Bought this Peony about 2 weeks ago, was happy and green with two buds at the time. Repotted in its own soil when we got it home, it gets quite a lot of sun and we have had several wet days recently. In the last week however one side has turned purple/brown and the bud has failed to open whilst the other side seems happy! Total novice gardener. Thanks for your help.enter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description here

  • Can you please clarify what you mean by 'repotted in its own soil' please? Did you disturb the roots when repotting? And lastly, I can't see the interior of the flower, but it doesn't seem to be a double flowered variety - do you know which variety it is?
    – Bamboo
    Jul 12, 2019 at 15:41
  • When repotting we just added soil to fill out the larger pot and left the roots in the soil that was already surrounding them. Hope that makes sense. I'm not sure what variety it is I'm sorry. I'll try to add a picture of the flower if that helps? Jul 12, 2019 at 16:10
  • It might do... so yes, if possible, add another photo of the flower
    – Bamboo
    Jul 12, 2019 at 16:11
  • Peonies do great in the ground in northern IL Never saw one in a pot. Where are you? Jul 12, 2019 at 20:00
  • North West England, I was just looking for something to fill the pot.. that is as far as my gardening expertise go. I'll try moving it and staking it and hope for the best. Will post a flower picture as soon as the sun is up. Thanks both Jul 12, 2019 at 20:38

1 Answer 1


I would guess this was grown by the suppliers as a large plant (with maybe 20 or 30 stems and flowers) and then divided into the miserable looking thing you bought, to make more money selling them individually.

Splitting up the roots of large peonies is the normal way to propagate them, but it is best done when the foliage has died down for winter, not when they are in flower!

One of the two stems you bought was probably damaged when the original plant was split up, or you damaged it when you repotted it, and it is now pretty much dead.

Peony plants are notorious for not being able to support the weight of their flowers without supports, which may be how yours got damaged. I would put a stake in the pot and tie something loosely round the "good" stem before it also gets broken by the weather or the weight of the flower.

Since all the foliage dies every winter, the best way to buy peonies is as "bare root" plants in spring, like this video https://youtu.be/qb8ZJaFpFJw, not as fully grown potted plants in summer.

If what is left of your plant survives for the rest of the year, it will probably look better next year, but since it is small plant you may not get any flowers at all until 2021. But you know what the flowers will be like when it does get big enough to flower again, so don't get impatient and throw it out!

  • Goodness. Thanks for all the information! It didn't look quite so sad when we bought it however given what you have told us it might need more support than we expected. Do you think it would be better to plant it in the ground to give it more space and freedom to recover? Jul 12, 2019 at 14:50
  • It will certainly do better in the ground in the long term, assuming your climate is suitable for it. Peonies take up a lot of room - it will probably fill a 1 meter (3 foot) square space in a flower border when it reaches full size (and have 30 or 40 flowers, not one or two).
    – alephzero
    Jul 12, 2019 at 20:23
  • Sorry, I didn't see "NW England" - unless you live near the top of a hill in the Lake District, it should be fine outside there.
    – alephzero
    Jul 12, 2019 at 23:13

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