How Do You Care for Peonies?


Quick Answer

To care for peonies, provide ample sunlight, use the right soil, keep the plants well-watered, deadhead spent blossoms, add mulch, remove weeds and prepare it for cold weather. Caring for peonies is fairly easy with some basic maintenance.

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Full Answer

  1. Provide plenty of sunlight

    Peonies thrive in full sunlight. A full day of sun is ideal, but they require at least six hours of sunlight every day. Peonies are susceptible to fungal diseases that develop due to a lack of sunlight. A lack of sun also causes unhealthy blossoms.

  2. Use the right soil

    Peonies require fertile, neutral soil with plenty of drainage. Adding organic material to the soil encourages healthy plants, and soil that is sand or clay based should be enriched with compost.

  3. Water the plants

    Peonies should be watered well on a regular basis. Avoid saturating the soil, and make sure the water can drain.

  4. Prune as needed

    Remove spent blossoms to promote healthier blooms. This also helps the plant to grow robustly the following year.

  5. Weed and mulch

    Remove any weeds that grow near the peonies. Add 3 inches of shredded bark, avoiding the base of the stem.

  6. Prepare the plant for winter

    In cold climates, remove excess foliage after the leaves turn yellow during autumn. After the ground freezes, add 3 inches of shredded bark or straw at the base of the plant. For tree peonies, wrap the bushes with burlap towards the end of autumn as the weather gets cold.

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