Do tree peonies need winter protection?


Do tree peonies need winter protection?


Tree peonies are small woody shrubs.  Unlike herbaceous peonies, the stems of tree peonies do not die back to the ground in fall.  Tree peonies can be successfully grown in USDA Hardiness Zones 4 to 8. 

Cold winter temperatures can damage young tree peonies (especially those in northern portions of Iowa.)  Rabbits can also damage plants in winter.  Rabbit damage can be prevented by encircling each plant with chicken wire or hardware cloth in fall.  Fill the enclosure with a light, airy material, such as straw or pine needles, to protect young plants from cold winter temperatures. 

Protective materials should be in place by mid to late November.  Remove the materials in early to mid-April.