I live in Markham and have received an order if bare root peonies. Can I winter them in a bushel basket of soil or pots and plant in the spring? They would be in the garage over winter.
Thanks for contacting Toronto Master Gardeners. It would be better for you to plant the peonies in the fall rather than overwintering them in a pot. The reason is that one important factor for growing peonies successfully is planting them at the right depth. The eyes, which are the pink or white buds you’ll see at the top of the root, need be planted 1 1/2 to two inches (3 to 5 cm) below soil level. It you overwinter them in soil, you won’t be able to tell where the eyes are when you go to plant them in the spring. You might plant them too deeply and then they won’t flower. Peonies can be planted anytime in the fall before the ground freezes. For more information on the care of peonies please refer to this previous master gardener post.
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