Whenever I post this the door is open for additional questions so thank you for those of you who have emailed me. Please read on for revisions to my previous post. This is not a life or death event for peonies as they are way smarter than us mere humans. One key sign that peonies need a slow drink of water is when they wilt. That said, peonies will also wilt during freezing temperatures and TOO MUCH WATER! See my conundrum? Alerting gardeners to water their peonies opens up way too many ‘what if’s’ versus looking at your peonies to see if they are wilting during drought or way too much water.
If, IF you have had ‘normal’ growing conditions, you do not need to water your peonies if you are in USDA zones 2-4. Those of you in USDA zones 5-8a, you hopefully know what to do. Here on our peony farm we do not water all our peonies as we want them to experience all life lessons no mater the weather conditions. Last night we gave some of the American Peony Society members a private tour of our peony farm. All were amazed at the condition of our peonies and the blooms that have weathered (no pun intended) our recent string of 90F+ degree days (including 102F last Saturday) and the lack of moisture due to our extended drought. Again peonies are way too smart for me!
If you choose to water your peonies in USDA zones 2-4, only do it 1x per week as noted in my previous post. Thus the slow shower soak of water around the drip line for 5 minutes per plant, check the drip line by sticking your finger into the soil in a couple of days to see if dry (reapply water) or wet (do not apply water); should only be done 1x per week until July 5th.
Sorry we cannot answer all your emails directly at this time as we are amass in peony blooms pictures and Peony Field Days. Thanks.