If your ground has been properly enriched at planting time, you should feed on more than once per year in the spring with T&C Fruit & Flower Food or Save-a-Tree. Keep all fertilizer away from the crowns of the plants. There are no feeding roots there.
Spread it over the area where the roots grow, from six to eighteen inches from the crown and thoroughly incorporate it with the soil. Fertilize with discretion. Over-fertilized plants will not bloom well and soon run their course.
Water your peony plants immediately after planting so that the soil settles well around the roots. During the spring months, there is usually enough moisture in the ground for peony plants, but if several weeks pass without rain, give them a good watering. Then water whenever the soil is dry ½ inch below the surface.
The best time to divide the peony is late September to early October. Here are a few tips for successful peony division and planting.
- Cut plant stems down to ground
- Carefully dig plants and shake gently to remove
- Cut clump into sections making sure that each section has about 5 eyes (sprouts) and a portion of the root system.
Peony blossoms can often be so large and heavy that they break down the stems of the plant. It is wise to place a cage, grid, or other support system around plants to help hold them up. This may not be required until the year after planting.
Newly planted peonies should be given winter protection for the first winter after planting. After the ground is frozen in fall, give them a covering of mulch such as Soil Pep about three to six inches deep. This covering will protect the plants against heaving due to alternate thawing and freezing. Remove the covering early in spring. Established plants need no winter protection.
After the first heavy frost when the foliage has turned brown in fall, cut the plants down as near to the ground as possible. Burn or discard all the old stems and leaves as a protection against disease.