Plant a peony

Conditions are perfect right now, and plenty are available to buy.

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For a plant so bold and with flowers so big, beautiful and dramatic, it’s always amazing to know that peonies are really easy to grow, and with good siting and a little ongoing care, they will perform wonderfully each year for you.

While autumn is a good time to settle in bare root peonies, so they develop good root systems, it’s also perfectly fine to get planting both now, in early spring as the soil warms up again. Perfect for those who didn’t manage to plant one then, or didn’t have the space till now. Potted peonies can be planted at any time as long as the soil is pliable – the soil is pliable and warm now, providing the perfect conditions. And right now there’s a whole host of varieties available in garden centres and online to plant up, too.

In a sunny or partly shady, moist but well-drained spot, dig in a helping of compost or well-rotted manure before you plant. For bare root, plant with the ‘eyes’ (new buds) just below the surface – about 3cm down. Potted peonies can be planted as other container plants – level with the top of the compost to the soil surface. And that’s it – just water them in well. Stake plants if needed and cut back the foliage to the ground in autumn.