How to Cultivate Peonies


Peonies are excellent garden flowers. With their large, full blooms and dark green foliage they are able to accent just about any landscape. With blooms ranging in color from soft whites to vibrant purples and reds, peonies are usually planted in the fall and bloom throughout late spring and summer. Peonies make great starter flowers and require little care to always look their best.

Step 1

Plant the peony during the fall in an area that will receive full sun at least six hours a day. Peonies can handle some shade throughout the day, but do not fare well in areas that are partially shaded for most of the day.

Step 2

Plant the peony in well drained soil that does not pool water. Overexposure to water increases the chances of fungus and root rot.

Step 3

Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the peony plant during the spring and winter mulch to help retain moisture during the warm weather. Remove all of the mulch during the winter and replace it with straw to insulate the roots of the plant.

Step 4

Fertilize the peony plants once in early spring to promote healthier growth. Use an all-purpose liquid fertilizer that you can purchase at your local garden specialty store for best results.

Step 5

Water the peony plant as needed, depending on the weather conditions, to maintain constant moist soil. Do not over water the peony plants. Too much water increases the chances of disease.

Step 6

Secure the peony plant to a trellis or support structure to keep the plant from breaking when the blooms become heavy. Use yarn or a soft string to secure the plant to the trellis.

Step 7

Prune back the plant during the winter using sharp pruning shears. Leave 3 to 5 inches of the stalks/stems of the peony plant sticking up from the ground. Pruning back the plant will encourage thicker, new growth in the spring.

Tips and Warnings

  • Do not use wire to secure the peony plant to the trellis or support structure. If the plant bends over the wire during a wind storm, or because the blooms become heavy, the wire can easily cut through the stems of the plant.

Things You'll Need

  • Mulch
  • Straw
  • All-purpose liquid fertilizer
  • Water
  • Trellis
  • Yarn
  • Sharp pruning shears


  • The National Gardening Association: All About Peonies
Keywords: Growing peony pants, Peony plant gardening, Cultivating peony plants

About this Author

Jason M. Bruner is a freelance writer who has been in the field for more than five years. His content has been previously published on sites such as eHow.