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Perhaps garden space is at a premium or you’d like to try growing a peony in a patio container. Because peonies grow very large roots, it is best to plant peonies in the ground for the long term; but, you can raise any peony in a large container – for a time.

While the average peony height ranges from 32”-36” tall, there are a number of shorter varieties 18”-28” tall that can be perfect patio peonies.

Some shorter peonies to consider: Allan Rogers, Border Charm, Joker, Lois’ Choice, Mandarin’s Coat, P. Lutea ‘delavayi’ and Shirley Temple.

 Border Charm peony Joker peony

Lois' Choice peony Mandarin's Coat peony P. lutea 'delavayi' yellow tree peonyShirley Temple peony

Select a large container, preferably ceramic, stone or wood. Plastic heats up and may not be the best choice depending upon summer temperatures. I have some compact peonies planted in 15 gallon containers that are about 7 years old and are still blooming profusely each spring. At some point the roots will want more space, they will lose their vigor; and, then I will divide them into two or three pieces and start over with fresh soil.

Three things to keep in mind if you raise peonies in pots: use big containers, as the roots are quite hefty; water more frequently than you would a peony planted in the ground; and protect them from prolonged severe freezing (below 15 degrees or so). Peony roots planted in the ground will endure severe freezing; but, you might want to protect potted peonies in arctic type winters. They should have a bit of moisture in the container soil. In the spring, summer and fall, container plants, including peonies, will need watering more frequently than those planted in the ground. 

When it’s time to re-pot them, you’ll likely end up with several nice divisions for more containers or to share with friends. The best time of year to divide and plant peonies is in the fall (September - November), before the ground freezes (frost is no problem). 

Potted and bare root peonies are for sale at our farm - open Fridays and Saturdays in September and October 2016 from 10 am – 4 pm.

Order bare root peonies online now for fall planting.

Brooks Gardens, an Oregon peony farm is located at 6219 Topaz Street NE, Brooks, Oregon, 97305. We are just over one mile north of Brooks, OR (between Woodburn and Salem, off of 99E) and 30 minutes south of Tualatin, Wilsonville and Canby, OR. About 40 minutes south of Portland, OR.

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