Peonies are one of America's best-loved perennials!  They are gorgeous and about to bloom!  Be patient with them, they are worth the wait every year.  A newly planted peony may or may not bloom during the first two growing seasons while developing a strong root system. 🌱

Here are 5 tips for growing peonies to ensure your success. 👍

1.  Don't plant the roots too deeply.  They should be no more than about an inch of soil covering the upper-most roots.  If they are planted deeper, you will get fewer flowers.

2.  Encourage good air circulation.  Peonies are tough however they can get a disease called Botrytis.  Also, known as grey mold.  It rarely kills but can disfigure the foliage and reduce the number of flowers while gradually weakening the plant.  To avoid this, always plant in full sun and make sure they are not crowded by other shrubs or perennials.

3. When and how to cut the flowers.  Once the plant matures, cut as many stems as you want however during the first few years, it's best to cut just a few and let the plants retain as much foliage as possible to give them the energy to strengthen their root system.  Use sharp scissors or pruning shears to cut the stems about 6" and when the plants finish blooming cut off the dead blossoms.

4. Support the stems.  The flowers are often a little to heavy for their stems, especially when it rains.  Provide extra support with a peony ring or you can use a tomato cage to keep your peonies from face first in the dirt. 🤪  

5.  What about those ants?  Peonies release a sweet substance that attracts ants. The ants don't harm them nor do they have anything to do with helping the buds open.  So, if your cutting flowers to bring indoors, shake the flowers upside down or dunk them in a bucket of water.