Peonies are a beautiful flower that is easy to grow and care for. It is a flower that has been known and loved for centuries, and therefore great to use in bouquets or flower arrangements.
There are two main classes of peonies, the tree peony and the herbaceous peony. The herbaceous peony dies back to the ground each winter, while the tree peony can withstand all but the harshest winter.
Herbaceous peonies can live for generations with little attention. Plant it in full sun and rich well-drained soil. Amend the soil with organic matter and compost before planting, as peonies will be living in the same soil for many years to come. Make sure the growing tip, or eye, is no deeper than 1/2 inch under the soil. If planted deeper, your herbaceous peony will grow but never bloom.
Tree peonies like a slightly more alkaline soil, but all other conditions are the same as their herbaceous cousins. The graft on a tree peonie should be planted 3 to 4 inches deep. In cold climates, plant them even deeper to encourage them to grow roots from the stem and not the graft.
Gray mould blight, a form of botrytis, is a concern with peonies. This causes the buds to wilt, turn gray, and become soft. Make sure your plant gets plenty of air circulation and sunlight and treat with a fungicide like lime-sulfur if the problem persists.
Contrary to old wive's tales, ants are not required for peonies to bloom. The ants on your peonies are there for the nectar secreted by the blooms.