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I am hoping someone can help with a peony problem - not something i've attempted to grow before, so not sure what's the best approach.

I was given a herbaceous Peony "Kansas" crown by a friend - it was from known garden centre and i followed the instructions, initially putting the crown in a pot until the weather improved to enable me to dig over it's proper place in the garden.

The crown had 3 little pink buds, which are still there but it has not produced any leaves - it was in the pot for a few weeks and has been in the garden for about 3 months. I made sure it wasn't planted too deep (5cm below soil surface) and added in some fertiliser when i planted it.

Have i done something wrong and won't get any growth this year - or has my friend been sold a dud by the garden centre and i should just dig it up?

I have a blank space in the garden so did think about putting something else in its place and putting it back in to a pot somewhere safe and hope for the best next year!

Any help gratefully received!


The buds should be above the ground. 


Thanks nutcutlet - that's what i get for following instructions!

I'll dig it up later and put the buds above ground - fingers crossed it will grow!


But the RHS does agree with what you did so maybe I'm wrong, long time since I planted one.

But pink buds should be above ground by now and growing. Maybe a good idea to pot upand nurture, you're not going to get anything much from it this year even if it's OK. You could plant something that's going to flower.


Thanks again - i've lifted the root up so that the pink buds are showing through the compost.

I've leave it a few weeks to see if it grows at all - if not i'll pop it in a pot and hope for the best for next year, and put something else in its place to cover the gap.


Peonies when planted don't like to be disturbed.Leave them in the ground and give some protection in winter with compost or leaf mould.I'm sure they will be fine next year.I have a few in my garden which are just coming into their own after 3 years.

bobnmal's advice sounds good. Peonies like to set in their spot for years and just get on with things. If you can just keep the plants round about from covering it over then it might just explode into growth nicely next year. We have one in a very hot place in our front garden that just gets bigger and bigger every year, and it is crammed into a tiny hole in the paving. By contrast, my grandma had one in nice soft abundant soil in her cooler wetter Glasgow garden, and it was just as happy. The rule I've always heard with peonies is not to move them, and just let them settle in for a few years. Fingers crossed!


Thanks Bob and Jennifer - i'll leave it alone now and hope for the best!

Good luck!

hi all, I have 2 peonys in different locations, they have been there for 2 years, leaves but no blooms, so I guess from reading the abouve, I should wait another year or so?

Gardening Grandma

Clare Austin says that she has moved thousands of paeonies over the years with no problem. Planting shallowly is important and so is patience. They take their time to mature and begin to produce flowers, putting their energies into making a good root system. I sometimes wonder whether they are really worth the garden space, because they are all over in a very short time, but get quite large.  I realise that is blasphemy to many people.

I think the issue with whether you put the buds slightly underground may have to do with winter protection, but that can be overcome with a winter covering of straw or mulch, as long as it is removed the following spring. Not that I bother and they seem pretty indestructible. Even the one I tried to dig up and get rid of is coming up, albeit small and without flowers.

Interesting! Is it possible that this one is one that has been split from a larger plant, and that that's why it's taking time to settle? Mine is huge and has both the buds and tubers well above ground after 80 or so years in the same spot. I love paeonies, by the way. The explosive growth is one of my favourite things in the garden, and the flowers are a bonus. 


I planted three free peony plants four years ago.  First year....nuffin.  Second year....leaves.   Third year....lots of leaves.  This year - WOW! Covered in saucer-sized blooms, fantastic! 

So.... I'd say try to be patient,  leave them be for another year and see what happens.


Thanks for posting Rosie31. Really interesting to know the timeframe to expect. 


Thanks all - i'm just going to have to be patient and hope for the best!

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