How To Plant Peony Roots in Fall? Beginner’s Guide

To plant, insert your eye roots into the ground with the roots pointing downward and upward and the “eyes” poking out just above the soil. Give peony plants a distance of 2-3 feet between them to grow into full, mature plants. Peonies are exquisite flowers that bloom in the spring and summer. They bloom profusely and have a fascinating, unique shape. Their foliage is soft and feathery. They are one of the most popular flowers in the world, commonly grown as ornamentals. Peonies thrive in many soil conditions, including sandy, loamy, drought-tolerant, or full sun.

The peony plant has specific planting requirements that must be followed to get ideal results. In this post, we will discuss planting peony roots in the fall.

Where to Plant Peony Roots

Peony roots should be planted in suitable soil in the fall, only about 2-3 inches deep. Plant the root, so the top is about 1/2 – 2 inches below the ground. Otherwise, peonies may not bloom. Most peonies growers sell their root divisions in the fall for planting at this time.

If a peony has been in the ground for ten years or more, it may need to be divided and replanted in the fall. This can be done by cutting back the foliage to ground level and removing as much soil as possible before replanting with fresh soil and compost. After planting, the peony root division will require some care to ensure healthy growth and flowering.

Peony Roots Planting Guide

Peony root divisions and grafted peonies should be planted for optimum root development in the fall. Planting peonies in the fall is beneficial for a few reasons, including allowing for greater root growth and development. In addition, planting peony root divisions early can help them bloom earlier than bare-root planting. If planting peony root divisions, it is important to point the shoots upwards, as pointing them downwards can cause the plant to grow too long and weak. 

Potted peonies bloom sooner than bare-root plants, so consider planting both peonies in your garden if space permits. When planting peony root divisions, ensure they are pointed upwards to improve their growth and health over time. Finally, when planting peony roots, make sure that you plant them up and not down so that they can maximize their potential for growth and bloom.

Planting Peony Roots

Step 1: Choose a Planting Location

Peony roots can be planted in the fall for optimal root development. They should be planted relatively close to the soil surface, only 12 inches deep. The best location for peony plants is in a region with sub-freezing temperatures for at least six weeks of the year. Peony roots should be planted in an area that provides some afternoon shade if living in warmer regions of the plant’s hardiness zones.

First, choose a planting location and prepare the soil for peony roots. Then plant the root clump, not damaging the root shoots or flowers. After planting, mulch around the peony root bed to protect it from drying and provide moisture retention. Fill gaps between peony roots with soil or compost to ensure a strong root system. Fall is the ideal time for planting peony roots for optimal root development.

Step 2: Unpack the Peony Roots

After you receive your peony root shipment, the first thing you need to do is to remove the plastic wrappers. Next, carefully unwrap the roots and place them in a pot or soil container. Make sure to water the roots well and fertilize them as needed. Peony root plants will grow slowly during the first few months but eventually become stronger. Once fully grown and established, they can be planted in a garden or flowerbed with other flowers and plants. To maximize their growth potential, it’s best to plant peony root plants in areas with full sunlight and good drainage. This will help them thrive and reach their full potential over time.

Step 3: Soak the Peony Roots

To plant peony roots:

  • Ensure they are dormant and ready to plant.
  • Soak the peony roots in lukewarm water for up to four hours to rehydrate them. This will help them start growing quickly in the soil.
  • Transplant them into the soil after ensuring they are well-drained and watered.

Applying fertilizer on peony roots can also help them grow faster. Pruning of peony roots should be done if they are damaged or diseased. Transplanting peonies in the fall is the best way to ensure their roots have enough time to grow before the next season begins. This will help ensure consistent root growth over time.

Step 4: Plant the Peony Roots

Peony roots can be planted in the fall to provide flowers for the winter season. Before planting peony roots, ensure they are well hydrated by soaking them in lukewarm water. Planting peony roots in a sunny spot with 6–8 hours of direct sunlight daily is also beneficial. Plant peony roots at the same depth as in the pot or nursery. 

Soak peony roots in lukewarm water before planting to rehydrate them. Planting peony roots in fall can help you get a continuous supply of flowers throughout winter. Watering the entire planting area deeply and applying a layer of organic mulch can help maintain soil moisture and improve root growth. Finally, ensure the soil is well-drained and slightly acidic to neutral (pH 6.5-7.0).

Step 5: Water & Mulch

After planting peony roots, ensure the soil is moist but not soggy. To water peony roots, it’s best to water them deeply so that the plant can absorb all of the moisture. You should water peony roots once or twice a week until they are well-established in the soil. 

Once you’ve finished planting peony roots, water them deeply with clean water after every watering. If the soil settles significantly, you can add more soil to top it up. After watering peonies, apply a layer of organic mulch to keep moisture in the soil and prevent weeds from growing. This will help keep your peonies healthy and thriving over the long term.

Caring for Newly-Planted Peonies

When planting peony seeds, it’s important to follow a few basic guidelines to ensure the plants grow into healthy and vibrant plants. Firstly, newly planted peonies should be watered deeply once a week. This will help them develop strong root systems and good growth. More frequent watering may be necessary for dry conditions.

It is best to fertilize peonies once they are well-established, as this may cause the plants to become nutrient-dependent. After flowers have faded, remove spent flower heads and the top 6 to 8″ of the stem to keep the plants looking neat and prevent seed heads from forming too quickly.

Planting peony roots in fertile soil and giving them at least 6 hours of sun is vital for their development and growth. In addition, peonies should be maintained at a temperature of 45-60°F, so make sure the soil is neither too hot nor too cold when growing peonies.

Choosing Peony Roots

If you’re planning to grow peonies in your garden, choosing healthy, robust peonies roots is important for optimal plant development. Peony roots can be purchased in various forms, including bare root divisions and grafted trees.

Specialty peony roots can be purchased in the fall season when root development is at its peak. This ensures peonies have time to grow and develop into sturdy plants before winter. 

Gardeners should also select healthy peony roots with vibrant green foliage and pink or white flowers. These characteristics indicate that the peony is healthy and has developed properly.

How Deep Do You Plant Bare Root Peonies?

It would help if you planted peonies no deeper than 2 inches below the soil surface. This will ensure that the soil around the peony roots is well-compact and not shaded by the peony root’s canopy.

First, cut off any damaged or dead foliage to prepare peonies for planting. Then, dig a generous-sized hole, about 2 feet deep and 2 feet across. The root should be planted so that the eyes face upwards and the roots are 1/2 to 2 inches below the ground.

If you are new to planting peonies, you can follow these steps to ensure a successful planting experience:

  1. Cut off a portion of the crown from each peony root with a clean pair of scissors.
  2. Sprinkle root grow into the planting hole for the aid of establishment. The peony root should then be planted halfway into the soil, with a crown of root facing upwards and the roots touching the soil.
  3. Gently water the planting hole to help settle the soil around it.