The elegant, numerous petals of the peony bloom make for a truly classic look in the garden. Loved for centuries, many peony varieties boast of an extremely pleasant fragrance and wonderful cutflower characteristics. Their dark green foliage comes back in abundance each year. Due to the heavy flower heads borne atop the stems in late spring during often heavy rainfalls, staking is recommended if a tidy appearance is desired. The root stock of a peony often resembles a small twig and should be planted horizontally to the ground, not more than 2" deep and 24-30" apart. Small "eyes" can sometimes be seen along these roots which are the origins of the impending new growth. Peonies can be planted in both the spring and the fall and often take one full calendar year in their new location to flower.
What’s the deal with peonies and ants?
Many people have heard of (or experienced firsthand) the presence of ants among these gorgeous blooms. Although not completely proven, it is believed that peonies produce small amounts of nectar which attract the ants. The movement of these ants at the base of the blooms helps to open the densely-packed petals, creating a beautiful open flower. It should not be assumed that planting peonies will cause an infestation of ants in your landscape. Peonies simply attract harmless ants which are already present in your yard to assist them in putting on their show!