Posted on August 31, 2015
Tree peonies differ from garden peonies in that they have woody stems like a shrub. The branches do not die back to the ground in winter as do the herbaceous varieties. Exotic, uniquely colored, and often fragrant blooms are produced in late spring, about two or three weeks before the garden varieties.
A permanent, sunny or partly shady site is ideal for Tree Peonies. Protection from afternoon sun and from harsh winds will help to prolong the lives of the the exotic flowers. Peonies will perform best in well-drained, evenly moist, rich soil with a pH near neutral and they are drought-tolerant once established.
When planting a Tree Peony, be sure to bury the graft union (appearing as a bulge on the main stem) 1.5 inches below the soil surface to protect it from freezing/thawing cycles. This will help to maintain a healthy, reliably blooming plant. In northern regions, the graft should be planted even deeper. An annual topping of compost is recommended each Fall. Though peonies may be slow to establish, you can be assured that they are developing a deep, substantial root system which will help to produce flowers that are well worth the wait. Once established, Peonies can live 50 years or more.