Saturday, March 4, 2017

2017 Protect Peonies from Super Cold Overnight Temps

So I don't usually worry with protecting my peonies. However this weekend I decided to try to help them. The temperatures here swung from 80 degrees for the high, to an overnight low of 25 degrees in just two days! I figured the peonies wouldn't like that too much. So I went to buy some buckets on my lunch break yesterday at work. I bought all four gray buckets they had. Luckily I had a few more buckets at home already, and I found a few empty flower pots to use as well. The big buckets worked well to cover the peonies that were up higher out of the ground, and the smaller flower pots worked well to cover the peonies that were not up much yet, and still low to the ground.

Peonies Protected from the Cold with Buckets and Flower Pots

It was already getting dark (and cold!) by the time I got off work and picked up my daughter from her after school program. When we got home she helped me cover the peonies with the buckets using a flash light. Between you and me, I think she had a little bit of fun doing it - any excuse to use a flashlight and play outside in the dark! We were able to get most of the early herbacouse hybrid peonies covered that were already popping up. I didn't worry with the tree peonies or interesectional peonies since these are usually pretty cold hardy anyway.

25 Degrees Overnight Temperature

The next morning, I removed all of the flower pots and buckets from the peonies. With the covering they all seemed to have made it through the super cold night just fine. The real test will be to see if the blooms open and if they open without any damage. I left the pots and buckets near the peonies. The forecast is calling for two more nights of below freezing weather. Since I've already protected these early peonies one night, I guess I better continue. Two more nights to go!

Peonies Protected from the Cold with Buckets and Flower Pots


  1. Mine aren't above ground yet but I've already prepared to do the same thing! I picked up around 25 small $2 Styrofoam coolers from Walmart last fall, got the idea from the overpriced rose covers I purchased the year before. The rose covers would've worked well if I hadn't trusted the pins to hold them in place--quite a few blew away before I had the chance to remove them, never to be seen again. This year it'll be rocks on top of both the remaining rose covers and the coolers.

    1. Liz,

      That's great! The mop buckets I got were a little less than $2 as well. Luckily I had a few empty flower pots at home that worked for the shorter ones, since I bought all 4 buckets they had. :-) None of my buckets or pots blew away, but rocks are a great idea to keep yours in place! I hope all of your peonies make it!