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How To Grow Peonies In Autumn [Growing Guide]

How To Grow Peonies In Autumn [Growing Guide]

Growing Guide: How To Grow Peonies In Autumn

Autumn is the perfect time to plant peony roots. Planting at this time of year allows peonies to grow new hair roots. This keeps them firmly planted in the ground and prepares them for the winter. Are you planning to plant peonies in autumn, and do you want to learn how to grow these beautiful flowers yourself successfully? This growing guide will help you plant and grow peonies.

Good to know: You can plant bare-root peonies in autumn or spring. Do you want to grow them in spring? Use our guide How To Grow Peonies In Spring’.

Quick guide:

  • Planting season: Autumn (October through mid-November)
  • Place: Full sun, but can tolerate half a day of sun
  • Soil: Well-drained, various soil types
  • Water: Regularly in the first year, then every few weeks in hot summers
  • Fertiliser: In early spring (10-20-20)
  • Mulch: Mulching is optional in very cold winter climates
  • After blooming: Cut stems to ground level in late autumn and remove from the garden

Plant Bare-Root Peonies In Autumn With Our 6 Most Important Tips

1. Planting Season

Plant bare-root peonies in autumn, the prime planting season for peonies. October through mid-November is the best time for planting to allow the roots to be established before winter. You can also transplant potted peonies in the autumn or spring.

2. Soil And Sunlight

Peonies thrive in well-drained soil and prefer full sun, although they can tolerate half a day of sun. A bit of shade can be beneficial for a longer bloom season. Peonies can grow in various soil types, including clay soil, but you can amend the soil if desired.

3. Planting Technique

Dig a hole around 38 cm (15 × 15 inches) and fill it with the spaded soil. Place the peony root downward at any angle, with the eyes (buds) facing upwards. The roots should be close to the surface, with just 2.5-5 cm (1-2 inches) of soil covering the eyes. Avoid planting too deeply, as it can result in foliage growth without flowers. Water the newly planted peony right away.

4. Watering

Water your peonies thoroughly upon planting and during dry weather in the first year. Once established with flower and peony buds, peonies are fairly drought-tolerant but appreciate a good watering every few weeks in hot summers. Let the soil almost dry out between watering.

5. Fertilising And Deadheading

Fertilise your peonies in early spring with a 10-20-20 fertiliser. You can also fertilise them after they bloom. Deadhead the spent flowers and remove dead foliage to promote better blooming. Cut the peony stems to ground level in late autumn and remove them from the garden for sanitation purposes. Avoid composting peony leaves and stems.

6. Peony Care In The UK

Mulching is unnecessary, but some gardeners in very cold winter climates may choose to mulch for protection and remove it in the spring. If your peonies lose vigour over time, check for issues such as:

  • Buried roots due to mulch
  • Excessive shade from trees
  • Tree roots crowding the peony roots
  • Excessive nitrogen

If needed, you can dig, divide, and replant a division with 3–5 eyes in a different spot with good sun and drainage to rejuvenate your peonies.

Tip: Do you want to propagate herbaceous peonies or tree peonies? A herbaceous peony can be propagated by division in autumn, while a tree peony plant is better propagated by layering.

Waiting Will Be Rewarded With Beautiful Flower Buds And Blooms

Remember that peonies establish a vigorous root system in the first 2 years. By the third spring, you will see growing peonies with beautiful flower buds and blooms in your garden. With proper care, peonies can thrive for decades without needing division unless you want to propagate or share additional plants.

Learn more: Fun Facts About Peonies

Choose Top Quality Peonies Perennials From DutchGrown

Our large peony roots (with 3 to 5 eyes) are freshly harvested from Dutch growing fields. You will find more than 25 unique varieties of the best quality, from herbaceous peonies to tree and intersectional peonies. Select peony perennial plants for autumn from DutchGrown, and revel in their stunning colours and delightful fragrances that will enhance your garden all spring/summer long. Choose our bare roots for the best start to your peony-growing journey.

How To Grow Peonies In Autumn [Growing Guide]
Meet Ben, our Flower Bulb Specialist
Meet Ben, our Flower Bulb Specialist

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