Home Gardening

Outdoor Gardening

Organic Gardening

Modern Gardening

Urban Gardening

Gardening Business

Growing Peony In Pots, Peony Plant Care, And Tips

Introduction to growing peony in pots: Peonies are gorgeous in bloom with their delicious flowers and lush foliage. Enjoy peonies’ breathtaking flowers from spring to summer by planting them in autumn and establishing a good root system. A peony (genus Paeonia) is a genus of flowering plants in the Paeoniaceae family that grow large, showy blossoms. A few species are grown as ornamentals and for the floral industry, but most are native to Europe and Asia. The Peony is a classic garden flower. These blooms enliven the landscape with their vibrant hues and vigorous petals. Peonies grown in containers make a great patio plant, but they require a little extra care. Choose a large container and learn how to grow peonies in containers.

A guide to growing peony in pots, planting steps, types of peonies, and peony plant care

Growing Peony In Pots
Growing Peony In Pots (pic source: pixabay)

Types of Peonies

Single: There are usually one or two rows of broad petals surrounding the stamens so that the carpels are visible.

Japanese: One or two rows of broad petals surround staminodes that are somewhat elongated and carry pollen along the edges of some species.

Anemone: Several petals surround an incurved stamen that looks like a petal. While fertile stamens are not present, the carpels are visible.

Semi-double: A single or double row of broad petals surrounds a row of broad petals interspersed with stamens.

Bomb: A shorter dense pompon of narrower petals surrounds a narrow row of broad petals.

Double: The flower only consists of broad petals, including the stamens and carpels, which must be altered

Essentials for growing Peony in pots

Soil: Peonies thrive in full sun or partial shade, and they need rich, organic potting soil with good drainage. Choose your growing site carefully, or place the pots on boards with wheels, as these large plants are heavy and difficult to move. Growing peonies requires a mixture of soilless potting soil and well-rotted manure or rich garden compost. Alternatively, you can make your soilless potting soil by mixing one-part sphagnum peat moss with one-part perlite or vermiculite. Next, fill the containers with a mixture of two shovels of potting soil and one shovel of manure or compost. Once the new growth is visible on the peonies in the spring, scrape off the loose potting soil mixture and replace it with a fresh mixture.

Sunlight:  Peonies prefer full sun, and they can manage with half a day, but they do best when they get 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight each day.

Temperature and Humidity: Place them a few feet apart if you’re planting more than one Peony. Peonies are hardy in zones 3-8. Good circulation will benefit the plants. Although humid conditions aren’t ideal, you should be fine if you give each plant space. It is also essential to divide and share plants as they get established and start spreading.

Water and Fertilizer: Compared to plants in the ground, container-grown peonies require more water and fertilizer. First, ensure that the soil surface is dry before watering. Then, pour water slowly over the soil until it appears through the drainage holes in the container. During hot weather, you may need to water peonies more frequently. Fertilize potted peonies once every month when they are in leaf. Prepare a solution by diluting 1/2 teaspoon of liquid 15-30-15 fertilizer with 1 gallon of water and applying it to the potting soil. Water is substituted with fertilizer solution if peonies need watering. The manufacturer’s instructions vary by product, so read and follow them carefully.

How to Grow Peonies in pots

Planting Peonies in pots:

Select a peony that will fit in a pot:  Peonies (Paeonia spp. and hybrids) are typically grown outdoors but can also be grown in containers. Look for varieties that naturally stay small. One of the most popular peonies is “Zhao Fen” (Paeonia suffruticosa “Zhao Fen” or “Zhao’s Pink”), which can grow between 3 and 6 feet tall and 2 to 4 feet wide. Also, trim, more suitable options are “Zhu Sha Pan” (Paeonia “Zhu Sha Pan” or “Cinnabar Red”), 2 to 2 12 feet wide and tall. The fern leaf peony (Paeonia tenuifolia), measuring 1 to 2 feet tall and 9 to 16 inches wide (22.9 to 40.6 cm).

Please select the right pot for your Peony:  Transplant it in early spring. Give the peony plenty of space to grow by placing it in a container at least 1 foot in diameter and 1 12 feet to 2 feet deep. A larger pot will be required for wider varieties. In addition, several drain holes in the bottom are required. Also, gardeners should keep in mind that these plants do not thrive when transplanted and are raised in large containers. The best size pot for peonies is that of 5 gallons (18.9 L).

Fill the container with a peat-based potting mix until it is about half full:  Make sure the tuber is buried deep enough in the potting mix by setting it on top. Over the top of the tuber, no more than 2 inches (5 cm) of soil should be present. Once the potting mix has reached the proper depth, mix in water until it is thoroughly moistened.

Compost the soil with some organic material:  Compost is an excellent addition to the soil for additional nutrients before planting peony bulbs. Peonies need also be fertilized in the spring with slow-release, low nitrogen fertilizers. The fertilizer will keep the plants healthy and promote blooms but won’t burn them, like other types of fertilizer might.

Peony tubers are best placed with the growth buds facing up on top of the moist mix:  Once the potting mix is wholly filled into the container, water it until it is drained from the bottom. You should only cover peony bulbs with potting soil as deep as 2 to 5 inches (5 to 10 cm). It is best to be cautious in such cases because peonies buried too deep will not bloom. Plants producing lush foliage but no blooms may need to be dug up and reburied to appropriate depths before producing blooms.

The perfect way to grow peonies in pots

In case if you miss this: Creative Gardening Tips For Containers.

Peony Flower
Peony Flower (Image source: pixabay)

When you get peonies right, you’re looking at decades of hassle-free gardening and a fantastic display of color and scent that only gets better over time.

Avoid digging too deep: Keep your Peony from being planted too deeply. It is not recommended to plant tuberous roots deeper than 2.5cm. Depending on the variety, planting them further down will produce fantastic foliage (Bartzella AGM or ‘Julia Rose’ have red leaves that turn crimson in the fall, while herbaceous peonies usually have rounded leaves rather than flowers). If your garden peonies aren’t blooming, it is likely that you planted them too deeply or buried them after you mulched them diligently. Take care not to damage the roots when lifting and replanting your Peony in autumn.

Peonies are out in the sun: Choose a sunny spot for your Peony. The majority of varieties will tolerate some shade, including Paeonia lactiflora’ White Wings’. However, the heavy shade will make your peony flowers less likely to flower well.

Drain well:  Ensure that your peonies are planted in fertile, well-draining soil. Providing well-drained soil, it is not too fussy about the soil and can thrive in chalky or clayey soils. Plants dislike standing water in the winter. In this case, the rules are only applicable when you plant your Peony. Once planted, your peonies will be pretty happy to be left alone. Peonies that grow in rich, fertile soil are unlikely to require fertilizing. A general fertilizer like Growmore applied in the spring should be sufficient if you have poor soil. Peony decline is also prevented by cutting back and removing the dead leaves in autumn.

How to care for growing peonies in pots

Watering: Peonies planted in the ground do not require watering unless it is arid. However, if you grow peonies in pots, keep an eye on them as they are more prone to being overwatered or overgrown.

Fertilizing: In early spring, apply a slow-release fertilizer around the base of the plant and mulch it with well-rotted compost.  Avoid burying the crown. It will eventually stop flowering.

Staking: When your Peony starts to produce red shoots, you need to consider stakes. Some peonies don’t require it, but most do, so weave a few deftly placed twigs of birch or hazel around the flower stems as they emerge. Then, if you prefer, you can treat yourself to peony support that will look great all year long.

De-budding: In April / May, de-bud the side shoots with a sharp knife for the best blooms. Avoid doing this in the garden because it reduces abundance. In the first year, your plant may not bloom, and you can cut the occasional peony flower, but try not to cut too many until the third year.

Deadheading: When the plant is young, deadheading after flowering helps it conserve energy. However, once they are established, the seed heads often look like jester hats with colorful seeds. Therefore, to get the best color on your leaves, you should wait until mid-November to cut back your plants. Then, to make sure that you’ve eliminated all fungal spores, burn the old foliage. As a result, botrytis problems are reduced, which can cause peony wilt the following spring. When peony wilt occurs, the buds and stems look wilted and moldy.

Transplanting & dividing: Peonies can be moved and possibly divided in autumn when they have formed decent-sized plants after 5 -10 years. The plant’s crown should be removed with a sharp knife after the leaves have died down, and at least three dormant growth buds and roots should be attached. Then, if you want to increase your stock, you can move the plants or pot them up to give to friends and neighbors.

How to place your Peonies in pots

The container should be placed in a sheltered position during the winter to prevent it from freezing. The temperature should not drop below freezing during the winter for container peonies. Instead, the delicate flowers must experience chilly temperatures for them to bloom again in the spring. Hardiness zones 8 and 9 should do well, but hardiness zones 9 and 10 may not bloom if their winters are too mild this year.

Diseases and pests of Peony

Pony wilt: Peonies are not particularly vulnerable to pests and diseases, but the botrytis fungus is among them. First, you want to make sure there are plenty of spaces between your plants so that air can circulate. Then, to prevent the spores from spreading, look for dark marks on the leaves and stems and remove them immediately.

Peony leaf blotch: The disease is caused by a fungal fungus called Cladosporium Paeonia, which causes ugly spots to appear on the foliage. In the same way as the peony wilt described above, you can avoid reinfection by removing affected parts and clearing the foliage at the end of the season.

Tips for Growing Peonies in pots

How about this: Easy Growing Flowers In Apartments.

Tips for Growing Peonies
Tips for Growing Peonies (pic source: pixabay)
  • Peonies come in a very flexible form, making them easy to maintain. Their only requirement is full sunlight and well-drained soil. They may bloom even in cold winters due to their need for chilling during bud formation.
  • Fall is the ideal time to plant peonies, around the end of September or the beginning of October. Peonies need to be planted in soil that is not too sandy. Fill sand holes with compost if necessary. In addition to adding fertility, it will also be much more suitable for growing peonies.
  • You should keep the growing flowers away from strong winds since they are pretty delicate. Maintain a reasonable distance between them, preferably four feet, to ensure air circulation between them. It is recommended to dig a hole approximately two feet wide and two feet deep for the peonies. Finally, remember to water the plant well to make sure it blooms to its full potential. Keep your plants hydrated adequately by watering them regularly.
  • Peonies usually bloom more profusely at the age of three, when they reach full maturity. Growers of peonies should avoid overhead watering since this promotes the growth of diseases.
  • To find the correct container, you have to find one large enough and has adequate drainage. Usually, you’ll need to provide extra drainage by drilling holes into the bottom of the container or adding things like gravel or pottery as a base layer to help prevent the drainage holes from becoming clogged. You may end up with rot if you do not provide proper drainage, and often they will not survive the winter.
  • Ideally, your container should be at least 50-60cm deep and as wide or more comprehensive as possible. The peony bush is enormous, and it can grow up to a meter tall, so you need to leave plenty of space for it to grow.
  • As soon as you’ve selected a container and drilled extra drainage holes to be safe, it’s time to choose what soil you’re going to use. It is necessary to have very loose, well-draining soil, but it should also be very fertile. Compost 65% made with soil, such as John Innes potting compost, and 35% perlite keep your peonies buoyant and loose. If you prefer to use gravel instead of perlite, you can mix it with your compost.
  • The choice will depend on when you want them to bloom and how much time you have. In April – May, Chinese tree peonies bloom. During early May to early June, herbaceous peonies or Peony bushes will bloom. In June, the Intersectional ‘Itoh’ hybrid Peony, which combines herbaceous and tree characteristics and blooms, will be the last to bloom.
  • Planting peonies in a pot or growing them in a garden bed is possible with three different types. In any case, if you choose to put them in containers, you will need to take extra care. Containers should be large, at least 18″ deep, and equally as wide. Adequate drainage is essential, and the soil should be 65% topsoil and 35% perlite. Avoid overwatering the soil.
  • In addition to the size of the containers, the added soil makes the containers quite heavy. If you need to move the pots indoors during the winter, add castors to make them easier to move.
  • If you are planting in a garden bed, use plenty of compost. A peony garden requires little maintenance and has been known to last 100 years. So investing in a peony garden pays off in the long run.
  • It would help if you had modest expectations when you plant this spring. However, you can always plant more in the fall, and you will reap the benefits the following growing season if you are dazzled by the color and ease.
  • The peonies’ stems will not support more oversized herbaceous peonies’ blooms. Therefore, it is important to stake the Peony stems from enjoying their delicate blooms to the fullest. The rings for peony stems are found at any gardening store. String or bamboo stakes will work just as well.
  • Peonies tend to have few pests, but they can attract ants. Nevertheless, there is no need to worry. These insects are attracted to the nectar peonies secrete. Initially, people believed that ants helped open the flowers.
  • A bouquet of cut peonies would look great with peonies. You should cut your roses in the morning and leave at least two leaves on them so that next year’s blooms will be better. Then, in full bloom or right, the flowers are cut before it is about to burst.
  • About 1/3 of the vase needs to be filled with water. If necessary, add flower food. In the absence of flower food, change the water frequently.
  • Remove any herbaceous peonies you have. Some leaf shedding on Tree and Itoh peonies, but their woody stems will remain intact.
  • Planting peonies before the first hard frost is the best time to take advantage of their beauty and ease of care. If your plants are mature, now is the time to divide them into groups of 3-5 buds. Also, new plants need to be planted before the first frost. That way, the roots will have time to establish themselves. Peonies planted as new or divided have eyes positioned about two inches below the soil for herbaceous varieties and a little farther down for the other two. We offer a wide selection of varieties of peonies that can be grown in containers.

Commonly asked questions about growing Peony in pots

1. Is it better to plant peonies in pots or the ground?

Peonies should do fine as long as the plants are planted in good soil in the open ground. Potted plants are far more prone to overwatering and overwatering, so this might be the issue. When plants don’t thrive, overwatering is often to blame.

2. Do peonies prefer shade or sun?

Herbaceous peonies need at least eight hours of direct sunlight. Partial shade will allow them to grow, but they will not flower as well. The only exceptions are some of the rare Asian woodland species, which need partial shade.

3. Which month is best for planting peonies?

Peonies are best planted in the fall to get the best results. It is usually around this time that peonies ordered from a catalog will arrive. There are, however, times when you can purchase container-grown peonies in the spring that are blooming and ready to plant.

4. Is it possible to grow peonies in pots?

It is possible to grow and flower peonies in pots. First, ensure your pot has enough drainage holes and is at least 30 cm (12 inches) in diameter. Then, apply soil-based compost to the pot, preferably John Innes No3. Petunias do not thrive in peat-based compost.

5. When should you water potted peonies?

The container needs to be placed in a shaded location but still receives about three to four hours of sun every day. Potted peonies thrive in an area of dappled shade. Therefore, make sure to water them weekly.

6. How can peonies be so expensive?

They have a long shelf life within the supply chain from growers to end-users. Additionally, they ship well. And finally, Mother’s Day is always busy when these products are available. Peonies cover all of these factors and make the price high.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here