Planting your Peonies – Fall is best for cold soil and to establish a strong root system!
We are so happy that we are able to provide our amazing customers with some of their very own peony plants this year! Once you have purchased your eye-root(s), be sure to follow the planting info below to enjoy beautiful blooms for years to come!
It is important to plant your peony eye-roots as soon as you receive them. If you are not able to plant the peony immediately, plant within a week and be sure to keep the root system moist and cold, but not freezing.
Before planting, it is ideal if you are able to soak the roots in cool water for a few hours but no more than a day.
Pick a sunny site to plant your peony. While peonies can tolerate some light shade, their stems will not be as hardy and will not produce the same amount of blooms as those planted in sunny locations. Peonies prefer moderate soil (not too dry, not too wet) that has good drainage. They are a hardy plant that will last for many, many years with fairly low maintenance. It is ideal to add some compost or organic matter at the time of planting to give them the best start to their growing life!
Eye-root plants are easy to handle and plant, and acclimate to their new conditions quickly. To plant, tuck your eye-roots into the ground, roots facing down, toward the earth, and the “eyes” facing toward the sky, peeking out, just above the soil. Space peony plants 2-3 feet apart, giving them room to develop into full, mature plants.
After planting, water each plant generously, which allows them to settle in for the fall. Their roots will actually grow a bit during these cold months, helping them anchor into the soil.
In the spring, you will start to see the “eyes” peak up above the soil in unmistakable shades of pink and green – they look very similar to asparagus plants at this point! The stems will grow quickly and within 4-6 weeks you will see flower buds start to form. Some plants will not produce buds in their first season, instead, saving their nutrients to grow a more complex root season. Fear not! Late bloomers tend to produce some very prolific flowers in the growing seasons to come. Peony plants double in size during their second and third years in the garden. By the fourth or fifth year, you will have a fully mature peony plant that will delight the senses! Peonies are beautifully fragrant plants that bring the first signs of summer to the garden. For information on harvesting your beautiful blooms, click here!
A few, fun peony facts:
Peonies and symbolism go hand-in-hand and this beautiful flower has been associated with themes of romance, prosperity, good fortune, compassion and bashfulness.
Historically, peonies were believed to have medicinal qualities and were used as “cures” for snake bites, teething pain in small children and even epilepsy.
Peonies are native to China and are often referred to as the “king of flowers”.