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Tree Peonies

Tree peonies are hardy, long-lived, woody shrubs that don't die back to the ground in the fall like bush peonies. Our tree peonies are grafted and imported directly from Japan. Tree peonies flower just before bush varieties and are suited for zones 4-7. Pollinators love tree peony flowers.

Tree Peony Varieties for Sale From Breck's

Tree peonies are hardy, long-lived, woody shrubs that don't die back to the ground in the fall like bush peonies. Our tree peonies are grafted, a technique whereby the bud of the desired variety is fused onto understock and imported directly from Japan. A tree peony plant is sure to attract and impress your visitors.

Grafted plants tend to establish more quickly and are able to withstand adverse soil conditions more easily than tree peonies that grow on their own roots. It flowers just before herbaceous varieties and are suited for zones 4-7. If you are interested in adding peony trees to your garden landscape, check out our beautiful collection.

Tree Peony FAQs

What is a Tree Peony?

Tree peonies are the tallest of the peonies grown in the United States, with heights reaching up to seven feet. They're long-lived, and are larger and woodier than herbaceous peonies. While you might consider most peonies a seasonal perennial, tree peonies really work to create structure in the landscape, and shouldn't be cut down year after year. These tall, rewarding shrubs will come back year after year to provide stunning, light texture and beautiful foliage.

When to Plant a Tree Peony

Like other peonies, tree peonies should be planted in fall, just a few weeks before the first frost is set to occur. For much of the US, this means planting in September or October. Planting in fall allows your peony to settle in over winter, and get a good start on growth when spring rolls around. However, some peonies can go into the ground in spring—check your specific variety for more information.

Peonies typically ship as bare root plants, and just a big of prep goes into getting them ready for planting. Soak the tubers in a bucket of room-temperature water for a few hours before you plant, to loosen the roots. For each peony, dig a hole large enough to accommodate the roots of your peony, and so that the eyes, or growth buds, will be an inch or two below the soil. Spread out the roots when you plant, backfill the hole, and water in well.

How to Care for Tree Peony

Itoh and herbaceous peonies have a reputation for being extremely easy-care plants, but nearly all peonies bred for American gardens are really easy to grow. Tree peonies are no exception, however, they may require some staking.

Water thoroughly after planting your tree peony, and water occasionally the first summer after planting, in particular when they begin to bloom. Peonies are not generally very thirsty plants, but they will benefit from being watered during dry spells. Another way to help your peonies flourish? Add an all-purpose fertilizer in springtime to give them an extra boost. Stake your plant after buds form on the stems, loosely looping twine to support those budding flowers.

After blooming, you can deadhead your peonies—but allow the leaves to stay on the plant through fall. Unlike herbaceous peonies, tree peonies shouldn't be cut all the way back. Pruning should be done after the plant is finished blooming, or in the spring, and no more than one-third of the plant should be cut back.

How to Prune Tree Peony

Peonies should be pruned in autumn, just after they've finished blooming. Blooming peonies can be deadheaded throughout the blooming period, but wait to prune until autumn, or early spring. Unlike itoh and herbaceous peony varieties, which may be pruned heavily in the fall, tree peonies should not be cut down fully. Instead, just prune these peonies in late autumn or before the growing season re-starts in spring. Using a clean saw, cut back any suckers from the base of the plant, and remove any crossed or damaged branches. Then, cut your peony to your desired size and shape, but don't cut back more than one-third the total size of the plant.

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