All About Growing Peonies in North Carolina - Carolina Country

All About Peonies

Adriana Feng, Raleigh, a member of Wake Electric

All About Peonies

My garden is all about peonies. In my Carolina Country garden, I grow over 200 varieties of peonies. My biggest joy each spring is seeing them come into bloom over an 8-week period each April and May. I love to spread the love of peonies, especially here in the South where many people think peonies will not grow. However not only do peonies grow here, they grow very well! Helpful tips for growing peonies as well as which varieties grow best here in the South can be found on my blog, Southern Peony. Some of the keys to getting peonies to bloom here are planting them in full sun and making sure to plant them shallow with the ‘eyes’ just below the soil surface. This particular peony is intersectional Peony ‘Keiko’ (aka ‘Pink Double Dandy’) and had 77 blooms on just one bush for me this spring!

Be sure to visit the website of the American Peony Society for more information on this charming bloom.

Comments (9)

  • I have peony bulbs that I bought from Sam's club in May. My grandma said to plant them in late summer. I live in the piedmont triad of NC. Is it too late to plant them? Thank you!

    Cheyenne | September 01, 2017 | reply

  • Cheyenne,
    I hope you planted them! It definitely wasn't ideal, but they probably would still grow. If you haven't planted them yet, I might still give them a try. I once accidentally planted some 2 year old roots, and they still grew (! It will take much longer for your roots to get to blooming size after not having any soil or moisture for so long, but they might still take. I would buy some fresh roots in the fall if possible or a buy a growing potted peony in the spring to get blooms sooner!

    Adriana | February 18, 2018 | reply

  • Adriana, I just read your article on peonies. I was wondering when do woodland peonies, tree peonies, herbaceous peonies, & intersectional peonies generally bloom in your area? Thank you for your time.
    Sincerely, Kimberly

    Kimberly | December 20, 2018 | reply

  • Kimberly,

    Tree peonies and very early herbaceous peonies starting blooming at the beginning of April in my area. By the end of April intersectional peonies and mid season herbaceous peonies are blooming. At the beginning of May, you may still have just a few late season herbaceous peonies coming into bloom. By mid May the season is usually done, although some years the peony bloom season can be a little later to start and end, even then everything is finished by the beginning of June. I hope this info helps!


    Adriana | December 20, 2018 | reply

    • Thank you for your input. It is greatly appreciated.

      Kimberly | January 08, 2019 | reply

  • Hi Adriana,
    After growing peonies for many years, this spring is a disaster. I have what appears to be wilt and also black spot. Only one of my healthy peonies has blooms on it. Should I unearth and destroy the others or cut to the ground and hope for next years results. I have never had health issues with my plants and am just devastated. Thanks in advance.

    Janice McPherson | April 26, 2019 | reply

  • Adriana, I just received a Pink Hawaiian Coral Peony, a Black Beauty Peony and a Kirimaru Peony from Breck's. Do they need to be planted in full sun, moist soil in the fall or spring? Secondly, do you suggest I fertilize, and if so when?
    Thank you!

    Terri | October 28, 2019 | reply

  • I am visiting my daughter and son-in-law the last week of November, and wanted to buy and plant peonies along the full sun exposure spot along the fence in their back yard.
    First of all, is it too late in the year to do so?
    Would it be worth buying more sizeable peony plants/bushes, if not to late (assuming I can find them!!!)???

    Thank you in advance for your answers.
    If way too late....when would we plant next season?

    Karen Iuliano | November 07, 2019 | reply

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