If there’s one beloved flower in my garden, it’s my peonies. Their unique beauty, large flowers and delicate fragrance are treasured every year, and make great gifts for friends in homes or condos without gardens.
Here’s some good news whether you’ve got a green thumb or not: Peonies can be very easy to grow, and once they’re established they can thrive for 100+ years in your garden!
Using some quick tips and recommendations based on my experience and a few more from a helpful gardeners.com article, you’ll be growing beautiful, trouble-free peonies in no time.
7 Quick Tips on Growing Peonies
1) Peonies thrive almost anywhere in the country. Many varieties can even survive a zone 2 winter (that’s a low of -50 degrees F, which we should thankfully never encounter!).
2) Peonies prefer a sunnier location with well-drained soil. Good air circulation around the plant is also important.
3) For a warmer climate like ours in Metro Atlanta, peonies will be more robust and their blooms will last longer if the plants receive at least some shade during the hottest part of the day.
4) Plant your peonies in ways that will set them up for success: simply plant them at the same level they are in the growing pot, no deeper. If the peony root is positioned deeper than this, the plant may grow well, but it will produce few if any blooms.
5) A yearly application of organic, all-purpose fertilizer and a top-dressing of compost is all a peony requires for good health.
6) If you mulch your flower beds, be sure to keep the mulch away from the base your peonies. If the base is covered with mulch, the plant reacts as if it has been planted too deep, and will produce few, if any, flowers.
7) Note that peonies rarely bloom the first year after planting. It often takes three years before you see an abundant display of flowers. However, once the plants do start blooming, you can look forward to a lifetime of beautiful flowers.
Bonus Tip: When you’ve got tons of beautiful blooms they can be top-heavy and lean towards the ground, especially after a heavy rain. The best solution is a grow-through grid support available at most gardening centers, which helps keep the blooms upright. Be sure to put the grids in place in early spring — before the plants are more than a few inches tall.
Ready to plant your own peonies? These 7 simple tips should have you (and your new plants) in really good shape!