Garden design and maintenance

Planting and caring for peonies – tips on pruning, fertilizer & buckets

Peonies plants salmon-color-coral-pink-pretty-planting-garden

There is still a little time until autumn, but it doesn’t hurt to think about the growth in your garden now. Because autumn is exactly the right time of year for new plants, as it is neither too hot nor too cold and there is also enough rain and moisture so that the new plant can catch up quickly. A particularly popular plant species that is pleasing to the eye in late spring is the peony. Have you always wanted to bring the wonderful flowers into your garden or add a few more to the ones you already have, you can do so soon. In today’s article, we would like to explain in more detail what you should pay attention to when planting peonies and how to properly care for them afterwards. Beautify your garden successfully with our tips.

When to plant peonies

Peonies plants fertilize-cut-hobby-gardener-fence

As mentioned earlier, autumn is the best time for the garden and new plantings. Since late summer is no longer so hot in our latitudes, you can start then. If you are not yet prepared for late summer, don’t worry because you have until November if you want to plant new peonies. But what if you missed fall? Can you plant peonies in spring or do you have to wait until next autumn? You don’t have to worry here, because spring is also a suitable time for new plantings.

Choose location for peonies

Peonies plants yellow-orange-flowering-time-blooming-spring-summer

As with any other plant, the right location is important for the best development and thus also for a splendid bloom. In the case of the peony, this depends primarily on the type of peony. Most of the specimens like full sun. A penumbra for the hot lunchtime can also be considered. Although the peony loves the sun, it feels most comfortable when it is restricted, for example, by leaves and branches of trees or other plants. The rest of the day can be sunnier.

When you plant the peonies, it is also important that, depending on the type of peonies, you guarantee sufficient space between the new and existing or additional new plants. The shrub peony needs more space than the herbaceous peony, for example, because it grows fairly wide. Depending on the type, an area of ​​60 x 60 to 100 x 100 cm should be taken into account. In terms of soil, they are very undemanding. Although a humus-clay soil is the peony’s favorite, it won’t bother them if these conditions aren’t met.

Planting peonies – How deep?


To ensure that the flowering time is timely and at all, care must be taken that the plant is not buried too deeply in the earth. In principle, this moment is the most important when replanting, which is why special attention should be paid to it. When planting peonies, new shoots (or buds, also called eyes) should not be more than three to five centimeters below the surface of the earth. If you are not sure, it is best to check with the nursery where you buy the peony to be sure.

Plant the peony


Of course, as with any other type of plant, the soil needs to be well loosened when you plant the peonies so that the roots can later spread out more easily. The planting hole should ideally have a size of 40 to 60 cm. Under no circumstances should you choose a smaller size, because then it could become too tight for the peony. You mix the excavated earth with some compost before you put it back into the hole. In this way you provide the plant with sufficient nutrients right from the start. First add some soil and then the peony. If your roots are too long, you can trim them with scissors. This will prevent them from kinking and being damaged during planting.

Finally, the peony plant naturally needs plenty of water. The earth can get nice and muddy here. The peony may sink a little into the ground. If this is the case, pull it up a little if necessary and fill in with more soil.

Plant and care for peonies

Peony-plants-white-bodeaux-garden design-inspiration

Although the peonies should be watered more frequently in the first year, it is considered that they cannot tolerate waterlogging and get along better with a longer dry period. So don’t water them too often. Daily watering should only be considered on hot days. If this is forgotten, however, it does not harm the plant immediately. That makes them extremely easy to care for.

Fertilize peonies


Fertilization takes place after the peonies bloom, which takes place between April and June. The reason for this is that the peony then begins to prepare for the next bloom in the coming year. Compost (which is best made by yourself) and other natural fertilizers are best. It is important that the selected material is low in nitrogen, as nitrogen provides better conditions for fungi, which every gardener wants to avoid. A second fertilization is recommended before the first shoot.

Cut peonies


The peony or the above-ground parts die by themselves in winter. However, annual pruning is still recommended in order to avoid diseases. Especially the gray mold is meant here. This forms on the leaves and survives the cold winter without any problems. This means that the new shoots are also infected in spring. The best time to cut the peony is in autumn. Leave about a hand’s breadth of stalks. The scissors used are then disinfected in order not to unintentionally infect other plants.

Transplant peonies

peonies plants pink-pink-fragrance-care-tips

On this subject, you should know that the plant itself is rather sensitive to transplanting, because its quite delicate roots can be easily damaged and disease is not uncommon after transplanting. So before you decide to do it, you should think twice. And that also applies to the new location. Be sure of that. Not that after a while you don’t like this location either.

The flowering period is the most unsuitable. Instead, choose August, or better yet, September for this purpose. During this time, a better success can be noted and the plants suffer less or no damage. Use caution when digging. The roots should be as few as possible. If you want to propagate your peony, now is the perfect time for that too. Before you plant the peonies, it’s easy to divide them. It is best to use a sharp knife for this. Every single piece of root should have at least three buds. Also be prepared for the fact that these parts will not bloom for the next two years.

Peonies planting in the pot


Peonies can also be raised in the tub, but a flowering period is not always guaranteed. Choose a container that is at least 40 cm in diameter and 50 cm deep so that the plant can develop well. Avoid plastic as a material and guarantee the potted plant at least 4 hours of blazing sun a day. The way you plant the peonies is the same as that for the garden. She can and must even spend the winter outside. It is best to make them winterproof from October. To do this, place the pot on the wall of a house or another place sheltered from the wind. Then cover the plant with leaves to protect the roots from the cold. From minus 10 degrees, fleece is also recommended, with which the entire bucket is covered.