How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Tree Peonies
We ship 3-4 year old Tree Peonies shipped in 1.07 gallon/4.08 liter containers. We ship weekly from March-June and resume again in August through early November, weather permitting. Our containerized Tree Peony plants may be planted any time in the season before the ground freezes.
Recommended to be hardy in USDA Zones 4-8.
Tree Peonies will perform their best if the soil is friable (loose and crumbly) and well-tilled, with supplemental organic matter or humus. A slow-release, high-phosphorous fertilizer should also be incorporated into the soil. When your soil contains adequate organic matter, the plant will not need fertilizing again for several years. When you do need to fertilize, we recommend a well-balanced, slow-release fertilizer. Mulching is recommended. Tree Peonies grow from 3-5' high and equally wide in about 10 years; and occasionally larger under ideal growing conditions. Keep their mature size in mind when planting.
A permanent, sunny to partially shady, well-drained growing location is ideal for Tree Peonies. Dig a hole large enough to accommodate the root system of the plant; 2' wide x 2' deep is adequate. The Tree Peony should be planted so that the top of the soil ball is at ground level. The graft of the woody stem (scion) and the root (understock) is very sensitive. The graft should be well below the soil line so the plant can eventually develop its own root system and no longer depend on the rootstock to which it has been grafted.
Protect Tree Peonies from heavy winds. In colder climates, tree peonies should be given about 4-5" of mulch in winter.
Tree Peonies bloom in the spring, before herbaceous Peonies. The exact date will depend on your plant zone. In the Midwest, they begin to bloom in mid-May. Tree Peonies require between 500 and 1000 winter chilling hours (between 32°-40°F) to flower successfully. Flowering may be curtailed if sufficient chilling hours are not achieved.
Results to Expect
We ship garden ready plants. Since Tree Peonies often do not bloom the second or third year after being grafted, we sell three to four year old grafted plants, so you can enjoy blooms sooner. Our plants often bloom while still at our nursery, however they may take a year or so to settle into your garden. Tree Peony bloom count increases as the plant matures. A full grown plant is a very satisfying sight to see - filled with sumptuous flowers that are so exotic and spectacular!