For long-lasting blooms, follow these tips from Sarah Rummery, horticulturist at Reiman Gardens in Ames, Iowa
• Site in the sun "Plan ahead when you plant your peonies," Sarah says. "Don't place them near trees that will grow tall and shade them."
• Plant in well-drained soil "Peonies don't like wet feet," Sarah says.
• Don't relocate "Peonies detest being transplanted," she says. Six- to 7-foot-long roots make moving them difficult.
• Feed them well Fertilize peonies once a year. The ideal time? "In the spring while they are actively growing," Sarah says.
• Cut back foliage When foliage turns brown (after a hard frost), cut it to the ground.
• Stake tall varieties Add peony rings or guards to support tall varieties that flop.
• Ignore ants Ants sip the nectar on peony buds, but they don't harm the plant. Shake them off when you cut the flowers.