Now is a great time to plant your peonies

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Peonies are a good staple perennial for any southern garden, and they're easy to grow if you follow a few simple rules.  Before we get to the rules, though, let's look at a couple of different varieties of peony.

A garden peony is an herbacious plant, and loses its foliage in the winter time.  In the spring, the foliage comes back along with a large double flower.  There is another variety called a tree peony which will maintain a stem through the winter, even without leaves on the plant.  The keiko peony, which is an intersectional hybrid, will lose its foliage like a garden peony, but still has the thick stem and large flower characteristics of a tree peony.

When planting peonies, plant them in a place where they will get at least five or six hours of sun.  If they don't get enough sun, they won't bloom very much.  They're also shallow plants, and don't need to be buried more than one to two inches below the surface of the soil.  Peonies make great cut flowers and are beautifully fragrant.  They make some time to reach full potential of having several blooming flowers, so get them started now and watch them thrive over the next few years.

Have a gardening question?  Use the form below to ask the folks at Bennett Nurseries.  We may feature this in an upcoming Garden Tips segment!