The general information about Peonies:
The reason for the rule of thumb of 3 eyes on each transplant is so that the tuber is large and strong enough to survive and bloom within a couple of years. The plants with one or two eyes will still grow but take much longer to produce the flowers.
Peonies are very adaptable, but ideally they like a well-drained, slightly acidic soil(6.5 to 7.0 pH). If you are planting in heavy, clay type soil, amending with compost or some soil mix, the bag can say labeled for azaleas and rhododendrons, before planting, will make it easier for your peony plant to settle in. Since peonies can remain in the same spot for upwards of 70 years, you must take the time to prepare the soil. This is an important step not to skip.
Peonies like a good chill in the winter which is perfect for our VIRGINIA weather. In order to set their flower buds, peony roots should be planted relatively close to the soil surface; only about 2-3 inches deep. It may feel odd to leave roots so exposed, but peonies actually need this chilling to attain dormancy and set buds.
The full peony plant will be 3-4′ in diameter and planting space should be accommodated as such. They are prone to grey mold, botrytis, if planted too closely. They need at least 6 hours of sunlight, so you need to keep in mind the area you are wanting to plant them.
They are a hearty plant that takes some prep time. We are designing and planting the peonies now. Call us to design your garden peonies! Don’t wait too long.