Peony for about

By Jennifer Chamberlain

I have had a Peony for about 6 years in the same place. This year it has not sprouted yet, two other Peonies I have are already a foot tall. It has always done well and bloomed. I'm not sure what happened. I live in zone 4 in Alaska. Do you have any idea why it would not come back?

My Peonies are gorgeously

By JasmineMadAbout...

My Peonies are gorgeously blooming in my backyard right now, but even with the ring around them they are too tall and look somewhat breaking (not really broken but well bent) i am considering cutting the flowers but also thinking, will cutting them force more flowers to come out or will it hurt rather than benefit the bush for later blooming? If I know what to do I can at least save my second bush properly. Thanks for your help! :)

I use a stake in the middle

By Deb Mathis

I use a stake in the middle of a peony support for my tall "bomb" peony. I think it is tall because it is stretching to reach the sun - it is partially shaded by a tree. (A peony support is a ring that has addition supports for the stems - think lattice pie crust. It is worth the extra money.) As soon as the flowers open I cut them and give them to my overjoyed friends and neighbors. The shrub does not rebloom. (Zone 6A)

We live in Northwestern

By Greg Streeter

We live in Northwestern Illinois. We have 3 peony bushes. They have are planted on the south side of the house with no shade. They were planted by my Grandparents. The peonies have been declining over the last few years. This year the plants are very small and show no sign of blooming. Other peonies in the area are blooming. I need some guidence about what to do?

Please see this page from the

By Almanac Staff

Please see this page from the American Peony Society. The third question down might help you:
http://www.americanpeonysociety.org/q-a/faqa

I bought 2 peonies plant in

By ken beddow

I bought 2 peonies plant in April 2015 in full bloom, The flowers hare now gone and the leaves are brown and dry. What do I do?

Hi Ken, Please see or

By Almanac Staff

Hi Ken,
Please see or planting and care section above. Have the peonies been outside in very hot weather? They may have dried out. Check the stems to see if they are still green and remove the brown leaves.

I planted two peonies for the

By LP

I planted two peonies for the first time this spring and they are blooming just fine, but the flowers do not last long. After just a few days the petals fall off, even though they look perfect. They don't seem to dry out or turn brown, just drop off. Am I doing something wrong? They get lots of sun and water.

Peony blossoms are short

By Deb Mathis

Peony blossoms are short lived. As soon as mine start to open I cut them and enjoy the fragrance inside.

After the flower blooms, I

By Kenh

After the flower blooms, I always cut mine down. They come back every year. Is it really a problem to do that?

Hi, Ken: Not at all. You can

By Almanac Staff

Hi, Ken: Not at all. You can cut back to the next strong leaf and then all the way down at the end of the season. Common practice! Thanks for asking!

We are in zone 4 at 8700 ft

By Howard Col

We are in zone 4 at 8700 ft will peonies grow here? My wife loves them and if they will grow I will buy her some.

Hi Howard, Most peonies are

By Almanac Staff

Hi Howard,

Most peonies are hardy in zone 4. The first winter after planting add some mulch around the plants. Coral Terrace, Supreme Pink, and Luoyang Red are a few varieties recommended for colder regions.

I'm living in Malaysia, South

By Devan

I'm living in Malaysia, South east country. I wonder will peony flower can be planted here? Is it good result?

I bought some peonies that

By MichelleS

I bought some peonies that only have 1 stalk and no buds before seeing multi-stalked ones with buds at a nursery. Does this mean they are young? Will they ever be bushy?

I am having a huge problem

By BeckyM

I am having a huge problem with weeds in my garden and was wondering if it is safe to try a little bit of mulch if I keep it further away from the stems of my peonies.I am in zone 6 and am wondering if a little mulch will help with cold nights as it is May 22 and we are about to get a frost wave tonight

I planted a bare root peony

By Robyn Marsala

I planted a bare root peony from Walmart and planted it a month ago at least (End of April). I planted it shallow with the eyes about an inch below the soil with plenty of organic compost and peat moss mixed in with the soil. Nothing has happened yet. Is it dead? How long should I wait for sprouts before I dig it up and get my money back?

It's not dead- peonies are

By Stacy Oswalt

It's not dead- peonies are like tulip bulbs and need to be planted in fall... the cold winter is what triggers them to bloom in spring. When planted in spring, they just won't do well and wont't bloom until the next spring- after they've had a winter.

I purchased 3 peonies last

By Shawna D

I purchased 3 peonies last year from Walmart. I put a little bit of bone meal in the holes before I planted them. They didn't really do anything last year and I honestly wondered if they would grow well. So far this year, they sprung up out of the ground really quickly and there are several buds on all three plants and they are bushy this year! Don't fret this year. Next year they may be the same as mine. Sometimes they take a couple of years before buds for on them. Hope this helps.

Just leave it alone. Peonies

By Donna Jean Green Bean

Just leave it alone. Peonies take a year to get growing. If you planted a bare root peony last month (April) you'll not really see a lot of results until next year. Just ignore it and forget about it and one day in your future it will pop up out of the ground and delight you.

I would like to cut a few

By Roxann Williams

I would like to cut a few buds to utilize for grave decoration Memorial Day. How do I cut and keep them until then?

Cut buds that have had their

By Donna Jean Green Bean

Cut buds that have had their green outer casing removed by ants (tight green covered buds will not bloom). Put them in a glass of water, cover with damp paper towel then a light layer of plastic wrap loosely over the top and put in the bottom shelf of your refrigerator. Take them out the day before and put on your counter top.

Can I put my peonies into

By Jeanie French

Can I put my peonies into large pots and bury the pots in the ground? I have to move my peonies for the second time (moved them to a sunnier spot about 10-15 years ago) and now I need to move them again because I am completely redoing the landscaping. I wanted to move them to a sunnier spot but keep them in large pots to protect them somewhat from invading grass. I have some really big pots that some trees came in, two gallon pots, I think. Would this work? I have successfully grown Stargazer lilies this way in gallon pots. It works great for them and for other bulbs, like dahlias, which have to be dug for winter to keep them from freezing (lilies stay in the pot in the ground; I pull the whole pot of dahlias and keep in shed to prevent freezing). The peonies would stay in the ground in the pots.

I was wondering if I plant a

By Sheron Davis

I was wondering if I plant a peony bud, will it take root so that I can grow my own plant. Can I put the bud in water or should I plant it in a small container with dirt?

To cultivate a peony, you can

By Almanac Staff

To cultivate a peony, you can grow from seed or you can grow from divisions. For the division, you would remove the foliage and lift the clump of roots in the fall.  Gently ash off the soil to expose the roots. Cut off sections of with at least three dormant growth buds each and roots attached. Replant with the buds two inches below the ground.

Do peony rose grow in pots in

By jacinta

Do peony rose grow in pots in Victoria

I just bought a peony and now

By Heidi Rohland

I just bought a peony and now read that you should plant them in the fall, I have 4 months until fall. Can i plant it now or should i wait until the fall?

The directions that were with

By sevans

The directions that were with my Peony roots said for "spring planting"...which I planted mid- spring of last year....I then also got some roots on closeout in late summer which I then planted in the early fall as suggested here. After an unusually hash winter, with lots of snow & ice here in the midsouth, I was thrilled this Spring to find my peonies planted last spring made it through (& began blooming by Mother's Day!) but unfortunately none of my fall planted roots (which were planted only a few feet from the spring planted ones) showed any sign of life so far this spring, & will likely need to replace them soon (will definately plant more this spring-it worked better for me)....Good luck what ever time you choose!

Bare-root peonies are planted

By Almanac Staff

Bare-root peonies are planted in the fall, however, container-grown plants can be planted any time. Plant in a sunny or lightly shaded place. Add plenty of organic matter into the planting hole. Take care that you do not plant too deep or it won't flower well. See this page for more information.

So I just moved into a house

By Jessica b

So I just moved into a house and just realized there is a peony bush out back. It's doing very well getting big and green and getting buds. My issue is the ants. I know they need ants to help them. But my kids freak out about them. Could I put coffee grounds around the rest of my garden leaving the peonies alone, to keep them kind of at bay? I know they don't like the coffee grounds but I don't want to hinder the peony but I don't want my kids freaking out every time they go outside to play.

Educate your children.

By Deb Mathis

Educate your children. Insects are a vital part of all healthy gardens. Peonies need ants.

Mix equal amounts of sugar

By Almanac Staff

Mix equal amounts of sugar and corn meal and sprinkle the mixture around the plant. You can also try to sprinkle cinnamon around the peony to keep ants away. Ants also dislike the smell of geraniums and garlic.

 

I recently got some peonies

By Deb Kendall

I recently got some peonies and have been reading on the care for them. I have read on several different sites, as well as been told by friends that ants are good for peonies but you say to put stuff down to keep the ants away...

I purchased a peony from the

By Amanda Whetstone

I purchased a peony from the "shade" section at a local nursery and consequently planted it in a very shady area of our yard, 2 springs ago. Last year, it did grow back a bit but never bloomed. Now, I've done my research and see it needs more sun. It is only getting indirect sunlight in it's current location. However, I am also reading that they possibly do not respond well to transplanting. Since it is still a young peony, would it be a bad idea to move it to a sunnier location? Or is the shady location a worse fate? No matter what, should I wait until fall? I live in north Texas. Thank you!

Move it. Dig up a really big

By Deb Mathis

Move it. Dig up a really big root ball and place it in a similar sized hole. Water well. You may want to give it a little shade each day with an umbrella until it gets used to the sun. My theory is that digging up a big root ball does not actually disturb the roots. I move my plants in summer using this method and have never had a fatality. I also give the transplants willow bark tea the day I move them. To make it, just pound some small willow branches with a hammer and simmer them in a big covered pot for at least 30 minutes. I use about two cups of cooled tea per 2 gallon watering can.

Try B1. You can find it at

By Amber5

Try B1. You can find it at your lawn and garden center. It's a liquid that helps plants to keep from going into shock after transplanting:-)

Move it. In my opinion and

By Lavon Lewis

Move it. In my opinion and experience it won't do well in that shade so move it late in the fall before the first freeze.

I live in San Antonio, TX and

By Amgc1106

I live in San Antonio, TX and bought 3 peonies at a local garden center. I grew up in the Midwest and had many peony bushes planted in my yard. However, here my soil is horrible, extremely rocky so I rarely plant anything in the ground and rely on pots and containers instead. I have read that peonies can be grown in pots, however I am wondering what size they require and if they require any additional maintenance in a pot as oppose to the ground? I have 2 Karl Rosenfield and 1 Festiva Maxima

i live in dallas,soil is

By elizabeth petty

i live in dallas,soil is good,but my peonies never did any good.this year,i bought some very large pots,clay pots are the best.so far they are growing just fine.i dont expect them to bloom this year,i hope next year.i have them on my front pourch,they get morning sun..i do know this do not plant no more than 2 inches below grown,if you do they wont bloom.also good soil is the best.they like soil that drains and doesnt keep the roots wet.also when you plant in pots,you do have to water more often.i check them every 3rd day .good luck..

I have peonies which are at

By Nancy D. Carson

I have peonies which are at least 60 yrs old. I have had to move them into pots several times as we have moved several times in the past 4 years. They have fortunately tolerated this reasonably well. However I notice the tubers around the top of the ground are curly and hollow. Is this a concern or a normal occurrence with peonies. These were my grandmother's and mother's and I want so badly to keep them until we move into our own home. Can you help me?

If the peonies are that old

By Almanac Staff

If the peonies are that old and have not been divided much the old roots towards the top dry up and end up hollow. If you dig up the entire root ball you will see newer roots below. In nurseries peonies are divided every 3-4 years. We suggest that you divide some of your larger tubers and replant them in the ground or in containers.

I have just dug up bits from

By Warner smith

I have just dug up bits from some peones that are very soon to flower. I had to do it it now as my friend has died and I won't have access later. Should I leave the foliage on in its new site. I know it is a gamble but....

Can I dig in the spring to

By keith ekstran

Can I dig in the spring to move in the fall? Is storage in the root cellar OK? Thanks

I planted a peony in the fall

By sandraM1

I planted a peony in the fall of last year. We are now at the beginning of spring and I do not see any green leaves coming up, in fact it looks like its dead. How can I be sure that its ok, does it take time to revive itself and how far in spring should we be in until I see some life coming back into it? I'm really disappointed as I thought it would be sprouting up again by now.. (We live in central B.C.)

Keep in mind that

By Almanac Staff

Keep in mind that transplanted peonies may not bloom as well (or at all) the first season in their new home, but that they will recover.

My husband mistook my peonies

By Asionne

My husband mistook my peonies for weeds! They were just growing back after our winter, so they weren't very big. He mowed them all! Will they grow back this season? And bloom? I am so bummed!

Listen, my husband denies

By Linda R Martin

Listen, my husband denies this, but I think he (or his nephew) accidently hit my peonies with weed killer (the kind that kills the root). They curled up and appeared to die last summer. However, I am thrilled to tell you that they came back this spring. I had the same thing happen at another location by someone we paid to do lawn care (at a rental). They have also come back and are quite full and lucious!

We've had many peonies

By Almanac Staff

We've had many peonies accidentally mowed down and they have grown back. Perhaps some latent buds will send up new shoots. It should come back though.

I planted some root tumblers

By JENNIFER Walter

I planted some root tumblers in fall and was curious if they would bloom this year so i dug a couple up and noticed that had sprouts coming up then replanted them are they going to be ok?

I have seen this question

By NK Francisco

I have seen this question posted several times, but never answered. What should we do with peonies roots that we purchase in bags from the big box stores in the spring? How should we keep them viable until the fall when they can be planted. I live in San Francisco Bay Area.

The ideal time to plant

By Almanac Staff

The ideal time to plant peonies is in the fall but if you bought them in the spring plant them as soon as possible in the ground or in a container with well-draining soil mix.

I transplanted 10 Peonies

By Ed Dillard

I transplanted 10 Peonies from Gal. Containers,,to some Very "Pink,hard-packed soil. I only used the soil that came in the pots ,along with the Clay soil,to plant them. They stayed green all summer,,but looked like they Died last fall.I trimmed all the dead stems,leaves,off to ground level...No sign of them yet,,late March,,Northeast Ga, Mts. Are they Dead??,,ed

They appear to die off each

By ray ciemniecki

They appear to die off each fall and grow back each spring... DO NOT dig them up, they will be fine.

I'm in Atlanta, Georgia, zone

By Ga girl

I'm in Atlanta, Georgia, zone 7 I think, and just bought 3 gallon size peonies - Raspberry Sundae, Sarah Bernhardt double, and Karl Rosenfield double. I reviewed most of the comments & replies listed but I'm confused about a couple of things:
1) because they are gallon sized & showing growth should I go ahead & plant them or wait until early Fall?
2) I questioned the nursery staff about full sun but he told me they don't need that much (?). Can I assume they need A LOT of sun but not strong southern afternoon sun?
I had intended to plant all 3 near each other but was wondering if I should pick different areas of my north facing front yard, increasing the chance of location survival.
I have 5 hydrangeas on the front/side yard that are doing well with full morning sun until mid summer when there's more shade from trees. The front middle of the yard gets full sun pretty much all day - probably too much for the peonies? There's only 1 small spot on the front right that gets a good bit of morning sun so I may put 1 there (not enough room for more than 1).
Sorry for the long message but I'm excited to have these (pricey) little gems and want to do them right. Gonna get bonemeal & peat moss today :)

I live in zone 5 michigan.

By susan19

I live in zone 5 michigan. My mom's at least 20 year old peonies are on the north side of the house(indirect sun), have been laid on by the dog (since it was a cool place), and continue to bloom year after year. I stuck a shovel in the ground in the fall, moved a couple of tubers under a tree, and now after 2-3 years, those bushes are blooming big and beautiful white blooms. Relax, peonies are slow but very forgiving. They don't need 100% full sun.

Hello, By reading i found

By AuntieC

Hello,
By reading i found most of the answers to my questions...but now in reading through this, i'm concerned that i may not get the results i would like.
SO i live in North Texas. I have only now found peony tubers available for sale. I've purchased several and planted them in pots now and was planning to move them to my garden beds when they get a little bigger. Question one...should i wait and transplant them in the fall for better results...or will i now have the possibility of no blooms for a couple of years??
also, they will be transplanted into my raised garden beds. What i am working on now is laying newspaper down to control weeds and the horrible bermuda grass that invades the bed in the summer. I was also planning on mulching....will mulching disrupt anything?? or if they are mulched over will they still pop up?
thanks so much!
Cheryl

You can keep your peonies in

By Almanac Staff

You can keep your peonies in the cotainers and plant them in the raised beds in the fall. It's important to keep the top of the roots only 1-1/2 to 2 inches below the soil line. If you add mulch make sure it doesn't cover the top of the roots too deeply.

Just bough some peonies and

By Diane Rigoli

Just bough some peonies and would like to know if I can grow them in containers? I live in central Florida and am not sure where to plant them on my property in the ground yet.

Hi Diane, Yes, you can grow

By Almanac Staff

Hi Diane,
Yes, you can grow peonies in containers. Just follow the planting instructions on top of this page. When the plants grow bigger you may want to transplant them into the ground.
 

I just bought some

By livininthewild

I just bought some Peonies(tubers). I live on the Oregon coast,it rarely freezes, and generally stays in the 50's. Can i put the Tubers in the fridge(38F) For a couple days or weeks to get them to grow and bloom this summer? Can i plant them in barrels that have been cut in half?

Yes, you can store the tubers

By Almanac Staff

Yes, you can store the tubers in the refrigerator. Put them in a bag with peat moss. Plant them outdoors in the spring. The barrels will work well as containers. See our planting advice on this page.

I bought peonys last year and

By Brenda from KY (1/28/15)

I bought peonys last year and put them in the refrigerator crisper in the same container they were shipped hoping to plant them by my new house last fall. Well fall has turned to winter and hopefully, I'll be in my new house within 2 months. Can I plant these peonies say in March or April since I've kept them cold and dormant?

I bought peony tubers today.

By Jessica Burton

I bought peony tubers today. When can I plant them and what do I need to do to prepare them for planting?

The best time to plant

By Almanac Staff

The best time to plant peonies is in early fall — September and October are ideal. Alternatively, you can plant in the early spring though they may not bloom for a year or two. Work organic matter into the soil. See this page for more planting information.

Hello I am from Mauritius( a

By pushpa

Hello I am from Mauritius( a tropical island in the Indian Ocean) and i recently bought the Peony seeds.
I read that this plant needs cold winter, but here its never so cold.
Can you please advise?

thanks.

we were told we could

By Ranae

we were told we could transplant our tree peonies now in Jan by the person we bought from...
is the beginning of jan in Pennslvania. snowing out now, but tomm raining and 40 degree's
can we transplant them now?? we are afraid its too late.

Tree peonies are best

By Almanac Staff

Tree peonies are best transplanted in late fall or early spring when they are dormant. Keep the peonies in a cool dark spot until then.

Hello. I bought some peony

By Sya

Hello. I bought some peony seeds a few days ago and I want to plant them...which mean its in december. I'm wondering if I can plant them in a pot then after sometime I want to transfer them to the ground...can I do that? If I can do that, when do I have to transfer them onto the ground? cause I've seen many pictures of peony planted on the ground. And what is the range size of the peony roots if I plant them in a pot. Because I'm afraid that I will cut the roots when transferring the plant. Btw, I'm from Malaysia and its kinda rainy season here. Another question, I do have to water the plant everyday right? haha :) sorry, I'm new in gardening...hope you can help me. thank you :)

You can plant the seeds in

By Almanac Staff

You can plant the seeds in pots. When the plant is about a foot tall you can transplant it into the ground. Here in North America it's best to transplant in the fall. Peonies need full sun and well-drained soil. Garden peonies also need a chilling period to go dormant and require at least 30 days of below freezing for bud formation. There are a few varieties that do well in warmer climates.

I read all the posts and do

By Earlybloomer

I read all the posts and do not see the problem I'm having. I live in Dallas, TX and I planted my peony bulbs in November of this year. Our weather has been freezing then warm. I just noticed two days ago I'm getting sprouts. What should I do to protect them from freeze over the winter ?

You need to trick your

By Almanac Staff

You need to trick your peonies into thinking it is cold outside. Fill a large baking pan with water and freeze it. Put the block of ice over the peonies. When the ice on the peonies melts, replace it with more ice.

I assume till they shrivel

By Earlybloomer

I assume till they shrivel up? Since my last post they have grown another two inches.

I wish I would have checked

By Peety

I wish I would have checked this site before I dug up some of my peonies! I didn't realize how large the root mass is so I didn't dig deep/wide enough so I ended up cutting through many of the roots. I've replanted them in a much smaller area than you suggest - so, a couple of questions:
1. Will the cut off roots affect the plant?
2. Will they now die because of the roots being cut?
3. Can any of the root portions be planted & survive?
4. Did I just destroy my plants? I hope not!
Thanks for your help.
btw - I live in Northern Cali and just did this today. The weather is in the low 60's during the day and will go down to around 40 at night. We haven't had a hard freeze yet this season.

Hi Peety, The main plants

By Almanac Staff

Hi Peety,
The main plants should be fine, even if you cut some of the outer roots off. The cut off end roots will probably not grow into plants. Each peony division needs about 3 'eyes' or buds to do well next season. If the plants come up to close to each other next spring you can always move them again next fall.

Thank you for the reply.

By Peety

Thank you for the reply. I'll let you know how they do. Fingers crossed. Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello I brought as peony bush

By janis melton

Hello I brought as peony bush last year in 2013, I patiently waited for it to bloom this year but they didn't so I looked on the internet and found out that they will bloom next year , is this try? And if it is then why, I love to have them blooming in my yard and was so disappointed when they did this year, I also cut them down to ground as directed, my neighbors have some that are just beautiful, however they don't take care of them, and now they moved an I think the new f2f folks are probably gonna not care for them as well I might ask if you could have them when spring gets here would it hurt to dig them up in spring and plant in my yard

Hi Janis, The best time to

By Almanac Staff

Hi Janis,
The best time to plant peonies is in early fall. If planted in the spring, they may not bloom for a year or two. See our planting advice on this page to make sure that you planted your peony in a good spot in your garden. Also make sure that you didn't plant it too deep.

I recently purchased some

By Krun

I recently purchased some peony tubers from a large online retailer. When they arrived I planted them immediately (mid October in zone 6b). Since then they have sprouted - just a few leaves pushing up thru the soil. Are they supposed to do that right away in the fall? I figured I wouldn't see anything til spring. We had a week of warm weather right after planting but it's supposed to freeze this week. Thanks.

I am moving to another home a

By Joy Seymour

I am moving to another home a few miles from where I live now, and my new home won't be ready until early March. What do I need to do to ensure that my peonies survive if I dig them up now and don't plant them until next March? Can I keep them in a plastic trash bag in the garage or basement until then?

Fall is the correct time to

By Almanac Staff

Fall is the correct time to plant bare root peonies to give them a chance to become established before the cold weather arrives. Your plants should be fine come spring.

Just like this statement , I

By Elaine Boyer2LpP

Just like this statement , I am moving a few miles from my home in February, I live in Michigan and I want to take my peonies with me . Will it kill them if I dig them up now ? What would I do with them until I can put them in the ground ? Should I hold off planting them at my new place until fall of next year ? I have 4 beautiful bushes and if it would kill them , I would rather leave them behind , but they were my grandmothers so I really want them to come with me !

I would take them and plant

By CarmenBrown

I would take them and plant them in my yard as soon as I arrived, they may not bloom the first year( as mine did, but I wasn't leaving a 150 year old peony behind) But the second year they were full and fluffy with blooms once more and it continues to grow..Peony are tuff! They need a certain amount of root before blooming..hence the no blooms if planted in spring. Take a bigger and deeper section of dirt and roots than you think..more roots the better for spring transfers! Good luck!

I would like to plant some

By cathy gruhn

I would like to plant some peonies in galvanized containers for a spring wedding in May or June of 2016. Would I plant them now and keep outside for the next two winters? What type of soil should I put in pots? And can I separate some that I already have and plant those?

that would be

By Tim Passinault

that would be useless!...peonies take 3 years to fully bloom and the won't survive in above ground planters in winter....plant them in the ground....Leave your current ones alone...you will just upset them and set them back 3 years by disturbing them....

Why have my peonies stopped

By Mitch Kaufman

Why have my peonies stopped flowering. They come up every spring and we never see buds anymore.

There are many reasons why

By Almanac Staff

There are many reasons why peonies may not bloom. The most common reasons: 1) too much shade. Peonies need at least 4-6 hours of direct sun to bloom well. 2) being planted too deeply. 3) too much nitrogen fertilizer which encourages healthy leaves at expense of blooms. 

After my Yellow Peonies

By Shelia Rodgers

After my Yellow Peonies blooms fall off, there were four green plods where the flowers were. Are these seeds?

can you cut back peonies of

By richard wright

can you cut back peonies of stem will they grow back

yes, my husband mowed them

By MrsAllen

yes, my husband mowed them over with the lawnmower and they came back the next spring, they love to get cut way back! They grow super fast!

Peonies will grow once in a

By Almanac Staff

Peonies will grow once in a season. However, many varieties will produce several side buds that will open after the main flower. It's fine to deadhead; cut the stem right beneath the old bloom. However, leave the foliage alone until a hard freeze in the fall. The foliage produces food for the plant for next spring. Cut the peony stems to ground level in late October or November; remove the foliage from the garden to avoid fungal disease.
 

I have peonies here in Kansas

By Cindy Theimer

I have peonies here in Kansas and want to transplant some for my daughter in Tennessee; Can I did them up now and freeze them and take them in a large ziplock bag? or what would you recommend? thanks

Hi, Cindy, The question is,

By Almanac Staff

Hi, Cindy, The question is, when are you traveling? If it's soon—before the ground freezes hard and locks the peonies in—dig them any time before you go but don't freeze them. A 'fridge freeze, being fairly quick to set, might be too much of a shock, while a natural freeze sets in typically more gradually. If you're traveling in winter, after a hard freeze, just put them in the fridge in a plastic or paper bag. (Paper allows them to breathe.)
If you're traveling in spring, dig them then and just take them along.
Does this help?

Most of my peonies leaves

By RBoone

Most of my peonies leaves look as if they have been burnt......what should I do? I live in the middle of NC and have never had this problem before...Thx!

This is a common fungal issue

By Almanac Staff

This is a common fungal issue called leaf blotch or leaf spot that happens late in the season. Often, it's due to wet or warm weather. In most cases, it does not warrant fungicide applications or control.

My peonies have turned brown

By Charlene Adams Ruggs

My peonies have turned brown leaves and all. I guess because of the season.. However my question is heat can I do now or in the spring to prevent the leaves from having this white powder like substance or color on the leaves? Which has prevented some of them from blooming all the way or not at all! Please assist. Thanks.

We received a peonies in

By Kendra Visser

We received a peonies in memory of a child we lost in May, im not sure what to do with it or where to plant it. We live in billings Montana and was wondering if you could help me figure outwhere to plant it. Id love this to be a plant that lives on. Thank you

Our condolences,

By Almanac Staff

Our condolences, Kendra.
Peonies are one of the easiest perennials to grow. They require full sun, well-draining composted soil of neutral pH. They appreciate a handful of bonemeal at planting time but it's not essential. Peonies enjoy, in fact need, cold winters, so they should be happy in Montana.
Plant the tubers now or in October (before a hard frost and/or the ground freezes. Dig a hole a couple of feet wide and deep, nearly fill it with compost, and Set the tubers "eyes" up, 2 inches below the surface of the soil. The shallow depth is important. Cover with 2 inches of soil, and water.
In spring, be prepared to cage or otherwise support the stems. The large flowers fall over easily without it.
BTW, if you see ants on the plants before the bloom, leave them alone. They are eating nectar in exchange for attacking bud-eating pests. Never spray the ants; they're helping you nurture peonies to bloom
Best wishes for years of enjoyment!

Visited my friend yesterday,

By claire pearson

Visited my friend yesterday, i adored the folliage oof her peonni so she just cut the thick stem and gave me a large cuttin with raw end no root! Currently got in bucket of water, is it likely to flourish if i put it in ground with compost and bonemeal. Please advise.

Unfortunately, it most likely

By fahlina_g

Unfortunately, it most likely die/do nothing. In the fall if your friend digs back some of the surrounding topsoil, with a shap knife, she can cut off a root section with at least three eyes. Plant that rooted section in a hole generously amended with fertilizer (All purpose or with high Phosphorus, the 2nd number listed on the package) with the yeyes about an inch from the surface, and in a year or two you will get blooms. While beautiful, peonies are finicky. Hope this helps!

I live in central Pa. My

By karolynne speck

I live in central Pa. My peonies have got a "moldy" look to their leaves and there are tiny holes in the leaves as well. What is wrong with them and do I need to replace them?

Hi Karolynne, It's probably

By Almanac Staff

Hi Karolynne,
It's probably mildew. Humid weather is usually to blame for this. Make sure your peonies have good air circulation and you can try to spray the plants with neem oil. In the fall cut the peonies back and discard the "moldy" leaves.
The holes are most likely from slugs. See our slug page at http://www.almanac.com/content/slugs for ways to get rid of them.

My parents house on Long

By Kath in NM

My parents house on Long Island had beautiful peonies that we did nothing to, just enjoyed.
I now live in Albuquerque and have tried to grow some here. My mother-in-law gave me a root (tuber?) that never did anything. Last year we bought 4, and 2 were growing but one seems to have died off. We planted on the north side of the house, because it's so hot here in the summer. I'm afraid it will burn up if planted in full sun. (I'm not kidding, one year our plastic hummingbird feeder melted). Our soil is pretty bad, but we used a whole bag of Miracle Grow when we planted. Is it possible to grow healthy peonies here at all?

I live in Albuquerque. My

By Cora dotson

I live in Albuquerque. My peonies are planted on the north side of our house, but get full sun. They are doing magnificently.

Yes, you can grow beautiful

By Almanac Staff

Yes, you can grow beautiful peonies in Albuquerque. They prefer well-drained, loamy garden soil. It's wise to protect them from the hot sun in the summer and a north or east side location in best. Make sure to water the plants often during the summer months.

Care tips say "Cut the

By FALKON

Care tips say "Cut the foliage to the ground in the fall to avoid any overwintering disease." If relocating plants from one garden to another, should I cut foliage down before digging up or after replanting? Thanks!

Transplanting peonies in the

By Almanac Staff

Transplanting peonies in the fall gives the roots time to re-establish before winter. September is a good time. Cut the peony stems near ground level. Have the planting holes ready. They should be large enough to comfortably accommodate the plant’s root system.
When ready to transplant, gently dig around and under each plant. Get out as much of the rootball as you can and replant as soon as possible.
Position the peony plant in the hole so the buds are one to two inches below the soil surface. Fill the hole with soil, firming the soil around the plant as you backfill. Then water thoroughly. Space peonies three to four feet apart.
Keep in mind that the transplanted peonies may not bloom as well (or at all) the first season, but that they will recover.

My great grandma had peonies

By DonnaMarie1304

My great grandma had peonies they were planted prior to 1968 when she died. They are in my grandma's yard and now she has died. We would like to dig them up and move them from Kentucky to Arkansas. Any advice as I don't want to kill this plant

Peony roots can be

By Almanac Staff

Peony roots can be transported bare, meaning not in soil. Cut back the foliage and gently dig around and under each plant. Get out as much of the rootball as you can. They should be stored during transplant so as to not dry out--try packing them with dampened moss or in damp newspaper.
Keep in mind that the transplanted peonies may not bloom as well (or at all) the first season, but that they will recover.

I just purchased several

By Janet F

I just purchased several peony plants, my first. They are sealed in plastic. I live in Alabama, should I plant them now in a container and move them to the ground later?

Peonies should be planted in

By Almanac Staff

Peonies should be planted in the fall, so remove the plastic and set them in a container of soil until you can plant them. Don't plant them as if this would be their permanent home. Keep them moderately damp; you don't want tubers to drown nor to dry up.
Ideally, your peonies are heat tolerant and require minimal chill hours—temps between 32 and 45°F. If you're not sure, consult your source before you open the packaging.
In case you're interested, this page has a lot of information on peonies in Alabama:
http://www.ag.auburn.edu/hort/landscape/STGOapril2002.html

We have irrigation water once

By Anne Plummer

We have irrigation water once a week so that is what we use to water our mature bushes. How much water and for how long would be best.

Help!! Sister sent mom's

By Karen Wintman

Help!! Sister sent mom's peony section to Northern CA, was doing well and making leaves...all foliage gone and dead suddenly...did I kill it?

I read your planting info and

By Don Woodrich

I read your planting info and the hole/root and soil line do not make any sense at all.Why do I have to make the hole 2x2 and put the root 1-2 inches below the soil line?please clarify.. Thank you

Because peonies are so

By fahlina_g

Because peonies are so long-lived, yes the planting hole needs to be wide. They don't care much for root disturbance. Use this opportunity to surround the plant with as much notrition as possible, since, as the article states, they can outlive you! Compost, manure and bone meal are preferable. Fill in the soil with this mix around the plant roots. The top of the crown should only be 1-2 inches deep. Their roots systems grow rather wide and deep (below the "crown", so that is the reason for the "width" and "depth" requirements for the hole to be prepared.

You remove the soil from a

By Almanac Staff

You remove the soil from a 2x2 hole and then amend it before replacing it in the hole. This will help drainage and adds nutirents to the soil. You then plant the peony about 2 inches below the soil line.

I have a 8 year peony. I

By Lynn Bryan

I have a 8 year peony. I need to move it over about 6" - 12" to center it in a bed. It's in there by itself. Can I just dig and dig and try to slide it over? Will it damage the roots?

It's better to dig the plant

By Almanac Staff

It's better to dig the plant up, then dig a new hole and amend the soil before replanting. Best time to transplant is in the fall.

I have 6 older peony plants

By marium clare

I have 6 older peony plants few ever bloom, but have lush leaves plants are healthy. the buds this year are small and stunted lookin,almost deformed. I water and have fertilized once . I am so frustrated.

I just started to grow these

By Liz Carrasco

I just started to grow these plants last year.(I live in Denver, CO) This year the plants(no blooms) seem to be healthy but all of a sudden one plant had its leaves turn brown & fall off. This is beginning to happen to the other plants, also.

It sounds as if your peonies

By Almanac Staff

It sounds as if your peonies have a fungal disease. There are a number of reasons why this happens: too humid or rainy, too crowded and not enough air circulation, too much overhead watering (avoid wetting foliage when watering and water at the plant's base). Fungicides are available for home garden use. Check with your local gardening center (and you may wish to bring a sample to confirm diagnosis).

My 6 peonies are about 5

By Carolyn Cornie

My 6 peonies are about
5 years old and were starting to have great blooms. One of them
never did well this year,
shoots becoming brown and never leafing. Now the next two are showing signs. We are planning to move them to a place with more sun but how do we
keep from transfering
the ''fungus'' as well?

After the fall frost when the

By Almanac Staff

After the fall frost when the stems and leaves have turned brown, cut the stalks to about 2 inched above ground. Remove all debris and leaves. Put in a garbage bag and throw out. When transplanting shake off as much soil as you can.

I planted 5 peonies 1st of

By Samuel A Smith

I planted 5 peonies 1st of middle of may according to package instructions So far not a sign of anything growing. Should I see something by now or did I get a bad bunch? they said they wer warranted to grow.

Most plants: flowers, trees

By fahlina_g

Most plants: flowers, trees and shrubs, will spend the 1st year establishing a healthy root system. When plants are spring planyed (as opposed to fall) they are forced to expend their limited energy on establishing roots BUT also pushing out top growth and to provide needed energy, but also possibly flowers and berries which can severely tax the plant. In the fall, the growing season is over, but the rain comes and top growth is minimal or non-existant, before the ground is frozen, so the plant can focus all its energy establishing its root system over the winter so that it is ready to flourish come springtime.

I just bought a beautiful

By Stephanie Fehres

I just bought a beautiful peony at a great price. I am new peonies but am excited to have one finally. This site recommends to plant in the fall. Can I keep it in the 1 gallon container for the next 2 1/2 months or do I dare transplant it in the mid July heat? We are in central Montana. I appreciate any feedback. Thank you.

Transplant the peony to your

By Almanac Staff

Transplant the peony to your garden in the fall but we suggest that you get a bigger container with fresh soil and move the peony into this. Also make sure to water often as containers tend to dry out quickly in the summer months.

My sister-in-law passed this

By Linda English

My sister-in-law passed this last Dec and I have inherited her pale, pink Paeonia plant...I am a complete novice with these plants but think they are the most beautiful, royal looking of all plants. I am an indoor plant person and hope this bit of talent transfers outdoors as well.
That said, I think the plant is about 2 years old. When I arrived at her home, where I now live, the plant had already finished blooming and so I dead-headed it out of instinct. It is located at the outside end of a pond in a corner, gets plenty of sun, but behind it are pansies and violets and several Hoastas (which I have thinned out), but the Paeonia is quite bushy and covers up the view of the other florals. Is there an answer for this?
I have read many of the post to try to discover how to thin or move the bush but none of your replies to people's questions are posted, at least that I could find, WHY.? I really need help. I could learn and I'm sure others as well, if the answers were published as well. Thanks so much, Linda

Hi Linda, You can transplant

By Almanac Staff

Hi Linda,
You can transplant the peony in the fall to a different spot in the garden. Read the planting instructions above and you should be all set.

I have four healthy, 20 yr.

By LINDA NIEMEYER

I have four healthy, 20 yr. old peony plants all with eastern exposure. My problem is that the plants produce huge, bountiful blossoms on VERY long stems that surpass the plants foliage by a good 10 to 18 inches. We use wire supports which keep the foliage nicely supported, many of the blossoms grow so long, it is impossible to support them. They lay all over the ground leaving the beautiful blossoms looking strangely messy. Several of my neighbors have peony plants, and their blossoms stay close to the plants foliage making a more beautiful presentation. I have been cutting the longer stemmed blossoms and enjoyed them in the house, but is there a way to keep the blossom stems from growing so long?
page, I am concerned I cut off to many blossoms and will not have many blossoms next year, Is there anything I can do to keep these plants from sprouting long, gangly looking flower stems?

This happens frequently. It

By fahlina_g

This happens frequently. It really depends on the cultivar and flower type of peony you have. Single flowered or Japanese style will not put as much pressure on a stem as a bomb or double flowered type, which due to the number of petals, can seriously weigh down the flower stems! Try a double ringed cage to provide maximum support. Another option is to cut some of those beautiful looking and gorgeous scented flowers and bring them inside. (after shaking out the hiding earwigs lol) They look perfect paired with baptisia spikes!

I have this exact same issue!

By Linda Kadis

I have this exact same issue! Any ideas out there? My peonies are at least 40 years old.

i have the same problem and

By winnie jones

i have the same problem and what i do is as soon as i see the plants coming out of the ground i have cut tomato cages i put them there and they grow up through the cages and no one see what is holding them up because the leaves are so bushy.
the flowers stay up and look beautiful.

We transplanted some peony

By Val Ness

We transplanted some peony bushes and they did well for a number of years. Then for the last maybe 3 years after they have bloomed we start to get a white powder on the leaves until all of the leaves and I think even the stems are coated with this white substance.
Before that the foliage is a nice dark green. Even our neighbors peonies have this white substance. I saw above where someone seemed to have the same problem and you suggested cutting them down to get rid of the leaves because it was too humid and then getting good circulation. Our plants have pretty good air circulation. Is cutting them down our best bet or could they be too damaged and need to be removed?

I have the same thing

By Patrick J

I have the same thing happening to my peonies. Have you found a answer to this? I not found any info my self, and would appreciate any help you could provide.

If your peonies have a white

By Almanac Staff

If your peonies have a white substance, it is probably powdery mildew, a fungal disease. The infection can indeed spread.
If this happens at the end of summer, it's usually not a big issue. "A fungus is among us" when it's too damp, too shady, or too crowded. Make sure your peonies plants get planty of sun and air circulation.
If it's late summer, we wouldn't bother with a fungicide. Just tolerate the white stuff. Remove infected plant debris from the garden to prevent overwintering of the fungus. 

I live in New Jersey and have

By P. Ppowell

I live in New Jersey and have successfully transplanted my mother's 60 year old peonies from Ohio. This year, they have a white fungus. I know not to use a fungicide this late in the season. It is now mid August. Should I cut them down now and remove all traces so the fungus won't winter and come back? Or do I wait until late fall to cut them down?

I need to transplant my

By Lynn Wikelius

I need to transplant my peonies. They are blooming now. I know the best time is fall for transplanting, but can I transplant as soon as they are done blooming? I want to transplant before our house is sold!

The best time to transplant

By Almanac Staff

The best time to transplant spring-flowering perennials such as peonies is in the fall. We wouldn't advise earlier. If you have no choice and have to move them or lose them, you could try cutting off all the flowers, withholding water for a couple days and dig them out. You need to get out as much of the rootball as possible. Then replant asap and water well.

I have huge dark pink peonies

By carlene

I have huge dark pink peonies passed down from my grandpa and mom. They finally blossomed last year and even prettier this year. The rose bugs will not stay off them and eat the blossoms. How do I get rid of these pesty pests. PLEASE HELP???

I have had peonies for a few

By Richard Courtemanche

I have had peonies for a few years now. Each year they grow beautiful but they end already (20 Jun) with no more buds to grow. Puzzling.

Peonies only bud once and

By Robin Asay

Peonies only bud once and bloom and then they are done..................no more buds till next year!

But according to what I read,

By Richard Courtemanche

But according to what I read, they should last til the fall, not last only 3-4 weeks??

Peonies bloom through the

By Almanac Staff

Peonies bloom through the months of May and June. The flowers usually last for 2 to 4 weeks. For continuous bloom throughout spring and summer, plant a variety of cultivars, from early- to late-season bloomers.

I have 4 beds of peonies in

By Sue Maggos

I have 4 beds of peonies in my garden and I noticed that in one of the largest beds that the roots of several of the plants have gotten soft and hollow. When I pulled on a dead stem, a piece of root snapped off and it was similar to a mushroom. Could this be a fungus? It is hollow with a bright white shell. I'm worried that the entire bed has been infected. What can I do?

It's normal for older peonies

By Almanac Staff

It's normal for older peonies to have some decaying roots that are soft and hollow. It's good practice to remove and discard these roots when you divide the peonies.
 

I am another one of those

By Alaska Peony

I am another one of those fortunate to have one of her Grandmother's peony plant from SW Missouri (via the Alaska Highway). What I don't have is my Mother's green thumb... I know she used bone meal (which you mention)and I wonder if this should be mixed with the compost and worked in to soil in the spring ? For us that would usually be late May, early June. Then do I continue to fertilize and so with what ? Thank you !

If your soil is poor, the

By Almanac Staff

If your soil is poor, the time to apply fertilizer (bonemeal, compost, or well-rotted manure) is after the peonies have bloomed. Don't fertilize more than every few years.

Hi - AS I have been reading

By Linda Waag

Hi - AS I have been reading the above questions and comments, I learned that cutting the flowers off the bush can affect the blooms the following year. I had a wonderful harvest last year and I cut a lot of the blooms to bring inside in vases. This year,I have only two buds appearing and I am desolate. I live in Snowmass Colorado in the mountains and we had a big snow year. My question is - if the lack of blooms is due to too much cutting, will the blooms return in future years, or have they been damaged too much by my cutting them? Actually we had a very wet spring and I am wondering if they got too much water this spring - as bushes in a much dryer location have plenty of blooms. I guess this question has several questions included. I appreciate any and all help, especially about the cutting of the flowers. Thank you!

I have been growing cut

By Jeff from Michigan

I have been growing cut flower Peonies for 16 years and cut every flower off, even from small plants. It does not effect the next years flower count. Some years are low, some high in flower counts. The weather seams to play more of a role.

I also live in Colorado and

By allan ganser

I also live in Colorado and my peonies did not bloom this year.I think it might have something to do with the late cold spell we had.

I have three peonies ; two

By Maureen Beauvais

I have three peonies ; two are about 40 years old and one is about 5 years old. They are beautiful with large deep pink flowers. The problem is they have no fragrance; they used to fill my house with wonderful scents, but now nothing. I need to move one this fall ( too much shade). Any ideas why they stopped smelling?

(P)Phosphorus,and(K)Potassium

By alaskan organics

(P)Phosphorus,and(K)Potassium are the two Macro-nutrients that help the plant with size and smell of blooms. However, it is the micro-nutrients that provide what is needed for plants to receive all the ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY nutrients to produce more scent terrapins.
Your peonies need a kelp based foliar spray, and a regular diet of compost tea to add the needed biology and balance the pH.

Hi Maureen, Sometimes when a

By Almanac Staff

Hi Maureen,
Sometimes when a peony uses a large amount of energy to produce large blossoms, there is little energy left over for producing fragrance. Plants that have been frost damaged don't produce much fragrance. Peonies also smell more when the weather is warm and humid.

My Peonies have not bloomed

By allan ganser

My Peonies have not bloomed yet this year and it is already June 11th.They have done well for the six years we have had them.Do you think they will bloom?They are nice and healthy.

I wish someone answer as to

By Linda St Coeur

I wish someone answer as to why the peonies would stop blooming. The same thing happend to me.

There are many reasons why

By Almanac Staff

There are many reasons why peonies may not bloom. The most common reasons: 1) too much shade. Peonies need at least 4-6 hours of direct sun to bloom well. 2) being planted too deeply. 3) too much nitrogen fertilizer which encourages healthy leaves at expense of blooms.

We have a similar problem,

By David Machesky

We have a similar problem, our peonies have not bloomed the past 2 years, what is the problem. The plant looks healthy, seems to be growing and is green.

Can you grow them in a large

By Debi Morgan

Can you grow them in a large pot? If I ever move to Arizona I'd like to take mine with and make them a house plant, is this possible?

Hi Debi, Yes, you can grow

By Almanac Staff

Hi Debi,
Yes, you can grow peonies in a large container, but peonies need a cold dormancy during the winter months to thrive. In northern regions you can place the container in an unheated garage or attic.

Can you cut down peony flower

By crystal hammond

Can you cut down peony flower in summer without hurting for next year.

Your planting instructions

By Sally K

Your planting instructions are confusing me. According to what I read above, the hole should be 2 feet wide and 2 FEET deep but the tuber should be planted 1.5 to 2 INCHES below the soil. Why then am I digging a 2 FEET hole if the tuber needs to be 2 INCHES at most below the soil? Am I filling the hole with something else before setting the tuber on top of it? Please advise.

Hi Sally, You are removing

By Almanac Staff

Hi Sally,
You are removing the soil from the hole and adding compost and/or bonemeal to it. You then put most of the soil back into the hole and plant the peony on top of the mound (about 2 inches below the soil surface). Then fill in with the rest of the soil around the peony and cover the tuber.

I have some questions that I

By Debra McDaniel

I have some questions that I could not seem to find the answers to after reading all the posts & answers. We live in the northern half of Kansas, Zone 5, I think?

First, there is a rather small bright, darker pink peony plant (63+ years old) at my great-grandparents' grave that seems to do fine with very little interference from me over the last 6 years (often I tie some green tulle around 2-4" above the base of the entire bush which seems to support the blooms a bit more upright at least temporarily as it is gone (rotted away?) by the following year). Since I am only there on Memorial Day once a year as it is approximately 150 miles away, usually I find it blooming (a couple times I thought it failed to bloom, but it may have already been done blooming?). I have no idea what my parents or grandmother may have done each year. Obviously, I cannot be there to deadhead it each year nor cut it back in the fall. It seems to be a rather small plant, only about 2 1/2' in diameter. Is there anything I can do help it survive for many more years?

Secondly, I bought a new home last spring, moving in during August, with an established pink peony bush that is only around 3 years old. A large oak tree about 200 feet away on another lot blessed us with much of its fall leaves, covering the perennial bed where the peony is located. I was not able to remove them & they actually killed some of the smaller perennials (some small mums I think), at least I think that is what happened. I tried removing some of them yesterday, ending up with 3 bushels full if leaves from just around the peony & there are still more! Do I need to get the leaves all cleared out? Also, I read about the supports available for peony plants to grow up through, but how or can they help an established bush like this at about 4' in diameter with many flowers blooming on the ground (or even the one planted at the gravesite that I mentioned earlier)? This bush at my new home also produced some pure white flowers this year - why might that be? It seems to be spreading out a few shooters, too - what does that mean & what do I do with or about them, if anything?

Finally, I read about deadheading the flowers, but am a bit confused. What, exactly, does that accomplish? I started this morning & deadheaded about a dozen blooms, discovering the seed pods. I have never seen this before. When I tried to read about them, I think I found that to cultivate the seeds I should not deadhead them but should wait until August or September to collect the seed pods; would that be correct? Obviously, I am a neophyte at gardening, but trying to cultivate new peony plants is somewhat intriguing to me. What should I do, if anything, regarding these oak leaves, the shooters, supporting the blooms/bush, deadheading and/or collecting seed pods?

Thanks very much for any help that can be provided!

I would also like to know

By Tina girl

I would also like to know about the seed pods of my peonies. This is the first year I have noticed them on my bushes. We plan on moving in a couple years and don't want to ruin the flower beds for the people who will buy our home if I could cultivate from the pods as we already own the land for our to be new home. Thank you tina

I have to move a large bed of

By Tania N B L

I have to move a large bed of peonies. They are very established- they have been growing in this spot for prob. 40 years (and with little care, the property was completely overgrown and deserted when we purchased). How deep do I dig to avoid hitting the roots and still keep a good portion of the existing dirt underneath? It is probably a 4 ft. wide spread of peonies. Obviously trying to disturb them as little as possible.
Thanks!!

I moved a large peony by

By Val C.

I moved a large peony by treating it as if it was a shrub or tree. I made sure I I kept a large ball of dirt around it a d then put it in a large hole. I did this in the spring, and it went on to bloom the first year, but if you can, I would wait until fall. Then you could even divide it with little trouble.

The buds on my peonies are

By Jo Nell Honeycutt

The buds on my peonies are turning brown and not opening, What should I do.

Live in Ohio, the flowers are

By djdiamond

Live in Ohio, the flowers are starting to die out. There are what looks like (seed pods) on the flowers, can these pods be planted in the fall???

Yes! Collect those seed pods.

By Almanac Staff

Yes! Collect those seed pods. Be patient and wait until they are truly ripe. The seed pod will turn brownish and start to split open. Gently remove the seeds. In the fall, you can plant the seeds directly in a sandy loam about 2 inches deep. Space seeds 1 to 2 inches apart. Water in well. 
Note that the tan-colored seeds should sprout next spring. The black seeds (with a hard seed coat), which often work better, often need two seasons to grow. You can try to lightly file the seed coat to help it germinate before planting.
Keep in mind that the new peonies do not usually look like their "parents" so it will be an experiment!

When you say lightly file the

By Lillian T

When you say lightly file the seed coat to help it germinate before planting. What does that mean?

Take a nail file or fine

By Almanac Staff

Take a nail file or fine sandpaper and rub against the seed so that a very small amount of the seed coat edge is sanded away.

I have the problem stated

By billmccarthy

I have the problem stated above.

I don't know much about these

By Dmain

I don't know much about these plants, but I had the same problem with the blooms not opening. I didn't know that ants were important. A local older Gardner told me to stop getting rid of the ants and my blooms would open. It worked...the next year I left the ants be and my blooms opened. Hopefully someone else might have a better answer but that's what solved my problem. Good luck

Thanks for sharing about the

By SuzanneKirkham

Thanks for sharing about the ants. I had ants, but with little kids, wasn't able to keep up with it (luckily). Next year I will have one less thing to worry about.

We have a bed of peonies that

By Traci Maxted

We have a bed of peonies that are at least 60 years old. Several years ago a former neighbor planted morning glory on their side of a picket fence. We've tried pulling but every year it only gets worse. Since both peonies and morning glory love the sun and have shallow roots, I'm at a loss. How can we get rid of the morning glory without killing the peonies.

Are you sure they are morning

By Hydrangea Heaven

Are you sure they are morning glories? Most are annuals and do not winter over. I love both peonies and the heavenly blue morning glories, so would love to have your problem!

Is it possible to grow

By RAVINDRA SINGH

Is it possible to grow Peonies in area with summer temperature up to 42 and winter around 6 degrees centigrade

I planted 3 peonies for the

By Andra

I planted 3 peonies for the 1st time this fall in zone 5. They all came up, 1 bloom on 1 plant, one was accidentally broken in early spring & the other has no blooms. Do I check for tuber depth this fall again & reposition the ones that didn't bloom or do I give them time to settle in before I worry about them blooming I'm a bit confused on that?

They are probably ok. Peonies

By Jeff from Michigan

They are probably ok. Peonies take patience. They usually won't change in depth unless frost heave occurs.

My peonie plant is absolutely

By debra shea

My peonie plant is absolutely stunning this yr.i planted it 12 yrs ago on the west side sheltered next to my brick garage,it is blocked from alot of the wind and extreme snow.We had one of the coldest and 3 rd snowiest winter this year in northern illinois.I did not dead head it last year and this year i have 25 buds and blooms..stunning white color.I pretty much dont fuss with the plant at all and its doing the best blooms ever.

I have peonies since we moved

By Lucinda Halter

I have peonies since we moved from Nebraska where they grow spectacularly. I have moved them twice. I planted them from tubers in Paradise, CA, lots of red soil, plant mix and a well drained hillside. After 6 years, I moved them into the valley, down to Yuba City. Transplanted them in the fall after their leaves had darkened and been cut off, with lots of the original dirt mix. Planted them in a large hole again with extra planting mix. They really hate too much water. I had to make the drainage extra good around them in the valley or they don't grow tall or bloom. Then we retired after 6 years and moved to Payson, UT. I dug them up in the fall after the leaves had darkened and withered. I kept them in large containers in the garage and planted them in raised planter boxes open to the ground (18" x 24", about 13 inches tall) the last week of January. I didn't divide them either time. They are blooming great in the new backyard. Bees and wasps may be better to open the blooms than ants, but all are welcome to my peonies.

Will peonies grow from the

By Robert Patrick

Will peonies grow from the seed pods formed after the blooms falls off?
Robert Patrick
robertpatrick72@gmail.com

You can collect the seeds and

By Almanac Staff

You can collect the seeds and store them for replanting.
With peonies, it is not always easy to replant. Ideally, sow the collected seeds right away in pots so they don't dry up. Let them stay moist through autumn and then "chill" in winter just as grown-up peonies must chill. Sometimes it takes a second year to start growing.

You can purchase peonies as

By Brett

You can purchase peonies as tubers/roots or as potted plants already growing. How and when you plant depends on which type you are working with. Basic rules of thumb for growing peonies is as much sun exposure as possible, good drainage, don't move once established and yes ants are good. Peony cages are just like tomato cages only bigger and really do a world of justice to a peony bush. They hold the u huge heavy flowers up and prevent breakage of stems. In any case, peonies require time and patience to perform well and bloom profusely. There really aren't any shortcuts !

I have peonies in several

By Marian Dreyer

I have peonies in several locations in my back yard. I live in Sacramento, CA. Years 1, 2, 3 they bloomed with big giant blossoms, year 4 they bloomed with single petaled flowers and for the next X number of years all I get is lovely foliage. I will try bonemeal, but could it be the California weather? Shoul I dig the tubers up and put them in the fridge and replant them in the fall?

THEY NEED A GOOD WINTER TO

By BYRAN PROCTOR

THEY NEED A GOOD WINTER TO PRODUCE BUDS. CALIFORNIA DOES NOT GET OLD ENOUGH

We suspect that your peonies

By Almanac Staff

We suspect that your peonies are too deep in the ground. Carefully check around the bottom of the plant to see how far down the tubers are. The tops should not be deeper than 2 inches below the soil surface. In the fall lift the plants up and add some soil under the tubers.

Help! My peony suffered from

By Karen Y

Help! My peony suffered from some sort of disease last spring that made the stems black and shriveled. Now this year the plant is very sparse and about a third the size it usually is. It was my most healthy peony out of about 15. Is it dying? Can I save it? Also, what happened to it?

Phytophthora blight can

By Almanac Staff

Phytophthora blight can infect peonies and causes stems and leaves to turn dark brown or black. Infections usually occur in the roots and lower portions of the stem. This disease can also cause wet rot and destroy the entire plant. If your peony was infected by this blight it should be removed and destroyed.

how can I tell if my Peonies

By Ula Wolfenstein

how can I tell if my Peonies have Phytophthora blight vs wet rot? I get some dark spots on the leaves of a few by Aug. I was thinking it was just too damp fro the plants in this area and I've just transplanted them to a drier location (well hoping it is drier).
Thank You.

I'm heartbroken for all those

By LORETTA LEAKE

I'm heartbroken for all those people above who's peonies will not bloom! I LOVE our peonies. My problem is that they have become giants! Even though, two years ago, we moved unexpectedly in late April with their blooms ready to burst. I thought I'd kill them for sure. Was so happy that they bloomed for the most part and have since bloomed twice more... covered with beautiful blooms. But they are soooo large! They take over everything, especially when we get a big rain storm. (This is Oregon, so we tend to get a few big rainstorms in late Spring :) ) Is there any way to intentionally keep them smaller? We moved only two years ago and I feel like it would be too traumatic on them to be be divided quite yet.

I love peonies. I would be

By Dee Jones

I love peonies. I would be interested in buying some from you get ready to divide them. Please call if interested.
Dee Jones. 503-679-2257

You are lucky to have such

By Almanac Staff

You are lucky to have such beautiful peonies! Dividing is the best solution. In the fall dig them up and divide them. It will not hurt them.

we have several plants this

By william jones

we have several plants this year all of the buds/ flower stems seem to fall off but they are not in the yard/ is there a bird or animal that enjoys the plants/

Just a note, I have them in

By LORETTA LEAKE

Just a note, I have them in rings already, which helps, but they are still far to big for them. I should probably move them out of the rose bed, but since I just recently moved them, and they clearly love where they are, I'd be more interested in just making them slightly smaller :)

I planted red and white

By Lin E

I planted red and white peonies about 6 years ago and they have never bloomed until this year one red and one white have bloomed; the white has pink in the center but was suppose to be pure white the the red is a deep pink.
Any thoughts as to why the colors are not true?
Is there something I can add to the soil to enhance the color?
TY

I'm not positive but just

By Ao

I'm not positive but just from things I've been told by fellow gardener, the PH of the soil could have effected the color of the flower. Again, not sure, just a thought :)

After the peonies bloom,

By Kathleen2314

After the peonies bloom, should the remaining seed pods be left on the plant or cut off?

Dead heading is generally

By Lin E

Dead heading is generally recommended and if you dead head you will not have seed pods.
Forming seeds drains energy from the plant and the seeds of hybrids have no value; I am curious if the same is true for heritage plants.

I have 4 year old peony. It

By kely

I have 4 year old peony. It has come up every year and bloomed. This year it sent up 1 small stock with a bud on it what is going on. I live in extreme northern Mn.

If you haven't fertilized

By Almanac Staff

If you haven't fertilized your peony it may be time to give it some compost and an application of an organic all-purpose  fertilizer. The harsh winter weather may also have played a roll.

I have been grwoing peonies

By Roger Zipfel

I have been grwoing peonies for ten years now. I usually get excellent blooms. However, this year the number of blooms on some of my plants is very low.

Can this be due to the harsh winter we had? Or what else is possible?

Hi Roger, The weather can

By Almanac Staff

Hi Roger,
The weather can have something to do with the growth this year and maybe after 10 years your plants may need a bit of extra compost. Also check to make sure that the roots are still close to the soil surface and haven't sunken too deep into the soil.

I planted my Peonies 3 years

By Belinda Hardy

I planted my Peonies 3 years ago and the plants I purchased stated they were 3 years old therefore now my plants are 6 years old. Only 1 plant had blooms this year. I saw stated above that Peonies do not like competing shrubbs or flowers. My questions are: (1) when is proper time to relocate them and (2) when I relocate them will they bloom this spring or will I have to wait another 3 years for them to bloom?

Thank you for your reply.

Peonies may not bloom for

By Almanac Staff

Peonies may not bloom for several reasons, including improper planting depth (they can be fussy); not enough light (they need at least about 6 hours each day); competition for root space; too much nitrogen (which promotes leaf growth rather than flowers); too little fertilizer; soggy soil; weather conditions (freezes or drought), pest/diseases, etc.
 
The best time to transplant peonies is in the early fall, when the plants are becoming dormant. If you do transplant them this year, they will not bloom the following spring; unfortunately, it will take up to 2 to 3 years for the plants to recover before blooming in their new spot.

I honestly think it is how

By Lawrence young

I honestly think it is how you take the peony plant out be very careful generously avoiding tubers,get help to lift and plant exactly the same depth.My neighbour moved out and their land was overgrown I could see something popping through the weeds and tall grass.It was a beautiful bowl of beauty peony very weak and spindly it had 3 blooms.Even though it was unhealthy I transplanted it into my garden.This year it is twice the size and has rewarded my kindness with 13 beautiful flowers.I am so happy I knew nothing of peonies if I had I would not have dared move it.The moral of this story go by your gut instinct take your time and never rush transplanting.I did everything wrong transplanted in June but kept very well watered and boy have I either been very lucky or the plants are tougher than we think.As said I expected no flowers this year and whoah just over 4 times last year's amount.I feel so blessed I am now a peony convert they are beautiful at every stage of growth.Thanks to guys like you.Take care

Our peony has been doing

By nancy bachler

Our peony has been doing well, but just noticed the buds are covered with a sticky substance. Do you have a solution?

The sticky solution is of no

By Almanac Staff

The sticky solution is of no bother to your plants. It is similar to nectar. The plant exudes this sticky substance to help the petals as they are growing. This is a sign that your peonies are healthy.

I've read alot of the

By Pheobie Mynard

I've read alot of the questions and advice from you, but am not sure about this. My pink peonies are turninb brownish while still in bud. Lots of buds, and nice leaves, but buds are not opening and are tinged all over with brown. Any answers? I live in Atlant, Ga.

Are your peonies planted in

By Almanac Staff

Are your peonies planted in full sun? Even shade from a nearby tree can cause problems for the flowers. Also make sure your peonies are not planted too deep. If they are too deep, you will need to lift them, though this will probably delay blooming for a few years. Carefully lift the plant with a spade and add some soil and compost under the root ball to lift it up.

My peonies got buried in 8

By KLM

My peonies got buried in 8 inches of snow earlier this week. Most of them stood back up when the snow melted. Is there anything I can do for the ones that did not?

I'm so sad. I live in Zone 5

By jlarsfitz@gmail.com

I'm so sad. I live in Zone 5 and had the seven most beautiful peony shrubs almost in full bloom. They grow prematurely I think because they are in a very warm southern corner by our garage. We had a DOOZY of a late spring storm two days ago, and I'm afraid they are ruined. I lost my crop last year due to a late freeze, so I gently wrapped these and tried to make a shelter over them so they wouldn't get crushed. Many of the blooms seem fine, but their stems seem to be broke...not fully but definitely half broke. Will these bloom? Or should I just call it year #2 of a loss?! SAD!

It sounds like you did

By Almanac Staff

It sounds like you did everything you could to protect these plants. The flowers might bloom, if they are undamaged. However, it might be the weight of the flowers, not effects of inclement weather, that is weighing down the stems to the almost-breaking point. Do you use peony cakes (similar to tomato cages)? These help (with your help in placing them) to support the fairly delicate stems. If not "official" cages, use something (stakes and rope?) now and in future to help prop these up.

After reading all the

By Deborah D Foster

After reading all the comments I don't see an answer to my question. It is mid May here in Northern Nevada and I just bought 2 lush peony plants in one gallon black plastic containers from Costco. They are almost done blooming. Will they survive if I plant them in the ground now or should I keep them in their existing pots and transplant in the fall? I would have to do something to cover the black plastic so the roots don't get too hot this summer. (I could put the pots in big containers and backfill dirt around the outside of the pots)

Also, do ground squirrel eat the tubers or do they leave them alone like my irises?

I would wait until these are

By ColleenBevans

I would wait until these are finished blooming, cut the flower stems back and then go ahead and plant these. Try not to damage any roots, add some bone meal in the hole and add some shade if you can through july and august. This is technically not a transplant as you are not digging it up. This will give the plant plenty of time to get established before winter. You may want to water and spoil the plants a little. I've planted all of my Peonies directly after purchase. Your plants might not bloom next spring but I think planting now will increase your chances.

You can transplant the tubers

By Almanac Staff

You can transplant the tubers this fall before the ground freezes. Make sure you choose a spot that gets lots of sun. Add some compost and bonemeal to the soil.

My 98 year old Grandma's yard

By Donna4sythe

My 98 year old Grandma's yard has a white peonies that belonged to her Mother who died in 1965. so it had been around for a long time. My Grandma is now in a nursing home and they may sale her house. Is there any way to get some of the plant to start in my own yard? Peonies are in Kentucky and I live in Arkansas. Could you tell me how and when to do this?

Before we sold Mom's house, I

By Denise McInerney

Before we sold Mom's house, I dug up two peonies from her garden that she'd planted more than 50 years ago and transplanted them to my garden. They sulked for the first two years (didn't flower) and put out a few small blooms in year three. Now in year four, they are covered with blossoms and make me think of my Mom every time I see them. We live in Northern Virginia. Good luck to you!

I've had two peonies -- Sarah

By VictoriaA

I've had two peonies -- Sarah Bernhardt and Festiva Maxima -- in place in my North Texas garden in a raised bed for six years. The first three years, there were beautiful blooms in early Spring. The last three years there have been no blooms at all. I've read so much about peonies not blooming and varying issues regarding the need for cold winters or not. We've had both in the last three years...cold, freezing winters and mild winters. Still, no blooms the last three years. We planted the bulbs less than 2" under the soil. We try not to mess with them as I've read they are hardy. The plants always flourish when I think they won't, but no blooms still. What else can we try? I'm considering replacing with new peony plants because I love the blooms and my friend in Arkansas has a huge bush growing and blooming profusely in her forested yard with no issues. Ours has morning and early afternoon sun, then partial shade. They are on a sprinkler system, but we don't overwater. Any other things we might try to get them to bloom?

The soil around the peony may

By Almanac Staff

The soil around the peony may have settled and buried the root too deep. The root should not be deeper than 2 inches below the surface. You can carefully lift the plant with a spade and add some soil and compost under the root ball to lift it up.

Better to error on the

By Jeff from Michigan

Better to error on the shallow side. Some of my peony tubers can be seen at the surface and still sprout stems fine.

Can peonies live in large

By Candice Reis

Can peonies live in large pots their whole lives? My mother-in-law gave me 3 pink peony plants when we got engaged in 2012. The first year no blooms, the second year we had 1 bloom, this year we had 3 on plant A, 5 on plant B, and 4 on plant C, so 12 in all. I am so excited about finally having these gorgeous babies explode! We have found a home and are planning on staying here for at least 10 years, but I'm hesitant to place them in the ground. Due to the sentimental value these flowers have, being that they bloom 2 weeks before our Anniversary (May 18th)and I also used peonies in my wedding bouquet, I don't ever want to loose them! So my question is can they live in these large pots forever?? They have a 3" drainage opening on each side at the bottom and are about 3ft in diameter. Please help!

Your peonies can grow in

By Almanac Staff

Your peonies can grow in pots. Make sure to add compost and fertilizer to the soil each season. Older, larger peonies have very large root systems and need much deeper pots than other container plants. Transplant the peonies into big deep pots after a couple of years.

I live in San Antonio tax,

By Bobbi Taylor

I live in San Antonio tax, bought a peony at a flea market in Arkansas last year. We had a cold winter and it is coming back great. No blooms yet. I will try the ice thing next year and see what happens.

My peony gets full of buds,

By Dandy Borges

My peony gets full of buds, but only about 1 partially opens. The rest turn brown and die. Please help

my peonies won't bloom, they

By Donavon Dellinger

my peonies won't bloom, they turn black and die. Why? Thanks

Add some compost and bonemeal

By Almanac Staff

Add some compost and bonemeal to the soil. The soil around the peony may also have settled and buried the root too deep. The root should not be deeper than 2 inches below the surface. You can carefully lift the plant with a spade and add some soil and compost under the root ball to lift it up.

Just bought peonies in April

By KVaughan

Just bought peonies in April but haven't planted yet. I see from this page to plant in fall. Can I keep them in the plastic bags in the basement until fall? Do I need to water them before planting to ensure they survive? Also, we tend to get a lot of wind. Should I avoid planting them at all to prevent distress to the plants?

Bought peonies (pink)in the

By Vickie Lynn

Bought peonies (pink)in the spring.Life got busy.Put a sheet over them on the porch for winter.When the spring came around the sheet started lifting up.Saw to my amazement some really tall no color plants.Uncovered them and the sunlight greened them up nicely.Big beautiful blooms heavy on fragrance now.

About 7 years ago my sister

By denise baldy

About 7 years ago my sister brought me some of my mother's peony tubers that she dug up after my mother died. These plants were probably 50 years old. I planted them in a spot that gets partial sun, good drainage and good soil. Seven years later they have never gotten over a foot tall and have never bloomed!? The tubers my sister and brother have transplanted from the same source are thriving. The original plant was from the mid-west and I live in the pacific northwest....Any ideas? Thanks,

Here are a few things to

By Almanac Staff

Here are a few things to check. Peonies bloom better if they are planted in full sun. Make sure that the tubers are not planted too deep. Add some compost to the soil.

I bought three peony tubers

By serena114

I bought three peony tubers last fall, but was unable to plant them. I was told to keep them in the freezer until I was able to plant them. I am in Northeastern Kansas and am ready to plant them. Is there anything special I should do? We are still getting some cool nights, but nothing below freezing anymore.

Read our planting advice

By Almanac Staff

Read our planting advice above. If you kept the tubers in the freezer we are not sure if they will make it. We usually suggest to keep the tubers in the refrigerator.

When you say peonies should

By anonymous

When you say peonies should be planted in full sun, do you mean a location that has full sun in the spring when they bloom or in summer when all the trees leaf out?

full sun means in sun all day

By Jean Milbourn

full sun means in sun all day

I moved into a house with

By Amie

I moved into a house with peonies in three different locations with varying amounts of sunlight. The plants are healthy and bloom well, but all the blooms are single fuchsia blooms with no fragrance. Because I love the old-fashioned fragrant, full-bloomed peonies, I bought plants of three of the more traditional varieties of peonies and planted those 4-5 years ago. To my utter disappointment, all of them bloomed the same as the others, with single fuchsia unscented blooms. Could it be soil condition causing that?

Some peonies have a strong

By Almanac Staff

Some peonies have a strong fragrance and some do not. Hybrids often lack scent. What variety of peonies did you purchase? We can tell you that double herbaceous peonies are generally more fragrant than single herbaceous peonies. The early herbaceous hybrids tend to have little or no fragrance. Some of our favorite fragrant peonies include Moonstone and Alexander Fleming and Myrtle Gentry. Otherwise, it's possible that cool weather has affected the strength of the fragrance; warmer weather carries the scent better.

The varieties I purchased

By Amie

The varieties I purchased were Sarah Bernhardt and the like, so they should have been full and fragrant. I don't know if they all crossed with the existing peonies or if it's something in the soil that might be causing this, but they're not blooming as the varieties I planted.

If I move my peony now will I

By kaybee54

If I move my peony now will I kill it? My husband wants to extend our deck where it is at.

You will not kill it. It

By Kim Hathaway

You will not kill it. It won't like being moved but it should survive. It may take a few years to be blooming like it was.

same question

By Elias Huerta

same question

I read an above comment from

By JenW

I read an above comment from someone concerned about low Spring temps affecting their peony growth, and you mentioned that clear plastic bags should not be used. I have three peonies in large pots on my NYC balcony, and temps are set to hit 33 tonight, but I can't put heavy objects on top of them because they could be a safety risk for passersby below (we're having strong winds as well). One of the peonies began growing while in storage and is already about three inches tall, with delicate, almost translucent pinkish-green flesh. Can you recommend any material I can cover them with, barring other pots or garbage cans as those would be dangerous? Or will they likely withstand one evening at 33 degrees (the following evening will be back up to 37). Thanks!

If you can lift them, I would

By Kim Hathaway

If you can lift them, I would bring them inside. If you can't lift them, wrap some burlap over them and tuck it under them so that it won't blow away. Try not to break the stems with the cover. You can put some sticks in the dirt to hold the fabric off of the plant.

I want to buy 4 peonies to

By Karla Ketter

I want to buy 4 peonies to plant in 4 concrete pots that I have. Would they do well in a pot?

Peonies can be grow in pots

By Almanac Staff

Peonies can be grow in pots as long as they are big enough and have good drainage. Use a good potting soil and make sure you water as needed as container plants dry out more easily than plants in the ground. Put the pots in full sun and fertilizer with a liquid fertilizer monthly. In the winter, you'll need to move the pots to an unheated garage.

I recently bought 4 Sarah

By Deb McKibbin

I recently bought 4 Sarah Bernhart peony roots which unfortunately were already sprouting so I planted them in 1 gal pots approx. 3 weeks ago. They all came up quickly but 3 of the 4 have a white dust visible when the plants leaves are shaken. It is not a powdery mildew or whitefly problem. Some of the leaves are abit distorted and they all developed a flower bud even though they re only 8 to 10" high. What would cause the plants to bud so early and could the white dust be caused by dried up nectar from the buds?

Well, white dust on leaves is

By georgewilson

Well, white dust on leaves is almost always botrytis or powdery mildew. I don't see what else it can be, especially if you're seeing some distortion. There's not a lot you can do this year. It's all preventative. I'd remove affected leaves and put in plastic bags. Spray a fungicide on the remaining leaves and plant.

I have been told to cut off

By Kimberly Hathaway

I have been told to cut off the top of the new sprouts to encourage more blooms. Does this work?

We don't know about more

By Almanac Staff

We don't know about more blooms, but if you practice "disbudding," you'll get larger peony blooms. You keep the terminal bud on each stem tip but all side buds are removed as soon as the buds are visible.
To increase flowering in future years, remove blooms as soon as they fade; remove just below the flower, leaving as much foliage as possible.
And remember that cutting your peonies to bring inside the home can have the negative effect of reducing blooms in future years. Do not cut more than one-third to one-half of the flowers and leave as much foliage as possible on the plant.

I live in northern central

By H Stephens

I live in northern central Florida. I have a problem with deer and other animals eating my plants. Do I have to put a fence around the peonies?

Deer usually don't eat

By Almanac Staff

Deer usually don't eat peonies. But if you have a problem the best solution is a fence.

I have 3 peony plants. This

By Maria Simon

I have 3 peony plants.
This year, only two of them are coming up. The two that are coming up look like they have each divided into 3 or 4 plants (several stems are coming up at different spots, about 1 inch apart). Is this just one plant coming up with multiple stems? or is it 3 plants coming up in one place, which would make them crowded? Do I need to try and separate out the extra stems coming up? or should I just be happy that each plant is expanding??
Thank you.

Let the peonies grow this

By Almanac Staff

Let the peonies grow this season and dig them up in the fall and divide the roots if necessary.

I live about thirty minutes

By MicBoyer

I live about thirty minutes outside of Savannah Georgia on the coast. I would love any tips I could get for planting peonies in the area Im in! I plan to plant as directed in the fall. Also any specific types that would be better for my area?

Peonies really prefer their

By georgewilson

Peonies really prefer their natural northern climate. However, there was a study done by Auburn College about which peonies do well in the South. See this list:
http://www.ag.auburn.edu/hort/landscape/AU_Peony_Project.html

Need names of best Peony bulb

By Jeanne K. Briscoe@gmail.com

Need names of best Peony bulb companies..interested in
Mrs. Roosevelt". jkbriscoe@gmail.com

Our parents will soon be

By SSM

Our parents will soon be moving from the family home. We would like to keep some of the peonies that have been in the garden for many, many years. Is it possible to transfer them from Pennsylvania to south Georgia this time of year and if so, should I plant them immediately? We are in ZONE eight...unfortunately our winters are usually very mild. Will this adversely affect their growing ability?
Thanks for any advice you can share with me.

We live in North La, close to

By sheree phelps

We live in North La, close to Shreveport and my Mother has been growing peonies for over 10 years. She has about 5 different plants, divides them among friends nearly every year and they bloom out of this world! People can't believe how pretty they are and that they're grown around here. She even gives her Florist friend flowers for weddings sometimes. When our winters are mild, she pours buckets of ice over them several times to make them cold. Hope this helps in GA. Enjoy!

Thank you. The ice is a very

By Jeanne K. Briscoe@gmail.com

Thank you. The ice is a very good idea. I've grown beautiful ones in the past 21 years but I am trying to get other VF plants to add to my garden.

Peonies need cold weather

By Almanac Staff

Peonies need cold weather during the winter and most varieties require at least 30 consecutive days of below freezing temperatures. Zone 8 is at the very edge where peonies will bloom successfully so transplanting is a bit of an challenge. Peonies are best transplanted in the fall or early spring. If you must move the peonies now (if your ground is not frozen solid in PA) dig up the plant carefully so that you don't disturb the roots and get as much soil as you can with the rootball. Plant the peonies as soon as you can in their new location.

I recently bought some

By Katie B

I recently bought some peonies at the Hermitage in Tennessee. They are in open plastic bags with wood shavings. What is the best way to keep these until I can plant them. Is putting them in a pot recommended?

Leave the peonies in the wood

By Almanac Staff

Leave the peonies in the wood shavings and store the bags in a cool, dark place that is safe from freezing. Make sure there are some holes in the plastic bag for air circulation. Mist the wood shavings with water a couple of times during the winter.

I planted a peony in a spot

By Irene Dowdy

I planted a peony in a spot that gets afternoon sun. Live in Eastern NC. It bloomed fine first and second year but each year since it grows foliage but does not bloom. After reading some of the above comments I realize that it needs bone meal not regular fertilizer. Could that be the reason it isn't blooming any more??

If you live in NC, another

By Almanac Staff

If you live in NC, another consideration is whether you are getting enough "chill" hours for this type of plant. Peonies require winter cold to flower. See more from your local cooperative extension:
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/hil/hil-8501.html

I bought my peony tubers from

By Wanda Shaddix

I bought my peony tubers from Wal-Mart about ten years ago on clearance (getting late in the fall) didn't really know what I was doing planted them as per directions. When first planted I had three different colors a dark pink, a lighter pink, and a white they have done supriseingly well with little or no maintaince. My only complaint is now I don't have the different colors they are all the same pale pink still very showy but wish they were of different color my question is this normal will most plants cross and become the same color is there something I can do to make the color more deeper? My granddaughter wants some of them so have been thinking about trying to devide them.

The bloom of a peony will not

By Almanac Staff

The bloom of a peony will not change color, however, new seedlings each season may bloom a different color. These seedlings are NOT the parent plant. Look closely at the base of your plant and you may see that the new color of flowers is coming from a stem that's separate from the original base plant. It is hard to say what will happen. The new seeds may be stronger than the parent plant and take over its look so you can always pull "volunteer" plants.

Are there any peonies that

By Dawneegirl

Are there any peonies that bloom as late as August?

Sorry, peonies are an early

By Almanac Staff

Sorry, peonies are an early spring plant and like the cool conditions. However, if you are looking for the flowers for an event, there is an Alaskan peony growing association which has a late bloom period and provides fresh flowers for a price.

I live in Southern

By Anne M

I live in Southern California, we do get a light frost every year. our soil is compacted, so this year I placed my peonies in pots, I will be repotting them into very large pots, where they will stay. my question is, although its says Peonies like sun, I have noticed that is not always true with California sun. would a partly sunny position be a better choice for them?

Full sun to partial shade is

By Almanac Staff

Full sun to partial shade is fine. The bigger issue is that peonies like a winter chill; they need a minimum of 400 winter hours under 40°F. Perhaps you have a variety that is less cold needy?

I bought a peony plant from a

By Jennifer Powers

I bought a peony plant from a local nursery back in May. I immediately put it in the ground (in a sunny location). It has recently (late August) developed large black spots on the leaves and the leaves are falling off. I thought it was dying due to fall coming on, but now I read that it shouldn't be doing that. Should I go ahead and cut it down, and how far down do you cut it back? Do you think it will come back out in the spring?

Your plant most likely has

By Almanac Staff

Your plant most likely has Botrytis. You should remove any infected stems, buds, and leaves and discard in the trash or burn them, even if you have to cut the whole thing down to do it.  Many people routinely cut their peonies down to the ground not long after blooming so that would be an easy way to handle it. As long as the plant is established, you'll have a flowery peony in the spring. Don't let the infected leaves die back into the soil or leave them anywhere on the ground. Don't put them in the compost.

I've found some heirloom

By MorganEllen

I've found some heirloom peonies at our house that I would like to save (I am 100% positive they are very old), but I need to move them. I've been moving a lot of plants around and this spring, a mysterious plant appeared behind some blue flags, in an area from which I had removed a bunch of ferns and moss. It had no flowers, just lots of dark-green leaves. I tried to pull it up, but realized it was attached to tubers. I pulled those out too :( Shortly thereafter, I showed someone the leaves and realized what I had done! I was so disappointed.

It looks like at some point in history, someone poured a line of cement along the edge of the house's foundation, covering the tubers. The cement serves no purpose and is now cracking and breaking off in large chunks; I removed a bunch of broken cement and top soil in an effort to even the ground for a garden. I think that this uncovered the tubers sufficiently to re-stimulate growth.

I just went out there today thinking that there had to be more out there...and I found one! It has 3 tubers going very deep (the ones I pulled out before were about 12" long) and ONE EYE! I'm so excited.

I need to know what to do to make sure it's okay. I've now looked at it...so I re-covered it with soil, careful not to pack it or to make it too deep over the top. I have to move them, though, so I need some NH specific advice on where and how to replant. I know I'm at the right time of year, so I am optimistic at saving this blunder!

What a great find! Yes, you

By Almanac Staff

What a great find! Yes, you can transplant the tubers this fall before the ground freezes. Just follow our planting advice on this page and the peony should reward you with new growth and beautiful blooms next year.

My peony has black stems. Is

By Joe Braun

My peony has black stems. Is this some type of fungus? What is the remedy?

My peony does'nt have eye

By armine

My peony does'nt have eye actually it had before but not I think anymore and looklike brown. Is it root? what can I do?

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