The Q&A Archives: Peony

Question: Is it possible to grow Peonies in Southern California? I was looking at the Sarah Bernhart & Festiva Maxima Double Peony. Our weather is very mild year round.

Answer: Sadly, peonies require a pronounced winter chill in order to bloom. Your mild winter weather cannot provide the chill they need, so while peonies will grow in your garden, they will not bloom. Sometimes we can fool plants such as tulips into thinking they've experienced a winter chill by refrigerating them for a few weeks during the winter months. Alas, peonies do not like to have their roots disturbed, so digging in winter and keeping them in the refrigerator won't work either! Sorry!

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