I've been growing my own peonies for over 13 years now! I remember the first peony I planted in my townhome. It had SO many flowers on it (close to 50 buds each year) and I've been hooked ever since. My Grandma also had them in her garden. Our family has actually transplanted her peonies into our gardens, so the flowers are extra special to us!
Along the way, I've found what has worked and what hasn't and I thought I'd share our best peony tips with you! From growing them to cutting them for bouquets, you should hopefully learn something new when it comes to peonies.
First, I'll share my tips for planting and growing peonies. First of all, the root/bulb that peonies grow from is called a tuber. They look like woody roots when you purchase them to plant.
You'll want to plant tubers in the Fall (October seems to work best here in Oregon). If you have a plant that already has stems/leaves/buds that came in a pot from the garden store, you can plant them in the Spring. I typically plant them in April if they are potted vs. tubers.
click here if you're interested in our dining room/kitchen decor!
When you're ready to plant your peony, make sure you chose a spot in your garden that gets LOTS of sun. They love sun! I choose a spot that might get a little morning shade, but mostly mid/afternoon sun (6-8 hours).
here is the peony plant before the buds show up
Peonies don't like to be planted too deep. Plant them 2-3 inches below the soil. You'll probably feel like they're too shallow, but thats what they like best! Plant them with the 'eye' facing up.
If you planted your peony tubers in the fall or they have come back from the previous year, you'll want to watch for the red shoots popping up in mid-late April. Once the shoots have popped up out of the ground, I add this bloom booster. I really love it and I purchased it on Amazon. It's a super-premium bloom booster which consists of nutrients, amino acids, vitamins, and organics. Plus, you hardly need any and it does the trick!
My mom and I both used this on all our plants and we couldn't believe how many flowers we grew.
I really don't do much else when it comes to plant food for peonies. The above bloom booster works so well, I don't really feel like I need much else!
Peonies are top heavy, so you'll need to get a peony cage for them when they grow. You can grab these at any garden store! Once your buds start to show growth, clip back the smaller buds that are growing on the same stem as the largest bud. This will help send all the nutrients to the top performer!
I'll talk about how to best cut peonies in a bit, but first I want to talk about what to do when your peonies are done growing. You'll want to cut the dead buds, but don't cut them down to the ground! Once your peony plant has turned brown/yellow in the fall or after the first frost you can cut them down to the ground. They will pretty much go away during the late fall/winter and you might even forget they are there!
Now that we've shared our best peony growth tips, let's talk about how/when to cut your gorgeous blooms! Peonies typically bloom throughout the month of May and into early June.
The best time to cut your peony flower is in the early morning or late evening. This helps to ensure your flower doesn't get stressed. The best flower to clip is when they still looks like a bud but is soft when you pinch it. This will provide the longest vase life. I also cut them after they've freshly bloomed and they seem to last quite a while too!
this bud is at the perfect stage to cut for your arrangement
After you cut your peony flower off the plant, you'll want to then cut at a 45 degree angle above one of the nodes. Remove all leaves that might touch the water. This helps to prevent bacteria growth. Change your water every other day or so and re-cut the stem to give it the most chance to soak up water.
here is a stem cut at a 45 degree angle
You can also store your peonies in the refrigerator at night if you'd like. This will help prolong their life.
If you follow these tips, your arrangement should last about a week!
Tips for Keeping Cut Hydrangeas Fresh // Flower Fields in Oregon // Visiting the Peony Fields
Hopefully our best peony tips have been helpful! Do you have any great peony tips you think I should add? Please let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment below or feel free to DM me on Instagram!