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Peonies are tough, beautiful and almost effortlessly grown. They do, however, give generous additional rewards for a few very simple ‘extra efforts’ by the gardener.

  • Prepare the planting hole as large as possible; the peony will grow into it.

  • While not mandatory, mixing a few scoops of compost into the bottom of the hole will provide additional nutrients to help the peony get established.

  • Thoroughly mix in plenty (about ¼ cup) of phosphorus fertilizer (bone meal or super phosphate).

  • Mixing in a similar amount of ground limestone is also beneficial.


  • Plant the crown (eyes) shallow; 1 to 2 inches deep at the most. They need to freeze during the winter to set good flower buds. 


  • Position the heavy storage roots below the crown so they can be moist during the summer season. Don’t be concerned if some eyes point downward; just keep the majority of them within 1 inch of the surface. (Peonies that are planted too deep will not bloom.)


  • Avoid sites that will have periods of standing water on the rootstock.


  • Avoid mulch over the winter months. 


This is an undivided peony crown showing the buds (eyes) for next spring.

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