Peonies are the "aristocrat" of the perennial garden with their showy profusion of beautiful flowers in the spring. They are reliable bloomers and will provide beautiful bouquets of wonderful fresh cut flowers. Peonies are very long-lived and become even more spectacular with age.
There are two types of peonies; the more familiar herbaceous peonies that die back to the ground each winter and the woody stemmed tree peonies, Paeonia suffruticosa. Read more about tree peonies.
Herbaceous peonies usually bloom for four to six weeks in May and early June. They produce large flowers that may be either single, semi-double, or fully double depending on the cultivar. Learn more about peony flower forms.
Peonies bloom best when planted in full sun, however in warmer zones, afternoon shade will protect the flowers from excessive heat and prolong the bloom.
Plant peonies 3-4 feet apart so they have plenty of air circulation. This will help reduce disease problems. We also recommend that you do not mulch peonies as they can be prone to crown rot.
Fertilize peonies in the spring and fall with Espoma Plant-tone.
Peonies are susceptible to botrytis blight and other fungal diseases so keep a close watch in the spring and spray with a fungicide like Mancozeb, Daconil, or copper fungicide if necessary. Read more about botrytis blight.
The best time to divide and transplant peonies is in September through October or November. Read more about dividing peonies.
For use as a cut flower, cut the peony stems when the first petal breaks from the bud. Do not cut more than half of the blooms from a plant and always leave at least the bottom two leaves on the stem.
Pulmonaria perform best in full or part shade in rich, moist but well-drained soils. They do not like hot afternoon sun and will usually wilt under these conditions. Keep well-watered during hot dry summers to maintain fresh, perky foliage.
At Viette's, we have beautiful display gardens of peonies. They are a sight to see in May!
Visit our Peony Photo Gallery for photos of some of our peony varieties. We take peony orders from spring through fall and dig them fresh for shipment or pick up in late September - October.