Peony Growing Guide

Planting Peony

  • Plant in spring after the last frost.
  • Keep plants cool until planting and be careful that they do not dry out.
  • These plants will grow in most soils provided they are not too wet and are adequately drained.
  • Dig a large hole at least 30 cm (12 in) deep. Mix in some well rotted manure or compost and a handful of bone meal or general fertilizer.
  • Avoid planting peonies too deep, the top of the crown should be no more than 5 cm (2 in) below the surface.

Growing Peony

  • These plants do not appreciate being moved so it is important to ensure they are planted in good, fertile soil.
  • Once planted the addition of organic mulch will help retain moisture in the soil as well as keeping down the weeds. It is important not to put the mulch directly on the crown. Wet mulch on the crown can cause crown rot.

Care Peony

  • If the plant is thriving and the soil is basically fertile peonies do not need regular applications of fertilizers.
  • Though peony flowers are often irresistible as cut flowers, be careful with young plants. When cutting flowers it is practically impossible to not also cut the leaves. These leaves are essential to the peony if it is to make its food reserves. So take but a few flowers from each plant and leave as much foliage as possible.

Winterizing Peony

  • Peonies take some time to establish. As a rule leave undisturbed for at least 5 years before lifting and dividing clumps. When breaking up clumps each new division should have at least two or three growth buds (eyes).
  • For new plants, provide a winter mulch of evergreen boughs or salt marsh hay after the ground freezes to help prevent heaving.