Growing peonies in pots can be tough sometimes, but you can overcome this problem with ongoing care and some tips. Planting peonies the right way is very important.

Growing Peonies in Pots

Continue reading to learn to grow peonies in pots in your home.

How To Grow Vibrant Peonies in Pots?

To grow vibrant peonies in pots, you must select the right peony and the pot you want to use. The next step should be filling good quality soil with a good fertilizer. After planting the peonies in the soil, you should water them accordingly, fertilize them, and prune them.

1. Select the Right Peony

Peonies come in a wide range of varieties. Choosing a variety that fits your needs is crucial, ranging from the large Zhao Fen (which grows between 4-6 feet tall) to smaller varieties like Cinnabar Red (which grows around 24-30 inches tall). To grow in pots, it is best to select a small variation.

Select the Right Peony

‘Felix Crousse’ peony is a classic, well-liked peony that has stunned gardeners for generations. It creates magenta-red dual flushes with a soft silvery glow. They make wonderful bouquets.

‘The Fawn’ peony is a peony with a large, exquisitely shaped double flower. It contains a pink hue with tiny spots of a darker shade of pink on the leaves. It is indeed an impressive and striking variety.

The Paeonia lactiflora ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ variety produces massive, fragrant, double rose pink flowers with white edges and ruffles. They work well as cut flowers. Growing Sarah Bernhardt peony in a container can be easily done.

2. Choose the Best Pots for Peonies

Peonies must be grown in sizable, well-drained pots. It is advised to use a pot at least 12 inches in diameter with a capacity of 10 to 20 gallons. Choose a size that works with your peony variations. Some peonies will grow taller than others, so ensure your chosen pot can accommodate their size.

3. Fill the Pot With Soil

The next step should be filling good quality soil for peonies in pots. The best soil to grow peonies is one which is loamy, friable, or can easily be broken down into small pieces. Using soil with a lot of clay isn’t recommended because it tends to clump together and hold water, leading to root issues.

Fill the Pot With Soil

If your soil has a low to moderate amount of clay, mix 1 to 2 cups of perlite into the soil and apply around each plant. It will help improve the soil’s drainage and friability. Peonies favor soils rich in organic matter as well. By adding compost to the soil used to backfill each planting hole, you can increase the organic content of your soil and enhance its nutritional value.

The additional benefit of compost is that it improves drainage and loosens the soil. A pH of 6 to 7, neutral to slightly acidic, is the peonies’ preferred soil. The best way to determine whether your soil is the right pH for planting peonies is by analyzing it in the fall, as it gives you enough time to adjust the pH before planting peonies the following spring.

If the pH of your soil is more than 7, then you can add sulfur or aluminum sulfate to make it more acidic. The kind of soil and the pH at the beginning determine how much lime or sulfur should be added.

4. Plant the Peonies in the Soil

Some peony plants will grow taller than others, so ensure your chosen pot can accommodate the size of the peony. Your peony should be planted with the root at or just below the soil line. Although they can be planted at any time of the year, the best times to do so are in the fall and early winter.

Peonies’ bloom time is between late spring and early summer. By cultivating a variety of peonies, you can arrange your garden for a series of blooms from mid-May to late June. In full sun, peonies thrive and produce the most blooms. They can grow in partial shade and are adaptable but won’t produce as many blooms.

5. Add the Fertilizer to the Pot

If you are growing edibles, avoid potting mix containing chemical fertilizers. Peonies require fertilization twice a season. The first application should be in early spring. Wait until you notice plant shoots emerging.

Add the Fertilizer to the Pot

You can apply your second round of fertilizer when the shoots are between three and six inches long. Apply around the plant’s base rather than directly to it. Peonies grow better after the application of the fertilizer.

6. Water Your Peonies

You should provide water to the peony plant to help it take root when you plant peonies. Avoid overwatering newly planted peonies at all costs. Overwatering is one of the prime causes of budding plant failure and death in young peonies.

It’s best to get about an inch of water per week. It’s crucial to avoid overwatering peonies because they can rot. Also, make sure there is no standing water. If standing water is there, you have overwatered your peony flowers.

7. Prune the Peonies

Although peonies typically require very little maintenance, it is crucial to prune your plants in the fall and winter. This assists in preparing the peonies for their winter rest and keeps your garden tidy and well-kept.

During the winter, peonies need a period of rest. This aids in their springtime bloom preparation. If the winter is mild where you live (such as in zones 9 and 10), they might not bloom.

8. Ensure Proper Temperature for Good Growth

Most peonies need 400 hours of wintertime temperatures below 40 degrees Fahrenheit to set buds. Container-growing peonies are more delicate than peonies in the ground. They can’t withstand freezing temperatures.

If a hard freeze is anticipated, try to get them inside the house or garage. If moving potted peonies indoors is not an option, add mulch, compost, or fertilizer to the soil. This will prevent the tubers from freezing and help to insulate the soil.

9. Grow Peonies in Pots Indoors

If you live in a cold climate and want to grow peonies indoors, the plants should be placed close to a window to get plenty of light for at least six hours daily. Pick a location with many airflows to avoid fungal diseases like powdery mildew and peony wilt. Keep your windows open as much as you can on mild days. Close your window shades during the glaring afternoon sun in the summer.

10. Provide Adequate Peony Care

Although this flower variety requires little care and can flourish even when ignored, there are some peony care guidelines you should be aware of. Young or grown peonies don’t need to be pruned except in cases where they are damaged or diseased.

Provide Adequate Peony Care

Peonies only need to be separated if you want to plant more peonies. Apply fertilizer to poor soil after the flowers have bloomed.

Give your plants a good soak but do just what is necessary. If you want to grow peonies in a region with a colder climate, you should mulch the plant in the winter. If they reach a height of more than a few inches, taller varieties might need structural support added to your garden design.


– Is Overwintering Peonies in Pots Necessary?

Yes, overwintering peonies in pots is necessary because growing peonies in pots makes them more vulnerable to frost and freezing temperatures, so you’ll need a place to keep them inside over the winter. However, you’ll need to ensure they get enough light, so place peonies near a well-lit window.

– How Long Does It Take a Peony to Develop From a Bulb?

It takes a peony 3 to 4 years to develop from a bulb and bloom properly. They need time to establish themselves as fully mature blooming plants, as opposed to annuals. The first year of growth is dedicated to producing roots and establishing the plant in the garden.

– Is It Necessary To Soak Bare-Root Peonies Before Planting Them?

Yes, it is necessary to soak bare-root peonies before planting them. You should soak your peonies for about thirty minutes because sometimes they can dry out during transit. However, if you don’t want to water dormant peony roots a lot during the first weeks, you don’t have to soak them.

– When Is the Ideal Time for Transplanting Peonies in Pots?

The ideal time for transplanting peonies in pots is in September when they’ve finished growing for the summer and are beginning to hibernate. But you can also dig out the entire root ball and plant it in the spring before the plants begin to produce new growth for the year.


Peonies can be grown in your pots by following some easy steps and giving proper care. Here’s a summary of what you just read:

  • You should select the right peony and the correct-sized pots to grow them in it.
  • Fill the pot with the correct pH soil and plant the peonies. Add the correct amount of fertilizer to it.
  • Water the plants, provide them with the correct amount of temperature, and prune them if needed.

In conclusion, following the steps mentioned in this article can help you easily cultivate peonies in pots, making your home look breathtaking.

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