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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 Sarah Bernhardt

 

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'Sarah Bernhardt' is a beloved Peony with large double flowers in fresh, pastel pink. Introduced in 1906, this longtime favorite blooms dependably year after year and presents a healthy amount of emerald green foliage to add interest to the garden throughout the season. Also known for its fragrance, 'Sarah Bernhardt' makes a great cut flower - try it in arrangements or float it all by itself in a simple bowl. Like all peonies, this one is deer resistant, cold hardy and extremely long-lived. (Paeonia lactiflora)

Zones 3 - 8
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 34-36" tall, 24-36" wide
Bloom Time Late spring to early summer
Size Bag of 1 - Root Size: 2-3 eyes
SKU 116PERG
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Pollinator Partnership

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Plant Information

This pink peony with super-large flowers has always been a favorite, since the flowers are as dramatic as their namesake, the world-renowned early stage actress. Famously fragrant.

Growing Peonies: If you live where peonies grow, its the same every year in late spring. Certain homes have them in beds, borders, along drives--and anywhere they grow, they create probably the most beautiful clump of flowering of the whole season. Big, usually fluffy flowers in glossy green foliage.

Perennial peonies are what experienced gardeners call investment plants. They're some of the most permanent landscaping you can buy. In fact, many continue blooming beautifully for over 100 years. Once they're established, they're as hardy and dependable as oaks, creating a fantastic season of bloom in your yard year after year.

Planting Peonies Adding peonies to your garden is not difficult. All you need is full sun and good soil. (In even partial shade, the bloom will be scant or non-existent--keep them out in the sun!) As most gardeners know, the roots look like a bunch of carrots--thick long tapering tuber-like masses that increase every year. Feed them, water them, and the clumps will expand rapidly, and more and more blooms will result.

Types of peonies: The standard perennial peony species is Paeonia lactiflora but within the species, there are thousands of hybrids old and new. And there are several flower types:
Single Peonies are the huge, wide-open ones with just one row of overlapping petals. Like huge poppies, they create dinnerplate-size beauty that's really unmatched in the garden. The singles are less frequently seen in American gardens because of our passion for petals-people just prefer the doubles. One of the most famous singles is the breathtaking Krinkled White, an old classic and still a big favorite.
Japanese Peonies, not to be confused with Tree Peonies which often come from Japan, is a flower form somewhat similar to the singles, but with a more elaborate center. A great example is the big favorite, stunning Bowl of Beauty, with glistening cherry red petals petals plus fluffy yellow center, creating spectacular color contrast.
Semi-double Peonies are just that. They have the basic bottom row of large petals seen on the singles (often called the guard petals), but on top, there are more shorter petals, developing from the center. A great example is the beautiful red Edulis Superba.
Bomb Peonies are the ones with the guard petals flat and large, with a pile of petaling sitting upon them-sort of like a fluffly snowball sitting on a plate. Some of the most-loved and dramatic peonies are bombs including the magnificent Laura Dessert and the dramatic Raspberry Sundae As these two illustrate, there are bombs of various shapes and sizes. With Raspberry Sundae, the large bomb not only adds size and height, it gives the overall bloom a stunning palette of three colors-white guard petals, a collar of yellow, and then pastel pink making up the center. In Laura Dessert, the coloring is all white, with a hint of lemon yellow in the bomb.
Double Peonies are probably the most popular, and the most widely planted. Excellent examples are the famous Victorian introduction, Festiva Maxima with its snowy white flowers with red flecks, and Sarah Bernhardt, the all-time popular double pink with huge flowers and great fragrance. Other popular doubles are the red Karl Rosenfield and white Shirley Temple.

There's really no end to a gardeners pleasure with peonies. They're all good for cutting. The foliage stays glossy and green all summer long, and they attract almost no pests. (Don't confuse the standard perennial peony with the Tree Peony, a separate group. Tree Peonies are more shrub like, and don't die down completely each winter.)

Staking: This is important, since once a peony is established, the heavy flowers are often 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 in the mud. 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? GardenersSupply.com has great ones which I've used, and I recommend them.

Associated SKUs
116PERG
116PER (Bag of 1) - Out of stock.
116FPER (Bag of 1) - Out of stock.
Common Name Peony
Botanical Name Paeonia lactiflora
Zones 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
Light Requirements Full Sun
Flower Color Pink
Flower Size 4-6" flowers
Mature Height 34-36" 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
Planting Time Fall
Soil Type Loamy Soil
Soil Moisture Average, Well Draining
Advantages Deer Resistant, Bee Friendly, Rabbit Resistant, Fragrant, Cut Flowers
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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Reviewsby PowerReviews

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
American MeadowsPeony Sarah Bernhardt
 
3.7

(based on 19 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (3)

83%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Reliable growth (6)
  • Accurate instructions (5)
  • Fragrant (4)
  • Healthy (4)
  • Low maintenance (4)

Cons

  • Slow growth (3)

Best Uses

  • Cut flowers (4)
  • Garden (4)
  • Large areas (4)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Getting started (9), Avid gardener (8)
    • Primary use:
    • Personal (9)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Love these

Planted these last fall. Pulled through a rough winter and an unexpected spring frost. Didn't expect any blooms this year, but got a pleasant surprise. Happy with product.

Planted these last fall. Pulled through a rough winter and an unexpected spring frost. Didn't expect any blooms this year, but got a pleasant surprise. Happy with product.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Planted the day received, nothing ever grew!

We planted as directed on the day received, and nothing ever grew~! So sad, peonies are one of my favorite flowers~!!

We planted as directed on the day received, and nothing ever grew~! So sad, peonies are one of my favorite flowers~!!

Reviewed by 19 customers

Displaying reviews 1-19

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3.0

It didn't survive

By 

from Granbury

About Me Getting Started

See all my reviews

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Accurate Instructions

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Garden

    Comments about American Meadows Peony Sarah Bernhardt:

    It didn't survive. I'm not sure if it was me or the plant.

    • Primary use:
    • Personal

    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    so far so good about 6" tall now

    By 

    from springfield, ohio

    About Me Getting Started

    See all my reviews

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Accurate Instructions
    • Healthy

    Cons

    • Small In Size

    Best Uses

    • Garden
    • Outdoors

    Comments about American Meadows Peony Sarah Bernhardt:

    see above

    • Primary use:
    • Personal

    (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Love these

    By 

    from Philadelphia, PA

    About Me Getting Started

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Accurate Instructions
    • Attractive
    • Fragrant
    • Hardy
    • Healthy

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Garden

      Comments about American Meadows Peony Sarah Bernhardt:

      Planted these last fall. Pulled through a rough winter and an unexpected spring frost. Didn't expect any blooms this year, but got a pleasant surprise. Happy with product.

      • Primary use:
      • Personal

      (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

       
      1.0

      Planted the day received, nothing ever grew!

      By 

      from Charlotte, NC

      About Me Avid Gardener

      Verified Reviewer

      Comments about American Meadows Peony Sarah Bernhardt:

      We planted as directed on the day received, and nothing ever grew~! So sad, peonies are one of my favorite flowers~!!

      • Primary use:
      • Personal

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      1.0

      Hopeful they will grow better next spring.

      By 

      from Humboldt TN

      About Me Master Gardener

      Comments about American Meadows Peony Sarah Bernhardt:

      Doing very poorly. When I received them, my other established peony bushes were already up and in full bloom. Still only about 4 inches tall now in August. I'm hopeful they will do better next spring.

      • Primary use:
      • Personal

      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      2.0

      Still Waiting

      By 

      from Crystal Lake, IL

      About Me Getting Started

      Verified Reviewer

      Comments about American Meadows Peony Sarah Bernhardt:

      I planted in the fall near another peony start-up. The one I received from a relative is doing great and will flower (I planted near the same time as the one from American Meadows). The peony from American Meadows did throw up a few small shoots, so at least I know it is alive. I was told it may take a year or two to flower, but the other new peony is going full force now. I will have to see next year how it does.

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      So far so good!

      By 

      from Wisconsin

      About Me Getting Started

      Verified Reviewer

      Comments about American Meadows Peony Sarah Bernhardt:

      Bought 10/13, planted as soon as it arrived, saw tiny bit of foliage last year....
      this year i see it's little red tips sprouting up already! I was afraid it wouldn't come back after the two hard winters in a row.
      Here's hoping for bigger foliage & blooms next year!

      • Primary use:
      • Personal

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Exceeding expectations

      By 

      from Baltimore, MD

      About Me Getting Started

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Fragrant
      • Large Bulb Size
      • Reliable Growth

      Cons

      • Needs Extensive Watering
      • Slow Growth

      Best Uses

      • Cut Flowers
      • Large Areas

      Comments about American Meadows Peony Sarah Bernhardt:

      Peonies are my favorite flower - so when we bought our first home last year, I knew I needed to plant some. I was a little nervous though - I am new to gardening, and I had read that peonies can be fussy about where they are planted. Nevertheless, I took the plunge and ordered three Sarah Bernhardt tubers.

      They came in beautifully plump and with plenty of growth eyes - well packaged and ready to go. I planted two of them at the entrance to my walkway up to the house, surrounded by tulips and daffodils (also from american meadows) - full sun and good drainage. The third I was a little more nervous about, as the only spot I had available was in dappled light on the north side of the property.

      Well, I shouldn't have worried - all three are growing well, beautiful crimson shoots are getting taller by the day! The one in the shade is a little behind, but I expected that since it gets less sun. Can't wait for year two when I will get some blooms!

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Growing well, no blooms yet

      By 

      from Salem, OR

      About Me Getting Started

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Growing well
      • Low Maintenance
      • Reliable Growth

      Cons

      • Takes Awhile To Bloom

      Best Uses

      • Large Areas
      • Raised Beds

      Comments about American Meadows Peony Sarah Bernhardt:

      I have this planted in a bed by the sidewalk and when it blooms, hopefully next year, it will be beautiful. The foliage is quite good looking already.

      (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Lovely!

      By 

      from Pendleton, KY

      About Me Getting Started

      Verified Reviewer

      Pros

      • Low Maintenance
      • Reliable Growth

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Cut Flowers
        • Raised Beds

        Comments about American Meadows Peony Sarah Bernhardt:

        This is my mothers favorite flower and I ordered the bare roots for her to plant in front of her home as a Mother's Day gift. My mother is a full time Nurse Practitioner and has very little time to devote to gardening. With little work the plants are growing beautifully.

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        So far, so good.

        By 

        from Paradise, ca

        About Me Avid Gardener

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Pest Resistant
        • Reliable Growth

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Cut Flowers

          Comments about American Meadows Peony Sarah Bernhardt:

          It's a new plant to me as I've only seen it grow in other people's gardens. It has survived my hot summer so far with the best of my plants! So far the deer have left it alone.

          (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          1.0

          Not making it

          By 

          from CT

          About Me Avid Gardener

          Pros

            Cons

            • Neither one is making it

            Best Uses

              Comments about American Meadows Peony Sarah Bernhardt:

              I ordered two and planted them according to the instructions. These are not my first peonies, so I know what I'm doing. I have carefully sited them and ensured they had adequate water. One is virtually dead and the other is headed that way. I'm very unhappy with the product.

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              Peony Sarah Bernhardt

              By 

              from Sneads Ferry, NC

              About Me Getting Started

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Large Bulb Size

              Cons

              • Needs Extensive Watering
              • Slow Growth

              Best Uses

              • Border Control

              Comments about American Meadows Peony Sarah Bernhardt:

              I love peonies, it just takes a lot of care initially (watering) and soon the plant will grow.

              (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Most beautiful peony root I ever ordered

              By 

              from Kief, ND

              About Me Avid Gardener

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Fragrant
              • Long Bloom Time
              • Low Maintenance
              • Reliable Growth
              • Vivid Colors

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Cut Flowers
                • Large Areas

                Comments about American Meadows Peony Sarah Bernhardt:

                I have a peony bed with 50 peony bushes in it and I used the roots I ordered to start a new one. The new peony area is covered in decorative rock with petrified wood scattered in the bed and a bird bath. The bushes are just beautiful. The price was the best I have ever found for that quality of root.

                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                so far so good growing good no blooms

                By 

                from detroit

                About Me Avid Gardener

                Pros

                • Reliable Growth

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Border Control
                  • Large Areas

                  Comments about American Meadows Peony Sarah Bernhardt:

                  has good growth so far

                  (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  4.0

                  Slow growth

                  By 

                  from Roswell, GA

                  About Me Casual Hobbyist

                  Verified Reviewer

                  Pros

                  • Low Maintenance
                  • Pest Resistant

                  Cons

                  • Slow Growth

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about American Meadows Peony Sarah Bernhardt:

                    Well, it's hard to grow peonies in our area, especially in such a hot summer as this year's. This one at least sprouted and did not die, so I'm expecting it to grow and may be even to bloom in 3-5 years.

                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Just Beautiful!

                    By 

                    from Chapel Hill, TN

                    About Me Avid Gardener

                    Pros

                    • Accurate Instructions
                    • Attractive
                    • Healthy

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Garden
                      • Lawn
                      • Outdoors
                      • Patio
                      • Pool Area

                      Comments about American Meadows Peony Sarah Bernhardt:

                      This peony is gorgeous, I planted in my front yard & have been very pleased w/ the results. Has a beautiful bloom & very fragrant.

                      • Primary use:
                      • Personal

                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      4.0

                      Very encouraging !

                      By 

                      from Vermont

                      About Me Avid Gardener

                      Comments about American Meadows Peony Sarah Bernhardt:

                      All are showing healthy spring growth. Too early to comment on blossoms, etc. since they are just emerging .

                      • Primary use:
                      • Personal

                      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Hardy Peony

                      By 

                      from Boise, Idaho

                      About Me Avid Gardener

                      Verified Reviewer

                      Pros

                      • Accurate Instructions
                      • Attractive
                      • Fragrant
                      • Hardy
                      • Healthy

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Patio

                        Comments about American Meadows Peony Sarah Bernhardt:

                        This peony plant sits in the hot sun on my deck in the summer. During the winter time I placed it under my patio table and it made it through the snowy winter in good shape. It is starting to come up now and is growing fast. I can't wait for the beautiful blooms to appear.

                        • Primary use:
                        • Personal

                        Displaying reviews 1-19

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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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