Your bare root peony tubers will be shipped with moistened wood mulch inside a plastic bag which can be stored for a short period of time in a refrigerator or a cool place such as the garage or basement of your house until you are ready to plant them. You may use the mulch provided to cover the tubers for the first winter right after planting.
Space the bare root tubers 3 to 4 feet apart to allow ample growing room and good air circulation when they mature. Intersectional roots should be placed 5 feet apart. Peonies prefer a sunny location with good drainage.
Dig a planting hole that is 18 to 24” in diameter and 12 to 18” deep. Prepare the planting hole by adding good humus, peat moss or compost in the bottom, then a mound of good dirt on top of that. Locate the upper most eye of the peony tuber; hold the plant root with that eye pointing up. Place the tuber in the hole noting the roots can go any which way beneath it. Cover with good soil so that that top eye is not more than 1 to 2 inches deep below ground level. Planting too deep can delay flowering. The whole plant root that we send you should be underground. Tamp it in well with your hands and water it. Cover with leaves, mulch or something for the first winter.
In the spring, remove the mulch to uncover the peony. If you live where humidity is prevalent in the spring/summer, spray the peony when it is at spear stage (looks like asparagus spears) with a fungicide for fungus botrytis such as that used for roses. Peonies are susceptible to this fungus especially under humid conditions.
If planted properly, the first year should produce a short stem with leaves and maybe a small flower. The second year will probably produce a more mature plant with more stems and a couple of flowers. By the third or fourth year you should have a mature plant and many more flowers to enjoy.
After the peonies have flowered and the flowers start to wilt, cut off or dead head the flowers. This will allow the plant to put more energy into the roots for stronger healthier plants the following season and give you a beautiful bush to enjoy the rest of the summer. Peonies are low feeders, so if you want to, fertilize it with a fertilizer that is low in nitrogen after dead heading.
You will need
- Sunny location
- Peat moss, compost or
- Soil, amended with phosphate