Memorial Day Means Time for Peonies--How to Care, Transplant and Preserve the Blooms

May 27, 2016

Memorial Day Weekend is upon us and peonies are starting to bloom across the state.

Cindy Haynes, Associate Professor of Horticulture at Iowa State University, says you shouldn’t be worried if your peonies haven’t opened yet. If your peonies haven’t started blooming by the first week of June, she says you should double check that your plants are in the right conditions, with shallow soil and lots of sun.

A few things you can do to make sure your peonies are healthy and growing well:
--Make sure you don’t plant them too deep. Most peonies should be planted just 2 inches below the surface.

--Make sure they are getting enough sunlight, six hours of direct light a day.

--Make sure they are not exposed to too much high nitrogen fertilizers.

If the rain is tearing down your blooms, Haynes has a few suggestions.

“There are stakes and things that you can put around the plant as it grows up that [helps to support it] so it doesn’t fall over as badly, I guess you can say. And then some people will actually cut some of those flowers when they’re in bud and bring them in so their blooming indoors where there is no rain,” said Haynes.

On this edition of Talk of Iowa host Clare Roth talks with Haynes and Iowa State University Extension Horticulturist Richard Jauron. Haynes and Jauron also answer listener’s questions about the lawn and garden.