When To Plant Peonies In Maryland?

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When To Plant Peonies In Maryland
When to Plant Peonies – Peony plants require little maintenance as long as they are planted properly and establish themselves. Note, however, that they do not respond well to transplanting, so you should plan your planting site accordingly.

Plant peonies in the fall: in late September and October in most of the U.S., and even later in the fall in Zones 7 and 8.(.) If you must move a mature plant, fall is the time to do it—specifically, when the plant has gone dormant. Peonies should be settled into place about six weeks before the ground freezes. Although it’s certainly possible to plant peonies in the spring, spring-planted peonies just don’t do as well. Experts agree: they generally lag about a year behind those planted in the fall.

Can I plant peonies in the spring?

When to Plant: Bareroot peonies may be planted in spring or fall. The plants can tolerate frost, so may be planted 2 to 3 weeks before your frost free date. Potted peonies may be planted at any time during the growing season.

Should peonies be planted in sun or shade?

Frequently Asked Questions – How come my peonies don’t bloom? Failure to bloom is usually caused by two things: improper planting and/or insufficient light. When planting peonies, make sure to plant the eyes (the point at which new growth emerges) no more than two inches deep.

Also make sure your plants get plenty of sun — 6 or more hours a day. If they’re planted in a shady site, they will not flower well — if at all. Also note that newly planted peonies usually don’t flower the first year, which is spent developing a good root system and foliage. By the second spring after planting, you should see your first blooms.

What are tree peonies? Although tree peonies are related to regular (herbaceous) peonies, they are much larger, reaching up to 6 feet. Their form is actually more like a shrub than a tree. In colder zones, they will not grow as tall — 3 or 4 feet is typical.

Plants bloom just before the regular peonies; flowers are equally fragrant. Can peonies be divided? Yes. Unlike most perennials, peonies rarely need to be divided. The only reason to do it is to get more plants — or share them with friends. It’s best done in the fall. Dig up the clump and use a sharp tool to divide it into sections, keeping three to five eyes in each division.

Be sure to water the transplants thoroughly, unless you get plenty of rainfall. Keep in mind that divisions (and transplants) might not begin blooming again for two or three years. Ants are crawling all over my peony buds. Are they going to eat the flowers? No. When To Plant Peonies In Maryland Peony bud with ants crawling on it. The foliage on my peony has blackened and wilted. What can I do? Peonies suffer from very few pest and disease problems. Nevertheless, they sometimes get fungal diseases, such as botrytis blight, which you describe. Other similar problems include blackened and/or rotten stems, withered buds, gray mold near the base of the plant.

In all cases, remove and destroy the infected plant parts. Make sure the plants aren’t getting overwatered; avoid sites with poorly drained soil. Good air circulation around the plant will also minimize fungal problems. Powdery mildew can be a problem near the foundation of a house, where there is lots of roof runoff and splashing.

Consider moving the plant to another location if you see powdery mildew every year. To prevent problems, do a thorough clean-up after fall frosts. Cut the stems to 3″ from the ground and clear away the foliage. We recently moved to Florida and want to grow peonies like we did in Connecticut.

Is there a way we can do it? Unfortunately, you cannot grow peonies successfully in Florida, southern California and most of the deep south. Zone 8 is the warmest zone for peonies. And if you’re growing them in zone 8, it’s wise to check locally to see which varieties are known to thrive. My peonies are gorgeous, but when it rains, the flowers bend to the ground.

How can I prevent this? The best solution is a grow-through support, which helps keep the top-heavy blooms upright. Ring supports will also work, but they aren’t quite as “invisible” as the grids. Be sure to put the grids in place in early spring — before the plants are more than a few inches tall.

When can I plant peonies outside?

When to Plant Peonies – The ideal time to plant peonies is in the fall, usually at least six weeks before the ground freezes. Peonies can also be planted in the spring, but they may take a bit longer before they start producing flowers.

Can I plant peony bulbs now?

When to Plant Peonies – Peonies can be successfully planted in the fall or the spring, but it becomes well established most easily when planted in the fall. Be sure to pant six weeks prior to the first hard ground freeze.

Can I plant peonies in March?

Tips for Planting Peonies in Spring – Here are my top tips for planting peonies in spring:

Shop and plant early : get them in the ground in March or April Bare root plants are generally cheaper than potted plants Potted plants have a better chance of flowering this season (but in general, the planting year is never great for flowers) Water the peony plant well before planting (bare roots can be soaked in water for a few hours)Dig a hole in the soil that is twice as wide as the plant, but no deeper, Ensure ground soil is moist. The soil line of potted peonies should line up with the existing soil level in your garden. Bare root peonies should be planted 1″-2″ below the soil surface. Planting peonies too deep can restrict blooming. Apply a quality organic mulch like homemade compost to the soil surface after planting. Keep the plant well-watered throughout the spring, summer, and fall.

“If you buy plants in bloom at a local nursery in spring, be careful not to plant them any deeper than they were growing in their nursery pot. Plant peonies with the “eyes” -the tips of the pointed, pinkish new stems – just 1 to 2 inches below the soil surface in northern gardens, or close to the soil surface in warm climates.” Rodale’s Basic Organic Gardening: A Beginner’s Guide to Starting a Healthy Garden, by Deborah L. This is what a bare root peony looks like before planting. They’re always such funny shapes! I took this one out of the plastic bag it was sold in, removed the wood shavings and peat, and soaked the root for two hours to rehydrate it. Now it’s time to plant! Most common varieties of herbaceous peonies are available in both bare root and potted form in the springtime.

Where should you not plant peonies?

Where to Plant Peonies – Peonies make fine sentinels lining walkways or 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-red or gold in the fall, as stately and dignified as any flowering shrub.

In mixed borders, peonies bloom with columbines, baptisias, and, and combine well with and, Plant white peonies with yellow irises and a froth of forget-me-nots; set off pink peonies with blue Nepeta or violets. Peonies are not too fussy, but choose your location wisely, as they resent disturbance and do not transplant well.

Peonies like full sun, and though they can manage with half a day, they bloom best in a sunny spot that gets 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day. Provide shelter from strong winds, as peonies’ large blooms can make them top heavy. (Use stakes to hold them up, if necessary.) Don’t plant too close to trees or shrubs, as peonies don’t like to compete for food, light, and moisture.

Do peonies grow better in pots or ground?

Brooks Gardens Peonies — Peony planting and care tips. How to plant and grow peonies?

  • Planting and Care Tips – How to Plant and Grow Peonies
  • (common questions and answers on planting, growing and caring for peonies).

What do peony plants need to thrive? These easy care perennials don’t need much attention.

  1. They grow best in USDA zones 2-8 and can last a lifetime.
  2. Well drained soil is a must.
  3. Full sun is great; however, half a day of sun is fine, too. A bit of shade can be beneficial for a longer bloom season.
  4. Plant bare root peonies in the fall – prime peony planting season.
  5. Roots are planted with just an inch or two of soil over the eyes (buds).
  6. Potted peonies may be transplanted in the fall or spring.
  7. Fertilize in early spring.
  8. Deadhead the spent flowers after bloom.

Peonies establish a vigorous root system the first two years after planting. They often flower the first year. The second year they increase in plant and flower size. By their third spring they are maturing and producing an abundance of flowers. Often you can enjoy your peony plants in the same spot for decades – you may never have to divide your peonies (unless you want additional plants to grow or share).

Plant bare root peonies in the fall. We have planted in most months of the year (bare root or from containers); they will grow more feeder roots, faster, when planted from late August through early November. I have experimented with planting a few in December and January – they won’t produce much root growth the first months; but, will lay in the ground, ready to grow when the time is right.

I take risks with planting if the opportunity arises. I don’t think I have lost any due to time of year planted – just slower establishment of roots the first year. Sometimes getting a root in the ground at the ‘wrong time of year’ works out better than tending to it in a container.

  • In my experience, all ample roots, no matter the month planted, produce peony plants that catch up in growth and size the 3rd year.
  • Potted (container) peony plants can be transplanted in the spring or the fall.
  • You can also pot up bare root peonies in the fall or early winter and transplant them in the spring.

Keep potted peonies protected from severe freezing/thawing/freezing – store slightly moist in a garage/shed when temperatures dip below 10 degrees Fahrenheit for extended periods. Where to plant peonies?

  • Peonies love sun – a half day or more of sun ( full sun is great) and good drainage for best growth/bloom. A bit of shade is okay and can allow your peonies to open with more intense coloring – just be sure they are getting at least a half day of sun. (Too much shade will produce foliage and little or no peony bloom).
  • Peony plants grow best in the ground; however, some gardeners are planting a peony or two in large patio pots. Use an ample sized container of 10 gallons or larger for best results, as the roots of a peony grow rather large. Be sure it has adequate drainage and remember to water more frequently than a ground planted peony. Peonies will also do well in large raised beds.
  • Peonies grow in a variety of soil types and actually love clay soil that is well drained. You may amend your soil; but, often, there is really no need to do so. Our farm peonies thrive in our well drained, unammended clay soil. If you desire, you may amend your soil to improve the nutrients/organic matter.

How to plant peonies?

  • Prepare the planting site by digging a hole about 15 x 15 inches, then fill the hole back in with the spaded soil. Remove just enough soil to place the root in, so it will sit just below or at ground level.
  • Place the peony root downward at any angle, with the ‘eyes’ (buds) facing upward. The roots are placed near the surface of the ground, with just one inch to two inches of soil on top of the ‘eyes’ (buds). Take care to not plant peony roots too deeply. Think of it as planting your bare root peony ‘just below ground level’ or at ground level with only a couple inches of soil mounded over the root.
  • In warmer climates (The South, California) where peonies can be grown, gardeners report success with planting the peony root near ground level with just a smidge of soil (about one half inch) over the eyes.
  • Some of the Itoh Intersectional peonies have extra large roots with some of their ‘eyes’ on a woody stem. These peony roots may be placed at an angle to fully cover the eyes. Itoh peonies can be planted a bit deeper than other herbaceous peonies.
  • Water your newly planted peony root right away. Be sure to continue watering new peony plants every week or two, providing moisture until the Fall rains take over.
  • Gently check the peony root; if it settled too deeply, lift it up and add additional soil under the root. Be sure it is only covered with one inch to two inches of soil for best results. Planting peonies too deeply can result in foliage growth with no flowers.
  • Newly planted bare root peonies will establish new feeder roots when you plant them in the Fall. The winter freezing temperatures will not affect roots planted in the ground (garden). Peonies like cold winters.
  • Planting peonies in pots/containers requires a very large container with adequate drainage. B e sure the eyes are covered with only one inch to two inches of soil. Water the potted peonies; keep moist – but, let them almost dry out between waterings. Keep potted peonies protected from deep winter freezing. Frost doesn’t harm planted/potted peony plant roots – it’s the prolonged, arctic blast/ deep freezing that may affect potted peonies.

How to care for your peonies?

  • Water your new peony plants thoroughly upon planting or transplanting. Water a peony deeply, then let the soil almost dry out between waterings’. Watering first year peony roots/plants every couple of weeks during dry weather, should be adequate. The moisture will help the roots establish.
  • Once the fall/winter rains arrive, you may not need to water your peonies until you have dry weather in the spring/summer.
  • Once a peony plant is several years old, it is fairly drought tolerant ; although they do appreciate a good watering every few weeks in hot summers. An established peony plant does not need frequent watering.
  • We use 1/4 cup of fertilizer (10-20-20) around the drip line of our mature peonies early in the spring. You may also fertilize your peony plants after they bloom. Many gardeners do not fertilize their peonies and others fertilize annually. You may want to experiment for best results with your soil.
  • If you are fertilizing potted peonies – be sure to use a slow release fertilizer, as other fertilizers will burn the foliage. We fertilize in early spring, just as plants emerge.
  • Deadhead flower/seed pods after bloom. You may trim your peony stems to shape the bush as it pleases you.
  • If you want to let seed pods mature, leave them on the stems until they crack open in late summer. You can immediately plant the seed in the ground or potting flats and keep moist until the fall rains come. Some seed will germinate the following spring, other seeds will sprout the 2nd spring.
  • Cut peony stems to ground level in the late fall. Remove the stems and leaves from the garden for good sanitation. Do not compost peony leaves and stems.
  • Mulching is not required in the Northwest. Some gardeners in very cold winter climates mulch for the winter – if you do, be sure to remove the mulch in the spring (otherwise, your peony will be ‘planted’ too deeply).

If your peonies lose their vigor over time, check for the following:

  • Mulch or bark dust may have been added seasonally (without springtime removal) and now the root is buried too deeply. There is no need to protect a ground planted peony in our northwest climate – they love the cold winters.
  • Landscape trees/plants may be providing an abundance of shade.
  • Tree roots may have grown through the peony roots, crowding the peony roots.
  • Excessive nitrogen.
  • Or, they may be like some people: they’ve lost their spunk and need reinvigorated. You can re-invigorate your peony by digging, dividing and replanting a division with 3-5 eyes in a different spot that provides good sun and good drainage. They’ll spring back.

The American Peony Society (APS) award designations American Peony Society (APS) award recipients are listed on our peony descriptions: Gold Medal winners and Award of Landscape Merit peonies. These peonies’ flowers and/or growth habitat have received distinguished recognition from the American Peony Society.

  1. The Award of Landscape Merit (ALM) peonies exhibit superior ornamental value, overall appearance in the landscape and throughout the growing season and reliable performance across North America.
  2. The ALM award is in it’s infancy and many other peony varieties worthy of the designation will be evaluated by the APS in the coming years.
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Our Brooks Gardens award winning peonies include: Court of Honor for ‘Ave Maria’ peony at the 2013 APS floral exhibit; Court of Honor for ‘Coral Supreme’ peony at the 2012 APS floral exhibit; and, we were honored to receive Best in Show – Grand Champion awards for the peony ‘Bob’ at the 2011 APS floral exhibit.

Do peonies multiply?

How to Propagate Peonies – If you have been considering propagating peony plants, you should know there are some important steps to follow. The only way to multiply peony plants is to divide peonies. This might sound complicated, but it’s not. First, you need to use a sharp spade and dig around the peony plant.

  • Be very careful not to damage the roots.
  • You want to be sure to dig up as much of the root as possible.
  • Once you have the roots out of the ground, rinse them vigorously with the hose so they are clean and you can actually see what you have.
  • What you are looking for are the crown buds.
  • These will actually be the part that comes through the ground after planting and forms a new peony plant when you divide peonies.

After rinsing, you should leave the roots in the shade so they soften up a bit. They will be easier to cut. When you are propagating peony plants, you should use a strong knife and cut the roots all the way back to only about 6 inches (15 cm.) from the crown.

Again, this is because the crown grows into the peony and dividing peony plants requires a crown on each piece you plant. You will want to make sure each piece has at least one crown bud. Three visible crown buds is best. However, at least one will do. You will continue to divide peonies until you have as many peonies as you can get from the roots you originally dug up.

Plant the pieces in a location suitable for, Make sure the buds on the pieces are not more than 2 inches (5 cm.) under the soil or they may have trouble growing. If the temperatures are fairly even, you can actually store your pieces in until you are ready to plant them on a warmer day.

Will peony come back every year?

Peonies 101: How to Transplant, Grow and Divide Peonies Peonies are perennials, meaning they return every year, bringing outrageously beautiful blooms to your garden each spring. Peonies have been known to thrive for more than a century, so your peonies may outlive you.

They love cold winters and need chilling time to make flowers. Native to Europe and Asia, have been grown in domestic gardens in Asia for 4,000 years. They gained mass popularity in the West in the 19th century, becoming a staple of Victorian gardens in Europe and the United States. Peonies have remained a garden favorite because they grow such gorgeous blooms and are so hardy.

Of the more than 6,500 cultivars of peonies, there are just three general types: herbaceous, which grow on green stems; tree, which are woody stemmed shrubs; and, or intersectional, which are a hybrid of tree and herbaceous. Herbaceous peonies are the most widely grown type and the most cold hardy, with some varieties able to withstand temperatures as low as 20 below zero.

Peony flower colors range from white, pink and red to coral, maroon and yellow. Many peony flowers are fragrant, with some varieties smelling like citrus and others like spice. They come in a range of flower forms, including single, Japanese, anemone, semi-double and full double. in spring, sometime between April through June, though the precise time varies by peony type and the region in which you live.

You can find varieties of herbaceous peonies listed as early, mid-season and late bloomers. Include a mix of these types to extend peony season in your garden. You can expand peonies season even more by planting tree peonies, which open their elegant blooms before herbaceous peonies.

Itoh peonies’ blooming season typically overlaps the flowering window of herbaceous peonies, although Itoh peonies hold their flowers open longer than herbaceous types. Botanical Name: Paeonia Common Names: Peony Hardiness Zones: 3 to 8 (Some varieties to Zone 4) Bloom Time: April to June Herbaceous peonies need a certain amount of cold weather to flower.

Southern gardeners should plant early-blooming varieties that need less cold to thrive.

Plant bare root peonies in the fall before at least six weeks before first frost. You may get blooms in the spring when you plant in the fall. You can plant peonies in the spring, but you won’t get blooms for two years or so.

Peonies are usually sold as bare root tubers or as a 3- to 4-year-old plant in a container.

Choose a planting site with full sun (six to eight hours per day), except in southern and southwestern regions, where afternoon shade is ideal. Dig planting holes large enough so peony divisions and roots easily fit. Plant the eyes 2 inches below the soil surface in cold regions, 1 inch in warm zones. Any deeper and you’ll get foliage but not flowers. Give peonies room. A plant can mature to a width of 5 feet, so space peonies accordingly. Wider spacing allows plants to form large clumps that are almost shrub-like. Closer spacing works well when you’re planting a hedge of peonies or incorporating them into beds with other perennials. The trickiest part of how to plant peonies is not burying tubers too deeply. When planting a container-grown peony, make sure the surface of the roots are level with the ground. Peonies do best in rich soil that’s been amended with organic material when you plant them. Peonies need good drainage. They hate soggy roots, so put them in a raised bed or on a slope. Plant them far from trees and shrubs because they don’t like competition from other roots for nutrients and water. If their neighbors’ roots disturb them, they’ll stop blooming. You can grow peonies in a pot, but they are happiest in a garden. If you must have peonies in a pot, choose one with lots of drainage holes and plan on watering more frequently since containers dry out.

When peonies are stressed, their leaves curl. They may need water, or they may be too hot or too cold. Most plants recover and bloom when conditions are better. After the first frost, remove old foliage. New growth comes from the roots. Tall peonies may need support to keep from falling over. Using bamboo stakes, metal flower rings or tomato cages. Deadhead peonies as they bloom. Cut the foliage to the ground in the fall to avoid diseases over the winter. Mulch loosely and lightly where winters are severe. Remove mulch in spring.

Every 10 or 15 years, you’ll need to thin peonies out, so the plants don’t get overcrowded and strangle one another out. Other reasons you would : you’re moving and want to take some of the plant with you. Or you want share your peony with a gardening pal. The best time of year for dividing and transplanting peonies is early fall. Here’s how you do it.

Clip leafy stems back to near ground level, 2″ to 3″ tall. Use a sharp spade to dig beneath the peony clump. Start digging about a foot away from the stems. As you dig around and beneath plants, try to cut as few roots as possible. After loosening soil, lift the peony clump from the hole. Place it on a tarp. Gently shake the peony plant so soil falls away from roots. Using your hands, divide the peony roots into sections or divisions. Each division needs to have three to five eyes or growing points. Eyes are the places on the roots that produce stems and leaves. Allow root pieces to dry out and callus, or form a hard layer, before planting to lessen the chance of root rot after planting. This will take a few days. Replant as directed above. Peonies really hate being moved, so don’t expect yours to bloom the year after you move it.

Keep your pruners sharp if you grow peonies. These perennial favorites require only moderate pruning, but it’s important. Knowing when to cut back peonies is vital to keep diseases at bay, as is deadheading peonies. Not sure when to cut down peonies? Do you deadhead peonies? If you have questions about peony pruning, we have answers.

  • Both times you prune these perennials — when you’re cutting back peonies and deadheading peonies — you’re tackling simple tasks that don’t require too much expertise.
  • When you’re cutting peonies, like any plant, it’s a good idea to wear gloves to protect your hands.
  • Make sure pruners are sharp and clean before starting any cutting job.

Deadheading peonies is the process of removing spent blooms. When you remove faded flowers, you stop plants from producing seed pods, which allows plants to direct all energy toward food storage in tubers. That stored food supplies the energy needed for next year’s growth and flowering.

  1. Faded peony flowers also tend to develop fungal diseases, like botrytis, as petals rot.
  2. By removing the blossoms, you can help keep fungal diseases at bay.
  3. When deadheading peonies, some gardeners just snip off the flower head itself, but this leaves a long stem in place that stands taller than the rest.

It’s better to follow the flower stem into the plant and place your cut about half an inch above the leaves. Cutting back peonies is a once-a-year task. When to cut back peonies? The right time for peony pruning is in fall, after frost has killed leaves.

  • How to prune peonies? Clip stems as close to the ground as possible.
  • Gather all leaves, stems and any other plant debris.
  • Don’t compost this leafy material; bag it and put it out with the trash.
  • Destroying it is better because peonies often have fungal diseases that can survive winter on a piece of leaf or stem.

Peony pruning really only comes into play with tree peonies, which have woody stems. With these plants, pruning isn’t usually necessary. The most common pruning you’ll tackle with tree peonies is removing winter-damaged wood in late spring. This occurs most often in colder regions where harsh winters can kill some of the stems.

  • Wait to prune until late spring, when growth has clearly resumed from some of the buds.
  • Place pruning cuts just above an outward-facing bud.
  • Cut stems at an angle.
  • Some gardeners argue that there’s never an occasion for pruning peonies.
  • They don’t believe in deadheading, saying it makes no difference on plant health.

Other gardeners never worry about cutting back peonies in fall and just let leaves deteriorate in the peony patch. Deciding to tackle peony pruning is really a personal choice, but it will always help improve the health of your plants. Removing hiding places for diseases is one of the best ways to keep any plant problem-free.

Peonies are prone to powdery mildew which, while ugly, will not kill your plants. Prevent mildew by spacing your peonies to allow good air circulation, and planting them in full sun so they dry out quickly after waterings. Peonies are susceptible to verticillium wilt, ringspot virus, tip blight, stem rot, leaf blotch, Japanese beetles and nematodes. Ants. Peony buds’ sweet nectar attracts hungry ants. They won’t hurt the plant and they’re helping you by eating bad bugs that attack your peonies, so don’t spray pesticide on them. If you’re cutting the flowers to bring indoors, gently rinse the blossoms with water to get rid of the ants. Peonies are,

‘Bowl of Beauty’ blooms in mid-spring with 10-inch wide pink and creamy white flowers that have a cupped shape. ‘Bowl of Beauty’ stays true to its name with a bowl-like shape made of large, vibrant pink petals with pale yellow petals in the center. ‘Border Charm’ is a cross between an herbaceous and tree peony.

It has yellow flowers and growns on relatively short 22-inch tall stems. ‘Karl Rosenfield’ was introduced in 1908 and is one of the all-time favorite red peonies. It has double blooms on a 32-inch tall plant. ‘Festiva Maxima’ is an heirloom from the 1850s that’s still popular. It bears frilly white flowers with crimson flecks that have an intoxicating rose-like scent on a 3-foot shrub.

is a famed heirloom from 1909 named for the famed actress of that era. It has soft, double pink flowers and a sweet fragrance. Image provided by Felder Rushing ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ is one of several very early-blooming peonies

Plant peonies with Shasta daisies, iris, baby’s breath or flax. Plant them in mixed borders for color and texture. Use peonies as a low, informal hedge. Plant tree peonies along a walkway or porch. Peonies make excellent cut flowers. They’re popular in or as an informal arrangement in a jar on your kitchen island.

: Peonies 101: How to Transplant, Grow and Divide Peonies

Will peonies survive a frost?

Brooks Gardens Peonies Peonies – How to Plant, Grow & Care for Peony Plants Our customers want to know all about peonies. I put together a list of frequently asked questions and comments regarding planting, growing and care of peonies. These luscious flowers are rather simple to grow and are long-lived perennial plants.

  1. Cold Winters – Can I grow peonies in my area – we have snow on the ground for days/weeks at a time? Yes, peonies love cold winters.
  2. Peonies grow well in USDA zones 2-8.
  3. Peonies need a cool period in the winter, for dormancy, ensuring their buds will open to grow stems and flowers in the spring.
  4. Snow and frost are fine.

Find your zone on the USDA hardiness zone map. If you are not in zones 2 – 8, ask local gardeners if they have had success with peonies. We had customers from the Midwest visit and tell us they had 100 year record breaking cold temperatures in 2014 and the peonies were the flowering plants that survived and thrived.

Peonies love a winter cold spell. Warmer Winters – I live in an area with warmer winters, can I grow peonies? One of our customers in USDA zone 9B reports that she lives in an area ‘where you can’t grow peonies’. She now has 25 peonies and she finds greatest success when she covers the eyes (buds) of the peony roots with just a thin sprinkling of soil.

Her area does have temperatures in the 40’s many nights in the late fall and winter, which makes it possible to grow peonies. Another customer in Palm Springs, CA grows fabulous peonies. She sets ice bags along her peony beds once each week, for three weeks in February.

  1. The photos she showed us of her huge plants were spectacular.
  2. While peonies do not grow well in all warm winter climates, some ambitious gardeners give it a try and some find sweet success.
  3. Soil Types and Amendments – Do I need to amend my soil? This may or may not be necessary.
  4. Do you need to amend your soil for other plants, or do they just grow in the dirt for you? A lot of topsoil is removed when houses are built and some areas have poor quality soils, so adding some good soil may be needed.

Soil amendments can improve drainage and increase the nutrients that are available to your plants. This can be very beneficial to plant growth. Spade up some of your regular garden soil with some old compost or good potting soil and place in your planting holes.

You can always try one peony in amended soil and one planted in just plain back yard dirt and observe their growth for differences. When to Plant Peonies – When do I plant peonies? Plant bare root peonies in the fall (September through November is prime peony planting time in most areas of the U.S.).

In many area of California, Oregon, Washington and the South, peonies are often still planted into December, if the ground is not frozen. I have planted bare root peonies every month of summer, fall and winter here in Oregon. The only difference I see, is the growth of those planted in January and February generally have less growth the first year.

None have died, even when planted in semi-frozen ground. It is recommended to plant peonies before your soil is frozen hard. Frost is not a factor. Peonies from containers or pots can be transplanted into the ground in the fall or spring. I transplant from containers any month of the year. As with any new transplant, watering in is a must.

First year, and often 2nd year peonies should be kept slightly moist from late spring to fall rains. Planting Site Selection – Where should I plant my peonies? Plant a peony in a sunny, well drained location. Peonies need a half day or more of sun to bloom well.

  • They love full sun, although a bit of shade can be beneficial, adding to the vibrancy of the flowers.
  • Space peonies about 30″ to 36″ apart, to allow good air circulation between plants.
  • Prepping the Planting Site – How big of a hole do I dig? Dig a hole about one foot deep and one foot wide.
  • A larger hole may be dug for extra large roots.

Spade the soil you removed, so it is friable (small, crumbly pieces); this will allow the roots to easily expand as they grow. Fill the hole back in with the spaded soil you just removed. Scoop out enough soil to lay the root in. Planting Depth – How deep do I plant my peonies? This is perhaps the most important question on planting peonies.

  1. Peony plant roots are planted with the buds ‘eyes’ very close to the surface of the ground.
  2. They should have only one to two inches of soil covering the buds ‘eyes’.
  3. Sometimes when people read ‘plant a peony root 1″-2″ below soil’, their interpretation is to plant a peony root ‘twelve inches’ below soil and they plant it much too deeply.
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That’s why we say to cover the peony buds ‘eyes’ with one inch to two inches of soil, Planting too deeply will result in slower growth or loss of the root. Peony Root Placement – Should the peony root be placed at an angle or straight up and down? A peony root is placed with the buds ‘eyes’ at about ground level.

  1. The buds (eyes) will be pointing upward, with the thick, fleshy roots pointing downward, at any angle.
  2. Be sure the buds ‘eyes’ are on top.
  3. The roots will then grow vertically, as well as horizontally.
  4. Cover the root with soil, putting just an inch or two of soil over the top of buds ‘eyes’.
  5. Peony Eyes – What are peony eyes? Peony eyes are buds at the top of the roots.

They are often pink, white or red in color. A peony root consists of a crown, where the buds ‘eyes’ are normally found and longer, fleshy roots. Sometimes the eyes are in various places on a root. The buds or eyes will open up in the spring and grow into peony stems.

Each stem will produce a flower upon plant maturity. You often get a flower or two the first year; more stems and flowers the second year and a nice, full peony plant the third year. Planting in Well Drained Clay Soil – I have clay soil, will peonies grow in it? I mentioned in a newspaper article that peonies love clay soil.

We had numerous visitors come to the farm to tell us they were pleased to hear that. Then one woman showed up and said, “I have clay soil, hard clay, well drained and peonies are what grow best in it. I saw the article and had to come get some more peony plants.” Many of us peony farmers are growing peonies in various types of unamended clay based soils – plain old dirt.

  • Yes, it gets hard when it is dry; but, a bit of water now and then will soften it up for the roots to roam and grow.
  • When you plant new peony starts, spade a good sized hole to loosen the soil into a crumbly texture.
  • With a little water, your plants will be able to take off from there.
  • To further enrich your soil or to give it a looser texture, you may add some old compost or potting soil into the planting hole.

Proper Drainage – What if I have poor drainage or am not sure? After a good rain, we see puddles of water that generally drain in a reasonable amount of time. This is okay. If you have areas that are always water logged (marshy) for days after a normal rain, those areas may be too wet for peony roots.

  1. Peony roots should not be in consistently, prolonged wet conditions.
  2. You can build raised beds or make mini hills (mounds) for your peonies to increase the drainage.
  3. To make a mini hill or mound: prepare your planting hole and fill it back in with spaded soil.
  4. Either place the root on top of the ground (ground level) or build up the soil mound to set the root a few inches (or higher) above ground level.

Cover the root until the eyes have one to two inches of soil over them. Your mounds will have the root in the center. Water the root a bit and add more soil if needed to keep a nicely shaped mound. Watering Peonies – When should I water my peonies? Water newly planted peonies promptly upon planting.

Check the peony plant or root in a day or two to see if the root settled too deeply. Reposition it higher, if needed, by lifting it and placing more soil under it. Re-cover the root with soil. Baby peony plants need water to thrive – give them a drink every couple of weeks throughout their first fall and summer (unless the rain does that for you).

Keep the soil slightly moist, not saturated. As peony plants mature, they can thrive on less water and are rather drought tolerant, although a good watering now and then will be beneficial. No or Little Bloom – Why doesn’t my peony bloom? This is often related to planting too deeply or being in too much shade.

Peonies love sun. As our landscape trees and shrubs grow up, they provide more shade. Years can go by and we don’t really notice that the peonies are not getting enough sun to bloom. You can relocate peony plants in the fall to ensure proper planting depth or adequate sun. Plant peonies in an area where they will receive at least a half of day of sun.

Too much nitrogen (from lawn fertilizer) may also be the cause. And, of course, we need to be patient with baby peony plants – they are establishing big roots which will produce bigger plants with more flowers as they mature. While many first year peony plants produce a blossom or two, it is normal to have the first blossoms their second year.

  • Peony leaves drying up or ‘dying’ in Summer – I think my peonies died.
  • We think of peonies going dormant each fall; however, they often go dormant in late summer,
  • Depending upon the growing season and temperatures, you may notice some peony stems and leaves drying up or dying back in August.
  • When we have ‘early springs’ and our plants grow and bloom a couple of weeks earlier than other springs, they can also go dormant earlier that year.

It can be particularly noticeable on early peony varieties. The leaves and stems gradually die back before you expect them to. Not to worry, simply cut the stems down to ground level earlier that year. Peony leaves may also brown up during a summer heat wave.

Wind burn can dry out and crisp up the leaves. We had such an early spring one year – one full month ahead of usual. The early blooming varieties started to die back in late July (a full month ahead of what we generally expect). When gardeners are new to growing peonies, they sometimes are surprised to see their beautiful plants ‘die back’ in summer or fall.

Rest assured, it is part of their perennial cycle and new stems will sprout in late winter or early spring. Clip off the dried leaves/stems and they will put on their show next spring. Peony Care in the Fall – What do I do to my peonies in the fall? The leaves and stems of herbaceous (bush) peonies, including the intersectional Itoh peonies will provide nice foliage in the garden through the summer and early fall.

  • The foliage will eventually die back as the plants go dormant for the winter.
  • The leaves will start to deteriorate.
  • This is the time to cut the stems completely off, near ground level.
  • Dispose of the stems and leaves in the garbage.
  • Do not compost peony leaves and stems, as they may attract botrytis (fungal disease), particularly in wet conditions.

Clean up the ground area around each peony plant. Mulching peonies is not required in most areas. If you do mulch your peony plants, be sure to remove the mulch in the early spring to prevent the roots from being buried too deeply. Peonies That Fall Down.

How do I get my peonies to stand up like a lot or your varieties do? We explain that it’s mostly genetic. We select and grow a number of upright varieties that stand up through rains. We try to capture that in our peony descriptions. We also raise some of the gorgeous peonies that do benefit from staking.

Their flowers are just too hard to resist. There are many herbaceous peony plants that stand up and hold their flowers high, including the Intersectional peonies (also referred to as Itoh peonies) that are absolutely upstanding peony plants. Types of Peony Plants – What are bush peonies? Bush peonies are herbaceous, perennial plants.

  1. They are your common garden peony, growing stems and flowers each spring and provide nice foliage throughout the summer.
  2. Their stems are cut down to ground level late in the Fall.
  3. They are long lived plants and can produce flowers for decades.
  4. What are Itoh or Intersectional Peonies? These peonies are a hybrid cross between a bush peony and a tree peony.

They are also herbaceous, perennial plants, like the bush peony. They grow each spring, produce exceptional flowers, have lovely foliage throughout the summer and are cut back to ground level in the fall. The flowers and foliage are reminiscent of their tree peony parent, producing exotic flowers.

Intersectional Itoh peonies are nice landscape plants, prolific bloomers and always upright – never needing staking. They are long lived plants and can produce flowers for decades. Many of the Itoh peonies have over 75 blossoms per plant at maturity. What are tree peonies? Tree peonies have woody stems, exotic flowers (some with a crepe paper appearance) and lose their leaves in the winter.

They can grow much taller and wider than herbaceous (bush or Itoh) peony plants. Ants – Why don’t you have ants on your peonies? Again, it’s genetic and many of the varieties we’ve chosen don’t have the sweet substance that attracts ants. Some do. Some don’t.

Contrary to old lore, ants are not required to open a peony. They are simply attracted to sweetness and good food, much like we are. You can control the ants if you wish, without affecting the health of your plant. Transplanting Peonies from Pots (containers) – You mean I’m supposed to take the plastic pot off my peony when I put it in the ground? We have learned so much from our customers, and we appreciate the opportunities to slip in a little more information on how to grow peonies.

Now, when we give the ‘transplanting a peony from a pot’ details to new peony gardeners, we start off with ‘Slip the peony out of the pot and set the plant in the ground with the top of the root ball sitting at ground level. Cover with just a bit of soil’,

Fertilizing Peonies – When and how often do I need to fertilize my peonies? This really depends upon your individual growing conditions. Many gardeners lightly fertilize their peonies and other garden plants annually, either early in the spring or in the fall. Many gardeners never or rarely fertilize their peony plants.

We suggest giving ground planted peonies a bit of low nitrogen fertilizer (10-20-20) the first spring, to give them a boost. As they mature, you may want to skip a year and see how they do. You may discover you don’t need to fertilize annually. Never fertilize a potted peony with just ‘any old fertilizer’ – use a slow release fertilizer, or it will burn the leaves.

Leaf Spot – What can I do to prevent leaf spot on my peonies? Peony leaves and stems can attract Botrytis (a fungal disease that can produce a blight on stems, leaves or buds) during wet springs. The leaves will be spotted and buds may wither and die. Botrytis can be controlled or prevented by the application of fungicides.

Choose a fungicide that is labeled for use on peonies. Organic fungicides are available. Prevention is key – apply the fungicide as soon as your peonies sprout and reapply according to the label instructions. Space your peony plants to allow for good air circulation between plants.

Peony Plant Care – What care do I need to give my peony plants? Peonies are rather carefree plants. Deadhead the flower heads after they are done blooming. Simply clip off the stem just under the flower head and tidy up the bush to a pleasing height. If you want to grow peony seed, leave some of the flower heads and collect the seed in late summer.

The plant will spend energy making flower seed pods, so you may want to deadhead most of yours. In late fall, cut all of the herbaceous (bush and Itoh) peony stems down to ground level and remove them from the garden. Do not compost peony stems and leaves, as they might attract fungus.

New stems will grow next spring. Dividing Peonies – When do I have to divide my peonies? Maybe never. Peonies can grow in the same spot for years. Many peonies thrive for decades, without needing divided. Many of the peony plants in our iris garden/arboretum are over 25 years old and have not been divided.

There are times you may need or want to divide a peony: to provide a sunnier location; tree roots have interfered with the peony roots; they have lost their vigor and need revitalized; or, you would like more of the same peony plants. Divide peonies in the fall.

Do peonies flower the first year?

After planting – The early foliage to appear will be immediately identifiable, with its bright reddish tints. As they lengthen they change to green, and develop into leaves. Flower buds will follow, although buds don’t always form the first spring after planting. When To Plant Peonies In Maryland The first year most roots will produce up to five leaf shoots, and perhaps just one or two flowers. In the second year the number doubles, and again in the third year. After that, the peony will be lush, bushy, with many flowering stems.

How long do peonies take to grow from bulb?

Unlike annuals, peonies take 3 – 4 years to become a fully established blooming plant. The first year of growth is focused on root production and becoming established in the garden. If blooms occur the first year, they may be smaller and not of the typical form or color of a mature planting.

Do peony bulbs spread?

Do Peonies Spread Out for Propagation? – No, peonies will not spread out and create new plants on their own. You might look at your peonies one day and notice that it has gotten quite big and spread out pretty far. In this situation, the best thing that you can do if you’d like to have more peony plants is to divide them.

  • This is a way that you can assist propagation and it’s the best way to propagate herbaceous peonies.
  • You can’t really encourage peonies to spread or anything such as that.
  • It’s just best to wait until the peony plant has gotten bigger before you do anything at all.
  • The only way that you can make more peony plants is to divide them.

This isn’t necessarily a hard process, but you will want to learn about it so that you can do things right. Keep reading to learn about how to divide peony plants so that you can have more plants. This will allow you to put peonies in different parts of your garden if you wish to do so.

Should I soak peony roots before planting?

For me, one of the peony’s biggest attractions is its long life. I’ve heard of herbaceous peonies blooming reliably for more than 50 years, sometimes outliving the gardeners who planted them! But the key to their longevity is the care you take in establishing them.

I’ve found the ideal time to plant bare root peony tubers is in the fall, just as the first leaves begin to turn. Now the term bare root means that all the soil was removed from around the tuber when the plant was dug from the field. I prefer planting bare root peonies because they are less expensive than container grown plants and by planting them in the fall they will have time to develop a strong root system, ready for robust growth next spring.

Whether you purchase your bare root peonies from a local garden center or through a mail order source the first thing you want to do when you open the package is check that the plant is healthy. When To Plant Peonies In Maryland The tubers should be fleshy, firm and mold free. Sometimes bare root plants can dry out during transit so it is a good idea to soak them in a bucket of water for 2 to 4 hours to rehydrate them before planting. If you cannot plant the tubers right away keep them in their packing material in a cool, dry place, such as a garage, or basement.

Will peonies survive a spring frost?

Brooks Gardens Peonies Peonies – How to Plant, Grow & Care for Peony Plants Our customers want to know all about peonies. I put together a list of frequently asked questions and comments regarding planting, growing and care of peonies. These luscious flowers are rather simple to grow and are long-lived perennial plants.

Cold Winters – Can I grow peonies in my area – we have snow on the ground for days/weeks at a time? Yes, peonies love cold winters. Peonies grow well in USDA zones 2-8. Peonies need a cool period in the winter, for dormancy, ensuring their buds will open to grow stems and flowers in the spring. Snow and frost are fine.

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Find your zone on the USDA hardiness zone map. If you are not in zones 2 – 8, ask local gardeners if they have had success with peonies. We had customers from the Midwest visit and tell us they had 100 year record breaking cold temperatures in 2014 and the peonies were the flowering plants that survived and thrived.

  1. Peonies love a winter cold spell.
  2. Warmer Winters – I live in an area with warmer winters, can I grow peonies? One of our customers in USDA zone 9B reports that she lives in an area ‘where you can’t grow peonies’.
  3. She now has 25 peonies and she finds greatest success when she covers the eyes (buds) of the peony roots with just a thin sprinkling of soil.

Her area does have temperatures in the 40’s many nights in the late fall and winter, which makes it possible to grow peonies. Another customer in Palm Springs, CA grows fabulous peonies. She sets ice bags along her peony beds once each week, for three weeks in February.

The photos she showed us of her huge plants were spectacular. While peonies do not grow well in all warm winter climates, some ambitious gardeners give it a try and some find sweet success. Soil Types and Amendments – Do I need to amend my soil? This may or may not be necessary. Do you need to amend your soil for other plants, or do they just grow in the dirt for you? A lot of topsoil is removed when houses are built and some areas have poor quality soils, so adding some good soil may be needed.

Soil amendments can improve drainage and increase the nutrients that are available to your plants. This can be very beneficial to plant growth. Spade up some of your regular garden soil with some old compost or good potting soil and place in your planting holes.

You can always try one peony in amended soil and one planted in just plain back yard dirt and observe their growth for differences. When to Plant Peonies – When do I plant peonies? Plant bare root peonies in the fall (September through November is prime peony planting time in most areas of the U.S.).

In many area of California, Oregon, Washington and the South, peonies are often still planted into December, if the ground is not frozen. I have planted bare root peonies every month of summer, fall and winter here in Oregon. The only difference I see, is the growth of those planted in January and February generally have less growth the first year.

  • None have died, even when planted in semi-frozen ground.
  • It is recommended to plant peonies before your soil is frozen hard.
  • Frost is not a factor.
  • Peonies from containers or pots can be transplanted into the ground in the fall or spring.
  • I transplant from containers any month of the year.
  • As with any new transplant, watering in is a must.

First year, and often 2nd year peonies should be kept slightly moist from late spring to fall rains. Planting Site Selection – Where should I plant my peonies? Plant a peony in a sunny, well drained location. Peonies need a half day or more of sun to bloom well.

  • They love full sun, although a bit of shade can be beneficial, adding to the vibrancy of the flowers.
  • Space peonies about 30″ to 36″ apart, to allow good air circulation between plants.
  • Prepping the Planting Site – How big of a hole do I dig? Dig a hole about one foot deep and one foot wide.
  • A larger hole may be dug for extra large roots.

Spade the soil you removed, so it is friable (small, crumbly pieces); this will allow the roots to easily expand as they grow. Fill the hole back in with the spaded soil you just removed. Scoop out enough soil to lay the root in. Planting Depth – How deep do I plant my peonies? This is perhaps the most important question on planting peonies.

Peony plant roots are planted with the buds ‘eyes’ very close to the surface of the ground. They should have only one to two inches of soil covering the buds ‘eyes’. Sometimes when people read ‘plant a peony root 1″-2″ below soil’, their interpretation is to plant a peony root ‘twelve inches’ below soil and they plant it much too deeply.

That’s why we say to cover the peony buds ‘eyes’ with one inch to two inches of soil, Planting too deeply will result in slower growth or loss of the root. Peony Root Placement – Should the peony root be placed at an angle or straight up and down? A peony root is placed with the buds ‘eyes’ at about ground level.

  • The buds (eyes) will be pointing upward, with the thick, fleshy roots pointing downward, at any angle.
  • Be sure the buds ‘eyes’ are on top.
  • The roots will then grow vertically, as well as horizontally.
  • Cover the root with soil, putting just an inch or two of soil over the top of buds ‘eyes’.
  • Peony Eyes – What are peony eyes? Peony eyes are buds at the top of the roots.

They are often pink, white or red in color. A peony root consists of a crown, where the buds ‘eyes’ are normally found and longer, fleshy roots. Sometimes the eyes are in various places on a root. The buds or eyes will open up in the spring and grow into peony stems.

Each stem will produce a flower upon plant maturity. You often get a flower or two the first year; more stems and flowers the second year and a nice, full peony plant the third year. Planting in Well Drained Clay Soil – I have clay soil, will peonies grow in it? I mentioned in a newspaper article that peonies love clay soil.

We had numerous visitors come to the farm to tell us they were pleased to hear that. Then one woman showed up and said, “I have clay soil, hard clay, well drained and peonies are what grow best in it. I saw the article and had to come get some more peony plants.” Many of us peony farmers are growing peonies in various types of unamended clay based soils – plain old dirt.

Yes, it gets hard when it is dry; but, a bit of water now and then will soften it up for the roots to roam and grow. When you plant new peony starts, spade a good sized hole to loosen the soil into a crumbly texture. With a little water, your plants will be able to take off from there. To further enrich your soil or to give it a looser texture, you may add some old compost or potting soil into the planting hole.

Proper Drainage – What if I have poor drainage or am not sure? After a good rain, we see puddles of water that generally drain in a reasonable amount of time. This is okay. If you have areas that are always water logged (marshy) for days after a normal rain, those areas may be too wet for peony roots.

Peony roots should not be in consistently, prolonged wet conditions. You can build raised beds or make mini hills (mounds) for your peonies to increase the drainage. To make a mini hill or mound: prepare your planting hole and fill it back in with spaded soil. Either place the root on top of the ground (ground level) or build up the soil mound to set the root a few inches (or higher) above ground level.

Cover the root until the eyes have one to two inches of soil over them. Your mounds will have the root in the center. Water the root a bit and add more soil if needed to keep a nicely shaped mound. Watering Peonies – When should I water my peonies? Water newly planted peonies promptly upon planting.

Check the peony plant or root in a day or two to see if the root settled too deeply. Reposition it higher, if needed, by lifting it and placing more soil under it. Re-cover the root with soil. Baby peony plants need water to thrive – give them a drink every couple of weeks throughout their first fall and summer (unless the rain does that for you).

Keep the soil slightly moist, not saturated. As peony plants mature, they can thrive on less water and are rather drought tolerant, although a good watering now and then will be beneficial. No or Little Bloom – Why doesn’t my peony bloom? This is often related to planting too deeply or being in too much shade.

Peonies love sun. As our landscape trees and shrubs grow up, they provide more shade. Years can go by and we don’t really notice that the peonies are not getting enough sun to bloom. You can relocate peony plants in the fall to ensure proper planting depth or adequate sun. Plant peonies in an area where they will receive at least a half of day of sun.

Too much nitrogen (from lawn fertilizer) may also be the cause. And, of course, we need to be patient with baby peony plants – they are establishing big roots which will produce bigger plants with more flowers as they mature. While many first year peony plants produce a blossom or two, it is normal to have the first blossoms their second year.

  • Peony leaves drying up or ‘dying’ in Summer – I think my peonies died.
  • We think of peonies going dormant each fall; however, they often go dormant in late summer,
  • Depending upon the growing season and temperatures, you may notice some peony stems and leaves drying up or dying back in August.
  • When we have ‘early springs’ and our plants grow and bloom a couple of weeks earlier than other springs, they can also go dormant earlier that year.

It can be particularly noticeable on early peony varieties. The leaves and stems gradually die back before you expect them to. Not to worry, simply cut the stems down to ground level earlier that year. Peony leaves may also brown up during a summer heat wave.

  1. Wind burn can dry out and crisp up the leaves.
  2. We had such an early spring one year – one full month ahead of usual.
  3. The early blooming varieties started to die back in late July (a full month ahead of what we generally expect).
  4. When gardeners are new to growing peonies, they sometimes are surprised to see their beautiful plants ‘die back’ in summer or fall.

Rest assured, it is part of their perennial cycle and new stems will sprout in late winter or early spring. Clip off the dried leaves/stems and they will put on their show next spring. Peony Care in the Fall – What do I do to my peonies in the fall? The leaves and stems of herbaceous (bush) peonies, including the intersectional Itoh peonies will provide nice foliage in the garden through the summer and early fall.

  1. The foliage will eventually die back as the plants go dormant for the winter.
  2. The leaves will start to deteriorate.
  3. This is the time to cut the stems completely off, near ground level.
  4. Dispose of the stems and leaves in the garbage.
  5. Do not compost peony leaves and stems, as they may attract botrytis (fungal disease), particularly in wet conditions.

Clean up the ground area around each peony plant. Mulching peonies is not required in most areas. If you do mulch your peony plants, be sure to remove the mulch in the early spring to prevent the roots from being buried too deeply. Peonies That Fall Down.

  • How do I get my peonies to stand up like a lot or your varieties do? We explain that it’s mostly genetic.
  • We select and grow a number of upright varieties that stand up through rains.
  • We try to capture that in our peony descriptions.
  • We also raise some of the gorgeous peonies that do benefit from staking.

Their flowers are just too hard to resist. There are many herbaceous peony plants that stand up and hold their flowers high, including the Intersectional peonies (also referred to as Itoh peonies) that are absolutely upstanding peony plants. Types of Peony Plants – What are bush peonies? Bush peonies are herbaceous, perennial plants.

  1. They are your common garden peony, growing stems and flowers each spring and provide nice foliage throughout the summer.
  2. Their stems are cut down to ground level late in the Fall.
  3. They are long lived plants and can produce flowers for decades.
  4. What are Itoh or Intersectional Peonies? These peonies are a hybrid cross between a bush peony and a tree peony.

They are also herbaceous, perennial plants, like the bush peony. They grow each spring, produce exceptional flowers, have lovely foliage throughout the summer and are cut back to ground level in the fall. The flowers and foliage are reminiscent of their tree peony parent, producing exotic flowers.

  • Intersectional Itoh peonies are nice landscape plants, prolific bloomers and always upright – never needing staking.
  • They are long lived plants and can produce flowers for decades.
  • Many of the Itoh peonies have over 75 blossoms per plant at maturity.
  • What are tree peonies? Tree peonies have woody stems, exotic flowers (some with a crepe paper appearance) and lose their leaves in the winter.

They can grow much taller and wider than herbaceous (bush or Itoh) peony plants. Ants – Why don’t you have ants on your peonies? Again, it’s genetic and many of the varieties we’ve chosen don’t have the sweet substance that attracts ants. Some do. Some don’t.

  • Contrary to old lore, ants are not required to open a peony.
  • They are simply attracted to sweetness and good food, much like we are.
  • You can control the ants if you wish, without affecting the health of your plant.
  • Transplanting Peonies from Pots (containers) – You mean I’m supposed to take the plastic pot off my peony when I put it in the ground? We have learned so much from our customers, and we appreciate the opportunities to slip in a little more information on how to grow peonies.

Now, when we give the ‘transplanting a peony from a pot’ details to new peony gardeners, we start off with ‘Slip the peony out of the pot and set the plant in the ground with the top of the root ball sitting at ground level. Cover with just a bit of soil’,

Fertilizing Peonies – When and how often do I need to fertilize my peonies? This really depends upon your individual growing conditions. Many gardeners lightly fertilize their peonies and other garden plants annually, either early in the spring or in the fall. Many gardeners never or rarely fertilize their peony plants.

We suggest giving ground planted peonies a bit of low nitrogen fertilizer (10-20-20) the first spring, to give them a boost. As they mature, you may want to skip a year and see how they do. You may discover you don’t need to fertilize annually. Never fertilize a potted peony with just ‘any old fertilizer’ – use a slow release fertilizer, or it will burn the leaves.

  1. Leaf Spot – What can I do to prevent leaf spot on my peonies? Peony leaves and stems can attract Botrytis (a fungal disease that can produce a blight on stems, leaves or buds) during wet springs.
  2. The leaves will be spotted and buds may wither and die.
  3. Botrytis can be controlled or prevented by the application of fungicides.

Choose a fungicide that is labeled for use on peonies. Organic fungicides are available. Prevention is key – apply the fungicide as soon as your peonies sprout and reapply according to the label instructions. Space your peony plants to allow for good air circulation between plants.

Peony Plant Care – What care do I need to give my peony plants? Peonies are rather carefree plants. Deadhead the flower heads after they are done blooming. Simply clip off the stem just under the flower head and tidy up the bush to a pleasing height. If you want to grow peony seed, leave some of the flower heads and collect the seed in late summer.

The plant will spend energy making flower seed pods, so you may want to deadhead most of yours. In late fall, cut all of the herbaceous (bush and Itoh) peony stems down to ground level and remove them from the garden. Do not compost peony stems and leaves, as they might attract fungus.

  1. New stems will grow next spring.
  2. Dividing Peonies – When do I have to divide my peonies? Maybe never.
  3. Peonies can grow in the same spot for years.
  4. Many peonies thrive for decades, without needing divided.
  5. Many of the peony plants in our iris garden/arboretum are over 25 years old and have not been divided.

There are times you may need or want to divide a peony: to provide a sunnier location; tree roots have interfered with the peony roots; they have lost their vigor and need revitalized; or, you would like more of the same peony plants. Divide peonies in the fall.

What time of year should peonies be planted?

When to Plant Peonies – The best time to plant peonies is in the fall. If you order peonies from a catalog, this is usually when they’ll be shipped. Sometimes you’ll find container-grown peonies blooming and for sale in the spring, and it’s fine to plant them then.