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I have a big peony collection: herbaceous, peony trees and Itoh peonies.
You need to think a peony as a "cemetery plant" = less you care = more flowers.
Plant away from large trees and shrubs and in full sun .. even if I have a few peonies blooming also in partial shade.
When you plant a peony do not plant to deep, you need to see the little red eyes.
Also, do not plant by the front door, because peony's leaves will turn brown during the summer heat. They will dye down in the winter and pop up again in the spring.
The best suggestion is to buy a well established plant.
Here in Dallas, it seems that the worst wind and rain will arrive as soon as the peonies bloom ! So I normally cut the flowers and enjoy them in the house
Good luck !
In the first picture you can see two giant white balls, look at the comparison in size with the Irises behind. Yes those are peonies.
Some of my herbaceous peony completely will turn brown in August.
My Itoh Peony stay always green, until the winter.
Check out if NHG still have some of their peonies. A few weeks ago I went there and they put their 5 gal on sale 50% and buy one and get one free. I bet they are all gone !
I bought the 5 gal Itoh a full price at NHG in February for $80. Amazing plants !
I had no problem spending the $80 because on-line just one Itoh eye was $84 ...
They reduced the plants to 50% and bought more ... now I must go back there again.
NHG plants don't compare to Lowes at all. Those are huge 5 gal plants, with at least 20 eyes ... the one I bought (I dunno what is left)
Buy the NHG t-shirt, so you will always have $10 discount.