How to Grow Peonies Indoors

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Peonies, recognizable for their large blooms, are familiar garden plants. The flowers grow in a variety of colors, with large, showy blossoms that are popular in weddings and home decoration. Peony flowers are not limited to the outdoor garden. While peonies are notoriously difficult to grow indoors, it is possible to do so and enjoy their beautiful blossoms almost year-round.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 to 5 lbs. potting soil
  • 6-inch pots
  • Peony seeds
  • 1-gallon plastic storage bags
  • Refrigerator
  • Large permanent pots
  • Place the seeds in a bowl or cup of water in October and allow them to soak for four days. Store the soaking seeds at room temperature.

  • Fill 6-inch pots with moist potting soil.

  • Push peony seeds 3/4 inch into the potting soil. Place three seeds in each pot, 2 inches apart.

  • Store each pot in a 1-gallon plastic storage bag, tightly sealing or closing the top of each bag. Keep the bags in a warm, dry place for the next three months.

  • Dig 2 to 3 inches into the soil in January to check for developing root systems. Proceed to the next step with any plants that have taken root.

  • Move the pots to cold storage and refrigerate them at temperatures just above freezing. Do not place the pots outside.

  • Transfer plants into permanent pots filled with potting soil in the spring. Each pot should measure approximately 1 foot in diameter and 18 inches deep. Plant the peony sprouts approximately 2 inches below the surface of the soil, one sprout in each pot.

  • Move the potted peony seedlings to a sunny location that gets six to eight hours of sunlight every day. Keep the soil evenly moist, neither wet nor dry.

Tips & Warnings

  • Provide ventilation for peonies by placing them near a window.
  • Avoid overcrowding your peony plants.
  • Consider moving your peony plants to an outdoor garden if they fail to thrive indoors.
  • Keep peonies cool in winter. Peonies that get too hot will not bloom properly.

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