Can Peonies Change Color?

Can peonies really change color?

peony_pink_alamy

Q. My yellow peony went white right after a late cold snap. What happened? Can peonies change color?

A. Yes and no. The truth is that peony plants don't change in bloom color, but they do seed, and the seedlings often will bloom a different color. As peonies grow and expand, it's easy to confuse the parent plant with some of the new volunteers that come along. Look closely at the base of your plant and you may see that the white flowers are coming from a stem that's separate from the original base plant. Sometimes the seedlings are more vigorous than the parent plant, and may take over the "look" of the peony bed.

If your peonies have been growing undisturbed in the same spot for three years or more, they may have become overcrowded. The best time to divide them is in the fall when the plant is about to go dormant. If the time is right, you'll see new growth buds at the crown of the bush.

Cut back the foliage, and dig out the entire clump. Cut the crown in several pieces, allowing each crownlet to have three to five eyes. Don't cut the thick part of the roots. If you want to hedge your bets, dust the cut surfaces with a fungicide. Plant so that eyes will be facing up, two inches below the soil surface, in moist, well-drained, rich soil in full sun. Water well and mulch.

Although peonies bloom for only a week or two in the spring, you can extend the season by planting early-, mid- and late-blooming varieties.

Next Up

How to Plant, Grow and Care for Poppy Flowers

An iconic flower, there are actually several types of poppies. Get expert tips and advice for growing and harvesting them all.

Mums 101: When To Plant and How To Grow Chrysanthemums

Mums can give you color until the cold comes. Here’s how to make the queen of autumn gardens thrive.

Planting and Caring for Moonflowers

Our garden experts offer moonflower planting, growing and care tips for this blooming vine.

'Limelight' Hydrangea Planting and Growing Tips

Bask in the late-summer limelight with these gorgeous blooms.

How to Plant a Kitchen Herb Garden

Herbs are easy to grow, they don’t take up a lot of space and they are a healthy way to add more flavor to your cooking. Whether you’re a beginning gardener or looking to elevate your culinary skills, an herb garden is the way to go.

How to Grow Daylilies

With some advance planning, you can have glorious daylilies for spring by planting in the fall with this advice from HGTV gardening experts.

When to Prune Hydrangeas: Expert Tips

To know when to cut back hydrangeas, you'll need to know the varieties of hydrangeas in your garden.

Begonias: How to Plant, Grow and Care for Begonias

Discover some begonia varieties to try in your home and garden and find out how to make sure they thrive with our begonia care tips.

How to Grow and Care for Gardenia Plants

For those in warmer climates, gardenias make a stunning and scent-filled addition to the landscape or outdoor containers, while those in colder climates can cultivate this plant indoors. Either way, you'll look forward to the smell of these sweet perennials year after year.

Lantana Care: Growing and Pruning Lantana

Add easy-care beauty to your yard by growing lantana—you won’t be disappointed.

Go Shopping

Get product recommendations from HGTV editors, plus can’t-miss sales and deals.

On TV

Mexico Life

7am | 6c

Mexico Life

7:30am | 6:30c

Mexico Life

8am | 7c

Mexico Life

8:30am | 7:30c

Mexico Life

9am | 8c

Mexico Life

9:30am | 8:30c

Mexico Life

10am | 9c

Mexico Life

10:30am | 9:30c

Mexico Life

11am | 10c

Mexico Life

11:30am | 10:30c

Beachfront Bargain Hunt

12:30pm | 11:30c
On Tonight
On Tonight

House Hunters International

8pm | 7c

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.