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Peony, Sarah Bernhardt

Buy Any 3 Perennial Plants or Bulbs & Save 20%
Buy Any 3 Perennial Plants or Bulbs & Save 20%. Cannot be applied to previous orders. Limited time only. While supplies last.

Short Description

A late-season bloomer, plants display gorgeous flowers for weeks.

Full Description

Sarah Bernhardt has superb globe-shaped, double flowers that turn pale pink to blush. Of added interest are the light speckling with carmine overtones. Once planted, peonies resent root disturbance. Tops die back in the fall.
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Product properties

Zone This refers to the USDA hardiness zone assigned to each part of the country, based on the minimum winter temperature that a region typically experiences. Hardiness zone ranges are provided for all perennial plants and you should always choose plants that fall within your range.


Sun The amount of sunlight this product needs daily in order to perform well in the garden. Full sun means 6 hours of direct sun per day; partial sun means 2-4 hours of direct sun per day; shade means little or no direct sun.

Full Sun

Height The typical height of this product at maturity.

30-36 inches

Spread The width of the plant at maturity.

30-36 inches

Bloom Season The time of the year when this product normally blooms.


Ornamental Use Ways in which the product may be used in the garden for ornamental effect.

Beds, Borders, Cut Flowers

Plant Shipping Information

Plants ship in Fall at proper planting time (Click here for Fall Shipping Schedule)


Item 17017 cannot ship to: AE, AK, AP, AS, CN, FM, GU, HI, MH, MP, PR, PW, VI
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Introduction to Perennials
Introduction to Perennials
Perennials return year after year blooming on their own. Watch this introduction and discover how easy and rewarding growing perennials can be.
Watch video
Perennials Tour #1
Perennials Tour #1
Take a garden tour and see favorite perennial plants in a garden setting. In this video- Shasta Daisy, Ornamental Grass, Butterfly Bush, Echinacea and Hydrangea.
Watch video
  • Peony

    Start Indoors Start Indoors Starting seeds indoors is called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds indoors in the spring or summer
    Transplant Transplant When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for spring
    Start Outdoors Start Outdoors Starting seeds outdoors is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the spring or summer
    Start Indoors Fall Start Indoors Fall Starting seeds indoors in the fall called Indoor Sow or Indirect Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fall
    Transplant Fall Transplant Fall Transplant Fall-When to transplant bulbs or roots in the garden for fall
    Start Outdoors Fall Start Outdoors Fall Starting seeds outdoors in the fall is called Outdoor Sow or Direct Sow and these dates are when to sow seeds outdoors in the fall
    First Date: Mar-28 - Last Date: May-16

Peony: Bare Root Perennial

How to Plant

Planting Bare Root Plants:

  • Choose a location in full sun with a rich, well-drained soil. Peonies are long lived plants so be sure to choose a location where they may grow undisturbed for many years.
  • Prepare the bed by turning the soil under to a depth of 6-12 inches removing any debris, and lightly raking as level as possible.
  • The addition of organic matter (leaf mold, compost, well-rotted manure) benefits all gardens and is essential in recently constructed neighborhoods.
  • Dig a hole deep and wide enough to accommodate the bare root.
  • For herbaceous peonies, hold the root with the “eyes” pointed upward and plant about 2 inches below the soil surface, and not deeper. For tree peonies, plant so that the graft is about about 4-6" deep.
  • Fill in and around the root with soil until the hole is filled.
  • Firm the soil and water well to fully saturate the roots and soil.
  • If you are using a plant support, place it at planting time and, in future years, before the foliage emerges in spring.

How to Grow

  • Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their germination.
  • Mulches also help retain soil moisture and maintain even soil temperatures. For perennials, an organic mulch of aged bark or shredded leaves lends a natural look to the bed and will improve the soil as it breaks down in time. Always keep mulches off a plant’s stems to prevent possible rot.
  • Careful watering is essential in getting perennials off to a good start. Water thoroughly at least once a week to help new roots grow down deeply. Soil should be damp at about 1 inch below the soil surface. You can check this by sticking your finger in the soil. Water early in the morning to give all leaves enough time to dry. One inch of rain or watering per week is recommended for most perennial plants. You can check to see if you need to add water by using a rain gauge.
  • Until plants become established, some protection from extreme winds and direct, hot sunlight may be necessary. Good air movement is also important.
  • After new growth appears, a light fertilizer may be applied. Keep granular fertilizers away from the plant crown and foliage to avoid burn injury. Use low rates of a slow release fertilizer, as higher rates may encourage root rots.
  • For herbaceous peonies, remove and discard foliage after a hard frost in fall. Remove plant supports for the winter. Tree peonies are woody plants, do not cut back in fall.
  • In colder regions, apply another layer of mulch (1-2 inches) after the ground freezes in fall. Evergreen boughs (from Christmas trees) provide additional protection. Remove this mulch in the spring.
  • In general peonies do not require division. Divide only if the plant is not performing well or you wish to enlarge your planting. Any division should be done in the fall.

Growing Tips

  • Peonies make wonderful, long lasting cut flowers.
  • Peonies make great landscape plants, are good for beds and borders. Always remember that they only bloom for about two weeks, but their foliage is attractive all season.
Full Sun
30-36 inches
30-36 inches
Bloom Season
Ornamental Use
Beds, Borders, Cut Flowers
Planting Time
Life Cycle
Peony, Sarah Bernhardt is rated 3.1 out of 5 by 8.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Peonies take patience! Like other gardeners, my Sarah Bernhardt Peony did not come up at all the first year. This is because it was establishing a great root system to support all the gorgeous blooms to come. The second spring I had some young foliage to sprout, but it was tender looking and no buds appeared. The third spring is the time peonies usually take off, but some may take longer to bloom. If you’ve planted them and see nothing the first year, don’t worry! I dug mine up the first fall after the spring planting just to be sure they were still there and healthy, not rotted. It was still a good root, so I left it. The peony sprouted the next spring! Yours will, too, if you’ll let it be. Great things take time to grow.
Date published: 2019-04-27
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Struggling. I bought this in May and it has one tiny sprout. I am hoping it comes back next spring and takes off!
Date published: 2017-08-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from It is growing been almost a month, leaves are coming up and it is growing great. Can not review, of course, about it blooming.
Date published: 2017-07-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from I'm giving 5 stars after two years Okay so I'm giving this plant 5 stars after TWO YEARS! I planted two bare roots and the first year there was some small growth but no blooms or anything significant. The plant died back and was back in action but I seen no flower buds. Over the past two weeks it shot up! I live in zone 5 and I wasn't sure how they would do however articles say that they need time for a hale thy root system (and to be protected from frost). They have yet to bloom but so far I have counted 14 buds between the two plants!
Date published: 2017-05-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it! Absolutely gorgeous !They start to bloom only on second year, but definitely worth the wait. Thank you
Date published: 2017-04-28
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Boo Hoo I am so disappointed - they never sprouted. Dead as door nails.
Date published: 2016-09-16
Rated 2 out of 5 by from No growth :( I was so excited and followed all the instructions but it never grew. I was hoping maybe it just took a little while but I don't see any change!
Date published: 2016-09-16
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Dead Guess it couldn't take the heat. I heard we are having the warmest summer since they started recording temperatures. Sadly this peony wasn't up to it although it was zoned through zone 8. The leaves never fully unfurled and just when I thought it was growing well it turned brown and died. So not for my part of zone 8.
Date published: 2016-09-15
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