One of the most popular and spectacular garden perennials are herbaceous peonies. Grown first in Japan many years ago, they come in many colors and flower shapes. Peonies grow best in cool climates with chilly winters, rich soil and good drainage. They like a lot of sun, and because they can grow quite large they will need space. A healthy plant will last many years and give you much enjoyment. The best thing about peonies is that they are easy to care for and usually only need light pruning and fall cleanup.
Plant peonies early in the fall, away from large trees or shrubs, so they do not have to compete for nutrients and root space.
Peonies grow thick and lush, so you can also lightly prune, trim and deadhead during the spring and summer to improve air circulation.
When deadheading, cut off the flowers to the next lower leaf because this will conserve their energy and keep them from making seeds.
Ants love peony blossoms. But they are neither beneficial nor harmful, so there is no need to spray them.
Peonies should only be transplanted or divided when they become extremely crowded, as they do not respond well to transplanting.
Choose your initial planting location carefully with space in mind.
New peony plants may not bloom for a year or two until they become established, so be patient and later you will be rewarded with many gorgeous blooms.