How to Water Dahlias and Peonies


Dahlias bloom from July to frost, while peonies provide a display of late spring or early summer blooms. The attractive peony foliage provides a backdrop to the dahlia flowers. The plants have similar cultural and water requirements, so they do well in the same garden. Providing enough moisture is the main concern for healthy growth and blooming.



Things You’ll Need
  • Mulch
    1. Water the garden bed once weekly or when the top inch of soil just begins to feel dry. During hot, dry weather, check the soil moisture every two to three days and water more often as necessary.
    2. Water at the base of the plants and avoid wetting the foliage, as this can lead to fungal diseases. Provide enough water to moisten the soil to a 6-to-8-inch depth, which ensures the moisture penetrates to the deep roots of the plants.
    3. Spread a 2-inch layer of organic mulch, such as straw or shredded bark, over the bed and around the dahlia and peony plants. Mulch prevents weed competition while helping to retain moisture during the heat of summer.

Tips & Warnings

  • When first planted, both dahlias and peonies may require more frequent irrigation. Once the roots establish, they can draw more moisture from the surrounding soil.

  • Work plenty of compost or other organic matter into the soil before planting. These materials help the soil retain moisture and also prevent overly soggy conditions.

  • Don’t overcrowd the bed, as this leads to unhealthy competition for water and nutrients between the plants. Space the plants 2 to 3 feet apart in all directions.

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