I've been busy shipping peony roots since early September and most of our early orders will be shipped within the next week. There is still time to order peonies for fall planting, as we will be shipping throughout the fall.
Many gardeners wait until after the first frosts to cut back their old peony stems and to plant new peonies. With a lot of tender vegetable and flower plants, you worry about the first frost; but with peonies, it’s the time to start something new. You can plant bare root peonies anytime in the fall, whether frost is on the ground or not.
Be sure to water in new peony root plantings and keep slightly moist until the fall rains come.
For existing peony plants, cut the stems back to ground level each fall and remove the leaves and stems from the garden. New shoots will emerge next spring.
Peonies rarely need divided – don’t feel as though you need to divide a peony every so many years. Unless you are seeing less blooms each spring on a mature peony (possibly from too much shade or overcrowding by other plant roots) you can leave a peony plant in the same spot for years – sometimes decades. If you do want to divide a peony in the Fall, split it into two or three pieces to re-plant, rather than planting the entire root ball into a new location. It helps stimulate new root growth.
For more information on peony planting and care, check out our Peony FAQ.