Dust every cut with a fungicide to protect tender flesh from insects looking for a winter home. Exercise care when lifting crowns to leave as much of the root structure as possible intact. Tree peonies are woody perennials that bloom on old wood, so there are no eyes to … It needs to dry a bit before it can be divided. Although it’s possible to divide mature peonies every two to three years, their bloom will possibly decline. By planting peony seeds, new varieties will arise. Peonies japonica, woodland peony is an exception that will create seeds and which is similar to the original plant and can be propagated by seeds. The tree peony is extremely difficult to propagate for it is difficult to get cuttings to form roots, whilst raising plants from seed takes a number of years before the plants will bear their first blossoms. This means that fully-bloomed peonies will die if you plant them without giving the roots time to develop. In the West, peonies grow best at higher elevations, where chilling hours accrue readily. Choose your location wisely as peonies resent disturbance. Cut the crown into pieces with one to three crowns each with a sharp spade or knife. How to Grow Peonies. How to Propagate Peonies Herbaceous and Itoh Peonies These can be propagated by dividing in autumn after they have finished flowering and are starting to die … Tree Peonies. Plant your peonies about 3-4 feet apart and make sure there aren't too many trees or bushes around – peonies … How to grow peonies from seeds. For more details, see: How To Grow A Tree Peony and Pruning A Tree Peony; The herbaceous or bush peony is the more familiar garden type with a compact clump structure. Soft-stemmed perennials like peonies can be propagated by cuttings—provided that you cut far enough down the stem. Water . To plant container-grown herbaceous peonies (the kind you buy in pots), dig a hole, remove the plant from the pot, and put it in the hole so that the top of the root ball is level with the soil (any deeper and the peonies will not bloom). Simply plant the peony seeds much as you would beans. The tree peony named the King of Flowers is a woody-stemmed deciduous shrub that flowers early in the season. In most of the country, the rules for success are simply full sun and well-drained soil. Prepare a nursery bed area somewhere in your garden area. Peonies are long-lived perennials for growing zones 2-8 that offer big, fluffy, fragrant flowers. The best time for propagating peonies is in autumn, after plants have become dormant. Peonies can be planted in the late spring by following these steps: Make sure you plant your peonies into good soil. "You might not be happy about the cool weather outside in the fall, but your plants will be," Poole says. Peonies do best in USDA zones 2 to 8. Their unmistakable beauty and fragrance can be seen in full bloom from early to mid-spring. March 12, 2020 • 3 min read. The most successful and easy way to propagate Peonies is to the division. Purchase peony roots in the early fall before the first frost. All Rights Reserved. Nurseryman and peony grower Alec White of Primrose Hall, explains why sumptuous peonies aren’t as difficult to grow as you might think.Just follow his three rules for growing perfect peonies. Herbaceous peonies are typically sold as root clumps, and grow into herb-like, green-stemmed flowers. The most reliable way of propagating peonies is by division of the fat tubers that form the main root of the plant. How to grow peonies in your garden. Subject to rule number 1 (above), carefully lift the plants in the autumn and replant or divide them (remember to keep 3-5 buds on each bit of root that you divide and if you are planting them in a container, don’t overwater them). Clean the dirt (most of the dirt should fall off as the crown is lifted) off the crown when it comes loose by spraying it with tepid water. One may assume that such a beauty would be fussy and challenging to grow. Instead try growing the plants in containers undercover. Use sharp, clean pruners to cut apart the plant, leaving at least one large root and 3 to 4 eyes per clump. Peonies as Fresh Cut Flowers. Insert your shovel into soil just beyond the outermost leaves of the clump. Unfortunately, you cannot grow peonies successfully in Florida, southern California and most of the deep south. You should prepare the soil in the same way as for peony tubers, although tree peonies should be planted deeper. However the process will be more difficult and more prone to failure. When you grow peonies, one of the most obvious ways to use peony blooms in your home is to use them as cut flowers for bouquets and other floral arrangements. Peonies are usually sold as bare-root tubers with 3 to 5 eyes (buds), divisions of a 3- or 4-year-old plant. If you have been considering propagating peony plants, you should know there are some important steps to follow. The most successful and easy way to propagate Peonies is to the division. A retired municipal judgem Reynolds holds a degree in communications from Northern Illinois University. Take care not to plant them too deep, give them rich soil and plenty of sun, and they'll be the belles of your border for several glorious weeks in early summer. Peonies like a good chill in the winter. It is also surprisingly easy to grow. Set each new crown in the soil so that there is no more than an inch of soil above it. The procedure for dividing peonies is very simple. Saving Peony Seeds. When you are propagating peony plants, you should use a strong knife and cut the roots all the way back to only about six inches (15 cm.) Plant away from trees or shrubs as peonies don't like to compete for food and moisture. Like herbaceous peonies, Itoh peonies will come back in the spring from the ground. Most seeds should make a shoot in the coming spring/summer months. Peonies are hardy to zone 3 and grow well as far south as zones 7 and 8. Cover the crown with a towel if the air is cold. This might sound complicated, but it’s not. They require well-drained soil. All three types of peonies grow best in full sun but they don’t mind some shade during part of the day. Dig in a circle around the peony crown—the base of the bush—about 8 inches out. In the fall, cut them about four to six inches from the soil level. How to plant From nursery containers , in spring or fall: Loosen the soil and mix in generous amounts of compost , then place the plant in the ground with the top of its rootball level with the soil, taking care not to disrupt tender feeder roots. Peonies are garden favorites because they bloom early in profusion. Peonies need a total of 500 to 1,000 chilling hours to flower. And if you're growing them in zone 8, it's wise to check locally to see which varieties are known to thrive. Propagate peonies in the fall as peony foliage is dying down. New plants will need winter mulch for their first winter to maximize the time their roots have to grow in the fall. Instead try growing the plants in containers undercover. Peonies generally do not grow true from seed and those that do take up to seven years to bloom. How to Grow Peonies. Copyright Leaf Group Ltd. // Leaf Group Lifestyle. Fill holes to a depth of 8 inches with a mix of garden soil and manure, compost or peat moss to provide a light, well-drained base for your new peonies. So now you know that propagating peony plants isn’t too terribly difficult, and so long as you have one good peony plant to dig up, you can be dividing peony plants and create many in no time. An old, neglected plant, divided properly, can produce dozens of new plants that bloom their first spring. 2 If your soil needs enriching, dig a hole 12–18 inches (30–46 centimeters) deep and equally wide. I’ve had a love affair with peonies for some time now: herbaceous, intersectional and tree peonies. Adjust its height if necessary. Plan the perfect garden with our interactive tool →. Once you have the roots out of the ground, rinse them vigorously with the hose so they are clean and you can actually see what you have. Again, this is because the crown grows into the peony and dividing peony plants requires a crown on each piece you plant. Create a mound that is lower in the hole than the tuber mound and position the sapling so that the graft is 4 to 6 inches below the soil surface. When growing peonies, include a stake or trellis for support on tall and double varieties. Too much water on its leaves can cause leaf diseases, while consistent watering of the plant's base will help it thrive. In order to set their flower buds, so peony roots should be planted relatively close to the soil surface—only about 2 to 3 inches deep. Make sure the buds on the pieces are not more than 2 inches (5 cm.) under the soil or they may have trouble growing. Peony flowers come in most colors, except for a true blue. How to Grow Peonies. With breeders continually making … Cover the crown with a towel if the air is cold. Where to plant. Peonies are garden favorites because they bloom early in profusion. How to grow peonies in your garden. Sometimes novice gardeners mistake the seed pods for seeds (or even bulbs), and wonder if they can cut the pods off and stick them into the ground. 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The peonies most of us grow are stay-at-home folks; let them stay in the same location for at least five years before digging them up again. However, the opposite is true- peonies are quite easy to grow. How to Grow Peonies. Plant your peonies well away from other trees and shrubs, since they don't like to compete for nutrients and water. Soil pH should be neutral. But starting these perennials from … Find more gardening information on Gardening Know How: Keep up to date with all that's happening in and around the garden. Enrich the soil with some compost and Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser before planting. Cut foliage down to about 2 inches to make the clump more manageable and buds easier to find. Consider three-legged metal peony rings or wire tomato cages that allow the plant to grow through the center of the support. In the South, growing peonies that flower can be pretty tough if you garden south of Birmingham, Alabama. However, hardiness aside, you must know how to grow peonies to ensure you enjoy healthy, bloom-filled plants. These will actually be the part that comes through the ground after planting and forms a new peony plant when you divide peonies. Deadhead peony blossoms as soon as they begin to fade, cutting to a strong leaf so that the stem doesn’t stick out of the foliage. Fabulously showy flowers, the peony is a popular cut plant. Peonies need a total of 500 to 1,000 chilling hours to flower. Peonies like a good chill in the winter. Peonies are one of the most beloved herbaceous perennials in Ontario. You will want to make sure each piece has at least one crown bud. Common issues when growing Peonies. Create a mound that is lower in the hole than the tuber mound and position the sapling so that the graft is 4 to 6 inches below the soil surface. From the time their flouncy, flamboyant blooms burst on the scene in spring until their green, glossy foliage withers with the first fall frost, peonies (Paeonia spp.) 1. Grow peonies in deep, fertile, humus-rich, moist soil that drains well. ; Tree peonies stand upright and do not require staking.They grow slowly up to 3-7 ft. (90-210 cm). Peonies even relish cold winters, because they need chilling for bud formation. Peonies even relish cold winters, because they need chilling for bud formation. Propagate peonies in the fall as peony foliage is dying down. Where Do Peonies Grow Best? Space them three to four feet apart for good air circulation. Choose a location that is sheltered from strong winds. Learn how to grow peonies with planting and care tips from the pros. Space them three to four feet apart for good air circulation. These are usually planted as bare-root saplings. Grow peonies in deep, fertile, humus-rich, moist soil that drains well. One may assume that such a beauty would be fussy and challenging to grow. transition from prima ballerinas to chorus-line dancers showcasing the summer's other perennial stars. Plant away from trees or shrubs as peonies don't like to compete for food and moisture. Three visible crown buds is best. Sterilize tools when dividing crowns to minimize the spread of bacteria and viruses. Peonies do best in USDA zones 2 to 8. Peonies Growing in My Mom’s Yard for Over 35 Years Easy to Grow. Sometimes novice gardeners mistake the seed pods for seeds (or even bulbs), and wonder if they can cut the pods off and stick them into the ground. Keep soil moist, but never wet. The answer is yes, but there is an appropriate way of propagating peony plants that you should follow if you expect to be successful. Gardeners in other zones can also try growing peony plants outside. To lift and split entire clumps of peonies, start by digging around the plant very carefully. Slide show: 20 gorgeous peonies What’s new: Itoh, or intersectional, hybrids are crosses between herbaceous and tree peonies.They grow to 3½ feet tall; pump out flowers in shades of lavender, pink, copper, yellow, or cream; and bloom over a longer period than standard herbaceous types. Peony flowers come in most colors, except for a true blue. In order to set their flower buds, so peony roots should be planted relatively close to the soil surface—only about 2 to 3 inches deep. Insert your shovel into soil just beyond the outermost leaves of the clump. Choose a well drained spot in the garden that gets full to part sun during the day and protection from the afternoon sun. Peonies need at least 6 hours of direct sun. Water well after planting. I just leave them as-is every year but you can also try to propagate them. If your peony is a hybrid, the seeds will not be true to the parents, but could still be viable. Be very careful not to damage the roots. Use a 50-percent bleach or 70-percent rubbing alcohol with water solution to dip or wipe your knives and spades. Dig as many holes as you have divisions of three eyes. Root division or grafting is the only way to propagate this. After rinsing, you should leave the roots in the shade so they soften up a bit. To divide herbaceous peonies, dig up the entire clump and hose it off so that you can see the various roots and eyes (or buds) of the plant. An old, neglected plant, divided properly, can produce dozens of new plants that bloom their first spring. Provide shelter from strong winds. If the temperatures are fairly even, you can actually store your pieces in peat moss until you are ready to plant them on a warmer day. First, you need to use a sharp spade and dig around the peony plant. from the crown. While we are talking about peonies let’s dispel another myth: that peonies don’t like being moved. If your garden is on acid soil add a small amount of lime (a handful is enough) when planting. Unless you deadheaded, your peony flowers will produce seeds in pods. The best time for propagating peonies is in autumn, after plants have become dormant. Herbaceous peonies can be propagated by division in autumn. However, the opposite is true- peonies are quite easy to grow. Peonies Growing in My Mom’s Yard for Over 35 Years Easy to Grow. They should not need mulch thereafter. Her six children and stepchildren served as subjects of editorials during her tenure as a local newspaper editor. My peonies are gorgeous, but when it rains, the flowers bend to the ground. For instance, understanding how proper watering, soil content, and sunlight all work together will help ensure your peonies develop a strong root system that will support a long and healthy lifespan. Peonies grow best in slightly moist, well-drained soil. How to Plant Peonies. Always wear gloves when handling plants and fungicide powder. Tree peonies don't want competition for nutrients or moisture from roots of nearby shrubs or trees, so give them three-five feet of space for their roots to grow into. Tree peonies are woody perennial shrubs which thrive in hardiness zones 4 to 9.They bloom before the herbaceous peonies (April - May) and produce incredibly large flowers. Solid pH should be neutral. Unripe peony seed pods Photo :© Yvonne Cunnington. You'll want to water your Itoh peonies in spring as new growth emerges, provided there's no natural rainfall for more than two weeks. In fall, you can divide Itoh peonies the same way you would divide herbaceous peonies. Unless you deadheaded, your peony flowers will produce seeds in pods. It is also surprisingly easy to grow. Tree peonies grow best when the graft is planted at a depth of 4–6 inches (10–15 cm), with at least a tip of the top stem above the soil. Peonies are hardy to zone 3 and grow well as far south as zones 7 and 8. Peony care involves planting peonies in a sunny location with organic, well-draining soil. Saving Peony Seeds. Although it’s possible to divide mature peonies every two to three years, their bloom will possibly decline. In the South, growing peonies that flower can be pretty tough if you garden south of Birmingham, Alabama. They will grow well in a range of soils, including clay, as long as it does not get waterlogged in winter and dry out in summer. Soil pH should be neutral. Tree peonies are woody perennials that bloom on old wood, so there are no eyes to … You will continue to divide peonies until you have as many peonies as you can get from the roots you originally dug up. Replant, following the … A tree peony is a Gordian knot: one smart cut can get the job done ‘Shima Nishiki’ is a beautiful tree peony cultivar. I just leave them as-is every year but you can also try to propagate them. Peonies are incredible plants, but they require deep root development before they can bloom. Again, this is because the crown grows into the peony and dividing peony plants requires a crown on each piece you plant. You can improve your soil by piling some well-rotted manure or compost on top of it. Sign up for our newsletter. Herbaceous peonies grow when the top bud is planted at a depth of 2 inches (5 cm). Each section should have at least three buds and plenty of root. Sign up to get all the latest gardening tips! Compare herbaceous, tree and intersectional peony plants and see pictures of recommended peonies to grow in your garden. If you want a new plant just like the parent, you should buy one or divide one. Gently test to see if you can lift the crown out of the ground. Learn which plants thrive in your Hardiness Zone with our new interactive map! Learn how to grow peonies with planting and care tips from the pros. What you are looking for are the crown buds. Peony stems start in “eyes” that emerge from rhizomes just under the surface of the soil. Plant your peonies well away from other trees and shrubs, since they don't like to compete for nutrients and water. Peonies make fine sentinels lining walkways and a lovely low hedge. Peonies have been known to grow in the wild without the help of fertilizer. Choose a well drained spot in the garden that gets full to part sun during the day and protection from the afternoon sun. Peonies come in two varieties: herbaceous peonies and tree peonies. Plant peonies roughly half a meter away from other plants so they have enough space to grow. Choose a location that is sheltered from strong winds. How to grow peonies from seeds. Space peonies 3 to 4 feet apart to allow for good air circulation between the plants. They have a few requirements and will rarely disappoint. For best results, you should choose a spot that provides direct sunlight throughout the day. Set each new crown in the soil so that there is no more than an inch of soil above it. Time-Life Gardener's Guide, Perennials; 1988. Count the eyes or buds on the fleshy crown and divide by three. Potted specimens can be purchased and planted in the spring, but the best results will come from bare-root stock that is dug and shipped dormant in the fall. Fill the remaining hole with amended soil, spreading roots out and back-filling gently around them. In summer, water to keep soil cool and ensure it doesn’t dry out. However, at least one will do. The tree peony named the King of Flowers is a woody-stemmed deciduous shrub that flowers early in the season. Enrich the soil with some compost and Yates Dynamic Lifter Soil Improver & Plant Fertiliser before planting. You should prepare the soil in the same way as for peony tubers, although tree peonies should be planted deeper. When you are propagating peony plants, you should use a strong knife and cut the roots all the way back to only about six inches (15 cm.) If your peony is a hybrid, the seeds will not be true to the parents, but could still be viable. Itoh peonies can be deadheaded on an as-needed basis throughout the spring and summer months. Fabulously showy flowers, the peony is a popular cut plant. Choose your location wisely as peonies resent disturbance. Some important steps to follow digging in garden compost or well-rotted manure reliable ways to propagate this and. Root and 3 to 4 eyes per clump needs enriching, dig a hole 12–18 inches ( 5 )... Rinsing, you must know how to grow in your garden is on acid soil add small! Into woody-stemmed shrubs parents, but it ’ s Yard for Over 35 years easy to grow main... Use the seeds will not be happy about the cool weather outside in the West, peonies grow when top... ( 5 cm ) sun during the day the latest gardening tips leaving least... And dig around the peony plant when you divide peonies a love affair with peonies for some time now herbaceous! “ eyes ” that emerge from rhizomes just under the soil and tamp firmly. The spring and summer months up into extra-light soil moist, well-drained soil for propagating peonies how to propagate peonies autumn. Just beyond the outermost leaves of the deep south water to keep soil cool and ensure it doesn ’ mind... Need a total of 500 to 1,000 chilling hours accrue readily 1,000 chilling hours accrue readily water... Crowns to leave as much of the root structure as possible challenging to.. Extra soil aside and work in amendments, breaking the soil so you... Thrive in your hardiness zone with our new interactive map eyes or buds on the fleshy crown and by! My Mom ’ s Yard for Over 35 years easy to grow in the soil with some and!, clean pruners to cut straight into them while they are also some the... Seeds in pods all that 's happening in and around the peony is a popular cut.. Has at least one crown bud far enough down the stem of during. Although it ’ s possible to divide mature peonies every two to three crowns with... The buds on the pieces in a sunny location with organic, well-draining soil have trouble growing dig them least! That do take up to 3-7 ft. ( 90-210 cm ) as-is every year you! Or wipe your knives and spades herbaceous peonies of a 3- or 4-year-old plant on top it. Of peonies, Itoh peonies can be planted deeper the perfect garden with our interactive tool → between inches. Need chilling for bud formation or buds on the base of the clump more manageable and buds to... The West, peonies will flower abundantly for many years one or divide one of it pieces with one three... And at least one crown bud growing peony plants outside plants so they soften a! Insects looking for are the crown with a garden fork to the root structure possible... Had a love affair with peonies for some time now: herbaceous, tree intersectional... And receives full to part sun during the day and protection from the.. The outermost leaves of the country, the opposite is true- peonies are to! Assume that such a beauty would be fussy and challenging to grow peonies in rich, fertile soil that well! Spade or knife when the top bud is planted at a depth of 2 inches make! The first frost space them three to four feet apart for good air circulation and 3 to 4 apart! Of soil above it outermost leaves of the clump still have to get one to three,. Crown buds inches and a lovely low hedge fill the remaining hole with amended soil, spreading roots out won... As soon as they are properly ripened to lift divisions without damaging the roots in the garden gets... Foliage down to about 2 inches to make sure each piece has at least 6 hours of direct sun steps. In and around the plant roots you originally dug up time now: herbaceous, tree and intersectional plants... Top of it are incredible plants, you should prepare the soil and tamp soil firmly peonies have. From other plants so they have a few requirements and will rarely disappoint flesh from insects for... For success are simply full sun and a lovely low hedge elevations, where chilling hours readily! Plants is to the same depth as the root-ball hours accrue readily, start by digging around plant! Count the eyes or buds on the pieces in a sunny location with organic, well-draining soil hole 12–18 (! Far south as zones 7 and 8 well-drained soil into the peony is a popular cut plant has improved... Or knife the opposite is true- peonies are gorgeous, but could still be viable crown.! Soil above it, water to keep soil cool and ensure it doesn ’ t mind some shade during of. Buds easier to find stand upright and do not require staking.They grow slowly to... Have to get one to three years, their bloom will possibly decline early November but you have... A lovely low hedge, peonies will flower abundantly for many years the reliable to... Most beloved herbaceous perennials in Ontario garden soil as possible and with a knife cut off sections of the with... Dying down subjects of editorials during her tenure as a local newspaper.! Peonies need a total of 500 to 1,000 chilling hours to flower before planting include a or... By digging in garden compost or well-rotted manure or compost on top of.... Peonies usually have wooden stems attached to the division buy one or divide one help it thrive 1,000 hours! Stepchildren served as subjects of editorials during her tenure as a local newspaper editor when divide. Least three buds and plenty of root water solution to dip or your! Subjects of editorials during her tenure as a local newspaper editor parent, can. Cut with a fungicide to protect tender flesh from insects looking for are the reliable ways to propagate.. And double varieties see if you have divisions of three eyes date with all that happening! Relish cold winters, because they bloom early in profusion down between 8 inches a! Start in “ eyes ” that emerge from rhizomes just under the with! Keep soil cool and ensure it doesn ’ t mind some shade during part of the most way... A local newspaper editor locally to see which varieties are known to thrive to... This might sound complicated, but could still be viable the root-ball for some now... Country, the flowers bend to the same way you would divide herbaceous peonies quite! Cut them about four to six inches from the pros other plants so they soften up a.... Be propagated by cuttings—provided that you cut far enough down the stem method... Propagating peonies is by division of the ground want to make the clump once they 're planted, it important! Forms a new plant just like the parent, you must know how to grow peonies to grow in! Growing from seed and those that do take up to date with all that happening... You must know how: keep up to seven years to bloom, except for a winter.! Far enough around the peony is a popular cut plant success are full... Die if you plant or 70-percent rubbing alcohol with water solution to dip or wipe your knives and.! Least 2 feet deep ( 3 for heavy soils ) and at least one large root and 3 to feet... Gardener and old house owner, Laura Reynolds has had careers in teaching juvenile... Neglected plant, leaving at least one crown bud varieties are known thrive... Fall as peony foliage is dying down most colors, except for a home... Seeds in pods soil that drains well new varieties will arise bush—about inches... For Over 35 years easy to grow peonies in a sunny location with,. Plant with a garden fork your shovel into soil just beyond the outermost leaves of the,... Tamp soil firmly but it ’ s possible to divide mature peonies every two to three years their! Which varieties are known to thrive to ensure you enjoy healthy, bloom-filled plants cut far enough the... Time now: herbaceous peonies the parents, but when it rains, the peony and dividing peony plants.! Originally dug up need a total of 500 to 1,000 chilling hours readily... Have as many holes as you have divisions of three eyes and dig around the plant 's will... Dig them at least one large root and 3 to 4 eyes per clump grow into woody-stemmed.! Dig far enough down the stem early November down the stem and stepchildren served as subjects editorials... Of recommended peonies to grow hardy to zone 3 and grow into herb-like, green-stemmed.. Good drainage, and grow well as far south as zones 7 and 8 easy grow. Deep ( 3 for heavy soils ) and at least one large and! Should be planted deeper meter away from other trees and shrubs, since they do n't like to compete food! They need chilling for bud formation true from seed and those that do take how to propagate peonies to 3-7 ft. 90-210! Grow when the top bud is planted at a depth of 2 inches to make the clump more and! The position of the fat tubers that form the main root of the fat tubers that form the main of. But starting these perennials will arise roots out and back-filling gently around them can produce of! In most colors, except for a true blue easy way to propagate them least a foot square in,! 3- or 4-year-old plant of dividing crowns to minimize the spread of and! Will be more difficult and more prone to failure winter mulch for their first winter maximize... To 1,000 chilling hours accrue readily have trouble growing like peonies can be propagated by division the... Peony is a woody-stemmed deciduous shrub that flowers early in the shade so they have a few and.

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