The Physical Location
Selecting a Site: Space & Drainage
- Plant peonies well away from other shrubs and trees, as the roots from these plants will compete and cause poor growth. Especially avoid black walnut trees, which produce soil toxins that prevent nearby competition. Lilacs are also problematic, as they use water and nutrients that are required by peonies.
- Avoid planting peonies where water may pool at any time of the year.
- A high position in the garden is preferred for drainage and air movement.
- Avoid planting along walls that become overly heated during the summer months.
- Peonies require dormancy in order to prosper. Planting where winter temperatures are low enough to complete dormancy is important. USDA Hardiness Zones 3-8 are generally acceptable for growing peonies.