How to Grow Peonies in Zone 9 That Will Thrive

Peonies mostly do well in zones 3-8. However, you can also grow them in zone 9, but you have to put in a little effort and care. Note that peonies generally need colder climates to grow and bloom. But zone 9 experiences warm weather, making it challenging to grow these plants.

If you are a zone 9 gardener determined to grow these flowered and fragrant plants, choosing tree peonies over herbaceous peonies is advisable. That’s because tree peonies have larger blooms and offer a wide flower choice than their counterparts. Continue reading to learn more about growing peony in zone 9.

What Types of Peonies Can Grow in Zone 9?

peony zone 9

Although growing peonies in zone 9 is challenging, it is not impossible. You can successfully grow these plants so long as you choose the right peony type and grow it correctly. Here are the best peonies to grow in zone 9.


Many people love this peony because of its 8-inch rose-shaped flowers. The plant blooms quickly and matures to a height of 4 feet.

Black Dragon

The plant grows to 4-5 feet tall and 4 feet wide. It produces 8-inch flowers with a sweet fragrance and features an anemone shape.

Alice Harding

It is a bright yellow tree peony that has been present since 1935. The plant produces double flowers that give a light lemon fragrance. It can grow to 30 by 36 inches in height and width.

Phoenix White

It is an 8-inch peony that produces white flowers with a slightly pink color. The pink color fades when the flowers fully bloom and open. The plant may take 8-10 years to grow to a height and width of 4-5 feet.

Coral Terrace

It’s a tree peony that grows to a height of about 8-inch. The plant produces pink ruffled blooms and matures to a height of 4-5 feet in approximately ten years.

When Should I Plant Peonies in Zone 9?

peony zone 9

The best time to plant peonies depends on the type you are growing. For instance, Bareroot peonies seem to do well when planted in the spring or fall. Since these types aren’t tender to frost, you can plant them 2-3 weeks before the first frost date. You can plant potted peonies anytime, provided it’s a growing season.

Gardeners can buy half a gallon or gallon containers of peony bushes from their local nursery. Another option is to purchase Bareroots peonies stored in wood shavings. If buying the latter, please purchase one whose roots have 3-5 eyes on them.

Peony Support and Fertilizer

peony zone 9

Peonies need some support; otherwise, they will flop over on the ground. You can use metal peony rings to support your plants. This will help keep the stem straight.

But to avoid extra work and investments, you can choose peony types that stand on their own. In that case, opt for short peonies or those with sturdy stems.

When it comes to fertilizing, please do that once you have deadheaded your plant in the early summer. The best fertilizer blend is 5-10-5, and remember to keep your fertilizer 6-18 inches away from the plant’s middle. The 5-10-5 is a percentage of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, respectively. Please confirm the details on your package.

Tips to Growing Peonies in Zone 9

peony zone 9

Since zone 9 generally receives warm weather, you need to try your best to provide your plant with a cool environment to support its growth. Choose a planting location where the soil remains cooler than usual. Also, ensure that you provide your plant with the full morning sun but shade it in the afternoon.

You can consider planting your peony close to a large shrub. This will protect it from the sun’s afternoon heat. We also suggest that you provide drip irrigation starting from the late spring towards early fall.

Cover the soil with a mulch of 1-2 inches layer after planting. Doing this allows moisture retention. Again, it would be best if you chose peonies that bloom early so that the flowers can bloom before it gets too hot. Single flowered peonies perform better in zone 9 than doubles.

If you are planting an herbaceous pony, make sure you plant shallowly. And remember to position its root a half to one inch below the soil surface. You may also have to force your plant into dormancy by cutting its back to the ground around November. That will trick the plant into believing that it’s dropped its leaves naturally, like what occurs in cold climates.

Again, for those growing several peony plants, remember to leave a space of 3-4 feet between them. Adequate spacing allows successful growth in the future and sufficient airflow between your plants.

Also, remember to provide enough water during the summer to prevent the plant from wilting.

Peony zone 9: Final Thoughts

Growing peonies in zone 9 is challenging because of the warm climate. However, you can still find success. The above tips can help gardeners grow these flowery plants successfully.