How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Peony Flowers

Magenta Peony


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The peony is outrageously beautiful in bloom in springtime—with lush foliage all summer long. Here’s how to grow peonies and get the best peony flowers in your garden.

Peony flowers are perennials that come back every spring to take your breath away. The plants may live longer than you do—some have been known to thrive for 100 years.

Peony plants require little maintenance as long as they are planted properly and establish themselves; they do not respond well to transplanting. 

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.


When to Plant Peonies

  • 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.

How to Plant Peonies

  • 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. Learn more about soil amendments and preparing soil for planting.
  • 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.
  • 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.) 
  • Don’t plant too deep! In most of the country, the peony’s eyes (buds) should be no deeper than 1-½ to 2 inches below the soil line.
  • Then, backfill the hole, taking care that the soil doesn’t settle and bury the root deeper than 2 inches.
  • Water thoroughly.


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 fertilize 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.


Peonies are generally very hardy. They are susceptible to Verticillium wilt, ringspot virus, tip blight, stem rot, Botrytis blight, leaf 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!

Luckily, peonies are also one of many deer-resistant plants you can grow in your garden.


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

Recommended Varieties

Wit & Wisdom

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

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 said to symbolize a happy life and a happy marriage. See more flower meanings here.

Reader Comments

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I live in Mobile Al. I bought

I live in Mobile Al. I bought a pink peony growing in a one gallon pot, & set it out in mid summer. It died down, but came backhoe next year. It is out of the ground about 3 inches, & the leaves are light green with brownish spots. Not healthy looking. What is wrong

spots on peony leaves

Peonies can be affected by a variety of fungal leaf spots. Most fungal leaf spots cause only cosmetic damage or occur mid- to late summer, thus do not warrant control. Leaf spots are typically tan to brown with distinct borders or delimited borders on leaves or flower parts. When the spots become numerous and begin to merge the disease is called a blight or blotch or less commonly, scorch. In most cases, fungal leaf spot diseases are not significant enough to warrant fungicide applications but this is something you could investigate with your local cooperative extension or plant nursery. 

Brown leaves and stunted growth

I planted my peonies late fall in separate 5 gallon pots. They have grown about 3 inches now but all the leaves look brownish and slightly curled. No further growth for a month now. We are in a heat wave in California. Do you think the heat has burned the leaves? One gets full sun the other gets 8 hours sun but both leaves look the same.

Leaves arent green, appear to be turning whitish.

I have had great luck with my Peonies. They are done blooming and now the leaves seem to have a whitish color to them. I touched it and it isn't powdery and doesn't rub off. Could that be a fungus or disease? Thanks

white stuff on leaves

This sounds like powdery mildew, a fungus. It is generally worse looking than any effects it might have (plants seldom die from it). It strikes a lot of plants and can result from warm days and cool nights. It is also said that spores are carried in the wind and land on leaves. You could prune out and destroy all affected tissue (especially at the end of season, but you should be pruning your peony stems at that time any way); some sources suggest tolerating it and leaving it alone. Instead, make sure plants have good air circulation and get plenty of sun. (Shade can bring it on.) Avoid overhead watering and water early in the day.


can you grow peonies in pots?

Peonies in Containers

Yes, growing peonies in containers is certainly possible. Find yourself a rather large, heavy, and deep pot to accommodate the tubers, but know that you will likely have to repot the plant a few years down the line. Use well-draining soil to make sure that your peony doesn’t get water-logged in the container. Also consider that the peony will have to be winterized, which you can do by putting a thick layer of mulch on top of the soil and storing the pot in an unheated, sheltered area, such as a garage or shed.


I've had my peony for a few years, it had 2 buds for the first time this year, unfortunately they never opened, one bud rotted and fell off, on the other stem about 2" below the bud the stem went brown and started to rot.
Could you suggest what may have caused this to happen?


I live in Montana & have 2 beautiful plants. my question is: After the first blooming & the blooms die back, should they be cut off & how far down? Also do I cut the plants down in the Fall? Thank You. Lena


Hi Lena,

Glad to hear from out there in Montana! It’s a truly beautiful state. As for your questions: Cut the stem down to a strong leaf after the blooms die back. In the fall, cut the plants down to the ground to reduce the risk of disease over winter. Thanks for writing!


Live in Massachusetts visit the atores islands every year my friends love peonies I have taken plants from my yard for the PSAT 3years the greens grow but never bloom dos the plant have to adapt to the diferent temperature there's no snow there plenplease help

Peony has buds but doesn't bloom

We have a transplanted peony from my husbands family home...the last two years it has gotten 3 large buds but they don't open. What should I do?

buds will not open

Are you using any form or insect or ant repellant?? Ants eat the “sugar” (sweet sap) that forms on peony buds, thus enabling them to open. Some say that’s a myth, but if you have ants you can see them on the buds.

A common reason for failure to bloom is that the tubers are planted too deeply; that the plants are crowded (and need to be divided); that there is competition from the roots of nearby plants; that there is nutrient deficiency (is the soil rich organic matter?); that they did not get a satisfactory winter chill; or that they are diseased. Does anything sound familiar??

bagged roots from walmart

the 'root' that was in the bag is L shaped only. does the whole thing get planted 1-2" in the ground?

how to plant

Yes, the whole thing goes into the soil. Find the little “eyes”—something like potato “eyes:—they should face up, be on the “up” side.The tube should be placed in/on the soil almost horizontally; the tuber does not get planted “the long way”—it should pretty much lay on its side. And yes, you’re right_planted 1 to 2 inches deep.

Poorly growing plants

I have some peonies that I planted a few years ago. The first year was a drought year, and they died. Or so i thought. After a year or two of more moisture, they began to grow. I was amazed, and figured they must have gone dormant and now would grow nicely. Not so. Some are nice and bushy, but others have one or two tiny stalks. Is there any way to save these "resurrected" peonies? Should I dig them up and try again, in case they are too deep?

poorly growing plants

So some are thriving? It is amazing! Although generally speaking, peonies are pretty drought resistant (at least, that’s the thinking). You could check the depth of the weaker ones with the tiny stalks, and while you’re at it check their overall condition. If there is damage or any signs of disease (rot) or dryness and discard, if necessary. Fall is the best time to do this.

Overall, you might also check your soil pH; peonies like 6.5 to 7.0. See here for more on that:

You might also just reconsider the growing conditions: soil quality, sunlight, moisture. Above, we advise low to no fertilizer, but if you want to give your plants a boost, a “complete” fertilizer (5-10-5 or 5-10-10) at 2 to 3 ponds per 100 square feet in the spring (or very soon) would be ok. So would, alternatively, an inch or so of aged manure.

If these steps fail to bring the wee ones back to thriving condition by next year, then you should think about replacing them—in which case before you spend any money, you could see if the existing plants can/should be divided.

We hope this helps.

Peonies in pot

Can peonies be grown in pots if there deep enough?

old peonies failing?

A large group of peonies were thriving when we bought our house in N Central NJ 10 years ago. Now some seem to be failing - some of the smaller plants have simply disappeared, the larger ones are much less full than in past years. We had a weird warm spell in January where many flowers came up and were on the verge of blooming, then another cold snap. Could this have stunted the peonies? What can I do to bring them back to health?

stunted peonies

It’s not clear: did your peonies come up in January? Or did “many other flowers”? That would be a pretty warm spell!

Based on your comment that the peonies are failing, we will suggest that some viruses may stunt and/or deform the growth and cause steady decline. Your best bet would be to replace them with new plants. However, before you do that, you might also take a picture and put the question to a nursery person near you. And ask if it is safe to replant in the same soil. (We can not get a straight answer on that point.)

Peonies bloomed all that is left are 3 pods. Can I plant those?

My neighbor has peonies that I have admired and even been able to enjoy in my home. So I was wondering if using some of those pods would grow some more peonies?
How would I go about it though? I'm thinking there are seeds in there???

transplanting peony

there comes a time when peonies require thinning. This is when you can or should collect the ROOTS for starting your own bed of flowers.

Peonies don't bloom

I purchased three tubers and planted in the fall as recommended. I get leaves but no flowers. One of the plants had two or three flowers the first spring, but last year and this year I just get the plant with loses of leaves. The other two never bloomed. This is the third spring since planting. What can I do to get flowers? I live in Michigan.

Peony roots coming to surface

My peony plants, about 12 years old, are doing poorly, and the roots are coming to the surface. My guess is it is because there is a Japanese Maple tree planted nearby, and it is sucking up too many nutrients, and pushing the peony roots up?

Exposed Peony Roots

Yes, that could be the case. Wait until the peonies have finished blooming this year, then add a thin layer of new soil (you don’t want peony tubers to be too deep; ideally less than 2 inches deep) and a bit of fertilizer.

starting peony seeds off of cut blooms

I cut some of my mother's blooms to bring home. After almost 2 weeks, they are finally dying. I want to know if I can dry out the seeds and plant them?

Drooping stems under the weight of flowers

I planted two peonies from roots bought at the Keukenhof in Holland about 3 years ago, in the spring. They are herbaceous, a modern, more resistant replacement of the "Sarah Bernhardt" variety, they said. They only started blooming last year, and this is the first year that we have a glorious bunch of beautiful, big pale-pink flowers. But the stems are bending under the weight and the plants look dismayed, most flowers touching the ground. I attached them together in a bundle, but the whole thing keeps tilting down. I put a cane near one of the flowers and it seems to work, but it is not going to be very aesthetic if I plant 20+ sticks, and I fear damaging the roots... What can I do? Is there any way of reinforcing the stems? Thanks a lot in advance.
PS: I live in Brussels, Belgium. No idea of the bioclimatic zone, but they seem to be very healthy and thriving. I have planted other peonies in other parts of the garden in the past and this is the first time they grow and blossom.

Drooping Peonies

You can purchase a peony support. It is a metal circle you place over the peony plant before it blooms. When the plant grows, it grows up through the support and the flowers are then supported by the circular ring. It has three metal stake legs to push into the ground, and the circular grid floats over the area until the plant grows through it. You can buy various heights, but none higher than 30 inches, I think.

Peony siza

Had them about 10 yrs. 3 megenta 2 pink, this year the pink plants are 1/2 the size of the megents. What's going on?


Do peonies need ants for the blossoms to open? Mine have blossoms but they seem to be stunted, like not opening. Since I live in Michigan and our weather has been rather screwy would that have any bearing on the blossoms opening? We have had a frost since the blossoms have gotten to a certain size and I washed the plants in the a.m. before the sun came up.


What are those pods that have 3pod things that look like buds, they come after flower dies. Are these like plantable seeds? Thx

Peony Seeds

Hi Kathy,

You are correct: The leathery pods contain peony seeds. Wait until the green pods have dried out and turned a dark brown, occurring at the end of the summer. When the pods have cracked open slightly, the seeds are ready to be planted. Plant each seed 1 to 2 inches deep in the soil, and then cover with mulch and dead leaves. The seeds will germinate underground in the fall, popping out above the soil the following spring. 

Deep Redish pink Peonies

I am wondering, I transplanted my peonies from my Grandma's almost 15 years ago. Have no problems with them. First of all, my question is, Grandma had several different colors, I only ended up with the Deep dark Pink ones. I was sure I had some of every color. Is it possible that where I planted them, they have gone back to an original color, like tulips do? Also, I keep noticing that you keep telling everyone that they need full sun. Mine have bloomed so much better after the trees grew up and shaded them. The do get the morning East sun. They are surrounded by Ponderosa Trees and Mullberry trees. They are completely covered in pint needles, year around because, smart me, I put rock down years ago and I can manage to rake the needles. I am assuming the needles are supplying some type of nutrient for them.

peony color

Flowers can change color when moved to a different location, when under stress from temperature (colors are often more vivid in cooler northern gardens than in hot southern ones); also drought, insects or plant nutrition can result in differing levels of pigments in flowers and, thus, differing colors. It may be your soil pH. Peonies prefer 6.0 to 7.5 pH. You could check the soil and adjust accordingly; see here: (Note that changing the pH may or may not have an immediate effect on the flowers.)

Waiting to plant

I ordered bare root plants and they came in a dark plastic bag. I live on the central coast in California. I'm afraid it's too late in the spring to plant them, will they be okay if I keep them in the bag in a cool place until fall? Our weather is already 70 to 80 degrees during the day and 40 - 50 at night.

barely time for bare root planting

It’s best to plant bare roots as soon as you can upon receipt. If you can not / do not have time to put them into the ground, plant them in a large pot with container soil. Keep them moist but not soggy. If they have become shriveled, soak the roots in water for a couple of hours before planting. Yes, it’s warm where you are but planted in the proper conditions, with regular moisture, they may be better off in the ground.

We hope this helps!

3 Center Pods(?)

I wanted to know about the (3) center pods in the flower...Are these plantable? And if so what is the "BEST" procedure for planting them, and when...should they be stored until spring, and how? Thank you...


My peony flowered and the flowers were beautiful. Now there are like 3 pods. Where are the flowers. What does that mean?

Peony pods

It sounds as if you have a woodland type of peony. They are the first to bloom, early in the spring, and then they will leaf out. They are indeed known for attractive seed pods in late summer and early fall.

Multiple buds

Some of the peony bushes on the property we recently acquired have a single bud on one stalk while others have multiple buds per stalk. Should I remove the extra buds?

Multiple Buds

Hi Jackie,

Remove the laterally growing buds to promote the growth of the central flower. However, you can also leave the buds be and your peonies will develop multiple smaller flowers. It’s really up to the preference of the gardener! 


can they be transplanted after some years as my peony is
quite old but i like to move it

best time to transplant peonies

Fall is the best time to transplant peonies. Get as much of the root ball with lots of soil around it and replant the peonies as soon as possible in the new location. Cut the peony stems to just above healthy buds and water well before the ground freezes. See our planting instructions on this page for more details.


Great article on growing peonies. If any of your customers need peonies for their June weddings please send them to us. We are located in Michigan but overnight ship to all 50 stats in the USA.

Transplanting a potted peony

I received a beautiful potted peony as a gift. I want to plant it in my yard. Should I wait till fall to transplant it??

planting a potted peony

You can keep your peony in the container and plant it in the garden in the fall. It’s important to keep the top of the roots only 1-½ to 2 inches below the soil line. If you add mulch make sure it doesn’t cover the top of the roots too deeply.

New flower bed edit

I meant, how should I care for the potted peony this summer until it could be planted in the fall?

caring for potted peony

You can keep your peony in the container and plant it in the garden in the fall. In the meantime, peonies like full sun, and though they can manage with half a day, they bloom best in a sunny spot. 

New flower bed

I am starting a flower bed and want to add a peony or two. Can I purchase one from a local nursery and plant it now since it is in a pot and blooming? If not, how should I care for the potted peony the rest of the seasons until it could be planted next spring?

Must transplant in spring

My grandmother is moving and has some gorgeous mature peonies that she is going to share with me. However I must transplant them this May. They will be going on my deck in a pot with full sun (this is the only place for them since I live in a condo). Any advice for how to keep them thriving?

peonies in a pot

Spring is not the ideal time to transplant peonies. If these plants have buds on them, they probably will not reach bloom stage; moving them will be a shock to their system. But you’ve got to get them when you can, so just realize that. Depending on the size of the tubers, you may want to divide them before you plant, as a large clump will require a large container…and it may require dividing and transplanting in a year or two any way…so do it now. Put the tubers into fairly large containers (see previous sentence). How big? How about this: if there is a nursery anywhere near you, take a ride and see their peonies in pots; that will give you some idea of size. After that, follow the guidance above re care and maintenance. As you may know, ants typically eat the coating off the buds, thus enabling them to open. If you see ants on the plants, do not be alarmed…and leave them alone. They are facilitating a beautiful outcome!


I live at 8,200 elev. My peony is growing tall and we've had nights in high 30s. The next 4 nights it will be down to 25 degrees. Shall I cover the plant?

New peony

We planted peonies last fall from bare root. This spring they've started to come through the ground. They looked to be growing quickly. Now it doesn't look as though they've gotten any bigger in a few weeks. And before the leaves were very perky. Now they seem to be a little on the limp side. They're still nice and green though. Is this normal? I see you have to be patient with peonies. Am I expecting too much too fast? I wish I could post a pic to better show what I mean.

be patient with peonies

How’s the weather where you are? Did these plants get a boost from a warm spell, that faded back to more normal (cool) spring time temps? Just guessing that may be the heart of the matter. Give em time before you give em up!

Peonies have sprouted!

So I planted some peonies last spring and to my disappointment they didn't grow at! I was pretty disappointed and almost wrote them off for dead, but today I noticed a little stem poking above the ground on one of the plants! I checked the others and sure enough, they're all starting to grow! I guess growing peonies takes some patience.

I know every where you read that you should plant them in the fall, but stores only seem to carry them in the spring. I think I planted mine mid-may, so a bit late. Maybe if you planted them in early spring you'd have better luck the first year. But fear not, if nothing happens the first year, they'll almost surely start growing the next!

old peonies

I have 5 plants. Two are doing well. Three are looking poorly. There are over 150 years old. Please help me. I live in CT.

poor peonies

Well, we can only do so much from here but clearly something is not working for them, which is to say, enabling them to thrive. Peonies need full sun (are they getting 8 hours?), good air circulation (are they crowded?), adequate water and good drainage (does water drain into/through the soil, or puddle or run off?).  If you water the plants, water only the base, not the leaves. Have you checked or amended the soil? Do you remove spent flower blooms (deadhead your plants)? You should. Do you cut down the stems in fall and remove them from the area (to discard)? While you do not want to bury the eyes, the addition in autumn (after cutting back) of a bit of organic compost around/near the tubers is like a vitamin.

Peony are vulnerable to fungus blights, including Botrytis cinerea can attack stems, buds, and leaves at any time. Verticillium wilt us a destructive fungus that lives in the soil. If that’s the case, you should remove and discard the infected plant/s.

For more details and specific advice, we suggest that you contact your local cooperative extension. Click here for your state and the services there:


I transplanted a peony from Ohio to Montana. Bloomed white in Ohio. Now has pink blooms in Montana. Love this 3rd generation peony that my mother and grandmother once had.

wet clumps

Dug up Peony to save from Landscaper- put in bucket and forgot about itwhen re-discovered it was in soaking wet runny mud
drained them out , spread on Newspaper to dry out-
will these EVER be ok?

wet tubers

It’s impossible to know definitively if these will survive; the best thing is to plant them and see what happens. Remember, eyes up!

Peonies in raised beds

Any idea whether planting peonies in raised beds( we are in zone 7b), would help them get a better chill for buds? Would they require more frequent waterings?

raised peonies

The general belief is that raised beds heat up sooner that ground so that may not be the best idea long-term. As for your zone, your average extreme minimum is 0°F to 5°F ( Sources may vary (just as weather may vary), but a rule of thumb for success with peonies in a border zone is a daily low temp below 40°F for at least six weeks. Does that sound like your typical winter? For information on first/last frost (by some estimates a rough measure of winter), put your zip code in here:

Central Florida

I would love to have a yard full but since we do not have any true fall nor winter weather cold enough for this beauties. Is it at all possible to dig them up and place them in cold storage as we do with our Amaryllis bulbs then re plant them each year?

cold storage peonies...

We simply do not know if this would work, but would suggest instead that you consider varieties that are better suited for warmer climates. These include ‘Miss America’, ‘Do Tell’, ‘Coral Charm’, and ‘Abalone Pearl’.

You could also contact the cooperative extension service nearest you. Find your state here, click on it and see the service/s nearest you.

Peony invasion

recovering from back surgery , so my cottage garden has been neglected for several years, back is good, so I go out to reclaim my garden, only to discover I have rogue peonies popping up all over like weeds. Will they bloom? Can they be moved? or do I just pull them out like weeds? My clematis is also in weed form this year, too? I have no qualms ripping it out but it almost feels wrong to just yank a peony up and out!

Peonies shoots cut off

We were removing weeds around the peonies. I was about 1 " underground with my weed tool and I cut the shoots off one of the young plants. Will it send up new shoots this year or is it over until next year. We line in Southern Ontario

Cut shoots

I mowed over my 1st year shoots in error last August. The shoots were about 6-8" tall and it was the first year (Spring) planting. Cut right to the ground couldn't even find the plants after I mowed. Happily I will state that they are now sprouting up this past week and made it through the Winter! I am in zone 4b, Wisconsin.

Zone hardiness

I live in an extremely arid desert zone 9 but desperately want to create a border between my house and the neighbors. I used to have peonies when I lived in Nebraska and would love to have them here. Do you think they would stand a chance here? We have 360 days of sun, summers with highs of 105 degrees and winters lowes of 40 degrees. Never a cloud in sight and it rains once a year. I do have a good irrigation system to aid in combating the lack of moisture.

peonies in the desert?

You can try anything, Ashley, but realize that it’s an experiment. With all that you have, we would only suggest that you give the peonies a proper soil bed—good soil (see above), at least a foot deep (more would not be too much). Oh, and about your climate: Lows of 40°F might not be low enough… Peonies welcome freeze. But ,again, you could try it.

Before you embark on this, however, why not visit a local nursery and ask about native plants—plants that will survive without special care. Live locally, participating in the plant world that also calls that area home.

Lifting Peonies

I have to transplant a very old peonie which is now coming up. Can I be successful at transplanting it now? Also, can I divide it? Thank you. I live in the Northeast Georgia mountains.


The short answers are yes and yes, but as with all things your mileage may vary. Considering the date of your question and the implied urgency, I suspect you might have dug them up already. Fall is the better time to do so but sometimes circumstances dictate otherwise. You can divide them, just like other tuberous perennials. Be sure you have a good quantity of 'eyes' on each portion (at least 3-5) and plant them in full sunshine no more than about 2 inches deep in a well-draining bed of good loamy soil. It is likely that nothing will come up this summer but do not despair! You should see some shoots popping out of the soil next spring.

Too Late to Plant?

Today is now Feb 25th. Is it too late to plant a peony or two? It is not really spring yet, but I think with the warm spell it will probably not get a freeze or maybe even a frost. I live in Nashville, TN.


You should wait to divide and/or transplant peonies in the fall.

Peony bush looks dead.

I moved into a place with a peony bush and knew nothing of its care. This summer was pretty dry in Virginia. I did not cut the plant back in the fall. Now it is February and we have only had one snow. I just saw my bush; the stems and leaves are all brown, dry and lying flat on the ground. Does this mean the roots and the bush itself are dead? What should I do? If cut back now, is there a way to resurrect it in the spring? Does the new growth come up from the roots or from the pruned stem stub? The previous owner wants to retrieve his bush and I'm not sure there is anything there to get.

pamper your peony

Hi, Lorelei, Peonies are pretty hardy. You should cut it down in the fall, but you can do it now—and do nothing else. Cut it to a few inches. Leave the rootstock alone for now. If you insist, you can lift (dig it up) in the spring. If the previous owner wants his bush,we suggest inviting him to lift it himself. That way, if anything happens, he it in charge of it. (What can happen? The spade/shovel could slice into the rootstock, cutting it into pieces.)

if you do not dig it up, gently brush off the top soil…look for tiny/small “eyes” (like potato eyes) growing on the surface. Those are the shoots that will bear the stems, leaves, and flowers for the year.

We hope this helps.

Peonies December Sprout

My peonies sprouted in mid-December. What do I do? I live in Virginia.

Planting a Peony

Can I use a very big pot for this pretty plant as I live on rent?

Potted Peonies

Yes, peonies can live in containers for a few years. Eventually (ideally) they would be transplanted into the ground, but if you think of them as short-lived perennials…they do okay in pots, given they get adequate water, sun, and fertilizer.

Amount of Sun

We live near the Southern border of North Carolina. I want to plant some Peonies now in a bed next to the house. In Spring/Summer, they would be exposed to direct sun from mid-day when the sun is directly overhead for about 4-5 hours until the sun goes behind a large stand of trees. Is that going to be enough direct Sun?

Sun for Peonies

Yes, they will be just fine with that amount of sun. Enjoy!

Too late to plant?

It is almost the end of it too late to plant a peony in PA?

peony planting

If there is no snow on the ground and the ground is not frozen and it is a sunny area, we would plant the peony. Plant it shallow, as directed above, and then add a few inches of mulch. In early spring, remove the mulch.

Storing peonies until spring

Hello, my wife and I are moving this fall and want to take our peonies with us. We live in northern Minnesota and won't be able to replant them for 4-5 months. How do we store them safely for that amount of time?

Thank you, Todd

Caring for peonies in pots in the winter

Hello, i bought a potted peony plant early this summer. The stems and leaves turned brown last month or so. I was instructed to cut them down for the winter. But I don't know how to store the container over the winter. Right now, the container is outside. Temp was 40 degrees last night. Should I bring in the house or the garage? Or do I leave outside and cover? Thank you for your help!

Overwintering Peonies

Hi Madalyn,

Add a thick layer of mulch to the pots and put them in the garage. They need to harden off and go dormant so as long as your garage isn’t heated, they will be okay. If it is, they should stay outside tucked up against the house for wind protection. Don’t worry … they need the cold!

Storing Peonies after a move

I recently sold my home where I had lots and lots of beautiful peonies. The new owner let me dig some of them up, but I'm living in an apartment for a year or there a way to protect them from rotting or drying up or should I at least try potting them to see if they'll make it? I am not much of a gardener but I'm protective of my peonies. I live in middle Tennessee, not sure if that makes a difference but I know I'm going to miss them dearly this spring. Thank you!

Saving Peonies

Your best bet is to pot them up. Even though it is temporary, be sure they have room to grow–you don’t want to suffocate the roots by putting them in too small a container. Decrease water for the winter months. Come spring, get them onto a consistent watering and fertilizing schedule. Peonies require a cold dormant period to bloom well. However, they are suited for Zones 4–8 so yours should be okay.

Peony seeds

One of my peonies produced 3 seed pods. If I plant them how long will it take to bloom?

Growing Peonies from Seed

If the seeds are properly ripened and viable and you plant them in the fall, they should begin growing the following spring/summer. It is hard to say if they will bloom the first year—it depends on how well they establish.

Peonies just sprouted

Planted in spring and just sprouted with greenery about 2-3" and stopped. Maybe not sufficient sunlight.
Should we dig them and relocate? If so when?

Bush peony

Can you tell me will the green foliage die off or should I trim it off

Peony Die Back

Peonies are perennials so the foliage will die back to the ground on its own. When it has turned yellow/brown and has flopped over, that’s the best time to cut it all the way back to the crown. Note: If it is a tree peony you have, you need only prune it for shape (it will not die back). Tree peonies should also be protected by mulch and burlap if you live in a cold climate.

when do the peonies form the eyes

I am digging the peonies now but they do not have eyes on them. Do the eyes come on the roots after you replant them

Peonie scented candles etc.

I just love the scent my white Peonies give off in spring. I would love to have there scent all year but I've looked all over for Peonie scented candles or essential oil. I've looked all over in stores. Any suggestions?

Peony Essential Oil

Hi Richard,

It could be fun to try to make your own essential oil since you love your particular peony’s scent so much! Barring that, it looks like Etsy and Ebay sell it.


I purchased a peony in a pot. I want to plant this in the ground. Should I knock all of the dirt off of the roots? Or, can I just put the whole thing in the ground, and at what level? (I live in southeast Michigan.)


Excellent article. I just bought three peonies roots with three to five eyes. Two coral charms and one Duchesse de Nemours. I plan to plant them in a very large antique cast iron planter. Will they do well in the planter? It gets full sun and I plan on adding top soil to it. How deep do I need to plant them? A Tennessee gal.

Potted peonies

Thanks, Cindy! Peonies develop roots that go deep and spread by adding tubers; these are often referred to as “clumps.” Given that, and that it can take as many as three years for a peony to bloom optimally, no matter how large the planter is, it’s difficult to know how they will do. If the roots are stifled, the plant/s will be stifled. If you set the tubers too close (depending on the size of the container) their growth will be stifled. (A foot between each would not be too much.) As for soil conditions, please note the recommendations above. Topsoil alone (added to whatever soil is already in the pot) may not give you the best results. Finally, as noted above, peony tubers should be set at a 1.5 to 2 inch depth in the soil, with the eyes (tiny growths) pointing up.

If you can accommodate the plants as described in your planter … they might do ok.

We hope this helps—

Question about my roots

It seems like two of my peonies that I had planted in the spring are now showing parts of their roots. I covered the area with garden soil but I'm not sure of the exposure will kill the peony. Should I did up and replant?

peonies not blooming

saw comments, i moved them about 4 years ago, they are healthy but no flowers
? if i planted too deep (what is too deep) then would it help to replant, if so
can i move them at the same time to a better spot or just adjust replant in
same spot. i fertilize w/ miracid is there better

Transplant Peonies

Hi Rich,

They are too deep if the crown is below soil level. Yes, if you have an area that is better suited, dig them and transplant them. Established perennials don’t need a lot of fertilizer (a sign of too much fertilizer is lots of healthy green growth but no blooms). Try using a slow-release granular fertilizer applied just twice during the growing season (in early spring and then again in mid-summer).

I just planted a peony and

I just planted a peony and was considering using an old truck tire spacer (metal) for a weed barrier. Will it make it more likely that my peony will freeze out? I',m in a northern zone 3.

Leaves were eaten by a rabbit - what do I do?

It is August and a rabbit just ate ALL of the leaves on two new (planted this year) Peonies plants! The stems are turning brown. Do I water them? Do I leave them in the ground? Do I take them up and store them in a cool, dry place until this Fall? I'm just sick about it and would really like to save them, but don't know what to do! Thank you for any help you can give me!

Rabbit attacks peonies

Hi, Rebecca, It seems that rabbits everywhere are eating things they used to leave alone. The stems would naturally fade back, so let them be. In fact, let the entire plant be. There is no reason to lift it (remove it from the soil). The bunnies do not usually eat the tubers—and shouldn’t start. Next spring, it should grow and flower as usual. If, if, if bunnies take to munching on the early leaves, you might consider putting a peony cage (like a tomato cage) over/around each plant, wrapped in a bit of screening/chicken wire. But it’s too early to worry about that.


I have just bought some peonies that are in a bulb formation they were already striking
which end do I plant in the ground this might sound really naïve ha

After my peony bushes

After my peony bushes flowered the leaves turning a grayish color and now the stems are drying up. What could be wrong?



Gray colored leaves after

Checking to find a cure for grayish leaves on my peonies, after blossoming.


Will peonies grow and bloom in las Vegas Nevada

Growing Peonies in Hot Climates

Hi Emillie,

Peonies require a dormant period during a pronounced winter chill. However, if you are set on trying, grow them in a spot with dappled shade. They may take a few seasons to bloom and probably won’t be as vigorous as they are in cold climates.




I planted two Julia face peonies several years ago(10) full sun and by themselves.they come back every year, with a healthy root and stem base. They do not bud out or bloom. I keep hoping, but keep thinking i have done something wrong. The soil is sandy loam. any suggestions.

Peonies Not Blooming

Hi John,

There are a few reasons why peonies don’t bloom. It sounds like your plants get enough sun and are well established, but they won’t perform well if they are planted too deeply (this is the most common reason) or are over fertilized. Also, if the foliage is cut back too early or if there was a late-spring freeze or other extreme weather event, bloom may be inhibited.


please can you tell me why my peony has not flowered this is now the second year it is green and has very small buds but they don't get bigger ,and go brown and die .

Bud Rot on Peonies

Hi Valerie,

It could be a case of bud rot, or Botrytis (though that is usually accompanied by fuzzy gray mold). The other possibility is something called “bud blast,” which can look a lot like Botrytis. It results from plants being planted too deep, infertile soil, too much shade, drought, and/or late spring frosts. Try fertilizing every two weeks. And consider if any of the other causes could be at play.

Heirloom peonie plant varieties

We have a peonie plant in our yard that we think is about 50 years old. We would like to plant more of them. It is white. Any idea what kind it might be?

White Peony

There are a number of white peony cultivars including Peony lactiflora ‘Ann Cousins’, ‘Baroness Schroeder’, ‘Bowl of Cream’, ‘Bride’s Dream’, ‘Charlie’s White’, and a host of others. Perhaps take some photos of the blooms you get this year and see if you can find a match that way–the shape of the flowers usually differs a bit from plant to plant. Good luck!


We have had really hot weather lately and I noticed my peonies wilting. So I gave them a drink and now with this weather in the 90s I water every night. Now I noticed the leaves are turning brown. Am I watering them too much?


Hi. I had a packet of seeds marked Peonies that got wet. I threw the seeds in a pot. I now have a hundred little guys coming up. Since it's mid July in Maryland, what is the best course of action? Pot, ground, transplanting? Looks like I'll be giving a bunch away. I have a greenish brown thumb. Help

Extra Peonies

Hi, Tracy! It sounds like you got very lucky with those peony seeds. Peonies don’t often take well to being transplanted, but the best course of action might be to repot them in a few other pots so that they have room to grow and can be easily given away to your friends. If you’d like to put any of them in the ground in your garden, we would recommend waiting until the fall to move them.


What are black spots on leaves and how do I treat plant.


Hi. My peonies are beautiful and bloom great. The plants are well established and take little care. My peonies bloomed this spring and now have 5 buds/seeds in a star pattern on the end of the stems. Last year, I didn't do anything with the flowers, just let them die back. But I was wondering if I could take these buds/seeds and plant those in another area. Would that work in establishing another plant? Thanks.

Dividing Peonies

It sounds like you should be able to establish another plant from those beautiful peonies. The best way to do so is to dig up the peony in the fall and see if you can divide it. Each root division should have 3 to 5 “eyes”. Then plant the divisions in a sunny spot in well-drained soil. Add compost or aged manure to the soil. See more planting tips above.

My landscaper cut my Peonies back after they bloomed in June.

My landscaper cut my Peonies back after they bloomed in June. Will they come back? I live near Albany N.Y..

Peonies Care

The peonies will sometimes bloom again, but not with the vigor of the initial show of color.


I have a potted peonie given to me. It is 109 here in the summer. It's still in the pot because I'm waiting till fall. Should I bring it in or just in a shady part till fall. Our weather is like Las Vegas nv

multiple questions

We moved into oUr house October last year near Spokane WA. The peonies started sprouting in the spring . over plant is almost done blooming, another just starting to bloom, and another only had one bud that didn't fully bloom. They are set with a drop line to hey one inch of water a wreak, zone 6.5 and aph of about 6.9. This article states to plant them the to for apart, that they dont like being transplanted, and to fertilize once every few years. Mine are planned maybe twelve inches apart at the most. Is this fine? And if not, what to do, since they don't like being transplanted? Lastly, when should I fertilize, since I don't know when it was last done and they after only supposed to be fertilized once every few years? Thank you!

Puzzled by Peonies

It’s not clear if you are suggesting that you moved your peonies wiht you to the new home or these peonies were in place.

In any case, peonies are relatively carefree. You can give them something like a 5–10–10 fertilizer in the spring over the roots (not the crowns). A peony nursery suggests applying a potato fertilizer in the dall (consult your local nursery for that kind of product). Do not over fertilize. Peonies that develop large clumps need to be divided. The distance described should not be an issue, especially if the plants are small. Are the eyes too deep? They should be set just below the surface of the soil but no deeper than 1 inch. Remember, too, that peonies need a winter chill. Warmer than normal conditions could affect their performance.


I thought they were going to bloom but turned black instead, any ideals, thanks

Peonies with a single bloom

When we moved into our house last summer, there was a plant in our bed, obviously cut back to about six inch stalks. This spring, it is obviously a peony. Beautiful foliage but only one bloom so far. Are you supposed to cut them back, or was the realtor just making the place neat for a sale?

My peonies leaves are all yellow

Are they getting too much water. My plant is about 4 years old.

Peonies Have Yellow Leaves

Yes, you might have overwatered the peonies. They probably suffered some root death. Keep the soil moderately moist but make sure that the soil is not soggy. Wait to see what happens next spring, and hopefully they will bloom again.

Help for potted peonies

Hi I live in Brooklyn ny, I just brought a raspberry sundae peony plant, it has one ball of flower which is closed still, my question is I want to repot it in a pot, how do I do it safely, also I do have a basement, although rats been seen there lately, when and how do I start to winterize my potted plant? Also if not basement can I bring it inside my apartment for the winter? Which is best basement or apartment?

Peonies in Pots for Winter

The best time to transplant peonies is in early September or October, so wait until then if possible. Cut off all the flowers and stop watering for a day or two before moving the plants. It is important to dig out and replant as much of the rootball as you can as fast as possible in the pot. Then give the peonies plenty of water. Make sure the pot is large and has good drainage. You should keep them in your apartment for a while in order to keep an eye on them. Water them regularly until winter, at which point you should put the pot in the basement to stay cool and dry, and water occasionally. Bring them back up to your apartment and then replant them in the spring.


The plants seem to have a grayish dust on the leaves. How can I help them? What should I do?

It’s probably mildew. Make

It’s probably mildew. 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.

Peony seeds

In the event that a person allows a peony to produce seeds, what should one do with the seed pods? Can they be planted to produce a large bed of peony>

Peony seeds

My peonies dropped seeds after I brought some inside and put them in a vase. What do I do with them? How should I store them and for how long? This is the first time they have dropped seeds in the house. Thank you.

Best time to transplant?

I've seen transplanting in late September recommended here and elsewhere, but I live in the desert of SE WA, where daytime temps are still 80–90°F at that time and we don't see first frost until mid November. We're actually in USDA zone 7a–8a, depending on which map you consult, which is down there with OK, TN, and northern TX, MS, AL, GA, and the Carolinas. Can you offer a recommendation based on temperatures, or is it really OK to transplant them when/where summer's not really over?

Need Advice....

My Peonies have been planted in the same spot for over 50 years. The last couple of years the plants have not been doing well in the flowering department. The foliage is beautiful, green and full, but no blooms (only a few of them). Any advice? They originally belonged to by aunt. I will be 60 this year and remember them as a child growing up, in the very same spot (I now live there).

Thank you so much for any help you can give me!

Reply to Need Advice

It would seem that your peonies need to be divided. Peonies are long-lived plants, but after 50 years they need to be divided to rejuvenate. You can do a Google search on how to divide peonies. Peonies are happiest to be divided in the fall - as late as November. If it's a large plant, get some one to help and you can "pay" them with part of the plant. Peonies are very resilient, so it may take a year or two for the plant to recover, but it should if you follow the simple dividing directions.


about 40yro,when our family home was being sold, I dug up a clump of "Sarah Burnhardt" peonies. They have traveled everywhere with me. My guess is that the peonies are at least 75yrs old! Sarah is beautiful. Next year, we are relocating to the Carolinas from NY. Any idea on how we can make her relocation as stress free as possible? thank you.


To mimimize stree on the plant, you could move in the fall, ideally in September. Or, lift the plant this fall and transplant it into a container so it’s ready to move when you are. It thrives best in Zones 3 to 8.

Peony tree

My son has a large flowering bush/tree type bush in his front yard. It blooms every year. Blooms usually don't last more than a couple of weeks. The flowers have a pleasant scent.
The Extention office here in Lincoln NE had not seen one before but they researched it and found out it was a Peony tree. I had a blossom and leaves shown to them and they have me an answer.
If there was a way to put a photo on here I would.


I had took a start of a peonie bush that was about 17 year old plant.
Where I had lived before, three separate plants were planted, planted them in the fall of 2012, this is there 4th year no blooms, last year they had little bitty round buds, not look like a bud though, this year , nothing.
I really don't think I planted them to deep. what do I do ? should I leave them be?

dividing peonies

have two large peony bushes that I wonder if they should be divided. If you can divide how do you do that and when. Thanks

Peony Bush

I have a beautiful peony that was on the property when I moved here. The flowers are massive and gorgeous, but I only get maybe 4 blooms. I have a ton of leaves though. Should I trim the leaves back???


I have a Peony at the edge of the woods. Someone before me planted it and it gets little to no sun. Not very big, looks like it's stunted. Does always have some blooms, not as many as it could have. I would like to move it to a sunny location. Should I do that when it finished blooming or wait til Fall?

Sarah Barnhart Peony

I planted my root about a month are so ago and nothing is coming up. I followed the directions from the package I got did not add compost are bonemeal because the instructions did not say any thing about that. Should I redig it and see if it is doing any thing are is this normal I live in Mississippi southern most part I am so tempted to check it

planting peonies in spring in deep south

I planted mine outdoors(in the ground) and in large pots also last spring near D.C (northern Virginia). They did very little or nothing all summer. ... Maybe a tiny sprig grew a little.
This year they are doing nicely and I think I see a bud on one.
The potted ones were brought indoors for the winter.
But peonies need around 14 weeks or so of cooling / cool weather. So I froze pie tins of water and set them on top of the potted ones to get the needed cooling. They are once again in the back yard, and leafing well. Hope I get some flowers.
You might need to do something similar for cooling in your zone , but to the outdoor plants as well!


My peonies are probably around 100 years old, they came to me from my grandmother, now 95 years old, who got them from her mother, and where she got them, we don't know. But they're old, beautiful, and healthy.

What to do?

I just received some peony "bulbs" as a gift for our new house from my mother-in-law she ordered for us. When do I plant them and how do I keep them alive and well until they go into the ground?

Thank you!

Peonies are best planted in

Peonies are best planted in the ground in the fall. You can plant the peonies in a big container now and keep them happy until fall when you can plant them in their permanent spot. Please see our planting tips at the top of this page.

Hello, I just ordered a

Hello, I just ordered a couple of peony "bulbs" which are due to arrive next week (May 26th) it is late in the planting season, my question is should I plant them or should I keep them in the refrigerator to plant in the beginning of fall?, I live in south California.
Thank you

Can I plant a peony bulb in a pot?

I planted a peony bulb in a 15" flower pot about 2 months ago. There has been a little bit of foliage that has started to grow, but it's very small. It has looked the same for the last month. Is this normal? Should I have not planted the bulb in a pot? I did this because when I move, it like to take the plant with me (assumed that was possible). I don't have much knowledge when it comes to planting perennials. If it was a bad idea, is it too late to transplant into the ground? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks! :)

It’s OK to plant a peony in a

It’s OK to plant a peony in a container. Just make sure that you follow the planting tips at the top of this page and keep the soil moist.

problems with my peonies

My peonies are over 40 years old. I have noticed over the years that there are fewer and fewer blooms.. Is it possible that my peonies are getting to the point of not blooming at all? They have been in the same spot since they were first planted. We live in Ohio and recently had some cooler than normal temperatures. They were covered for the cold and the frost but they seem to foliage well but not bloom. Please help. My mother-in-law planted them years ago and I would hate to loose them.

After the peonies finish

After the peonies finish blooming and the bush is left, do you have to wait until fall to trim back the bushes or can that be done in the summer? The plants are well established, they have been planted for several years and have beautiful blooms every year

Hi Cheryl,

Hi Cheryl,

You can prune the faded flowers in the summer but do not trim back the stems. Late fall is the best time to prune peony bushes.


Stinky peonies

Why do my peonies stink so bad

I had to move them

My husband has a tradition of getting me a peony every anniversary since that's what we had in our wedding, so when we moved last fall I HAD to bring them with us. Out of 5 plants only one had buds, the others still have beautiful leaves but no flowers. Will they ever return or could the move have ruined them? I live in the Pacific Northwest

Taking peonies with you.....

I hope your peonies were dug in the fall. They will take longer to come back into bloom if transplanted in spring. Your's are doing as expected of moved peonies. They are expressing their "displeasure" at being moved. Peonies will gladly last 75 to 100 years if left to themselves, unmoved, even without extra fertilizer. If you did not transplant with a cup of bonemeal, and a good lining of cow manure compost, dress and lightly dig in some of each around each plant. It is now bloom season, Mid-May to Mid-June, here in Michigan. Your peonies should respond well, with adequate drainage to the soil. pH neutral. If your plants have any size to them, and it sounds as though they do, you should expect some bloom recovery next summer. If you have attended to planting depth carefully, no deeper than 1 1/2-2 inches of soil above the buds, your's should make a good recovery.

They will be fine they should

They will be fine they should bloom again next year, after moving an established plant it typically a year sometimes even 2 for them to establish themselves once again just be patient.

peony seeds

I see alot of peony seeds for sale from China. I am tempted to try my hand at starting them. Do you have any recommendations? I live in southern Virginia. Thanks for your advice. Michele

Growing peonies from seed is

Growing peonies from seed is not recommended. Most will not produce attractive flowers, as seeds are not true to the parent plant, and none will do so for several years. While Virginia has a satisfactory climate for peonies, it is best to plant roots or plants from peony specialist growers, e.g., Hollingsworth, Song Sparrow, A&D, Adelman, or Cricket Hill.

Transplanting peonies

We have just moved into a new home. Even though it is already May we decided to bring with us some of our beautiful plants. Including two of our smaller peonies. They already have buds. Should they be cut back to encourage root growth or do we let them stay as they are. Your response wil be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Lynn

Established Peonies

I planted a Peony 4 years ago. I've marked where its planted by putting a hoop support over it. Each year, it comes up quickly, produces one flower and that's it. The foliage does not stay through the summer. It is not getting full and bushy like other Peony plants I remember. It gets good sun on that side of the house. I live in Alabama. I have not moved it because I've heard they do not like being moved around. What else can I do? How long before it gets bushy and produces continuous flowers? Thank you!

It might come down to poor

It might come down to poor soil. The time to apply fertilizer (bonemeal, compost, or well-rotted manure) is after the peony blooms. Don’t fertilize more than every few years.

Peony in Atlanta

Might be planted too deep.
Atlanta may be too far South, too warm and not cold enough in winter.
Sharing an old peony by cutting out a pie piece is sign of lasting friendship. So I'm not sure why moving the plant is so bad...if you do so after blooming and before winter and you plant "exactly" like parent ( sun location...).


I bought and planted a peony last summer into a pot. This year it is full of collage but only two buds. It also has some white spots on the leaves. What can this be?

Buds don't open

I have a beautiful plant that has been in the ground for four years. The first two years opened in bloom beautifully. Last year the buds never opened even though they got large, and this year looks to be developing the same. What's the problem

Here are a few possible

Here are a few possible causes.

Not enough sun (peonies need 4 to 6 hours of direct sun). A late freeze may damage the flower buds. Very dry conditions in previous summer may weaken plant and result in fewer buds this season. Botrytis blight or other fungal disease may attack the buds when it’s  cool and wet. Thrips or other insects can damage the flower buds. Plants that are growing poorly are not vigorous enough to bloom (but may set buds).

Peony looks sickly

I have a peony that is not looking well. The leaves are drooped down while the other one I have near it looks great. Any ideas or suggestions?
Thank You

Ants on peonies

Thank you for posting!! I didn't know that ants were beneficial! I worried they were eating the buds.



Rooting peonies

Can plant stalks that were cut off at the ground be rooted like other plants. I am assuming not, but will do what I can to save the plant.

No. Peonies need to be

No. Peonies need to be propagated from roots. But not to worry. Peonies normally should be cut to the ground in the fall. They will grow again from the rootstock in the spring.


Approximately 4 years ago, I planted 2 or 3 tubers (bulbs?) in a big pot. They have done well in this pot, coming back every spring and started blooming the 2nd year. This year they have bushed out really full and big and have 7 blooms . They appear , to me, that possibly they are outgrowing the pot and needs to be planted in a bed in the yard. I am not sure if this is something I want to do as people say they haven't had much luck transplanting them. When would be the time to transplant, after the blooms are gone , in the fall or after I cut them back and would I dig the bulb up . Bottom line, I don't know how to do this. I live in SC , approx. 60 miles from coast and on sandy land. Any info you could give me would be appreciated.

Fall is the best time to

Fall is the best time to transplant your peonies. If you are happy with the plants growing in containers you can transplant to bigger containers instead of the ground. Please see out planting advice at the top of this page.


I bought 4 peonies roots at SAMs in Feb end and they sat for a few weeks in the box waiting for the weather to warm. I planted them about 3 wks ago but had to manipulate them a few days later to get the roots horizontal, eyes up & 2" under soil. Planted @ 20 feet from an oak tree in a well drained area near a thriving rise bush/vine. Hoping they will thrive in the full to partial sun. I've watered them about once a week plus a little rain. When can I expect to see growth breaking through the soil surface? What will it look like? Will I see the eyes break through soon? My established peoney is on the other die of the house & I found the first beautiful blooms today after a few hard rains. Any advise? Thanks so much :)

Peonies in South TX

Would peonies flourish is Tomball, TX. I believe we are in zone 8b.

Zone 8b peonies

The key word is “flourish” … and after a lot of looking into agricultural/educational web sites, it would not appear to. Here is what we looked into; you may be able to follow up for more details: This site lists peonies, but provides no further information—and, as you can see, it date from 1995. (Perhaps conditions were different then?)

• This site puts the kibosh on the idea: “maybe the idea of growing peonies in Tyler is irresistible. Wouldn’t it be neat if you could do it?”

• then there’s this vendor: The web page cites Dallas and suggests that peonies that thrive in China could thrive in that Texas region.

That’s out best advice on this particular matter. Good luck!


Planting bulbs

I purchased Peony bulbs at SAMs Club, I live in Salina, KS. Do I plant them now or wait until fall?
I grew up with Peonies all around our homes. They to me are the most beautiful flower in the world. Please help!

Planting Peonies in planters. In Georgia

I live in a condo and would like to plant Peonies on my patio, is it OK to do so in Georgia and what is the best way to plant them in containers?

Can peonies grow in South Florida?

I have a few tubers I picked up, and wanted to know if they would grow, as I live in the Southern part of Florida. Any suggestions? They are so beautiful, and I would love to grow them!

Unfortunately peonies do not

Unfortunately peonies do not grow successfully in Florida. The plants need a period of winter chill to do well. Zone 8 is the warmest zone for peonies.

Peonies got mowed to the

Peonies got mowed to the ground back in fall. Will they grow back?

Your peonies will come back

Your peonies will come back but they may look a little sparse. We suggest that you put a few plant supports around the peonies so that they will not be mowed over again.

what weed killer can be used on Peonies

my peonies are in full sunlight and have some weeds in them that I would like to erase. Is there any certain week killer I can use on them?

Yes. The weed killer is you.

Yes. The weed killer is you. You will have to manually remove the weeds, and be careful not to harm the peonies while doing it. Don't use chemicals.

Start looking great as a spring sprout but never grow

I would guess these plants have been in the ground since 1994. We are in SC Kansas. I planted 2 from my mom's plants. They are 15' or so from a soft maple tree but also have trumpet vine right next to them. 1gets about 8-10" tall and then by early summer dies off. It looks health now and up to that time. The other is about 4-5' away gets about full heights and has just 2-4 blooms but no larger than a walnut shell. What do I need to do for them? Full sun except when trumpet vines take over (trying to get rid of those things!). We have another on the North side that gets partial sun but blooms most years, however not the huge bloom, never fertilized any of them since planting them.

Spring Peonies Planting

We have just purchased 10 peonies tubers from Costco. I would love to plant these asap of course but this article mentions that Springs plant don't do as well as Fall. What are the main disadvantages and are there any techniques that would help to overcome those disadvantages?
Thank you so very much for your help!

Peony planting

The benefit to planting in fall is, essentially, allowing the plant to set roots and rest before spring. A spring planting means in all likelihood that you will not see blooms this spring. It it best to get the peonies into the ground in the first season you can—which is to say now, not to wait until autumn. You might lose them, if you wait (they could just dry up). Plant now and water regularly. Don’t plant them too deep (that’s the rule no matter when you plant them). Once they get “set” they should perform wonderfully for years.


spring planting for peonies

live in NC


what if the stem breaks?

Peony stems breaking

Peonies can have heavy flower heads which cause them to droop over, but it’s rare that the stem breaks. You want to have some hoops to support their heavy heads. If the stems break, you can not replant them unless perhaps they have some root part attached to them.

peony leaves turning red

Hi, I live in Texas and I planted about 18 peonies in late September. They all came up with nice leaves and now that it is January, the leaves are turning red. Will new leaves come out in the Spring?
Should I cut back this growth?
thanks so much.

Not knowing what type of

Not knowing what type of peonies you have we would recommend that you don’t cut the leaves back. It will take a couple of years for your peonies to get established. If any of the stems or leaves turn brown and die you can cut them off.


Different color.

Why would my peonie plant that always had deep pink blooms change to white blooms? They were so pretty that my cousin wanted two of the roots to transplant. The very next year my plant bloomed but the flowers were white.

growing peonies in containers

I live in an urban area in CT zone 6 and would like to grow peonies in containers on my balcony. The containers would remain outside year round. Please advise the best way to do this? Thank you!

Choose big containers with

Choose big containers with well-draining soil. The plants need plenty of sun in the spring and summer to bloom. In the winter you need to protect the roots from extreme cold. Place the containers in cardboard boxes and fill the empty space around the pots with leaves or other insulating material.

Red eyes developing above ground after planting

I replanted peonies bushes in early November in middle TN. We have had warmer temperature than normal this fall. I noticed I now in mid December have red eyes forming which are a couple of inches above ground. Do i need to plant them deeper now?

Add some soil over the buds

Add some soil over the buds and then add a five to six inches of mulch over the peonies. You can use straw or pine needles. Remove the mulch in the spring.

Moving in winter-how to save peonies

I am in Nova Scotia and have several peony plants that I brought to my garden from my mom's garden when she died. They have done well. However i am moving in january and want to take the peonies with me. Any help please on how i can put them in pots outdoors for winter so i can take them to my new house and replant in the ground in spring? I dont want to leave them behind.

Dig the plants now before the

Dig the plants now before the ground freezes. Get as much soil as possible around the root balls and place them in big containers with soil. Place the containers in a protected area outdoors and add leaves or mulch around the containers. Bring the containers to your new place in Jan. and leave them outside until you can plant them in the ground.


I live in zone 6 USA. I am moving on 11/30 and would like to take some of my well established peonies plants which were a housewarming gift from my grandfather to my new home in the same area. Is it possible to transplant peonies that late in Fall? Should I wait until move date or do you recommmend pot planting them now until move date?

Fall is the best time to

Fall is the best time to transplant peonies and as long as you can dig the soil at the end of Nov. we recommend to wait until move date to dig the plants. Get as much of the root ball with lots of soil around it and replant the peonies as soon as possible in the new location. Cut the peony stems to just above healthy buds and water well before the ground freezes. See our planting instructions on this page for more details.


I live in south América and bought some peonies, our climate is hot and we almost have no winter, I plant them in a high one the plants grew very slowly and poor. i love peonies but don't know wat to do, help please, our summer is very hot about 40degrees

Good Morning. We are planning

Good Morning. We are planning to grow peonies in Ecuador- South America. We are located in the middle of the world. 2900 meters over sea level. 12 sunlight hours every day. We have just two seasons: Winter and summer. is tha posible?

we live in Wyoming, star

we live in Wyoming, star valley, and it can get rather cold. we are thinking of thinning the peonies and i was wondering if we trim them back first like suggested above before doing so. can those we thin out be transplanted at the same time. thanx

Fall is the perfect time to

Fall is the perfect time to divide those peonies. Cut the stems back to the ground and dig up the plants. Remove the soil to expose the roots. Each new plant needs a crown with 3-5 eyes on it. They look like fat little pink fingers. Replant the sections with the eyes 1-2 inches deep and pointing up. You can place a light mulch of pine needles or shredded bark over them as extra protection for the first winter and remove it in the spring.

I bought and planted root

I bought and planted root stock 3 years ago. The plant itself is growing well, the leaves look good and it is in a spot where it gets quite a bit of sun. My question is when will it bloom? Should I move it or give it another season. From what I have read new plants take several years. I really want it to flower and am afraid of disturbing it. I live in central Maine, USA Thank you ~

Please see our planting and

Please see our planting and growing advice above. You may have planted the tubers too deep. This fall is a good time to check and maybe adjust the planting depth.

Hi I live in Singapore and am

Hi I live in Singapore and am new to planting. Can peonies grow well in Singapore? The weather here is very hot and humid and we do not have seasons. Can I grow my peonies in a big pot and what size is recommended? Also, where can I buy seeds to start growing them? Is it feasible to buy it overseas and planting them here?

I read that you can not plant

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

If you are replacing a

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

what are the big pob like

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

live in Canada niagara

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

You can plant the seeds in

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

My gardener cut back my

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

Will they come back?


I think in most cases they

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

I summer in Northern Calif.

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

Hello, And thank you in

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

Hi, Bobbi, We are not sure

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

It is fairly common practice

It is fairly common practice to graft a tree peony to herbaceous peony rootstock, since tree peonies are slow to root. In your case, it is the herbaceous rootstock that has started to produce eyes, leaves and (possibly) flowers. Over time, these can take over and outgrow the tree peony. Someone else will likely have a better solution for your current problem, but when planting a new tree peony that has been grafted, I have heard recommendations to plant diagonally (as opposed to vertically) to encourage the tree peony to develop its own root system. After the tree peony has its own root system, the herbaceous rootstock can be removed.

I have a beautiful peony bush

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

I wanted to divide and

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

If the leaves are curling,

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

I have several peonies that

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

I have had 3 peonies that

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

It's best to dig up the peony

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

Can Peonies be started from

Can Peonies be started from seed?? Thanks

Have a few seeds from the

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

Technically, you could grow

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

I would like more info on

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

I have a peony plant I

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

Your peony is probably

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

I have a friend who has the

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

Many peonies can be

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

I have had a Peony for about

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

My Peonies are gorgeously

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

I use a stake in the middle

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

We live in Northwestern

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

Please see this page from the

Please see this page from the American Peony Society. The third question down might help you:

I bought 2 peonies plant in

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

Hi Ken, Please see or

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

I planted two peonies for the

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

Peony blossoms are short

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

After the flower blooms, I

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

Hi, Ken: Not at all. You can

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

We are in zone 4 at 8700 ft

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

Hi Howard, Most peonies are

Hi Howard,

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

I'm living in Malaysia, South

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

I bought some peonies that

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

I am having a huge problem

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

I planted a bare root peony

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

Just leave it alone. Peonies

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

I purchased 3 peonies last

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

It's not dead- peonies are

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

I would like to cut a few

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

Cut buds that have had their

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

Can I put my peonies into

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

I was wondering if I plant a

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

To cultivate a peony, you can

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

Do peony rose grow in pots in

Do peony rose grow in pots in Victoria

I just bought a peony and now

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

Bare-root peonies are planted

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

The directions that were with

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

So I just moved into a house

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

Mix equal amounts of sugar

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


I recently got some peonies

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

Removing ants from peonies

I thought peonies had to have the ants to bloom and be healthy

Educate your children.

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

I purchased a peony from the

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

Move it. In my opinion and

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

Try B1. You can find it at

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

Move it. Dig up a really big

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

I live in San Antonio, TX and

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

i live in dallas,soil is

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

I have peonies which are at

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

If the peonies are that old

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

I have just dug up bits from

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

Can I dig in the spring to

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

I planted a peony in the fall

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

Keep in mind that

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

My husband mistook my peonies

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

We've had many peonies

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

I planted some root tumblers

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

Listen, my husband denies

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

I have seen this question

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

The ideal time to plant

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

I transplanted 10 Peonies

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

They appear to die off each

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

I'm in Atlanta, Georgia, zone

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

I live in zone 5 michigan.

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

Hello, By reading i found

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

You can keep your peonies in

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

Just bough some peonies and

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

Hi Diane, Yes, you can grow

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


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