Planting PEONIES

TadsTads Posts: 197
. I have never grown peonies, & am staying with my daughter in Guildford, who wants me to plant her a peony.   Can another kind member please give me some pointers about peony varieties, type of soil required, when to plant, what to feed, & their flowering season - I believe they need full sun🤔💕. xx “Thankyou” 
😊 we 


  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 282
    Best to Google this as you want a lot of info. What type of soil does she have? Preferred colour choice would narrow down varieties
    I had 2 x Sarah Bernhardt in a bed planted 10ft apart one did well the other not so well but as that was 3 houses ago I can't remember sun levels. I know they won't flower if you plant the crown lower than an inch or so. I never fed them except for the occasional bit of chicken manure every couple of years. Had good scent but very top heavy so needed good support.

  • TadsTads Posts: 197
    mmmn, 🤔 i have googled a bit, wasn’t v satisfactory I didn’t feel, except I have noted not burying the eyes more than 2” deep :  i wondered about some anecdotal & advice tips to guide me... 🤔 I will have another google tho.   Thanks for responding K67😊 
    We are on Clay soil here in Guildford, which I have gritted &/mulched, added a bit of compost, etc.   

  • TadsTads Posts: 197
    colour choice white or palest pink 😊 thanx , Tads 😊
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 21,321
    I'd plant it shallower than that.
    Clay is fine - as long as you can ensure it's well enough drained. The addition of plenty of grit and manure/compost into the planting hole will help though. It depends how wet an area you're in too. They love sun, but will also take some shade. 
    I'm currently admiring mine here as it's just started flowering over the last few days. It'll be annihilated with the wind tonight possibly though! It's one of the main problems, so make sure to have a good support in place before they start into growth properly.
    They're mainly whites and pinks, and can be open, single type flowers or semi/full doubles. There are plenty of online specialist stockists, which will offer more choice than most GCs   :)
    to walk through a forest is to touch the past

  • K67K67 Leicestershire Posts: 282
    Should be fine on clay we had soil that had clay you could make into pots. Sounds like you have prepared right so have a look at a few websites that sell peonies. Clare Austin in one. 
    I always found them easy to look after provided you allowed plenty of room, got your support in early and it didn't rain heavily when the flowers were at their best. After flowering I used to cut the stems back by a third just to tidy it up as they are a bit boring.
    I know you can get different flowering months so depending on your border and garden size you could go for several?
  • aureliecelerieraureliecelerier Posts: 157
    Peonies like the holy grail of soil. It does not matter if yours is clayish, as @Fairygirl ; said make sure that you add lots of grit, manure and compost in the planting hole. Give space to your peony, they dislike competition and plant them in full sun if possible (they can grow in shady spots but they will be smaller and it will take them longer to flower). Plant the crown no deeper than 2.5cm below the surface but in winter make sure the crown is covered otherwise it will rot down with the rain/frost. Some peonies flowers in May, others in June. Mulch every year but do not cover the crown too much. Flowers are heavy and will need to be stalked. I think this time of the year is perfect to buy peonies. Some say they are best planted bare roots but I would disagree. Do not order them online, instead go to a reputable nursery near your house and choose a plant with as many stalks as you can find. If you look after them well, they will grow and flower quicker. Sarah bernhardt is indeed a beautiful and very reliable variety. 
  • TadsTads Posts: 197
    “thankyou” members,  for your responses, they have helped me enormously, you are all v kind & I am appreciating all of your advice ✅ 

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