Japanese Tree Peonies

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Upon arrival

Open all cartons/crates immediately after arrival, as the plants need fresh air. Always check plants directly after arrival and take notes of possible problems. If there are any problems, be sure to contact your sales representative immediately. Plants should be planted as soon as possible after arrival. Growers should have greenhouse space, pots and planting medium ready. (Check bottom of confirmation for approximate arrival date). If plants cannot be planted immediately they should be stored in a cool location, preferably at a temperature around 35F. Also make sure that you keep the cartons out of the sun and from too much ventilation, plants dry out very quickly.

Do not store the plants in closed boxes, as this will create condensation and might cause the roots to start rotting. If you detect this problem, make sure you take these plants out of the boxes. You cannot store these roots any longer they have to be potted immediately. If possible remove the infected parts or dip the roots in a fungicide prior to planting.


Tree Peonies prefer a pH range about 6.5 to 7.0. They do best in a high organic composted soil. Tree Peonies must be planting in a well-drained area. Any standing water will kill the plants. To help with the aeration, add 30% perlite to the mix.

Planting and Maintenance

For the right container size, see the chart below. Peonies do not like to be disturbed, and the more soil, the better they will do when transferred into the ground. More soil gives better water control, and the roots will stay cooler. If you plan to keep the Peonies longer than 6 months before selling, we advise you to scale up to a larger container.

   Growing time  Growing time
 Root Size  <6 months  >6 months
 1 year  1 Gallon  2 Gallon
 2 year  2 Gallon  3 Gallon


The most critical aspect of planting peonies is correct planting depth. Grafted Tree Peonies should be planted so that the graft union is approximately 4-6 inches below soil level. This may leave very little of the woody stem above ground, and the roots may need to be trimmed to fit in the pot. If planted correctly, the grafted plant will develop its roots and be more robust as a result.

Protect from wind and extreme temperature changes during the winter. Tree peonies should not be cut down in autumn. Except for occasional shaping and removal of branches that have died back, pruning is unnecessary.

Light Conditions

It is best to plant in a location where the plants will receive at least ½ day of sunlight. Morning sun is the best. If to much sun, the flower will fade rapidly.


Directly after planting the roots, water the plants thoroughly. Then, do not water until the soil starts to become dry or is at the dry side of moist. Take a small sample of soil in your hand; if it doesn’t form a ball but crumbles, you need to water it.


Tree Peonies are hardy from Zone 3 to 9. Partial shade, well-drained area is the best location. Plants should always be grown in a well-ventilated area.


A super phosphorus fertilizer (such as bonemeal, 0-11-0) should be added in the fall, followed by a slow release fertilizer (such as bulb booster) in the spring.


Tree peonies do best if planted when the ground is not frozen from September until November. This gives the plant time to develop new roots before they go into dormancy. Tree peonies do not need a long period of cold time to set blooms. A period of 30 to 45 days at 32 to 40 degrees is long enough. We have found that you do not want to keep peonies too warm in the wintertime. This will promote leaf growth before spring. The plants need to grow new roots before sprouting new leaves. Root growth develops rapidly at 60-75 degrees. When soil temperatures reach 40 degrees, the plants will go dormant until spring. The ideal growing location is where the temperature ranges from 5 degrees to 95 degrees F. If temperatures drop below –13 degrees F., plants should be protected.

Claims or Comments

If you run into anything that is not acceptable to you as a grower, we need to know. Please call your sales representative and explain in detail where you have experienced the problems. We will do anything we can to help you and make our organization better in the future. We do our best to ship viable, healthy plants, but we understand that problems do occur. If you feel there is a problem, please write within 10 working days of receipt of your order so we may render any possible assistance. In all cases, we need pictures of the individual plants, the complete shipment, roots etc. If your shipment has been damaged or shorted, note this on the delivery documents and file a claim with the carrier right away. Also, please notify us of any delays. All claims, damages, spoilage and shortages must be reported to us in a written note or letter stating the problem within 10 working days.

Claims received after this period or claims that are not supported by pictures will be respectfully declined.

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