Peonies are perennial flowers whose plants die back in winter.
The RHS recommends starting with bare-root rather than container grown plants. They will generally have 3 to 5 ‘eyes’ (buds) on the end of a long carrot-like root.
Plant peonies with the tips of the buds 2 inches (5 cm) below the soil surface, making sure the roots are not exposed. Peonies need a period of chilling in winter, which they don’t get if planted too deeply.
Make a large hole when planting. Peonies take time to settle and should flower in their second year.
Stake peonies as necessary. Semi-circular hoop supports work well.
Feed with seaweed extract in spring & mid-summer.
Mulch lightly with well-rotted manure in November.
Cut stems to ground level in November.
There are four main ‘flower forms’ of peony: Single (mostly cup-shaped with one or two rows of petals); Semi-Double (similar to single but with more rows of petals); Double (large flowers with petals that are overlapping so that you can barely see the stamens); and Anemone-forms (single or semi-double blooms). RHS The Garden, June 2019, p.28.
** we have a dark pink/red flowering peony, along with a gorgeous yellow-flowering peony in the back patch.