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Peony Rose Growing Guide

Header Peony Rose - Garden Express Australia

What is Peony Rose?

Peony Rose (Paeonia lactiflora Hybrids) is a deciduous small woody shrub. It is part of the Paeoniaceae family and originated in China, Tibet and Siberia and now has many named hybrids.

The Peony Rose is not the easiest plant to grow, but with persistence, knowledge and a little support from your garden, they are a beautiful and well worthwhile part of your garden.

Growing peony roses and giving them the love and attention they require will allow new shoots to sprout in spring. At this stage of the peony rose’s life, it will form into glossy dark green foliage that looks fantastic in both pots and your garden.

Flowering will then commence from mid-spring through summer, depending on the variety. Flowers come in shades of white, pink, rose and red. Your Peony Rose bush will start to die back and go into dormancy in autumn.

You can grow peony roses in pots or in your garden. When looking for the perfect spot to plant your Peony Rose, look for a space that receives both part shade and full sun throughout the day. As a part of your peony rose care, select a position that ensures your Peony Rose can enjoy the morning sun while being protected from the scorching afternoon sun. To take proper care of Peony Roses, also make sure that they are protected from the wind.


Benefits of Growing Peony Rose

Peony Roses are mostly used as perennial border plants that reward with lush blooms in spring and early summer, while providing interesting foliage for the rest of the year. They are a decorative addition to any cottage garden and their flowers will attract butterflies. Through dedicated care and optimal Peony Rose growing conditions, they make excellent cut flowers that can last over a week in water. These blooms are delightfully fragrant and look wonderfully romantic in vases and posies.


How to Grow Peony Rose

Peony Rose Red Robin Pkprorro - Garden Express Australia

Peony Rose Red Robin

Climatic Zones

The Peony Rose grows best in cool and temperate climates, and parts of Australia that have cold winters, including Victoria and Tasmania. This is because most Peony Rose varieties require cold winter months to achieve full dormancy and to help each flower bud to grow. Despite growing best in cool conditions, Peony Rose bushes prefer arid climates that experience very little rain.


Soil Preparation

Peony Roses prefer well-drained and heavier types of soil. To best prepare your soil for proper Peony Rose care, add lots of organic matter such as blood and bone, or well-broken down compost prior to planting. It’s important to avoid using animal manure as this will make the soil more acidic, with the exception of poultry manure. Effective Peony Rose bush care also requires the application of some form of lime, such as dolomite which is an essential nutrient for peonies to grow well. The optimal soil for growing Peony Roses is a pH of 7-7.5.


Plant Size

Your commitment to providing ongoing Peony Rose bush care, in addition to climate and soil conditions will help determine how big it grows. Sizes vary from plant to plant, with some Peony Roses growing to a maximum height of 1 metre and others growing to approximately 70-90cm tall. Peony Rose bushes will generally grow up to 40-80cm wide when planted in a garden. As winter approaches, your Peony Rose bush will die down ready to reemerge in spring.


When To Plant Peony Rose

The best time to grow peonies is in winter or early spring. This is because Peony Roses adore cold weather which effectively chills the bush ready for bud formation.


How To Plant Peony Rose In A Garden

To give your Peony Rose bush the best chance to thrive, plant it in partial shade to full sun and approximately 30-60cm apart with the rhizome at a depth of 5cm below the surface of the soil. Try to make sure that the spot you choose is the best option, as Peony Roses don’t like to be transplanted once they are settled.

It’s also important that the eye of the rootstock is not buried too deep. It should be facing upwards. When planting your Peony Rose in your garden, make sure that you select a spot that’s away from other trees or shrubs to ensure they don’t have to compete for food and moisture.


How To Plant Peony Rose In A Pot

Start by selecting a large pot that is double the size of the Peony Rose bush and has a sufficient number of drainage holes. Then put the pot in an area in your garden that receives morning sun and is protected from the harsh afternoon sun. Next, fill the pot with potting mix and put the Peony Rose shrub in the middle, backfilling the pot with more soil and patting it down. Water the soil around the shrub well.


How To Care For Peony Roses

There are a number of tried and true Peony Rose bush care tips that gardeners can follow when caring for peony roses in both gardens and pots. These include:

  • Keeping your Peony Rose bush well watered during the growing period.
  • Mulching to protect root zone.
  • Top dressing with Dolomite Lime in winter and a good layer of blood and bone in spring and autumn.
  • Remove old and broken branches when pruning.
  • As peonies don’t like competition plants, remove any grass or weeds that come up around their base.
  • Botrytis can be a problem in Spring; this can be controlled with regular use of a commercial spray.


Recommended Peony Rose Varieties

The Chinese regard these plants as the Queen of flowers and are thought to represent good fortune, love and prosperity. These great shrubs provide huge blooms against the unique Peony leaves.




















We are located in Victoria’s scenic Yarra Valley in the heart of the Monbulk-Silvan horticultural area. This area has been growing an enormous range of both ornamental and produce crops since the 1800’s. Travelling through the area can be rewarded with a visual feast of various bulb farms, tulip fields, roses and raspberries to name a few. Come visit us in person, browse online or give us a call on 1300 606 242