How to Grow Peonies in Pots

peony growing in a pot

Container gardening is a fantastic way to grow your favourite plants, and in this blog, we’re going to explain how to grow peonies in pots. This diverse and stunning perennial can flourish in pots, providing you with a burst of colour and fragrance come spring.

Let’s explore the captivating world of peonies, and learn how to cultivate these beauties in pots, with some expert advice and answers to frequently asked questions.

Peonies: An Overview

Peonies are revered for their large, fragrant blooms that grace our gardens in late spring. Originating from Asia, Europe, and Western North America, they come in a plethora of colours, from creamy whites to deep reds. Besides their aesthetic appeal, peonies are also hardy and can live for many years, making them a cherished part of any garden.

Growing Guide: Cultivating Peonies in Pots

Choosing Your Peony and Pot

Look for peony varieties that are suitable for container growing. Herbaceous peonies, like ‘Bowl of Beauty’ or ‘Sarah Bernhardt‘, are often recommended. The pot should be large and sturdy, with plenty of drainage holes to prevent waterlogging.

Preparing Your Pot and Plant

A mix of two-thirds garden soil or compost and one-third coarse sand or perlite is perfect for peonies. Plant the peony so that the buds (eyes) are no more than an inch below the surface. If planted too deep, they may not bloom.

Positioning Your Pot

Place your pot in a location where it will receive at least six hours of sunlight a day. However, a spot with afternoon shade can help the blooms last longer.

Watering and Feeding Your Peony

Water thoroughly but infrequently, allowing the top inch of soil to dry out between watering. Overwatering can lead to fungal diseases. Feed your peonies with a balanced, all-purpose fertiliser in spring as the shoots appear.

Top Tips for Thriving Peonies in Pots

Winter Care

While peonies are cold-hardy, in containers, their roots are more exposed. In colder regions, consider insulating the pot or moving it to a sheltered location over winter.

Refreshing the Compost

Every couple of years, refresh the compost in the pot to replenish nutrients. Be careful not to damage the roots.

Deadheading and Pruning

Once the blooms have faded, deadhead your peony to conserve its energy. In autumn, cut herbaceous peonies back to the ground.

Frequently Asked Questions about Peonies in Pots

1. When will my peony bloom?

Peonies bloom in late spring or early summer, depending on the variety. However, peonies often won’t bloom the first year after planting, so don’t be disheartened!

2. Why isn’t my peony blooming?

There could be several reasons, such as planting too deep, not enough sunlight, or nutrient deficiency. Also, peonies need a cold period in winter to set buds.

3. Can I grow tree peonies in pots?

Yes, you can grow tree peonies in pots, although they will typically grow smaller than in the ground.


Peonies in pots can add a lovely splash of colour to any outdoor space, and with a bit of care, these hardy perennials will reward you with spectacular blooms year after year. Why not try your hand at growing these garden favourites in a pot this year? We’d love to hear about your gardening