How to Plant Peonies
Planting peonies so they flower well should be your goal.
Peonies are beautiful and are low-maintenance, but they flower the best if you put a little effort into getting them of to a good start.
Plant bare-root peones in the fall for best results.
But you can plant potted peonies in the spring.
Buy 2 gallon size peonies, because they are ready to flower the first season.
smaller size will take a few years to put on a good flower show.
It’s important to prepare the soil.
Well-drained soil is best, so work in a few inches of organic compost into the soil 1- or 12 inches deep.
Dig a big hole. The planting hole should be 6 to 8 inches wider than the roots and about 10 to 12 inches deep.
Having a large planting hole will prevent you from breaking the brittle roots.
It will also make it easy for the peony plant to grow feeder roots faster.
Plants have to grow below before they can grow above the ground and flower well.
Depth matters. Position the roots in the hole, checking the depth.
This is critical. If the buds are more than 2 inches deep, your peony may not flower.
Since the buds on the root will not all be at the same depth, you’ll need to pick an average.
If a couple are deeper, but the majority of buds are at 2 inches, or less, that’s fine.
In warmer, Southern zones, it’s best to plant the buds at 1 inch deep.
Lay your shovel across the hole and measure from the bottom edge of the handle to check the depth.
Add more soil to raise the root as needed.
Let Them Settle
After you plant, soak the area thoroughly with water to remove any air pockets and prevent the roots from drying out over the winter.
Mulch with several inches of straw or crisp oak leaves before the soil freezes during the first winter.
It’ll keep the roots warmer, helping them establish more quickly.
Don’t forget to remove the mulch in spring.
Then just wait– it takes a peony up to three years to bloom.