Perennials: Peony advice

Festiva Maxima is it's name,lovely white flowers' Never had one so need to do it right the 1st time' I know it needs full sun/good drainage but that's all I know' TIA Sis'

Perrysburg, OH(Zone 5a)

I think themost important thing is not to plant it too deep, the eyes should only be 2 inches below the soil, otherwise it won't bloom. I planted mine with some manure, and I feed it bonemeal abut twice a year. I also remove the spent blooms, but leave the foliage to die back, but of friend of mine cuts his down with the lawn mower!!! I thought he was crazy but the peonies come back beautifully evry year. If you can find a peony ring that helps the flowers from just flopping over also they just grow straight up through the ring that has a 3in grid on it. Hope that helps!


Westbrook, ME(Zone 5a)

Dig a $20 hole for a $5 plant.... peonies don't like to be disturbed and will live for years in the same spot. Prep your planting area real good so it will be happy for a long, long time.

this sounds great,thank you both'
Yes,our neighbors mow their peonies every year too and their plants are beautiful,very old plants now'

The thing I forgot to mention is it has some(1in.foilage)now. Should I cover the new foliage too now?

protect from strong winds as well as I have been told.
My first peony is up and doing real good. Can't wait till it blooms. A division was sent to me late in the summer last year so very anzious for mine to bloom for the very first time. Have no idea what color it will be. I think it may be pink or white.

That's great CoCo,I'll remember to try to protect from winds but should I plant the new foliage under the soil now too???HELP''''

This is the information that was given to me when I received mine.

Zones 3-8
Cultivation; grow in deep,furtile,humus rich soil in full sun or part shade.(Usually full sun because ants are needed for blooms to open) Support the plant if you don't like the'floppy' look.
Propagation; Sow seeds in containers outdoors in autumn or early winter(may take 2-3 years to germinate)
Divide in early autumn and replant so that the new growths ('the eyes') are 2 inches below the soil surface.
Take root cuttings in winter.
Pests and Diseases; Prone to Verticilluim wilt,rings'pot virus,tip blight,stem rot,Botrytis blight,leaf blotch,Japanese Beetle and nematodes.

Now your question:
Just plant so the 'eyes' are just 2 inches below the soil surface and that is it. Don't plant any deeper than that. I had a bit of foilage on mine as well and plant just the way is was told to me. My folage died down and didn't do nothing for the rest of the year but then I got mine in late summer but it sure is growing good now so you may not have anything this first year in growth but next year it should come up the way mine did.

Hope this helps in some way.

Thanks a ton CoCo for all that typing for me,lol' It's in its new home now':D Sis'

"down the Shore", NJ(Zone 7a)

Sis', yes, prepare a nice hole for your peony, but what you don't want is for it to settle and have the peony end up planted too deep. I'd aim for just about 1 inch from the top of the thick root to the soil line. They need the cold to bloom, and if too deep will not bloom. Also, cut off the old foliage in the fall after it turns color, so that diseases do not overwinter in the old foliage. The ants traditionally are considered to help open the blooms as they seek the sweet nectar the buds produce. I stake each bloom individually, as each is too precious to let fall into the mud! They like a handful of dehydrated manure mixed with an equal amount of peat moss around each plant in the spring. They will be more beautiful each passing year. Do not plan on dividing with any frequency, unless you are growing some varieties I need... :-) If you do divide, you want to get 3 - 5 'eyes' on each section of root. Enjoy!!! John

Oh brother,I should have waited for you John now I have to do it twice,lol' Gonna start over,bring it up a bit,like you said,also add the manure.
I had a terrible time digging as the dang Bermuda Roots go down to China,lol' I didn't add manure the first time as didn't want to feed the Bermuda but if you say so then I will anyways, Hope this little peony can fight for it's rights,lol' Think I'll place some wet cardboard flat around it and mulch heavy over it too,couldn't hurt' Thanks again and will definately share with you'':):DSis'

Sis,I didn't add manure to mine. I just watered with fish emolsion solution or can use Seaweed solution.

Sharpsville, PA(Zone 5a)

All I know is they will give you great joy! They like to be planted shallow...You need ants for them to open....In my zone 5, I leave the last years growth on them till about second week in April. or till I see the new growth coming....

This message was edited Saturday, Apr 6th 8:09 PM

Belfield, ND(Zone 4a)

My 80+ year old gardening friend here in town says that the idea that peonies need ants to open is an old wives tale and she sprinkles Diazinon around her peonies to keep the ants away and they open and bloom just fine. I don't have any peonies yet, but does anyone have any comments on this? Do they need the ants or not?

Sharpsville, PA(Zone 5a)

Mine get covered with ants. PLUS, everyone alwasy says...Got Ants??? if they didn't need them. why would they always be crawling with them...That's the way I look at it anyways. BUT> NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH BEATLES ON MY ROSES!!!!!!lol

Edgewater, MD(Zone 7a)

the ants always run my peony, Ive had it for like four years but the first two had it in a real bad spot, never bloomed, moved into my first house and brought that poor little plant with me, it grew really well but no blooms. I figured I just ticked it off. This past spring I had a bud, I was so excited, maybe just a couple of days before it would have bloomed my big dumb Rottie came up, bit it off and spit it on ground. ggggrrrr. Im gonna put barbed wire around it next year.(just kdding)

Cuyahoga Falls, OH(Zone 5a)

As I understand it, the ants eat the waxy film that covers peony buds. Without the ants, the buds won't open. However -
Joan J said hers open just fine without the ants !

Sacramento, CA(Zone 9a)

I started planting peonies about 6 years ago and have around 10 of the herbaceous kinds. I have not noticed whether the presence of ants help the blooming process or not. What I have noticed is that in areas of my yard where the plants bloom later, the exposure to the increase heat/sunlight in afternoons tends to make the buds wilt before they fully open. I am planning to move those plants to where they get more early afternoon sun to coax them to bloom earlier, before the hot Sacramento heat zaps them.

Barrie, Canada(Zone 5b)

Moving and dividing peonies will prevent them from blooming for a year or more, so be prepared to wait a few summers for lots of really great blooms. They will come, it just takes time.

I saw this on a garden show on TV: mark the directions (N,S,E,W) on the plant before moving it and put it back facing exactly the same after you move it and it will suffer less shock and bloom sooner. I've never done this, but it's interesting.

This message was edited Dec 30, 2003 10:40 AM

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