This plant started out strong with 4 buds, but all of the buds died and now there is only one leave left. I am hoping there is enough to keep the plant alive and next year it will bloom. It was a bare root that came in the fall.
Let's talk about the ways to buy peonies. You can buy the bare roots for a fall delivery. This was the first way that I purchased flowers for the garden. This is the best time to transplant peonies. I lost 5 plants due to the early spring when the buds appeared and then the frost killed them off with the entire root. I tried to purchase roots that came in the spring. Unlike the roots that came in the fall, none of the plants bloomed this year and one arrived dead, many were out of stock. I bought plants for the local garden centers. They were weak compare to the bare roots and lots of them were damaged in the high winds we had in the spring. Some of them were planted too deep in the pots. They are guaranteed by the garden center, but you must have the bill and the tag identifying the plant. The garden centers did have more varieties than ever before. The internet has way more to choice from. Some of the potted plants had a soil that some animal here liked and dug up the newly planted flowers damaging the root and the leaves. I almost cried when I found the plant in the morning. It was very discouraging.
I will again be purchasing bare roots in the fall, since this was the best results for plants that were strong and bloomed the first year. Who has time to wait for the plant to grow 3 or 4 years before it blooms? There are many places on the internet to purchase peonies. Placing the order early is the only way to get the plants you are looking for. Now in June many of the plants are already sold out. If you can, visit the grower when the plants are blooming to see the flower up close. I found they all did not look the same as the picture on the internet. I was very surprised with Chocolate Soldier on how close it was to the ground. Surprises are sometimes fun, they can be the spices of life. I would have made some changes if I had know what I was getting. Buy plants that have different blooming times. I had plants blooming from mid May until the end of June.