The Q&A Archives: Peonies In California

Question: Living in the San Fernando Valley in Southern California, we often experience very cold nights during the winter. How will peonies do here and what can I expect? Also, I live in an area that is home to many gophers, are peonies one of their favorites?

Answer: Gee, I wish there were some way for you to successfully grow peonies. Unfortunately the plants need a pronounced and prolonged winter chill, something your area can't provide. To worsen matters, peonies don't like to be moved once they're established, so digging up the tuberous roots in the winter and putting them in the refrigerator won't work, either.

You can grow some other really beautiful plants in your area. Have you thought about dahlias or Gerbera daisies or huge Oriental Poppies? Give them a try!

Gophers usually dig through anything in the way, be it tree roots or perennial plants. If you have a gopher population, your plants are fair game as they tunnel their way through the yard!

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