The Q&A Archives: Planting Peonies

Question: I recently purchased three peony roots, or "eyes" as they were called on the the tag. I have planted a number of other types of bulbs and tubers, but I can't figure which end is up on these packaged roots. The instructions said to plant the eyes at least one inch below the surface. Can you help?

Answer: The "eyes" are the small, red colored buds; the stems and leaves spring from these eyes. The roots should be planted down, the buds aiming up. New peony plants might only have two or three eyes, inexpensive ones perhaps just one, so look very carefully.

It's very important to cover the crowns (the eyes) with just one to two inches of soil. Bury them deeper, and the plants will grow but they may not bloom.

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