Peonies need at least half sun, fertile soils are best, but they will grow well in poor soils with extra fertiliser. Take a soil test and get advice as to what exactly is needed in your location.

Good winter drainage is essential. Too much water can kill your peonies. English text books emphasise high organic matter which peonies do love, but it is a way of reducing water logging in the dank English winters.

Plant with the buds only 5cm below the surface. For commercial growing, good air circulation is important, especially in coastal climates. We open 2 furrows by trator for each bed, and then hand plant each root. We recommend at least 50cm between rows and 1m between plants in each row. Distances between planting beds is dictated by the machinery you plan to use.

Watering in spring and autumn is the most important. Peonies tend to hibernate above 25ÂșC and are amazingly drought tolerant in summer. This is not recommended for optimum production, but if there are water restrictions the peonies will cope in a drought.