Peonies

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

Most of my peonies leaves

By RBoone on September 14

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 on September 15

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 on September 11

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 on September 8

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 on September 9

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 will eat the waxy covering on the buds and so enable the flowers to open.
Best wishes for years of enjoyment!

Visited my friend yesterday,

By claire pearson on August 20

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 on August 31

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 on August 19

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 on August 20

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?

Yes, you can grow beautiful

By Almanac Staff on August 20

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 on August 25

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 on August 26

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

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 on August 31

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).

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 on August 31

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 on August 31

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 on August 17

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.

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 on August 24

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 on August 28

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 on August 29

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?

I have planted peonies in a

By Sarah Mandoli

I have planted peonies in a very large pot, is this bad?

The leaves have brown tips.

I purchased a Pink Peonies

By Sharron

I purchased a Pink Peonies from Costco and transplanted into a pot. I have never seen the actual flower as there was none on it when I purchased. The foliage seemed healthy for 2 months but now tips of all the leaves are turning all brown. I know you said they do not like to be transplanted but I feel as if it should go into the ground. I will be putting into a planter in my front yard which does get a lot of sun. Any suggestions for me?

Fall is a good time to

By Almanac Staff

Fall is a good time to transplant peonies. Plant the peony in the ground before the ground freezes (if you live in a cold region). It should come back nicely next year and hopefully bloom.

I was wondering when the

By Karen Q

I was wondering when the flower pedals fall off, what is left on top is that seeds. There is normally four to a pedal. And if it is seeds when can I take them off and plant them somewhere else?

Yes, those are the seed pods.

By Almanac Staff

Yes, those are the seed pods. When they start to open, 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 a coldframe in winter just as grown-up peonies must chill. Sometimes it takes a second year to start growing.

My new peonie bush planted

By Marilyn Ann House

My new peonie bush planted this spring has white scale over leaves n stems. What should I do n can it be saved!

You may have powderly mildew

By Almanac Staff

You may have powderly mildew which is not uncommon and not life-threatening. Pick it off and spray a fungicide next spring.

I recently moved into a place

By Janet Collison Baker

I recently moved into a place that had peonies planted in the yard and were getting mowed over. I dug them up today and they seemed very very thick. some of the roots were apx 3" in diameter. i have transplanted them into different places in the garden that will not get mowed, my question is, should I fertilize them to ensure that they grow back? should i just wait and see. I would like to minimize the stress to them, but am probably going to have to dig them back up and add some mulch as the soil is very dense and lacks humus. Any help will be appreciated, this is my first peony.

Compost is ample. When you

By Almanac Staff

Compost is ample. When you transplant peonies (in the fall), it's best to prepare the soil with compost or well-aged manutre, working it in and loosening the soil down to 18 inches. Peonies really do not like to be transplanted. You may find that they do not bloom for 2 to 3 years. Moving them twice is not a good recipe for success. If you didn't plant them too deep (the buds on the roots should be no deeper than 2 inches) and they are in a good location with sun, you may wish to keep them there.

Have had my 2 bushes for

By mary bliss

Have had my 2 bushes for years....this year the leaves on one began curling, then stems on it turned black, no flowers at all. Been cutting off the bad stuff, now see a white substance on what is left. Any suggestions?

quite watering, apply

By alaskan Organics

quite watering, apply diatomaceous earth and use an organic blend low in nitrogen, high in P and K. We have a 4-10-9 especially formulated for peonies in Alaska, the number one producing Peony state. Use a product high in micro nutrients. avoid fungicides, and overwatering.

I live in Juneau AK and

By Nicole Steger

I live in Juneau AK and bought a bag of peonies from Costco, the bag says to plant them March-May. If I do that will it take till next spring before they grow/bloom? Maybe I should wait till Fall? Not sure why it would suggest March-May when everywhere I've read says Fall is best.

Your plant may have blight or

By Almanac Staff

Your plant may have blight or something called white mold. Remove and destroy all infected parts and dig up the roots. If the roots look OK you can plant them in a different spot in your garden.

I have two peony plants and

By John Fritsch

I have two peony plants and one blooms and the other doesn't. They are planted in two different spots. Do I need a second one for the one to bloom? The one blooms every year but not the other one. Please advise. Thks

No blooms is usually caused

By Almanac Staff

No blooms is usually caused by insufficient light or improper planting. Does the peony that doesn't bloom get as much sun as the blooming one? Also make sure that the roots are not planted too deep. They should be no more than two inches below the soil surface.

is it possible for peony to

By allyza

is it possible for peony to grow in Philippines???

I have 4 lovely deep fusia

By Emily R. Phillips

I have 4 lovely deep fusia peonies in my west facing shady garden. They seem to love it there. This spring while at out summer trailer, I found a peony root that someone had discarded last fall. It had landed upside down and this spring it sent up stems that wrapped around the root ball. I retrieved it and brought it home. It seemed to be growing well so I planted it just the way it was and it seems to be xoing well. Perhaps ir will bloom next year.

How can I strengthen the

By Christina DeLaigle

How can I strengthen the stems of my peonies? They have thrived where they are and I found wire cages to use to help the flowers be seen rather than falling over due to the weight of the bloom, but I see in your pics that the stems seem strong enough to support the blooms without help. Is there a way to help this? Thanks.
cd

The peony in this photo

By Almanac Staff

The peony in this photo (which was actually taken by me, one of your Almanac editors, in my garden) was indeed supported by a commercial hoop. You just can't see it in the photo. Most peonies need support to prevent the stems from flopping under the weight of their flowers. 
 
 

I live on the island of

By Sarahbell8569

I live on the island of Oahu..I realize that they need winter ..but would it still grow without it?

As noted, zone 11 is not good

By David Goheen

As noted, zone 11 is not good for peonies. But I did have one in the San Francisco area, and every winter I'd empty a tray of ice cubes on it. That was enough to get it to bloom....

Peonies do not thrive in zone

By Almanac Staff

Peonies do not thrive in zone 11 (Hawaii). They require a cold treatment period to thrive.

I found out that you should

By Judd Ryan

I found out that you should cut down peones plants in the fall. It is the middle of July in Virginia and I just cut down all of my peonies. Will they survive?

In 2007 I carried peonies in

By Kate M Smith

In 2007 I carried peonies in my wedding bouquet so a friend gave me a peony plant as a keep sake. It bloomed for the first time this year (20013). My friend also planted one in her garden but hers has never flowered. I would love to plant another - the one I have is red and my favourites are pink - how long does it usually take for a plant to bloom? What can I do to help a new plant flower earlier than 6 years?! I live in the South East of England. Usually quite mild although we have had a very, very wet Spring this year. Thank you.

In the late spring, I

By Diane Macy

In the late spring, I purchased 2 peonies already in pots at Home Depot in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Can I leave them in their containers throughout the late fall and cold winter here? Or, I can plant them in the fall. Let me know, as the article mentioned they do not do well in transplanting??? 7/2013

In September, cut down the

By Almanac Staff

In September, cut down the peony stems. Then dig a hole large enough to accommodate each peony’s root system and about 3 feet apart. Choose a spot in full sun and prepare the soil with compost or well-rotted manure. Water after transplanting.
Good luck!

Hi, Thanks for the great

By Angélique

Hi,

Thanks for the great article! I've recently decided to plant my favourite flower just outside my bedroom window. It will have to live in a pot of some kind, nailed to the wall. I will make sure it is atleast 2 by 2 ft in length, and debth. However, there's a gust that blows through the "alley"-like area during the rare winter storms. Is there any way I could shield the peonies from it? Also, would ants crawl into my room?

Thank you.

Ps. I live in Strand, Western Cape, South Africa and my the sun rarely reaches beyond my window and only does so in the morning-early afternoon. Would they be fine without full day sun (particularly in the winter; in the summer there is plenty of sun)?

We'd recommend that you

By Almanac Staff

We'd recommend that you consult a local nursery to make sure that peonies would do well in your area. In some parts of South Africa, we've read reports that it is too hot for them (recommended that they reach no more than 120 days of temperatures above 86 degrees Fahrenheit [30 Celsius]), and that they won't receive enough cold to encourage a period of rest over winter, flowering the next year, and overall vigor. If the plant doesn't go dormant for a while, it weakens the plant, and they won't last as long. (Looking at average temperatures for Strand, it seems that the heat might be OK, but it probably won't get cold enough to cause the plant to go dormant.)

Tree peonies especially need wind protection; they grow in USDA hardiness zones 4 to 8 (-30F to 20F, or -34.4C to -6.7C minimum winter temperature). Herbaceous peonies grow in Zones 3 to 8 (-40F to 20F, or -40C to -6.7C).

If you do decide to grow them, keep in mind that these plants are large (about 3 to 5 feet, depending on type), usually require staking, and need a large pot (2 feet in diameter would be fine, as long as the depth is 18 inches or more); make sure that your wall can accommodate the weight. For a wind break, you might try a row cover, burlap, or other mesh fabric that allows light to pass through, and stake that on the side(s) of the pot from which the wind blows.

Peonies require about 6 hours of sun per day; part shade is fine.

Ants (at least, the type that are interested in the peonies) shouldn't come in the window, unless they find a source of food (such as sugars). They are gathering the nectar on the peonies, so will be focused on the flowers.

please tell me how many times

By danny nye

please tell me how many times peony can flower im a novice gardener for me mum the plant was planted some years ago large pink buds so lovely but hard rain batterd them i have not cut stems from buds as im not sure please advise many thanks

Peonies usually bloom late

By Almanac Staff

Peonies usually bloom late spring to early summer. If you cut off the spent flowers you will sometimes get more blooms. In the fall cut off the brown stems and leaves.

My parents are moving, and so

By Juli Goodrich

My parents are moving, and so they sent me 2 pots of my great-grandmother's peonies. The poor things did not enjoy their move, what should I do to increase survival chances until I transplant them in the fall?

The leaves on my peonie

By TERRI SAPORITA

The leaves on my peonie plant, which I received as a gift on Mother's Day, are wilted. The plant bloomed and I cut off the flowers. It gets plenty of sun and water, and other then the wilted looking leaves looks healthy. Can you tell me what the problem might be?

Are you seeing patches of

By Almanac Staff

Are you seeing patches of dead brown tissue with the wilting leaves? If so, you have peony wilt -- a Botrytis infection -- which occurs because of wet conditions. Cut off the damaged stem below the affected area and hope that you've got the infection away. If it spreads, you need to remove the plant. Spray with a fungicide and try and keep the foliage dry by not watering overhead. If the leaves are still green and not brown, then perhaps you just need to water! Keep new peonies well watered.

Thanks for the help. After I

By TERRI SAPORITA

Thanks for the help. After I wrote you I went outside and noticed some of the leaves were brown and other all dried up. I cut off all the dead leaves and branches and will hope it recovers. Thank you again!

My moms planted Peonies in

By Michala Shibley

My moms planted Peonies in 1958 at our summer home in Prides Crossing,Mass.The same lovely bushes greet us every May when we come back for a summer along the coast. There are double whites and double deep pink. Both extremely fragrant. I split one in 2006 and it was not happy and started blooming againg this year. So it was very upset for 7 years. Don't move them if they are happy!!!

The front of my house faces

By Karen Barker

The front of my house faces east and I have tried unsuccessfully to find plants that like that setting. Even my Virginia Creeper failed! I noticed that some of my neighbours have peonies tho' and they seem to be okay, but our road curves and so their homes actually face more southeast. Can my peonies survive a purely east exposure? I live in cold dry Calgary Alberta.

Yes, peonies grow well in

By Almanac Staff

Yes, peonies grow well in Calgary. They should be sheltered from drying winds; an eastern exposure close to a building is ideal.

I live in the Dallas area and

By Set's garden

I live in the Dallas area and we are building a new home. I'm trying to plan my gardens and I would love to plant some peonies. I know ants love peonies but we have a problem with fire ants around the area and I don't want to attract more. Will the peonies attract the fire ants the same way they do the black ants?

We haven't heard about

By Almanac Staff

We haven't heard about peonies attracting fire ants. The ants that like peonies are really just eating their sweet nectar, not the peony. Fire ants tend to eat/live off of dead insects.

I have just purchased new

By Linda S.

I have just purchased new plants and wanted to plant in the same bed I have used for peonies before. I will move the old plants. I was told never to plant new peonies without removing all the old soil. Is this an old wives tale?

Amend the soil with compost

By Almanac Staff

Amend the soil with compost and plant your new peonies in the "old" soil. No need to remove the soil.

Exactly what are the best

By Robert Blackwell

Exactly what are the best ranges for soil minerals, etc?
Nitrogen ___ to ___
Potassium ____ to ____
Phosphorus ____ to ____
Iron ____ to ____
Moisture ____ to ____

If roots are not supposed to

By VickiB

If roots are not supposed to be more than 2-2 1/2" below top of ground, why do I have to dig a 2 foot deep hole?

By digging down about 2 feet

By Almanac Staff

By digging down about 2 feet you will loosen the soil for better drainage. Plus, you will also be able to mix in compost and bonemeal to help the peonies thrive.

I have a very pretty deep

By Karen LMC

I have a very pretty deep pink peony from a small root I planted about seven years ago. Pretty well every year it comes up and I get three blooms - which I absolutely love. Will the peony plant ever have more than three, or is that the size it will stay?

Add some compost and bonemeal

By Almanac Staff

Add some compost and bonemeal to the soil to encourage new growth. Also make sure the plant gets enough sun.

My red peony is at least 30

By LauraTr

My red peony is at least 30 years old, probably much older, and only has made one stalk the past few years. My dad was visiting and was cutting weeds and ended up cutting the peony stalk, is that the end of my peony or will it survive or regrow this season? I know trimming is supposed to be in the fall, not in late June, and I'm worried about my plant. I live in Zone 5.

Hi, Laura, We've had many

By Almanac Staff

Hi, Laura, 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. --The OFA editors

I have peonies which were

By lmcneely

I have peonies which were originally my grandmother's. My mother transplanted them to her home when my grandparents passed away. When my mother passed away I transplanted them to my home. When I moved four years ago I transplanted them to my new home. Last year I gave my granson in Virginia a start and it bloomed beautifully this summer. So, these peonies have now been handed down to a great grandson.

Wonderful story! Peonies

By Almanac Staff

Wonderful story! Peonies often last several generations.

These peonies are close to

By lmcneely

These peonies are close to 100 years old. My mother would be 103 now, I don't know how old my grandmother would be, but I'm 70, so these flowers have to be old.

I have 7 peony plants, which

By prazsong

I have 7 peony plants, which are 2 & 4 years old. They bloomed beautifully this past April/May. I trimmed off all spent blooms, and had gorgeous, shiny, strong foliage. About two weeks ago, I noticed they had a lot of white "powdery" stuff all over the surface. Powdery mildew? It sort of smelled like mildew. I tried spraying, to no avail. It simply overtook the foliage. So yesterday I cut all the plants back to about 8" high. I know you shouldn't cut them until they die back in the fall, but I was afraid the mildew would spread to other nearby plants.
Have I done any permanent or serious damage to the root or the future plants, by not allowing them to get a summer of sun?
Thanks ... I'll just be sick if I've ruined my plants.

Go to this website for

By Diane rix

Go to this website for wonderful info:
http://crickethillgarden.wordpress.com/

I've had 2 single petal pink

By Romulo Yanes

I've had 2 single petal pink with yellow interior peony
Plants for about 5 years and have been happily rewarded
with gorgeous blooms after the first couple of years planted. I have always cut back the plants to the ground by July because I thought that it would incurage better
Blooms the next year? I haven't done that yet and notice
There are clusters of oblong seeds developing on many stems. I opened one and found a round pea like sticky
seed; some having as many as 3. Can I plant these?
What are these?

These are seeds. Let them dry

By Almanac Staff

These are seeds. Let them dry and then plant in the garden later this summer. Mark the area well. Next year you should have a shoot. It will take 3 to 5 years before the new plant will flower.

I just received bare root

By Sld22

I just received bare root peonies from a plant company (end of June). Should I plant them now or wait until fall. And if waiting, how do I store the bulbs?

We just started. first year,

By Mary Krempel

We just started. first year, only one peony bush sprouted. We thought all the bulbs we planted must have died. This year, they are all coming up. The one that sprouted last year is twice as tall as the rest. We got one flower. When the flower fell apart, we find 5 huge 'pods' at the top of the plant where the flower Was. Are those seeds? Do we plant those? Do we cut them off? Should we prune to the strongest leave now?

Prune your peonies in late

By Almanac Staff

Prune your peonies in late fall or in early spring. The pods on your peony have seeds in them. You can plant them after they are completely dry. It will take 3 to 5 years before these new little plants will bloom.

I needed to know how to

By henry lenz

I needed to know how to "transplant peonies" Your planting instructions told me all the details. Thanks H. Lenz in the Lenzelhof

My peony was damaged during a

By Julie Tomkinson

My peony was damaged during a heavy storm and two of the stems were broken off. I've put them in soil in a pot as they both have buds but will they just die now?

Your best bet is to treat

By Almanac Staff

Your best bet is to treat them as cut flowers. Put them in a vase of water and they will last for about a week.

I planted a white peony about

By Little

I planted a white peony about a month ago. It had a beautiful bloom and I cut it after it started fading. There was another bud - but it turned brown. No other buds that I can find. The leaves are a light green, not what I would save a healthy green. It gets watered once a day and is in full sun. I don't think it is thriving. What should I do?

Add some compost and bonemeal

By Almanac Staff

Add some compost and bonemeal to the soil if you haven't already. 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.

Can peonies bloom again the

By Shari McIntyre

Can peonies bloom again the same year if cut back? I was told they could but have never that before. If so how?

Peonies generally bloom for

By Almanac Staff

Peonies generally bloom for about 7 weeks in the spring. In some cases they will bloom again, but not with the vigor of the initial show of color. A "tree peony" can get 2 blooming periods, one early and one a few weeks later; this means you have a grafted tree peony. According to the peony experts, "This is something that should be prevented as it could cause the herbaceous rootstock to flourish at the expense of the tree peony. In this case you should cut back the herbaceous stems emerging from the base and mulch the plant in deeper to promote the tree peony to form it's own roots."

I have heard this is as

By KR

I have heard this is as well.

I want to try this, how much should I cut them back to try to get them to bloom again? Where do I place the cuts?

I want to because I bought some itoh peonies that were blooming over the weekend and when they were delivered, all the flowers were done flowering. I deadheaded them but I don't see any other buds.

When/where would the shoots come out again if I cut it back to get it to flower again this season?

I bought 5 small bushes and 1

By G Suits

I bought 5 small bushes and 1 just wouldn't take but the one I need help with is, the leaves just look withered and I water it a bit more than the ones on each side that stand up good. What would be wrong w/it since leaves are just drooping? (I really wanna keep it cuz size matches other 2.

We would need more

By Almanac Staff

We would need more information on the peony. Did the buds turn brown? Take a sample to a local nursery to find out what is going on. Is it possible that you planted this one more deeply? Make sure that the crown (where the "eyes" of the plant emerge from) is no more than 1.5 to 2 inches below the surrounding grade.

My husband is finally going

By Sue Lingl

My husband is finally going to dig me a. new bed just for my peonies.
So I will be transplanting and possibly splitting them in the fall.
I can't tell from the posts if I am also supposed to cut them back or not when you are transplanting/ splitting.
Thanks for your help.

Good news! Make sure your new

By Almanac Staff

Good news! Make sure your new beds get 6 to 8 hours of sunlight and have great drainage. Yes, transplant peonies in the fall to give 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 the first season, but that they will recover nicely.

My peony has had buds the

By Maureen Calsing

My peony has had buds the last 2 years jut never grows into a flower 3yrs ago we had flowers
Does it need to be dug up and divided.

Be sure your pest control in

By Violets Quilting

Be sure your pest control in the area avoids your peony plants by several feet - the plants need those ants!

My mom always said peonies

By Genny

My mom always said peonies need ants to help them bloom, no idea if it's true or not but I know one of her neighbors dusted them to get rid of the ants and the buds never opened.

After peonies bloom can they

By Gwen Gerber

After peonies bloom can they be cutback and if so how far.

Cut peonies back in late fall

By Almanac Staff

Cut peonies back in late fall or early spring, before new growth emerges. Cut them as low as possible.

I have a Gertrude light pink

By Louisa Chiburis

I have a Gertrude light pink peony. This is the second year that the bulbs turn black. Was told that it could be Bothrytis. Could someone help me with what to do..I am in Omaha and it has been a wet cold spring.

I have a plant that was

By Mabel

I have a plant that was bought for me on Mother's Day. And need advice how to plant the whole thing. I know in the full sun but how deep?

Dig a generous-sized hole,

By Almanac Staff

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 ground surface. Cover with soil and water.

Good Morning. I live in South

By Don Frampton

Good Morning.

I live in South Devon. England..we have a fairly neutral soil, no clay but holds together well; we had ( past tense ) a yellow tree peopnie that flourished but got too big for our modest 1/3rd acre garden.
I am quite keen to start a bed of white Peonies - white and have seen one that had huge bloom 12 inches across - large paper-like petals, inclined to be floppy - not a tight bloom. I would be most grateful if any of your readers might know the name of such a large white Peonie? Thank you.

We open our garden to visitors under the British charity .,. The National Garden Schem that can be viewed via their website - just type NGS in a google search. Thanks

'White Wings' is a beautiful,

By Almanac Staff

'White Wings' is a beautiful, white, single peony. See photo at
perennials.com/plants/paeonia-lactiflora-white-wings.html
Hidden Springs Flower Farm has a nice selection of white peonies at
hiddenspringsflowerfarm.com/white-peony.html

I have healthy peonies in

By margaret merkow

I have healthy peonies in several locations and they have been glorious for more than 20 years. This spring is all about rain and cold weather over and over, and my peonies have not grown at all, the leaves and miserable buds are shriveled up, and puckered, they look like they have bugs, but there are no visible bugs. Help!

Gray mold or botrytis blight

By Almanac Staff

Gray mold or botrytis blight is a common disease of garden peonies during rainy seasons. The leaves get brown spots and the buds dry up. Fungicides including copper or sulfur can be used. Check with your garden center.

Our peonies are seemingly

By Marion Nipe

Our peonies are seemingly doing very well. My problem is that from one stem we often have 3 or 4 smaller buds branching off about 6" from the crowning bud. They do not all come into flower at the same time, but the weight of the crowning flower does pull it over. I do not remember from years past, whether these buds ultimately opened. I would think it would be better to remove these extra buds to give all the nourishment to the main bud. Will it harm the plant to cut the extra buds at the leaf joint? Or is there a better way to deal with it?

The side buds, if left on the

By Almanac Staff

The side buds, if left on the stem, will eventually flower and extend the bloom time of the peony. Removing all but the terminal bud of each stem will increase the size of the remaining flower. Do this when the buds are still small.

I searched high and low for

By Prissy1

I searched high and low for peony plants(love peonies)... Went to lowes one day and there they were (Shirley Temple), the plants were blooming and had buds on them. I brought them home and planted them into large pots, part sun, watered regularly... the existing blooms quickly died as well as the buds. Its been over two months now leaves are green but no signs of blooms to come. What should I do???

Peonies like full sun, rich

By Almanac Staff

Peonies like full sun, rich soil and good drainage. The plants may have suffered transplant shock. If the foliage is fine the plants will be OK. In the fall plant the peonies in a permanent location for blooms next spring. Read our planting tips above.

Okay,thank you so much. Will

By Prissy1

Okay,thank you so much. Will move them to an area with full sun and be patient.

We bought a home last year in

By Jennifer Evo

We bought a home last year in July and replaced some of the shrubs the previous owner had not knowing what every bush of leaves were we decided to leave this perticular one to see what would bloom this year.. I started to notice the buds forming I've never seen a peony bush before at first I was startled by what it was but could not believe how beautifully they bloom the peony is such a beautiful flower and I have always loved it I am so happy I have a bush growing in my front garden .. My question is can I cut a few stems to place indoor without causing any harm? I've notice that the already blossomed peony are being weighed down dropping down the ground what can I do

Peonies are lovely in a vase.

By Almanac Staff

Peonies are lovely in a vase. It will not hurt the bush to cut some stems and this way you will be able to enjoy these beautiful blooms outside and also inside. It's a good idea to support the peony with stakes and string or a wire cage.

Please don't blast me for

By Kelley J

Please don't blast me for this "problem". My peonies are about 5 years old and are outgrowing their bed. Not just width but height also. Consecutive-year pictures show that they are getting progressivly bigger and I'm out of room. Will dividing them stunt them a little height-wise? Or would cutting them back slow them down? Sorry, this really is an issue. They have taken over an entire bed that also is for annuals. Thanks!

You can divide the peonies in

By Almanac Staff

You can divide the peonies in the fall and move them to a new location. It is also good to cut off the foliage in the fall after the leaves have started to turn brown. Cut the stems 3 to 4 inches above ground.

Does the crown looking tips

By Bobbie G

Does the crown looking tips of the Peonies have seeds in then? Or is this the inside of the flowers.

These are the seed pods and

By Almanac Staff

These are the seed pods and they do have seeds in them. When dry they can be collected and planted. It normally takes 5 to 7 years to grow a flowering peony plant from seed.

I'm just beginning to adorn

By TwoCents

I'm just beginning to adorn my rented yard with foliage. I'd love to put some peonies along my garage facing south with full sun, but I'm not sure the dirt is good for growing. I usually dump ashes there from the fire pit.
How do I begin from a cutting? Cut just above the leaves? Then what?
I'm in northern Illinois near the Wisconsin border. Thank you so much!

My peonies are in a

By Linda ford

My peonies are in a container, Huge buds that are not opening, why? Thanks

If the buds look healthy they

By Almanac Staff

If the buds look healthy they should open when the time is right. You can cut a bud and bring it indoors to see if it will open quicker.

My one peonie has been in a

By joy neff

My one peonie has been in a full sun bed by our deck, planted around 8 years ago. In the past it has had several blooms each summer. Last year it only had one and this year there are no buds. Where we lived before the soil was somewhat different but I had lots of flowers each year. What am I doing wrong and what can I do to have flowers???? I would appreciate whatever advise you can give. All my other annual flowers, shasta daisies, bushes do well.

Add some compost and bonemeal

By Almanac Staff

Add some compost and bonemeal to the soil if you haven't already. 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.

Someone stated earlier that

By Deborah Bush

Someone stated earlier that they purchased bulbs during a spring sale. You recommended waiting until fall to plant. I must have been at the same sale! I live in Denver; is there any special care required to preserve the bulbs from now, May, until I can plant then in the fall?

Don't bother with storing the

By Almanac Staff

Don't bother with storing the bulbs. Plant them now. You can plant them in pots and transplant them in the fall or you can plant them in their permanent location. They will not bloom this year. Good luck.

We have waited patiently

By Sherry Marble

We have waited patiently (about 5 years) for our yellow peony to bloom. How do I share a picture of it?

At the end of the blooming

By Biancalola

At the end of the blooming season the leaves on my peony plant look like they have a white residue on them. What is this and how can I get rid of it?

It's probably mildew from

By Almanac Staff

It's probably mildew from humid conditions. It isn't pretty but it won't hurt the peony this late in the year. Cut it back and dispose of the leaves. Make sure your peony has good air circulation next year.

About 10 years ago, my wife

By Doug Kirby

About 10 years ago, my wife transplanted a plant from her grandmothers house. In 10 years, we only get 1 flower per year and it hasn't gotten any bigger. Is there a way to grow starts or increase the size of this 1 plant?

The two most common reason

By Almanac Staff

The two most common reason for lack of blooms: 1. Planting at the wrong depth. The buds should only be 1 to 2 inches below the surface of the soil. 2. Too much shade. The peony needs lots of sun (4 to 6 hours a day). Exhausted weak soil is another reason. Excess nitrogen fertilizer is another. Hope this helps!

Hi, can it be grown in the

By sle98

Hi, can it be grown in the late spring/early summer? I just bought the "on-sale" peonies from Lowes (May). Should I store it for the fall to plan it?

The best time to plant

By Almanac Staff

The best time to plant peonies is early fall. This gives the plant time to establish roots before the winter. You can also plant in spring though it may not bloom as well for the first year or two.

making roots

By Anonymous

Can you make roots from the stem of a peony?

Peonies are best propagated

By Almanac Staff

Peonies are best propagated by root divisions. Seeds can also be used but it will take many years before the peony will bloom.

What about the pods that are left after the blooms fall off

By Anonymous

Can these be planted? If so what is the process. Thanks

I can't kill my peonies....

By Anonymous

My mother had peonies when I was a child (I know they are at least 50 years old since that is when the original gardens were put in.) When my parents died, I moved to their house. To make a long story short, we tore it down and rebuilt on the same land, but in doing so, we needed to move the peonies. In the last 4 years, the original peonies were moved multiple times at all times during spring, summer and fall and all more than successfully. I now 10x the amount of plants. Some of these moves were not kind due to timing or my exhaustion (we moved 100s of other plants too.) In one case, a bulldozer plowed down one of my gardens where they said they were not going to dig. I have one area in the lawn of my yard that keeps on sprouting peonies (since obviously the tuber/crown got broken up.) I keep on thinking I get it all out of the lawn by digging it out and transplanting the tuber, and then the next month/year, up comes some more. Some of the roots have been 2 feet under the ground as I followed the stem. So peonies, from another perspective, can be tougher than you think. It seems I can't kill these things and now I have them in every garden I have, not just a peony bed. Also, some of the roots now they are planted in bigger spaces, are HUGE compared to the original plants I moved.

Another observation. Just by coincidence, I planted my peonies by some hostas I was saving also. The hostas keep the peonies from flopping over even with rain...I don't have to use those ring stakes that drive me crazy in that bed. I have old fashioned peonies, mostly doubles in white, pink and white, dark pink, and a light pink. The dark pinks are the only ones I don't have lots of multiples, but it may have just been which ones had to be moved more times than others. Just my experience.

Congratulations on being

By sixrealms

Congratulations on being surrounded by peonies' fragrance. I also plant shrubs with ground covers and find it nice that your hostas support the flowering peonies. As hostas don't thrive in full sun and peonies prefer full sun, I expect you've obtained a perfect partial shade condition for both. I'll try this on the north side of my house where the northern position of the sun keeps it from getting too shady.

Thanks for sharing your

By Almanac Staff

Thanks for sharing your story! Great tip about planting hostas and peonies together.

Our neighbor has cut down our

By Anonymous

Our neighbor has cut down our peonies for the last 2 years...last year we got beautiful flowers...this year they didn't get a chance to bloom. These peonies are VERY WELL established...this is an older house...we would like to move them away from her driveway area...but are unsure if it would kill them. We live in the Tualatin Valley area of Oregon....Hillsboro.

Can you put up a small fence

By Almanac Staff

Can you put up a small fence around your peonies to protect them? If not, you can transplant the peonies in the fall. Follow the planting suggestions above and make sure that the new spot is in a sunny area.

curling leaves

By Anonymous

I split my peony in half this spring and both are growing well, look healthy and have lots of buds, but the leaves are curling toward the center. What should I do? Thanks

It may take the new plants

By Almanac Staff

It may take the new plants some time to adjust to the new location. A sudden change in weather can also cause the leaf curl. Make sure they are in full sun and give the plants some extra water and fertilizer (if you haven't yet). Good luck!

black buds

By Anonymous

I just bought a new peony from a local nursery and noticed it has black buds. The rest of the plant looks healthy. What is the problem if any?

The buds have dried up.

By Almanac Staff

The buds have dried up. Sometimes when peonies sit in a container too long they start to suffer. You may not get any blooms this year but your plant should be OK if you planted it in a good spot in your garden.

pulled up great grandmas pionies

By Anonymous

My son surprised me and started cleaning up the garden beds as I have been working 50 hours a week. He dug up all of my heirloom peonies and I do not know if I can save them. They had budded but not bloomed and I need advice please? Thank you

Plant them as soon as

By Almanac Staff

Plant them as soon as possible. Hopefully they'll still have enough roots to survive.

stunted peony tree / bush

By Anonymous

We have a small peony tree / bush which produces small sparse flowers which never open. I've always had a green thumb with indoor plants, but am lost as far as how to make my outdoor flowering plants thrive (roses too!). any help is appreciated, thanks!

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