Herbaceous Peonies are large, showy plants that flower impressively in late Spring to early Summer. They are grown for their brightly coloured blooms which are often spicily scented.

Below are some helpful answers to commonly asked questions about Peonies.

When to plant a Peony:

A good time to plant a bare root Peony is in the late Autumn, this gives the plant plenty of time to get established before the growing season. Alternatively you can plant a potted Peony in late Spring.

When to cut back a Peony:

It’s best to cut back the dying foliage to ground level in the Autumn to prevent risk of infection from Peony wilt disease.

When to divide a Peony:

It’s best to divide large plants in the Autumn and then the new plant should flower 2 years after dividing.

When do Peonies flower?

Most Peonies flower from late Spring to early Summer and need plenty of space to flower well.

When to plant Peony seeds:

It’s best to plant the bare root Peony tuber in the Autumn, propagation of seeds is tricky and best avoided unless you like a challenge!

When to move a Peony:

It’s best to move Peonies in the Autumn.

When to buy a Peony:

Peony plants are available to buy in the Spring.

When to feed a Peony:

A solid base fertiliser should be used at planting, followed by a liquid fertiliser through the growing season, applied every 2-3 weeks.

What does Peony mean?

The Peony plant is often given on special occasions as an expression of goodwill, best wishes and joy.

What are Peonies used for?

Peonies are most commonly used in garden borders, they are also popular as cut flowers.

What soil does a Peony like?

Plant Peonies in a rich, well-drained, slightly acidic soil with plenty of organic matter (compost or well rotted manure) incorporated into the soil.

What colours do Peonies come in?

Peonies come in a range of blooms: soft pink, white and glossy red.

What fertilizer is best for Peonies?

Peonies should be planted with a general granule fertiliser at planting and then use a general liquid feed when the plant is established.

What does the Peony flower represent?

In general the Peony symbolizes prosperity, good luck, a happy life, love and wealth.

What position does the Peony like to grow in?

Peonies like a sunny position in rich well drained soil. However, tree-peonies prefer a mix of sun and shade throughout the day.

Where does the Peony originate?

Peonies are native to China and were the Chinese national flower until 1929. For a very long time they were exclusively the flowers of Chinese emperors.

Why is my Peony not flowering?

Planting a Peony too deep in the ground will inhibit flowering. It is best to plant the crown flush with the top of the soil and this should promote flowering in the following year.

Why is my Peony dying?

If Peony leaves and buds wilt before opening, it is most likely peony wilt, a fungal infection caused by a disease called Botrytis Paeoniae. Remove the infected foliage, stems and bud – do not compost them but burn instead, and the plant crown should recover.

Will my Peony be attacked by slugs?

No, Peony leaves are unpalatable to slugs and snails.

How long will a Peony last?

Peonies are long lived perennials, and can sometimes live for 100 years!! The cut flowers are also long lived, often lasting over 2 weeks in a vase.

How do you collect Peony seeds?

A Peony will produce a seed pod in Autumn which can be harvested and stored in vermiculite. However, it is best to buy bare root tubers or potted plants from the nursery.

Will rabbits eat Peonies?

No, Peony leaves are unpalatable to slugs and snails.

Will deer eat Peonies?

No, deer tend not eat herbaceous Peonies.

Can you grow Peonies in pots?

Yes, Peonies can be grown in pots for several years. However, their large root system will ultimately outgrow the pot and the plant will begin to suffer. It is then best to plant in an open, sunny spot to encourage new growth and flowers.

Is a Peony an evergreen?

No, Peonies will die back in the winter.

Is a Peony poisonous to animals?

Peonies contain Paeonol which is known to be toxic. In particular, it can cause illness in canines if ingested.

Is a Peony poisonous to humans?

Peonies contain Paeonol, which is known to be toxic and can cause illness if ingested.

Is a Peony a perennial or annual?

A Peony is a perennial that dies back in the winter.

About the author

Rob looks after the trade sales, planning and finance of the business, ensuring it continues to improve and satisfy our many customers. Prior to joining the family business, Rob sourced plants and flowers for a major UK retailer, regularly travelling to over 20 countries throughout the world to find the best producers in a range of plant and flower species.

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