As fall approaches and the weather cools, peony planting season arrives. Bare root peonies are typically planted in the ground from September through November. You can also transplant peonies from containers in the fall.
Peonies don't mind being transplanted, contrary to old tales we've all heard. As perennials, they simply take a couple of years to establish to maturity from root divisions. They can grow for decades in the same garden spot, providing an abundance of flowers each spring. There is no need to divide a healthy, mature peony plant; however, if you wish to do so, fall is the best time to do so.
While frosty mornings won't affect peony planting, you should plant before the ground is frozen. For many areas, mid-September through October are prime planting months. November is also ideal in warmer areas.
Here are some easy peony planting tips I've previously shared:
Good Sun Pick a spot in the garden or yard that gets good sun and decent soil drainage and your peonies can literally last a lifetime. Full sun is great; a little shade is fine.
Soil - Peonies love clay type soils with good drainage. You can amend the soil if you choose; but, often, there is no need to do so.
Not too Deep - Spade up a good sized hole, so the roots will have room to spread out and grow. Place the fleshy peony root going down into the hole with the 'eyes' (buds) near ground level. Cover with spaded soil. It's very important that the peony 'eyes' (buds) are close to ground level, with just an inch or two of soil over them. Take care to not plant peonies too deeply.
In warmer climates, such as in parts of California, the peony eyes are placed at the ground surface (with roots going down into the soil) and the eyes are barely covered with soil.
Water - Give your transplanted peony roots a drink of water and keep slightly moist until the fall rains come. Once established, peonies are rather drought tolerant.
Peonies do well in USDA zones 2-8 and many gardeners are having success with them in zones 9. They do best with a winter chill and thrive in warm summers.
Peony plants add texture, foliage and fragrance to your landscape and the flowers can’t be beat for cutting gardens. Plant peonies this fall to enjoy gorgeous flowers every spring.