How to Water Peonies


Peonies are perennial plants that produce large, showy flowers in mid to late spring. These long-lived plants grow 2 to 3 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide. Once established, peonies are drought-tolerant plants. In order to develop a healthy root system and a vigorous plant, peonies must have a sufficient amount of water.

Step 1

Pour 1 or 2 gallons of water slowly onto the plant immediately after planting. This helps settle the soil around the flower, ensuring that the roots do not sink too deep.

Step 2

Water the peonies to a depth of 12 inches every 10 to 14 days after planting through the first growing season. Slow, deep watering encourages a strong root system.

Step 3

Cultivate around the plants, eliminating weeds and breaking up hard soil surfaces. Pulling out weeds decreases competition for water and breaking the surface of the soil aids moisture penetration. Do not cultivate more than 1 or 2 inches deep or you risk damaging the roots.

Step 4

Water the peonies in the spring, especially during bud formation and flowering. Continue watering slowly and deeply so the plant continues to form a deep-root system. Watering at this point is especially essential for flower formation.

Step 5

Water only during dry periods in the summer. In the fall, give the plant a good drink because it develops its roots at this time.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Cultivator


  • Clemson Extenion: Peonies
  • Kansas State University: Peonies in the Garden
  • Iowa State University: Growing Garden Peonies
  • Washington State University: Peony
Keywords: watering peonies, cultivating peonies, drought-tolerant peonies

About this Author

Sarah Morse recently graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English language and literature. She has been freelancing for three months and got her start writing for an environmental website.