How to Plant Peonies in Your Garden: [Complete Guide + Step by Step]

 Peonies or Paeoniaceae  It is a type of herbaceous or shrubby plant widely used in gardens around the world due to its enormous beauty. 

It grows in temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere , such as Europe (Mediterranean), North America or China.

Did you know…

The name of peony is in honor of Peón, the doctor of the gods that appears mentioned in the Iliad and in Homer’s Odyssey. He healed Ares when he was wounded by Diomedes during the Trojan War.

Also mentioned is an earlier healing he did to Hades from an arrow thrown by Heracles at Pylos. Wikipedia


Important Points when Planting Peonies
  • When to sow?  In autumn it is preferable if we want to see them bloom in spring .
  • Where to sow? They need a semi-shaded space of very fertile land.
  • How to prepare the land? The soil must contain all the nutrient and very good drainage. A fertilizer with bone meal and nitrogen bone preparationis great for him.
  • How do we water? Twice a week is the most convenient. Ideal drip irrigation .
  • What favorable associations does it have? These mixed varieties are excellent for a spacious garden. Sarah Bernhart., Maximum Holiday; Duchesa de Nemours; Jubilejinyl; Red Charm and Mme Leonie Calot.
  • What pests and diseases does it have? Gray mold, aphids and botrytis are diseases that afflict them.


When to plant peonies?

 The temperate climate is perfect for growing peonies, beautiful flowers from Asia, large colorful pompoms that embellish the life of any person.

We can plant them in the fall to see them bloom in the wonderful spring . There are several reasons that support this option , because there are people who prefer to do it in the spring itself , between April and May. Let’s see:

The life cycle of peonies is as follows:
  • Spring : flowering.
  • Summer : at the end of this season, it loses the flowers. Or when the heat picks up.
  • Autumn : the whole plant dries up and sometimes does not survive.
  • Winter : its growth begins at ground level.


Peony is also possessed of a unique delicious aroma that will attract many curious people to your garden.

There are varieties that can live up to 50 years, if it is given the care it deserves.

Another curious fact is that it does not support low temperatures. If it drops below 7 ° C and icy winds are produced , it does not flower, nor does it when transplanted .

Where to plant peonies?

The sowing of Peonies should be done in  a place in the garden where the sun’s rays do not affect directly,  especially in the harsh hours of summer noon.

And it must be kept at  some distance from other homonymous plants. 

The flowering season ranges from early spring to late summer , when its beautiful purple , pink , fuchsia , white, and red flowers brighten gardens.

So a good place in your garden is to plant it near a wall that provides shade , if you don’t decide to have it living in a good pot, where it also thrives and flourishes very well.


 There are more than 3 thousand varieties of peonies in the entire world. Most are herbaceous , that is, they grow without a trunk, but it is good to know that there are also peony trees.

How to prepare the land for growing peonies?

Fertile soil is essential for peonies.

The soil must contain all the necessary nutrients for the peony to grow healthy and strong . A special preparation of compost with bone meal and nitrogen will be great for its growth.

But its exaggerated use hurts it, prevents its normal development. It should not be applied directly on the plant , but rather on the surroundings.

And if you are going to plant several plants , make sure that the space between each one is at least one meter so that they can develop well in your garden.

As in most floral species , the soil must contain an excellent drainage system. Pooled water around the plant is a terrible sign of future, perhaps irreparable damage. Do not let that happen.


How do we water the peonies?

 Biweekly, spring will be enough to keep the Peony happy and radiant. Take care to do so by moistening the upper part at ground level about 15 cm where it is planted.

In summer the same procedure must be carried out, And if you have it in a pot, covering the earth with galvanic stone is very sensible.

 The sprinkler or drip system  They are very good because it prevents excess water and guarantees the normal humidity that this plant requires.


How to sow peonies step by step?

Let’s see now how to fulfill this beautiful ritual:

  1. Dig a hole about 12 inches wide and 18 inches deep. You have to give the roots the possibility to be well planted.
  2. Fill the hole with a non-decomposed compost mix made from shredded plant material (scraps of branches, leaves, and bark) to help improve soil drainage. Then add another layer, but of manure and a little fertilizer . The 10-10-10 type (equal amounts of nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium ) is ideal for peonies.
  3. We have to prepare another organic compost with homemade food scraps , to apply it in a more superficial layer.
  4. Then place the peonies, planting them at the right depth . If you chose to plant bare roots, the pink buds should be less than 2 inches deep for the plant to flower at normal time. If you bury it a long time, then it will also take a long time to bloom.
  5. Part of the secret of dealing with peonies is knowing that if the weather is hot when the roots or the bulb are shallower , the better. Then plant them about 2.5 cm deep.
  6. Finally, we fill the hole with a layer of topsoil.
  7. It placed around peonies are newly planted, bark of trees and leaves . This helps prevent the growth of weeds that steal the substrate .


They are divided into two large groups:  arboreal and herbaceous. 

The arboreal ones have a woody stem that exceeds up to 2 meters in height. Herbaceous plants, on the other hand, do not grow beyond one meter . These are the favorites of the majority.

Do not forget that if you are going to plant tree peonies (they are sold on stems grafted to the roots) the graft should be about 10 or 15 cm below the surface.

And if it is the herbaceous variety, we reiterate that it should not be more than 2.5 cm deep.

Another healthy recommendation is to cover with a mulch to protect the peonies from frost in the winter.

They should not be watered in this period because they will be in total inactivity. 

What favorable associations does it have?

The following varieties of peonies should be planted in a spacious garden:

  • Sarah Bernhart.
  • Maximum Holiday.
  • Duchesa de Nemours.
  • Jubilejinyl.
  • Red Charm.
  • Mme Leonie Calot.

All these combinations produce peonies that will bloom in shades of pink, ficsua, yellow, white.

They go well with azaleas .

In a nursery, you can get them in different presentations : in pots already grown; in bare root divisions and in bulbs.

When buying roots , the most viable modality if you want to combine several varieties in your garden, you should appreciate 2 or 3 pink buds . Those are the best.


Another interesting fact is to know which are the other species of flowers that get along well with peonies. These are:

  • Allium
  • Aquilegia
  • Oriental papaver
  • Garden roses
  • Delphinium.
  • Lavender or santolina.

What pests and diseases do pegonias have?

They are very prone to gray mold if they do not get enough sun, estimated at about 6 hours a day.

The aphids  also attack them without mercy.

Another serious disease is Botryytis , which appears when the relative humidity is very high (90%) and there is poor ventilation.

The appropriate insecticides must be applied for each case and a pruning must be carried out to eliminate all the affected parts of the plant.

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