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Unpacking you Peonies

by dig the dirt editor

Peonies will show up at your door usually looking like a big stick with little pointy crowns at one end of it. Make sure to be fairly gentle with the crown side of your brand new peony.

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Unpacking your peonies

Peonies are shipped bare root and thus require different care than potted plants.

1. Upon receipt of your order, open package immediately to allow for air circulation. Do not be alarmed if leaves have turned yellow and/or dropped off during shipment; defoliation can be expected during transport. New leaves will sprout shortly after the root stock is planted, watered and receives light.

2. Remove all outer packaging materials. If the bare root is wrapped in sphagnum moss, gently loosen it from the root stock. It is not necessary to remove the moss completely; it can go into the soil with the plant to provide additional organic material.

3. Test for moisture. If roots appear dry, place peony root in a bucket of room-temperature water and soak overnight. This reduces shock by replenishing moisture that may have been lost during shipment.

4. Plant as soon as possible, as long as the danger of frost has passed. Do not let plant roots dry out or freeze.


Storing your peonies 

you must delay planting, rewrap the peony root in its original packing material or place in slightly moist sphagnum moss. Store in a cool, dark place. Using this method, you may delay planting for one to two weeks without damage to the root. If roots are to be kept longer, it is best to heel the root in by digging a trench and burying the entire plant on an incline. Water thoroughly and keep moist, but not too wet. Plant as soon as possible, as long as danger of frost has passed.


peony, planting peonies, Peonies