Planting and care
Peonies are unfussy and grow well in most good, moist, well-drained soils including improved clay.
An open, sunny position brings the most flowers, but on thin, dry soils, light shade will help plants withstand droughts. Plant with the crown buried by no more than 1in (2.5cm). On poor soil, add bone meal at planting and generalpurpose fertiliser every spring.
Mulch with well-rotted organic matter over the roots, but never the crown.
Should a peony lose vigour after 8-10 years, lift and divide the crown in autumn, replanting sections that hold at least three growth buds each. They may take two or three years to begin flowering again.
If flowering is poor, perhaps the crown is buried too deeply, it is too shaded, there is competition from nearby plants, the soil is too wet in winter or dries out in spring. Frosted flower buds might thaw too quickly in an eastfacing position.
Peonies grow in most moist well-drained soils