How to Grow a Peony Root

What You'll Need
Retailed peony root
Organic compost
NPK fertilizer
Wooden stakes
Metallic wire loops

The peony plant can be easily grown from retailed bare root peony. Peonies are sometimes called peony roots because growing them from tuberous roots is a common practice. Peonies are commonly grown in household gardens as landscaping plants, popular for their exotic foliage. Peony flowers vary in color, ranging from shades of white and cream to bright yellow or pink. Peonies are sturdy perennials, naturally resistant to most garden diseases and pests. You can easily grow peonies in your garden by following these instructions.

Getting Started

The best time to plant peony roots is during the initial period of the spring season. You should procure your peony roots from reputed garden supply retailers who can guarantee that the root bulbs are healthy.

Planting Site Selection

Finding the appropriate planting site is a bit challenging for peonies. Peony roots need slightly-shaded areas during the first few months. Excessive sunshine or shade can be damaging. The designated site should be partially sunlit for at least five hours, every day. The site shouldn't be in vicinity of fast-spreading shrubs or turf grass. The peony root system develops quickly and the dense roots need space to expand.

Soil Preparation

Peony roots are susceptible to transplanting stress and therefore, the planting site should be systematically prepared. Using a spade, loosen the soil bed. Water it slightly and let the excess water drain away. The soil should be moist, not wet with minimal clumping. For initial fertilization, use natural compost. Mix some organic compost in the soil bed and let it dry for a day or two. Water the site again, just a few hours before planting the peony roots.

Planting Peony Roots

Using a spade, dig up a hole at least 12 inches deep. Ensure that the planting hole is slightly wider than the peon root. Usually, peony root bulbs are about 6 inches wide. Your hole should be 2 inches wider than the peony roots—about 8 inches wide. If your garden soil doesn't drain well, line the inside of the hole with a thin layer of organic mulch. Place the peony root inside the planting hole. Remember the buds of the root should be facing upwards.

Backfill the hole with the dug-up garden soil but don’t clamp the soil bed. The backfilled soil layers should not be more than 3 inches thick. If the soil bed appears a bit dry, water it minimally to ensure that the root is properly embedded. If you are expecting harsh winters, spread some mulch on top of the soil bed.

Basic Care Regimen

Fertilizing peony roots during the first four months is critical. Peony roots are heavy feeders and need continuous fertilization with NPK fertilizers. Regularly composting ensures that the soil moisture is maintained. Please note that a full bloom is uncommon during the first year among most peonies. You should judge the quality of the bloom during the spring season of the second year. Some peonies start developing double, clustered flowers. You should stake these peonies to even-out the bloom. Use thin wooden stakes for staking. Nail small wire loops to these stakes and intertwine them with the clustered flowers.