How to Plant Bare Root Peonies


Peonies are lovely. Every spring you'll see the green shoots popping up, and soon you have a peony bush covered in hard, little green buds. When the buds open, these lush, fragrant flowers are breathtaking in the garden. From hot pink to soft white in color, they make great indoor arrangements and spectacular features in a perennial bed. Here's how you can plant them in your garden.

Step 1

Pick a location with full sun for best growth and flower production. Peonies can survive and grow in partial shade, but will perform much better in full sun. You want well-drained soil, too, for best growth.

Step 2

Dig a hole large enough to hold the entire root system of your bare root peony without cramping it.

Step 3

Place the peony into the hole so that the top of the root system will be just a couple of inches below the soil surface.

Step 4

Backfill the hole with a rich potting soil or compost mix. Pat it down firmly around the root system.

Step 5

Water very well after planting.

Step 6

Expect that your peony plant may not produce many blooms the first year. Richard Jauron of Iowa State University's Department of Horticulture recommends pinching off blooms the first year to encourage root growth. Wait through that year, and you'll soon be enjoying those lush blooms in your own yard and home.

Things You'll Need

  • Shovel
  • Potting soil or compost mix
  • Water


  • Richard Jauron, Iowa State University Extension, on Transplanting Peonies
Keywords: transplanting peonies, planting bare root peonies, how to plant peony

About this Author

Annie Mueller is a professional writer and blogger. Since 2003 she has written extensively on small business, finances, parenting, education and personal growth, and has been published on Financial Edge and many other websites. Mueller attended Missouri Baptist College and earned her Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude, in English from Mississippi State University.