Find out our tried-and-true tips for growing peonies in pots or containers.

Tips to Grow Peonies in Pots or Containers; 6 Extraordinary Specimens That You Simply Want To Have

Have you noticed that cottage gardens have seen a big expansion this year? Peonies, blowsy old-fashioned favorites, stand out as a big part of this trend. Truth be told, their popularity (especially on social networks) is nothing new, moreover, they have been garden staples for decades.

Normally, they are flowers that usually grow in the ground, however, many people decide to plant them in various flower pots, and truth be told, they can be quite challenging to grow in pots than in the ground. Therefore, stay with us and find out the best tips to grow peonies in pots or containers.

Before Planting

The first thing you need to know is that peonies are large and vigorous plants, and accordingly require a lot of space to grow. Another thing you have to pay attention to is choosing peonies that are suitable for growing in pots or containers, some of them are:

Furthermore, try to avoid specimens with any leaf spots or unhealthy-looking stems when purchasing from your local garden center, as this way you can avoid great disappointment.

Choosing the Ideal Pot or Container

Image by Fang-Yun Cheng

Among the most important tips for growing peonies in pots or containers that an experienced gardener can give you is to pay special attention to the pot/container where you will grow this beautiful plant.

Accordingly, try to find one that is at least 1 ½ feet (46 cm.) deep and as wide or wider, and has plenty of drainage holes to prevent tuber rot. If you start with a container that is large enough you will most likely not have to transplant your peony later on.

Container Peony Care

Did you know that peonies simply love light and that they need at least six hours of sunlight a day? Accordingly, we recommend placing your container in a spot that gets as much sun as possible.

As for the soil, don’t get confused, it’s very simple to choose the right one. Namely, these unique flowers prefer loamy, well-draining soil that’s slightly acidic. Additionally, you can even add an extra layer of coco peat or other alternatives to lighten the soil mix.

Peonies can withstand short dry spells once they’re established, however, they will not tolerate any longer periods as they can be fatal. Also, it would be desirable to remember that plants in containers dry out much faster and therefore need to be watered more often than when grown in the ground. Our advice is to always try to water thoroughly and slowly, making sure that the water soaks every inch of the soil.

To keep them healthy and happy, you will need to fertilize them once a year, preferably after the flowering season, and prune them only when absolutely necessary, usually during the winter to prepare them for winter rest.

Final Thoughts

That’s it, now you know our best tips to grow peonies in pots or containers. Have you ever tried to grow them that way or are you a supporter of traditional methods? Let us know in the section below.

[Ed. note: Growing them in containers is not easy and they need more attention, especially as they dry out faster and thus need much additional watering. As to recommended cultivars: from our own experience we would strongly suggest Petite Elegance, a semi-double attractive pinkish white lactiflora cultivar which is rather short but highly floriferous on sturdy stems and very healthy. Given that you need large containers for them to grow well, these may become rather heavy so adding a large part perlite mixed into the substrate can be helpful in that is has excellent drainage and is very lightweight.]


Author’s Bio

Tony Manhart is the founder and editor in chief at Gardeningdream. Tony’s enthusiasm and rich experience in all things related to growing plants have led him to share his knowledge with gardening aficionados all over the world. When he is not working around his garden, Tony spends his time writing tips and tricks on various subjects related to plant cultivation and soil maintenance.

1 Comment
  1. Bob 2 years ago

    I’ve grown quite a number of peonies in pots, and grown them to the point where I’ll get herbaceous types with 3-4 blooming stems, growing in a #3 pot.

    But these are peonies that I’ve grown from seeds, and potted them along to larger pots every year. As young seedlings, they seem to adjust their root systems to whatever container they are growing in just fine though. (I’ll keep certain special seedlings in pots, so I can bring them indoors during evenings of late spring frosts.)

    However, I’m not sure how happy these plants would be if I left them in the pots for some years after their first blooms ? As was mentioned, it can be hard to tend them as well as we should either.

    Nor do I think herbaceous types would do as well if they had been grown from large divisions to begin with ?

    Having said that, I’ve certainly seen some very large intersectionals growing in pots at garden centers, and have always wondered if intersectionals may be more tolerant of this sort of treatment than herbaceous types might be ?

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