In fall 2019, I planted two peony bare roots. Last spring, they grew about 4-6 inches above ground and then stopped growing altogether. I read that if they didn't grow at all after several months, that they would never grow (which now seems like bad advice). So late last summer, I dug them up and threw them away. Today I went out to my garden and saw what I thought was a hosta poking through the soil in a strange spot. I dug it up to move it and realized it was a peony -- already with a much bigger root than the ones I dug up last summer. I'm wondering how this happened and also if I can plant the root in a large pot, since my garden is small and there is another plant where I originally had the peony.
Peony Appeared Where I Dug Up Bare Root
I lost a few peonies when we started gardening in Georgia. The advice on the package was to plant 4 to 6 inches deep which we did. Later on I found differing advice for the south - plant the eyes just below the surface. That made all the difference in the world. Maybe this is what you experienced? They do best in full sun too.
I haven't been gardening for long but one of the first hard and expensive lessons I've learned is not to follow the growers directions. I guess they want the plants to die so you'll keep buying new ones? IDK. I had an unexpected peony pop up in my garden too. I'd taken up the roots to move it and a piece had broken off and remained in the ground. The little booger was only the size of a quarter and laid dormant for months building up energy before a few leaves popped up. Thanks for the advice on planting close to the surface hcmcdole, I just bought more roots and I'll give it a try.
I’m still a peony apprentice but do tons of research. I’m in Colorado, zone 5b and plant my peonies 1-2 inches below the surface and they have all done well. The plants receiving full sun do best.
I suggest 2 FANTASTIC books that made all the difference: “Peony” by Michener and Adelman and “How Not to Kill a Peony” by Stephanie Walker.
I also suggest buying roots only from peony farmers such as Adelman. Below are photos of roots I received last fall. The healthy/robust roots are from Adelman. The other roots were not. Source to remain nameless...