You’ve probably seen peonies brightening gardens with beautiful and voluminous flowers and lovely foliage. But have you ever thought about whether peonies can grow indoors? Keep reading to learn whether or not you can grow these popular flowering plants inside.
What Type of Conditions Do Peonies Like?
As mentioned above, peonies can grow well in various climates. However, they typically grow better in cooler temperatures than they do in warmer climates.
This is because peony plants require a certain amount of cold to break dormancy and produce flowers. Most varieties require at least 100 chilling hours per year, but some varieties require more than 500 hours.
So, what’s a chilling hour? It depends on who you ask.
Some models define a chilling hour as any hour below 45ºF after October 1. However, other people think chilling hours occur anytime the temperature falls between 32ºF–45ºF.
They also prefer well-draining soil that is moist but not wet.
Can You Grow Peonies Indoors?
Now let’s get into answering the main question. Yes, peonies can grow indoors.
However, you’ll need to keep the peony’s environmental needs in mind if you want to end up with lots of flowers!
Choosing Indoor Peony Varieties
Peonies can vary in size from one foot to eight feet tall. Therefore, you’ll want to pay close attention to the variety before you plant it in your home!
If you want a smaller plant, look for herbaceous peonies such as Paeonia lactiflora.
Planting Peonies in Containers
If you want to grow peonies indoors, you have to plant them in a container. When you’re selecting a container, choose a pot that is at least 18 inches wide and 18 inches deep.
The container’s material doesn’t matter, but you should make sure it has drainage holes that allow excess water to escape. Next, fill the container with a rich yet well-draining potting mix.
Regardless of if you’re planting a peony plant or just a peony root, you want the eyes of the peony root to be covered by more than two inches of soil (peony roots can freeze in winter). Burying the peonies deeper than this will prevent them from blooming.
The best time to plant peonies is in the fall or spring.
Providing Peonies with Cold Temperatures
As mentioned above, peonies must be exposed to cool temperatures during the winter. Since most indoor areas are warm, this means you need to get creative when it comes to indoor-grown peonies.
One option is to move the entire container to a cool area such as a garage or outdoor patio. When spring arrives, you can move the potted peonies back indoors.
If you find your pot is too large or cumbersome to move, you can dig up the peony roots and place them in a smaller container filled with potting mix. Place the container somewhere cold that will provide the proper chilling hours.
When early spring arrives, you can replant the roots in the indoor container.
Caring for Indoor Peonies
Caring for indoor peonies is similar to caring for outdoor peonies, with a few caveats.
One thing to keep in mind is that most peonies require at least five hours of bright light each day. That means you should put your potted peonies in a bright location, such as near a south-facing window.
If your home doesn’t have a bright area, you can utilize grow lights to provide supplemental lighting.
Growing Peonies Indoors
With the proper care, peonies can thrive indoors. Remember to provide the plants with cold temperatures in the winter, expose them to bright light, and choose a pot that is large enough to support their growth.