Peonies are an attractive perennial plant with colorful flowers and attractive green leaves. Flower colors include yellow, pink, deep red and cream. Blooming each spring, typically in May, the large blossoms create a beautiful design in your landscape. There are two types of peonies, garden and tree peonies. Garden peonies, with their bushy stems, grow 2 to 4 feet high, while tree peonies are larger at 5 to 6 feet high. Perfect for cut flowers in your favorite vase, peonies grow well among other plants and will blend in nicely with your garden.
- Moderately Easy
Things You’ll Need
- Peony tuber
- Straw mulch
- Chicken wire
- In the fall, plant peony tubers 1 inch below the planting surface. This will allow them to become established before winter begins. Cover the tuber with topsoil and water thoroughly. In the spring, the immature roots will pop up in bright red blooms.
- Make sure the peonies have well-drained soil. The tubers are prone to rot, so consider growing them in raised containers or beds for adequate drainage. Also, make sure you place them in full sun, the type of light needed for proper growth.
- Mulching your peonies will prevent frost from setting in and keep them from drying out in the summer. Lay straw mulch 2 to 4 inches thick on top of the planting surface. This also will prevent weds from creeping in. Over time, remove weeds as they grow around the plants.
- Apply fertilizer to the soil around the planted tubers. Make sure the fertilizer is not applied to the roots, stems or leaves of the peony.
- When the flower buds shoot up and are pea size, reapply fertilizer; this time, use a diluted mixture of the fertilizer. Follow the instructions on the fertilizer bag for proper dilution proportions. Repeat once or twice during the growing season.
- In the fall, prune the peony when the plant foliage dies. To prune, cut back the stems down to 2 to 3 inches. It’s important to remove all flowers as they begin to fade. This will free up plant nutrition reserves for the rest of the peony.
Tips & Warnings
Plant peonies along a stone wall or garden pathway for a beautiful garden design. To prevent squirrels from digging up the tuber, install chicken wire around each plant. Make sure the plant is entirely covering, including the top, to prevent them from crawling down to wire.