Planting peonies

Mon. Sep. 30, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Planting peonies

Now’s a great time to plant peonies!  These hardy long lived herbaceous perennials are pretty as specimen plants or borders.

This red peony was on the north side of my home!

Give them full sun and good drainage. (Although the above beauty was in part shade)  Dig a hole 1 1/2 feet wide and 2 ft. deep, add organic matter such as leaf mold, peat moss or compost.  Plant the peony with it’s “eyes” up no deeper than 2 inches below the soil surface (this is really important!) And water well. Keep watering until the ground freezes.  For the first winter only, mulch your new peonies with straw or some other mulch AFTER the ground has frozen.  In the spring, pull the mulch up.

I’ll mention that if you are DIVIDING your peonies, wait for the tops of your plants to die first! cut the stems to near ground level then, using a spading fork, dig out the rhizomes.   

Peony root! I took out the rotten parts and replanted! 

Peonies are pretty in plenty of situations, including your perennial bed, as accents or hedges. Their green foliage stays pretty all season long and some change color with the onset of Fall. Most peonies are about 2 to 3 feet tall.

Yes, they can flop over, although there are some varieties bred to not flop so much.

Peony ‘Do Tell’ does NOT need staking!

You can always give them a decorative support.

Peony support – Lee Valley

Here are a couple of beauties!   ‘Festiva Maxima’ with just a hint of red and the deep red ‘Buckeye Belle’.  From Longfield Gardens

Peony ‘festiva maxima’ and ‘buckeye belle’

An eyecatcher named ‘Celebrity’ turns heads with it’s silky, dark pink petals that are layered with white and pale pink fringe.

Peony ‘Celebrity’

I’ll have more on peonies, including one called Itoh!