The Japanese peony, also called the mountain peony, is a perennial flowering shrub. Blooming in late spring to midsummer, the Japanese peony will provide your garden with fragrant, white blooms from May to July. The roots of the Japanese peony are sensitive to disturbance, so it is best to start your seeds in what will be its permanent home in the garden. The Japanese peony is hardy to USDA zones 3b to 8.
Choose a sunny area of the garden with no low spots that will allow water to puddle.
Dig up the soil in the planting area, using your gardening fork, to a depth of 12 inches. Turn the soil as you remove it and crush any large clods of dirt.
Add a 4-inch layer of compost or well-rotted manure and mix it in well with the soil. Use the rake to level the soil so that there are no peaks and valleys.
Plant the seeds 1/4 inch into the soil and cover lightly. Space your seeds 12 to 15 inches apart.
Water the soil often to keep it from drying out, but never let it get soggy.