Forcing Peonies Tubers

Zone 7 Maryland with warm days and frigid nights
As part of a community project, I was given some packaged peony tubers to plant
It seems to be a good idea to see if they will sprout before placing them in the ground as they're from Home Depot.
What do you suggest... can they be started in water, or placed in a shallow pan, covered with a cloth and kept moist ? Do they need soil to sprout or just after they sprout.
Planting time is scheduled for March...
Thanks in advance for your advice !!!
Peter
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mike snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

If you ground is not frozen you can start them (outside) now. Peonies do best when planted and not disturbed or transplanted.
If your ground is still frozen you can start Peonies this time of year in a planter (inside) and put them outside when it warms up. You do NOT want to start them in water because they will rot. They need to be covered with soil and should be planted deep enough to cover the tuber (follow the instruction on the package that they came in if you have that).
You should know that newly planted (or transplanted) Peonies usually don't bloom the first season. Generally, it takes a few years for them to really bloom well. I have lots of Peonies and the best bloomers are the ones that have been in the same place for over 10 years. Only when they get really large do I split the plant up.
--
Bill R. (Ohio Valley, U.S.A)



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