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INDIANA STATE FLOWER
Peonies grow best in a protected sunny site. Choose an area that receives at least six hours of sun a day and is protected from strong winds. Peonies like good air circulation. Space them 3-4 feet
apart. Do not plant too close to competing trees or large shrubs. Peonies can remain in the same place for many years, so choose
the location carefully.
Peonies prefer a rich, moist, well-drained soil. Work the soil to a depth of at least 12-18 inches and add organic matter such as composted manure or sphagnum peat. If drainage is a problem, consider creating a raised bed.
Bare root peonies can be planted anytime in the fall until the ground
is frozen. If the roots appear dry, soak them in a bucket of water
for several hours. Dig a hole in your prepared soil that is large
enough to accommodate the root system. Plant the peony root with the eyes (buds) not more than 2 inches below the surface of the soil (Figure 1). Peonies planted too deeply may make excellent foliage growth but often fail to bloom. Firm the soil around the roots and water well. Keep watering until the ground is
frozen to ensure good root development.
Container grown peonies can be planted at any time of year. Plant at the same level as the peony was growing in the pot.
Once established, peonies require little maintenance. Be careful
not to over fertilize. Too much nitrogen will prevent peonies from blooming. The best time to fertilize is right after they have finished blooming with a balanced fertilizer.
Peonies in full flower are top heavy and often droop after a heavy rain. Provide support early in the season before your plant gets too large. Many types of peony supports are available.
Cut peony plants to the ground in late September or early October as they become dormant. Discard foliage to prevent pests and diseases from over-wintering.