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How to Grow Peonies in Texas

peony image by ChristArt from

Peonies are perennial plants with tuberous roots and are prized for their large, fragrant blooms. Peonies require a cool winter in order to grow and flower, and therefore, not all areas of Texas are suitable for planting peonies. They are more likely to bloom the first year if you plant them in the fall and the tubers contain three or more eyes (buds). Before planting your peony tubers, examine them for rot. Fortunately, you can cut away rotten spots with a knife rather than throwing the plant out.

Select a peony that is hardy in your USDA plant hardiness zone. Texas consists of zones 6 to 9 and most peonies are hardy anywhere from zones 2 to 8. Unless you live in zone 9 where your winters are too warm, you should be able to find peonies at your local nursery, order some online or through a catalog that will grow well in your climate.

Choose an area of your garden that receives at least six hours of sunlight. No matter where you live in Texas, summers are sizzling hot. As a result, choose an area where your peonies will receive the majority of the sunlight in the morning and are lightly shaded in the afternoon.

Create a rich, well draining planting hole for each of your peonies to grow over the years. Space each hole 3 feet apart from one another. Dig out each hole so that is 12 to 18 inches deep and 18 inches wide. Mix in 2 to 4 inches of compost, peat moss or another similar organic matter into the soil. Sprinkle 1/4 to 1/2 pound of a balanced fertilizer labeled 10-10-10 at the bottom of each hole.

Fill the hole back in with the amended soil so that you leave enough space to accommodate your peony tubers. The eyes should be at the top of the hole, but only 1 to 2 inches beneath the soil.

Water your peonies with about an inch of water. Do not add a winter mulch over peonies in Texas.

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