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ALASKA HAWAII MIDWEST NORTHEAST PACIFIC NORTHWEST SOUTHEAST SOUTHWEST WEST Zone 1 Zone 2 Zone 3 Zone 4 Zone 5 Zone 6 Zone 7 Zone 8 Zone 9 Zone 10
What is this To help gardeners understand which plants will grow well for them, the entire USA has been segmented into ‘Plant Hardiness Zones’.

Peony Benjamin Franklin

 
 

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Regular Price: $18.98

Sale $16.99

per Bag of 1 You save: 10%
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Shipping begins in September based on ground temperatures, coldest zones first. Learn More…

Lightly fragrant, Peony ‘Benjamin Franklin’s’ deep-red double blossoms join the parade just as other peonies are fading in early summer. Perfect for cut flowers, the large outer petals cradle delicate inner petals for sumptuous blooms that star in the yard or in a flower vase. Long-lived, a peony will thrive for decades. (Paeonia lactiflora ‘Benjamin Franklin’)

Zones 4 - 9
Advantages
Deer Resistant
Deer Resistant
Bee Friendly
Bee Friendly
Rabbit Resistant
Rabbit Resistant
Fragrant
Fragrant
Cut Flowers
Cut Flowers
Light Requirements
Full Sun
Full Sun
Mature Plant Size 24-36" tall, 24-36" wide
Bloom Time Late spring to early summer
Size Bag of 1 - Root Size: 2-3 eyes
SKU AFLGA01

Plant Information

24-36" tall x 24-36" wide. Early summer, free flowering extravagance! Peony ‘Benjamin Franklin’ blooms in June with abundant crimson-red blossoms. The double flowers unfold, inviting admiration with their gentle sweet scent. Peonies are great as cut flowers. Snip when the buds are well formed and watch them unfold. Very cold hardy and deer resistant, plant in well-drained, compost enriched soil in a sunny location. Don’t crowd peonies, good air circulation keeps them healthy and happy. Peonies live for 50 years or more, rewarding you with decades of beautiful flowers. The dark green glossy foliage adds a stately presence throughout the season. Trim off spent blooms, and clean up wilted foliage as the season ends. They will send up new shoots in the spring.

SKU AFLGA01
Common Name Peony
Botanical Name Paeonia lactiflora
Zones 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9
Light Requirements Full Sun
Flower Color Red
Mature Height 24-36" tall
Estimated Mature Spread 24-36" wide
Bloom Time Late spring to early summer
Planting Depth Plant the roots 1" to 2" below soil level with the eyes (buds) pointing up.
Ships As Bare Root
Foliage Color Green
Foliage Glossy green oval-lance shaped leaves.
Planting Time Fall
Soil Type Loamy Soil
Soil Moisture Average, Well Draining
Advantages Deer Resistant, Bee Friendly, Rabbit Resistant, Fragrant, Cut Flowers
Neonicotinoid-Free Yes - Learn More
Ships to Hawaii, Alaska & Canada No

Planting & Care

Planting Peonies

Adding peonies to your garden is easy. Plant in full sun in most regions. In colder regions, planting peonies in shade will result in weak stems and less flowers. In warmer regions or where spring is hot and dry, choose a site with afternoon shade. Plant in average or well-draining loamy soil. Peonies prefer soil that provide moisture, but isn’t water logged. Add compost if needed before planting.

Planting Steps for Herbaceous and Intersectional (Itoh) Peonies

  1. Choose a site with well-drained soil away from any competing roots. Peonies thrive if left to grow undisturbed in the same location for years.
  2. Dig a hole 12" wide and the length of the roots. This is the time to add any compost in the bottom of the hole. Plant the roots 1" to 2" below the soil level with the eyes (buds) pointing up. If you are planting more than one, plant 2-3 feet apart to allow enough space. If planted to deep, the peony will lack blossoms. Visit our planting guide for a detailed description
  3. Slowly back-fill around the roots, not allowing any air pockets, adding pressure to compact the soil.
  4. Once planted, gently water around the plant. Add a light mulch or chopped leaves to reduce weeds and to regulate soil temperature and moisture. Water every day for 5 days in the morning or evening, unless it rains or there is lots of moisture. Be sure not to over water, as the roots will rot.

Planting Tree Peonies

Planting tree peonies is different than herbaceous and intersectional itoh peonies.

  1. Choose a site with well-drained soil away from any competing roots. Tree peonies thrive if left to grow undisturbed in the same location for years.
  2. Dig a hole the length of the roots roughly 2 feet deep and dig it wide enough to accommodate the roots with some room to grow, roughly 1 foot wide. This is the time to add any compost in the bottom of the hole. If you are planting more than one, plant 2-3 feet apart to allow enough space.
  3. Slowly back-fill around the roots, not allowing any air pockets, adding pressure to compact the soil.
  4. Once planted, gently water around the plant. Water when needed, the best practice is when the soil has dried out and or it hasn't rained. Tree peonies need water to generate root growth, but if over watered, they will rot.

Aftercare

The first year of growing peonies, expect the roots to products 2-5 leave shoots and 1-2 flowers. Year two brings a plant double the size and double the blossoms. By the fourth or fifth year peonies will be full and bushy, with lots of foliage and blossoms.

Staking

Itoh and tree peonies don't require staking, but most herbaceous peony once established, produce heavy flowers that often are too heavy for its stems. You don't have to stake them, but if you don't, you're going to have big beautiful flowers nodding down. So once you have a healthy clump, use peony rings to keep them upright. The rings are simply wheel-like wire arrangements that stand up over the peony like a little wire table as the plant sprouts in the spring. With upright supports, the peony ring is placed so the shoots will grow up through the round wire bale. Of course, the foliage quickly hides the ring, and you have a beautifully-supported clump well before the flowers open. Where to find Peony Rings? We recommend Gardeners Supply.

Pruning/Trimming

For herbaceous and (itoh) intersectional peonies after blooms have passed, clip expired blooms down to the where the foliage meets the stem. Leave the foliage for the remainder of the growing season. As fall arrive and temperatures cool, the leaves will turn yellow and then wilt. For herbaceous peonies trim back all foliage to about 3" from the ground. This keeps the plant tidy and allows new growth to come up without damaging it. In the fall itoh peonies need to be treated similar to herbaceous and tree peonies since they are a hybrid of both. Once the plant has matured its best to trim back so that the herbaceous portion of the stem is removed and the hard wood portion remains. Its best to leave the peonies alone in there first year of growing so that you tell the difference between the herbaceous green stem from the hard wood portion as the leaves die back. Usually mature itoh peonies will leave 4-5 inches of hard wood above ground.

Tree peonies require different trimming techniques. Cut the stem just below the expired blooms. If you trim the stem to far, it will hinder next year's growth. This years green shoots will become next years woody branch. So in the fall, do not trim back or cut to the ground, leave the shrub as is. If you have a mature tree peony and it needs shaping, the best time to prune, is right after it blooms. Make sure to not take to much off the tree as it can really hurt the shrub.

Fertilizer

Peonies don’t need to be fertilized every year. Its best to plant them with plenty of nutrients. Apply bonemeal, compost or well-rotted manure in early summer, after peonies have bloomed every couple of years.

Further Reading:

Shipping

Shipping begins in September based on ground temperatures, coldest zones first.

As soon as your order is placed you will receive a confirmation email. You will receive a second email the day your order ships telling you how it has been sent. Fall bulbs are shipped at the proper planting time for your hardiness zone. Perennial orders may arrive separately from bulbs and seeds. If your order requires more than one shipment, there is no additional shipping charge. See our shipping information page for approximate ship dates and more detailed information. If you need express shipping or have any questions, please call Customer Service toll-free at (877) 309-7333 or contact us by email.

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Q & A

Plant With These:

USDA Hardiness Planting Zones

To determine if a plant is sufficiently cold hardy, the USDA created numbered zones indicating winter low temperatures; the lower the zone number the colder the winter.

  • If the coldest winter temperature expected in your area is -15°F (zone 5) then any plants rated zones 3-5 will survive the winter temperatures in your area.
  • If you live in very warm winter areas (zones 9-11) plants with zones 3-4 ratings are not recommended. The lack of freezing winter temperatures do not provide a time for winter dormancy (rest).

Find Your Planting Zone:

Enter your Zip Code to find your USDA Planting Zone

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