how to plant peonies in spring and summer (for potted peonies)

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Peonies are generally hardy in Zones 3 to 8. They require cold weather for dormancy, and they need half a day of sunlight but tolerate (even prefer) semi-shade the rest of the time. They are disease-resistant and unappealing to deer, insect pests, and slugs.

The Coos Riviera grows peonies to maturity in root-friendly pots in the field. They can be planted immediately or maintained through the summer in the pots, then transplanted into permanent locations in autumn.

  1. Loosen and enrich the surrounding soil in a well drained location before digging the hole that will accommodate the roots.
  2. Gently cut several slits in the sides and bottom of the pot to speed its decay.
  3. Place the pot containing the plant into the prepared hole as follows:

    Herbaceous or Intersectional Peonies:
    Position the crown (the bud-producing root-top) one to two inches below the surface of the soil. Use the level of soil in the pot as an indicator. Maintain this depth, or the plant may not flower.

    Tree Peonies:
    Position any new buds at the bases of the stems at least four inches below the level of the soil, spreading out the tree roots over a mound of soil in the hole. Fill, and water well to remove air pockets.

  4. Remove and destroy spent foliage after frost.
  5. Mulch during the first winter.