Tree Peony Planting


Tree peonies (Paeonia suffruticosa) provide the same fragrant bright blooms as herbaceous peonies but can grow in both sun and shade. The national flower of China, tree peonies hold a special place in Asian culture. Since these plants are shrubs--unlike herbaceous peonies--they do not die-back to the ground in the fall. They also come in a wider array of colors including white, yellow, green, red and purple.

Step 1

Select a location for your tree peony. The plants like well-draining soil and can grow in either full sun or part shade.

Step 2

Test the soil pH with a home test kit. Tree peonies fare best in a soil with a pH of 6.5 to 7.5. Most kits require you to collect a soil sample, moisten the soil sample then place a color change strip on the wet soil. Check the pH value of the color change strip using the corresponding chart. Amend your soil pH if necessary by adding sulfur to lower the pH or lime to raise it.

Step 3

Dig a hole that's twice the size of your tree peony's root ball. Remove rocks or weeds from the hole.

Step 4

Take your tree peony out of its container. Break apart the root ball with your fingers.

Step 5

Place the tree peony in the hole so that the red buds (or root collar) rest just above the soil surface. Hold the peony in place with one hand and fill in the hole with soil with the other. Gently firm the soil around the plant.

Step 6

Water your newly planted tree peony until the soil becomes saturated.

Things You'll Need

  • pH test kit
  • Lime (optional)
  • Sulfur (optional)
  • Tree peony plant
  • Water


  • Rare Found: Planting and Caring of Tree Peony
  • Iowa State University Extension: Tree Peonies
  • The Garden Helper: How To Test and Adjust your Soil pH
Keywords: tree peony, tree peony planting, tree peony care

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.