Peonies are glorious, let’s just make that clear. They are so full and delicate and layered. Their gentle blush tones make such a big impact. You can enjoy freshly picked flowers because you can easily grow peonies at home too!
Whether in a vase, garden bed, or bouquet, peony flowers are one of the most gorgeous flowers we should all be planting in our gardens. Here, you’ll learn all about this flowering plant and how to grow the most beautiful flowers for your home garden.
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So, what’s the secret for growing a peony bush? Well, for starters, they are perennials, meaning they come back year after year if you treat them right! And it’s easy to treat them well because they are also super low maintenance.
Where to Grow
These gorgeous plants do well in an area of the garden that receives a good amount of sunlight. If you want to easily grow peonies at home, the best location is sunny and offers the plant room for growth. Aim for a minimum of 5 hours of direct sunlight a day for optimal growth.
These plants do not like to be overcrowded. Peony roots do best in well draining soil. If you have compact, or clay like soil, you may need to amend it as overly wet roots can and will form a common plant disease, Botrytis Blight, or root rot. You also want to avoid mulching. This will retain too much moisture in the roots, which is what we’re trying to avoid.
When to Plant
While this bush can technically be planted in either spring or fall, the recommendation is to plant them in the spring. You want to ensure they have a proper amount of light and the spring and summer months will provide that.
Avoiding potential ground frost is the fall months is also something you want to do. You won’t expect to see any flowers until year #3 of having the plant, so don’t worry if you don’t see any real blooms for awhile. They take some time.
Growing in Pots or Indoors
I often get asked the question “Can I grow peonies in pots?” or “Can peonies be grown indoors?” The answer to both questions is yes, you can.
So, the trick to being successful here is that you’ll need to ensure you have a very large container to grow them in.
These flowering plants have rather large root systems and you need to accommodate for that by offering the appropriate amount of space. Giving the roots a good amount of room will allow them to get established and strong enough for transferring.
If you’re using pots, use one with a good number of drainage holes. One hole at the bottom won’t do. Remember what we said earlier about having well-draining soil and common peony blight.
If you’re nervous of the amount of light you need while indoors, definitely invest in a grow light. They are inexpensive and do wonders. Try this clamping grow lamp for under $30!
Maintaining and Pruning
Since the plants are relatively low maintenance plants, there isn’t too much you have to do to encourage there growth. However, there are a few things that can be done here and there to get the most of out of your plants.
First, if you want those stunning, eye catching, large single peony flowers, you’ll want to clip off any developing buds that run along the stem. This will allow all of the nutrients and growing power to go right to the one single flower.
Another thing you’ll want to do is to actively deadhead them. Remove all dead petals or blooms that have gone past their prime. If it’s a herbaceous variety, you’ll want to trim the stems down at the end of the season, in mid to late fall.
You can let this linger a bit but definitely prune by the first frost. Use nice sharp, and clean, pruning shear so you don’t send the plant into the winter with disease.
If you’re planting them in the ground from small plants or bulbs, you’ll want to initially offer some support cages.
A support cage is a real easy to ensure they grow strong and upright and don’t flop over. Check out this peony cage for starters. It’s made specifically for flowers and won’t interfere with the beautiful view of your plant!
Varieties and Facts
- Peony Varieties
- There are 6 common flower types
- Can be propagated by separation
- Long lived perennial
Peony Variety Favorites
- Bowl of Beauty
- Sarah Bernhardt
- Pink Hawaiian Coral Peony (my favorite)
- Charlie’s White Peony
- Better Times
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