How to Grow Peony Seeds

Luxurious peonies are an old-fashioned favourite perennial flower. They portray a sense of home, of fragrant afternoons in the shade of the early summer heat. The lush greens sending up their tall buds covered in ants are exciting to watch as the buds seemingly explode into a massive bundle of petals. Growing peonies from seed is a practice used by experienced gardeners to get original cultivars to showcase in their gardens. You can try it, too; just give yourself a little time.

Collect the seed buds that form after the blossoms have faded and fallen off the stem, usually around July, depending on the blossoming time of your cultivar. Place them in a paper bag to dry in a corner of your garden shed or garage for about a month. Wait till they have shrivelled and dried and then remove the seeds.

Plant 3 or 4 seeds in small 227gr plant containers filled with potting soil. They should be about 1/2 inch deep and about an inch apart from one another. Water the soil well and allow to drain.

Slip the whole pot into a plastic bag and close it off to form a humid growing chamber. Set it aside to grow for about three months, during which time the roots will grow. Around December, place the whole bag in a cool spot like your garage or garden shed where it stays just above freezing for another three months.

Bring the plant out of its hiding place and out of the plastic bag when spring has arrived or around late March. Plant the tiny little rootling in a sheltered part of your garden. You should see a leaf or two shooting up over the growing season, but not much growth.

Mulch the little peony plants with some ground up leaves or hay in the fall. Let them weather out the winter and in the spring you should see a plant emerge ready for blossoming. Some are slower to grow than others; so if one doesn't blossom, just wait -- it will in time.


Spray the soil before planting the seeds with a little fungicide.


Don't expect the flowers to look like the parent flowers.

Things You'll Need

  • Peony seeds
  • Potting soil
  • 227gr plant pots
  • Plastic bags
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About the Author

Maryland resident Heide Braley is a professional writer who contributes to a variety of websites. She has focused more than 10 years of research on botanical and garden articles and was awarded a membership to the Society of Professional Journalists. Braley has studied at Pennsylvania State University and Villanova University.