Landscape Design with Peonies – Cricket Hill Garden

Tree peonies blooming at Cricket Hill Garden. Here we have interplanted hosta, and allowed some digitalis to self-seed.

If we are to consider peony plants as part of the broader landscape plan, the questions of placement and design are numerous. This is especially true as one considers the subtle, yet distinct characteristics of peony varieties. When planning peonies in the landscape, we may choose to consider the color, form and fragrance, as well as bloom time and foliage.

Before adding peonies to your landscape the first consideration is whether the location has the right amount of sunlight.

  • Посаженные в глубокую тень, почти все пионы будут слабо расти.
  • Tree peonies will grow vigorously in the full sun, but the flowers fade quickly. Some cultivars are also susceptible to leaf scald in the summer sun. For these reasons we recommend planting tree peonies in a partially shaded location. An eastern exposure, or in a location with dappled sunlight is ideal. Five to six hours of sun makes them grow well.
  • Травянистым и межсекционным или ито пионам нужен как можно более полный солнечный день, как вы можете обеспечить, или как минимум 6 хороших часов солнечного света. Без этого они будут слабыми и плохо цвести.

Смешанная грядка с древовидными и травянистыми пионами была бы идеальна при 6-часовом солнечном свете.

Peonies in dappled sunlight.

Sometimes a garden bed will have different areas of more and less sunlight due to the shade of trees or a building, so plant your peonies accordingly. Tree peonies in the shade protected areas and herbaceous in the more sunny spots. The old garden adage holds especially true for peonies, ‘Right plant, right place.’

The other necessity for peonies is good soil. Peonies planed in poor, unimproved soil will not grow or flower well.

  • All types of peonies need fertile and well drained soil.
  • Peonies appreciate a soil high in humus and organic matter. Peonies also need a range of trace minerals to bloom well. A neutral pH of 6.5 is optimal. Peonies planted in poor soils with a low (acidic) pH will never thrive or bloom satisfactorily.
  • Никогда не сажайте пионы в местах, где есть стоячая вода, за исключением ранней весны, когда земля еще мерзлая. Переувлажненная почва задушит корни пионов и является основной причиной неудач садоводов с пионами.

If your desired planting site is not already suited to growing peonies, do not despair, advanced preparation can make many areas of the garden hospitable to peonies. Poor soils can be amended with compost and rock powders for minerals. Ground limestone will raise the pH to the desired level. For soggy areas, making raised beds will ensure good drainage. For detailed information on soil preparation for peonies, see our blog post

Within the three types of peonies- tree, herbaceous and intersectional hybrids– there is great diversity of bloom time, flower color, form and fragrance. Plant habit and size at maturity also differ. One may even delve into the nuances of shades of color and foliage form. Peonies can be understood and appreciated on a number of levels.

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Зрелый rockii type tree peony. With their silken blooms and majestic stature, the long lived tree peonies are known in China as the “King of Flowers.”

Древовидные пионы (Paeonia suffoticosa, Пион желтый, Пион скалистый and other species) are very long-lived, relatively slow growing deciduous woody shrubs which bloom in the mid-spring. Our collection of several hundred tree peony cultivars usually blooms over a six week period, from the first week of May to mid-June in our zone 6a Connecticut climate. Tree peonies will grow and flower well in USDA zones 4-9.

Чем дольше длится зимний сезон, тем позже появляются цветы. В северных климатических условиях, таких как Миннесота и Нью-Гемпшир, древовидные пионы зацветают примерно на месяц позже, чем мы видим их здесь, в Коннектикуте. В более теплом климате, например, в Каролине, древовидные пионы цветут в апреле, а в некоторых местах Калифорнии древовидные пионы распускаются в марте. Все зависит от того, как долго длится зимний сезон и спящие почки.

Tree peonies blossom in a range of colors, from pure whites, pinks, purples, to deep wine reds, bright yellows and silvery apricots. Flowers are formed in a variety of shapes, from elegant singles to massive ‘thousand petal’ doubles.

Tree peony plant habit can be as compact as 2.5′ tall by 3′ wide or a large as 6.5′ tall x 5′ wide. Most plants do not reach their mature size until 10-12 years of age.

The woody stems are strong on most all cultivars, especially the Chinese tree peonies. We have seen older Japanese tree peonies produce weak stems which do not hold up their flowers. Some types are genetically weaker and there is nothing to do but stake them, or avoid growing them. All of the tree peony cultivars we grow and sell do not need staking, so let our experience be your guide.

Древовидные пионы следует сажать в среднем на расстоянии 4-5 футов друг от друга. Более крупным сортам Rockii, таким как Snow Lotus, Purple Butterfly in the Wind, Black Tornado и другим, для распространения требуется расстояние 6 футов друг от друга.

Try to plant at least 3′ away from foundations and 6-10′ away from trees and large shrubs. The roots from most trees will interfere with the tree peony roots and take away moisture and nutrients. Smaller perennial plants, bulbs and ground covers may be interplanted, but keep the area around the immediate base of the plant open to allow for good air circulation.

We are often asked about cutting tree peony flowers. You can do so, but cut short, 6″ green stems before the flower is fully open. For display indoors, tree peony blossoms are best cut and floated in a bowl of water.

Herbaceous peonies are the classic late spring flower; valuable for use in the landscape and adored for cut flowers.

Травянистые пионы are very hardy, long lived and relatively carefree perennials.

This group includes over twenty different species; notably Пион молочноцветковая, Paeonia japonica, Paeonia macrophylla as well as hybrids derived from crossing two or more of these species. There are literally hundreds of named cultivars, though many are no longer in production, or are very hard to find.

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Herbaceous peonies can be grown easily in USDA zones 3-8. In zone 9, some micro-climates will support the chill requirements needed to bloom.

The various species of herbaceous peonies and their hybrids bloom over a very long period in the spring. In Connecticut, zone 6a, the earliest types bloom in late April and the late season plants bloom in the middle of June. So by choosing different kinds, you can extend the range of bloom period. The majority of herbaceous peonies grown today will be the lactiflora type and these bloom in the mid-to-late period. We see these from late May to mid-June.

Like tree peonies, herbaceous peony blossoms come in a wide variety of forms.

Herbaceous peonies come in a wide range of colors and forms. Since they lack the strong woody stems of tree peonies, many herbaceous peonies with large double flowers tend to flop over if left unsupported in the garden. We tend to avoid peonies with these habits and offer peonies with better stem strength. Over our 25 years of growing, we have grown out hundreds of named variety herbaceous peonies. Many peonies bred for the cut flower trade do not make good landscape plants; the stems are weak. This problem can be avoided by selecting cultivars with stronger stems and more proportionate flowers. All of the herbaceous types we currently grow offer better stem strength and most do not get any support in our display garden. The most we will do is a few well-placed bamboo sticks at cross angles to support the heaviest flowers in bloom.

After the bloom, herbaceous peony foliage provide a textured green background to summer flowers.

After the bloom period, most herbaceous peonies will retain their lustrous deep green foliage into September, though some species type loose their foliage during the summer. In the fall, herbaceous peonies, like other non-woody perennials, are cut to the ground in the garden clean-up that should be done after the freeze.

Intersectional peonies offer an array of desirable characteristics to the garden designer.

Intersectional or Itoh peonies are crosses between tree and herbaceous peonies. They are the newest darlings of the peony world. Most were hybridized late in the 20th century and new types are still being introduced. They exhibit the flower forms of a tree peony on a herbaceous bush. Plants grow to an average size of 3-4′ tall and wide, though some are shorter. Blossoms come in a range of colors, from lemon yellow, to lilac and scarlet. Most are sized from 7″ to 10″, making them quite extraordinary. Stems develop good length and flowers can be cut with 12-16″ stems for arrangements. Fragrance is good, usually with a lemon scent or light spicy-sweet fragrance. They are not as fragrant as the best tree peonies, but are valued for their color palette and ease of growing. They are grown very much like the herbaceous peony, with a full day of sun, or at least 6 hours.

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The bloom time of intersectional peonies coincides with the end of the tree peony bloom and the beginning of the lactiflora type herbaceous peonies. An individual intersectional cultivar will bloom over a long period, with primary buds opening first and then secondary buds opening a week later.

Herbaceous and intersectional or itoh peonies should be planted 3′ apart on average. The same spacing is suggested from foundations and tree roots for the same reasons of competition and crowding. This type of perennial planting may look sparse for a couple of years and that is why we suggest trying non-agressive perennials, annuals and bulbs as an interim step to getting your garden bed to look more full and balanced. We have heard of professionals who bend the spacing rule and crowd more plants into the garden bed to make it look full immediately. This means that in just a few seasons the bed will be overcrowded and plants will have to be moved. Перенаселенность также приводит к большему количеству грибковых проблем, потому что воздух не циркулирует, а листва, скорее всего, останется влажной и вызовет болезни.

With the sun and soil requirements understood, and a good outline of what to expect in the three types of peonies, it is apparent that they can be used in numerous ways in the landscape.

Trees and large woody shrubs set the boundaries of a landscape, they give it depth and breath. Upon this backdrop, perennials and annuals are added; these smaller plants give a landscape texture and detail and purpose.

Plants define areas of the landscape and help people connect to it through colors, fragrance, sunlight and shade, fruit and flowers. The contemporary American gardener enjoys creating a space that enhances their home and defines a place to relax and enjoy nature.

Peonies in Borders and Devoted Beds

Herbaceous peony border at Penshurst Place, Kent, UK.

In composing a border with peonies, keep complementary heights, colors, bloom times and fragrances in mind. Tree, herbaceous and intersectional (itoh) peonies can all be combined in a border with about six hours of sun, but they should be planned with their individual attributes of size in mind.

A bed of Japanese tree peonies in full bloom at Cricket Hill Garden.

Нам нравится эта комбинация из-за более длительного периода цветения, который достигается при совместной посадке трех видов пионов. В большинстве климатических условий цветение может длиться от 5 до 6 недель после того, как растения приживутся. Первыми цветут древовидные пионы, ранне-среднеспелые травянистые, затем итохи, а завершают шоу поздноцветущие травянистые. В Cricket Hill Garden мы наблюдаем цветение с начала мая до середины июня в большинстве лет. Высокая жара в конце мая или начале июня сократит для нас сезон.

For landscape plantings, plants which hold their flowers well and continue to have good foliage throughout the season are good candidates. The American Peony Society created the Award of Landscape Merit in an effort to help growers and gardeners select herbaceous and intersectional peonies with “superior ornamental value, overall appearance in the landscape and throughout the growing season, and reliable performance across North America”. This current list is by no means comprehensive of all cultivars that meet these criteria. Nonetheless, it is good start to identify reliable cultivars with strong stems that hold their flowers well. We hope that in the future the Award of Landscape merit may also be bestowed on outstanding tree peonies.

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Most gardeners have a limited space to work with and existing plants to consider. Mixing peonies with other perennials and annuals allows for variance in texture and color for the entire season.

Peony foliage in the foreground of the high summer view.

As much as we advocate using peonies in the landscape, we also readily admit their shortcomings from a landscape perspective- they only flower for a relatively short period in the spring. However, with an appreciation for the various foliage forms peonies can provide an interesting textured background for summer flowing annuals and perennials.

Tree peonies all have three point compound leaves. Some however a much finer than others. Also, tree peony leaves can be distinguished as either having glossy or matte green foliage. Herbaceous peonies also display a wide range of variety within a basic form of an elliptical leaf. Intersectional peonies all have glossy green foliage with a leaf shape which resembles the P. suffoticoa type Chinese tree peonies.

Some species and hybrid herbaceous peonies die back during the heat of mid-summer. Herbaceous peonies like Early Scout, and П. лекарственный ‘Rubra Plena’ should not be planted in an location where it’s early foliage loss will create a hole. Instead plant a cultivar which looses its leaves early at the end of a border or bed.

CUTTING GARDEN

Выделение участка пионового сада для обрезки — это способ насладиться роскошными махровыми цветами поздних пионов, не беспокоясь о том, что они будут испорчены дождем.

As a general rule, herbaceous and intersectional peonies make better cut flowers than tree peonies. This is because the long, 12+ ” herbaceous stems of these two types are ideal for flower arranging. Many of the classic П. молочноцветковый herbaceous varieties such as “Sarah Bernhardt” and “Festiva Maxima” were developed for use in the European cut flower market. We get so many questions from gardeners who have inherited peonies in their garden or purchased unnamed cultivars and then struggle with these weak stemmed flowers. Using peony rings to prop up them up is a lot of extra work. If a gardener is so inclined and if space allows, a section of the garden, or even an island away from landscaped vistas, can be set aside solely for growing peonies with large flowers. Cutting these and bringing them inside to enjoy as soon as the buds are partly open is the only sure way to keep these gorgeous, but weak stemmed varieties from flopping over after the first rain.

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Peonies as Display Specimens

We have had a variety of creeping siedum in the garden for years. It forms a thick mat by early summer and does a good job of smothering other weeds. If it gets too close to the peonies, its easy to pull out and replant in another area of the garden.

Использование пионов в качестве фокуса островной клумбы посреди лужайки или на небольшой приподнятой клумбе идеально подходит для демонстрации древовидных пионов. Древовидные пионы вырастают в среднем 4 фута в высоту и ширину. Большинство вырастает в этой размерной группе, хотя некоторые вырастают только до 3 футов в высоту. Крупнейшие растущие древовидные пионы типа Rockii из северо-западного Китая могут достигать 6.5 футов в высоту и 5 футов в ширину в возрасте 10-12 лет. Старые растения приобретают крепкую, величественную структуру. Листва мелко текстурирована и вызывает интерес после того, как цветение прошло. Если позволяет место, рассмотрите длинный цветущий пионовый остров с более высокими растущими древовидными пионами на заднем плане и низкорослыми травянистыми или межсекционными растениями впереди.

Along Fences, Walls and Foundations

Lower growing intersectional peonies make good foundation plantings.

Здесь пионы получают фон, который не конкурирует за влагу или питательные вещества в почве. Применяйте те же принципы пространства и солнечного света, цвета и формы, а также размера растений при планировании бордюра из пионов на фоне заборов и каменных стен.

Intersectional peonies make good candidates for this use with their uniform height and long bloom period. The herbaceous stems have the advantage of re-growing every year and thus can be planted near walkways or driveways, sparing the plant any snow damage in the north. Tree peonies have to be placed away from heavy snow loads, as the branches could be damaged if heavy snow is piled on top.

How To Grow Peonies – A Complete Guide

Complete guide on growing peonies. Everything from soil conditions to USDA zones to the ants that love peonies too. Including how and when to cut peonies for vases so you can enjoy them indoors. And most importantly, what you can do if your peony bush just won’t bloom!

Peonies season is here. My favorite time of the year!

Now, every year when peony season rolls around I get tons of questions about peony care and how to grow them, so I thought I’d put all my answers in one place and give you some tips on how you can grow peonies too.

Your complete guide on growing peonies. Everything from soil conditions to USDA zones to the ants that love peonies too. Including how and when to cut peonies for vases so you can enjoy them indoors. And most importantly, what you can do if your peonies just won

How To Grow Peonies

The 3 Groups Of Peonies

There are 3 groups of peonies – Herbaceous Peonies, Tree Peonies and Intersectional Peonies (aka Itoh Peonies). In this article we are discussing Herbaceous Peonies.

  • Herbaceous peonies are the kind most commonly found in the garden and have fleshy stems that die back to the ground each winter and reemerge in the spring.
  • Tree Peonies are woody shrubs native to China that stay above ground all year with just the leaves falling to the ground in the fall.
  • Intersectional Peonies are a hybrid of the two varieties, producing flowers and leaves similar to the tree peonies, yet have the perennial characteristics of a herbaceous peony.
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Лучшие зоны для выращивания пионов

Peonies grow well in Зоны 2-8, which means they require at least 30 consecutive days of freezing temps in the winter. No deep freeze, no go.

Если вы не знаете свою зону USDA ((вздох!)), вы можете проверить ее на карте зоны устойчивости растений USDA. Вы просто вводите свой почтовый индекс, и он выдает вашу зону. Здесь, в Центральном Огайо, я нахожусь в Зоне 6а.

If you live in a state that is too hot to grow these babies, my deepest condolences.

White Duchess de Nemours Peonies

When To Plant Peonies

Peony bushes are either bought in ½ gallon or gallon containers from your local nursery or as bare root plants stored in wood shavings. If you are buying bare root peonies, make sure the tuberous roots have 3-5 eyes on them.

Peonies are best planted in the fall, but can be planted in the early spring 2-3 weeks before your last frost free date. And I will be honest, the nurseries and large hardware stores have a MUCH better selection of peonies in the spring than in the fall.

Do Peonies Require Full Sun Or Shade?

The best place to plant a peony bush is where it will receive 6-8 hours of sun per day minimum. But if by chance you are lucky enough to live in a much warmer climate, the peonies will appreciate some afternoon shade. And when I say appreciate, I mean they won’t wither away and die on you and break your heart.

AWESOME TIPS on how to grow peonies. Everything from soil conditions to USDA zones to ants and including how and when to cut a peonies bouquet.. #gardeningtips #peonies

How To Plant Peonies

You want to pick out an area in your yard or flower beds that receive that 6-8 hours of sun per day.

They enjoy well-drained soil, so if you have clay, you’ll need to amend the soil a bit.

Plant bare root peonies (peonies where the soil has been removed from around the tuber) no deeper than 2″ below the soil line. Peonies that come in pots can be planted with the soil of the pot even with the ground’s soil line.

Peonies that are planted too deep (or even think they are planted too deep) will not bloom. Be careful with putting too much mulch around the base of the plants, because that can trick them into thinking they are deeper than they are. I never said peonies were smart.

If planting more than one peony plant in the area, space them out 3-4 feet between plants to allow for future growth and adequate air flow between the plants.

Duchess de Nemours Peony

When Is Peonies Season?

Peonies bloom once a year in the spring. They have a short bloom season, lasting 7-10 days, but it is a glorious one!

Depending on your zone and your herbaceous peony variety, your peonies will bloom between April and June. For instance here in mid-Ohio, I grow three different varieties of peonies and since they all peak at slightly different times, I have some sort of peony blooms from May 15th through June 15th.

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How Long Does It Take For New Peony Plants To Bloom?

Пионам нужно немного терпения. Пионы не часто зацветают в первую весну после посадки. В зависимости от того, насколько большими они были, когда вы их посадили, их цветение может занять до трех лет. Три мучительно долгих года.

That said, I plant the peonies that have been grown in pots and I normally have one or two lonely blooms on them the first year, a couple more the second year and then the third year they take off and never look back!

Sarah Bernhardt Peony

Peonies are really easy to grow and care for, but occasionally they just won’t bloom.

Top 3 Reasons Your Peony Won’t Bloom:

  1. It’s a young peony and not established yet. It may take up to three years to bloom. Be patient.
  2. Солнца не хватает. Пионы мало любят загорать, и им нужно не менее шести часов солнца в день.
  3. It’s planted too deep. In the fall, when the plant is dormant, you can raise it up a bit.

How To Cut Peonies For A Vase

It’s up to you if you prefer to enjoy the blooms on the plants in your garden itself or cut them off and bring them inside for flower arrangements. If you are planning on cutting them off and bringing them inside, you can either wait for the blooms to open on the plant and cut them at that time or you can also cut when in the bud state and enjoy having them slowly bloom in the vase for you.

I prefer to use both fully opened blooms and buds just starting to open in my peony arrangements.

BTW, I recently added a new article on Storing Peonies To Bloom Later in case you have a special occasion coming up you want to save some of your blooms for.

stages of peony blooms

A bud can be cut before it opens up once it’s in a soft “marshmallow” state (it’s still in the shape of a bud, but is soft and squishy like a marshmallow). If the buds are too hard and tight (like a marble) they will not open once cut.

And then you’ve just wasted a peony bloom, and a peony bloom is a horrible thing to waste!

Psst – I made a quick little video to show you what the different bud stages look like and what exactly this “marshmallow” stage is!

white peonies

Peonies And Ants

Ants are your friend. Well, actually that is debatable. Some people say they help the peonies to open and others say the ants just happen to like the sweet, sweet nectar of the peonies and have no actual beneficial purpose. In either case, they don’t harm the peonies.

I just gently shake the ants off the peonies before bringing them inside. You can also dip them upside down in a bucket of cold water to get the ants off (ie drown the ants).

peonies and ants

Пион поддерживает

Like most women, most peonies need a little support and without it they will flop over onto the ground. Think of it as Spanx for your flowers.

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Я использую базовые металлические кольца с пионами на трех ножках that stake into the ground and they keep the stems upright.

Three legged metal peony rings to hold peony bush upright.

But there are some peony plants that stand on their own. Normally they are shorter peonies or ones with very strong stems. Here’s a nice article with photos on Peonies That Don’t Require Staking.

Peony Fertilizer

Fertilize in early summer after you have deadheaded the spent blooms.

Use a 5-10-5 blend, keeping the fertilizer 6-18″ away from the middle of the plant. The 5-10-5 refers to percentages of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium respectively and should be listed prominently on the fertilizer package.

Caring for your peony bush - tips and tricks.

Watering Peonies

При посадке нового куста пиона поливайте его каждые пару дней, если в последнее время не было дождя. Обязательно поливайте вокруг основания лейкой, чтобы листья оставались сухими, так как они могут быть подвержены плесени. Если вам необходимо поливать сверху, делайте это в начале дня, чтобы листья успели высохнуть до вечера.

Once they are established plants, water them deeply once every 10-14 days if it hasn’t rained recently. Peonies aren’t super needy for water, but if they get droopy and look wilted that is a sure sign they will need to be watered.

Also, putting a layer of mulch around the plants helps them retain moisture.

Peony Fall Care Tips

When leaves start to turn brown and fall off in early autumn you should cut the peonies to the ground. You can wait until the 1st frost, but I generally cut them in late September when I’m tidying up my beds for winter.

Simply cut all growth down to ground level and discard. Peonies can be susceptible to foliage diseases, so by cutting back in the fall you can reduce chances of any possible foliage disease carrying over into next year’s plant.

ПРИМЕЧАНИЕ: This only applies to herbaceous peonies. If you have tree peonies, they should not be cut down in the fall.

When To Transplant Peonies

Let me preface this by saying you don’t ever HAVE to move your peonies. One of the best features of a peony bush is that you just plant them and enjoy them year after year. But in the case when something has changed and you do want to divide or transplant a peony bush into another area of your yard (building an addition to your home too close to your favorite peony bush for example), it’s best to know when it’s safe to move it.

Fall is the time to divide or transplant your peonies if needed. Your plants will be preparing for dormancy at this time, so it will be much less stressful for them to be moved elsewhere.

Exactly when in the fall will depend on where you are located. Here in Zone 6a (mid-Ohio) I can divide and/or transplant peonies in mid-September, whereas in warmer Southern states you would do it later in November. Far Northern states can do so in August.

  • Cut your foliage down to ground level.
  • Обкопайте все растение, вытащите его из земли, а затем разделите острой лопатой.
  • Just make sure you have 3 or more eyes in each new section to ensure you have a healthy, substantial plant to replant elsewhere.
  • And then just follow the instructions in the How To Plant Peonies section above to get the new ones back in the ground correctly.
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How To Choose A Peony Plant

Since peonies can live for decades and even generations choosing a peony for your garden can seem daunting. But you can narrow down your choices by flower type, fragrance and staking preferences.

There are 6 types of peony flowers – anemone, single, Japanese, semi-double, double and “bomb”. I would suggest either looking at online catalogs for peonies or visiting your local nursery to get an idea of what type of flower you prefer. My personal favorites are the doubles and “bombs” because they have multiple rows of petals, are very full and really make a statement in the garden or in a vase.

The 2nd thing to take into consideration is fragrance. Do you prefer one with little fragrance or highly fragrant? The plant tag or the online catalog should tell you the fragrance level.

The 3rd thing I would look at is if they need staking. Most herbaceous peonies do need staking, but there are some that do not. Если вы сажаете межсекционный пион, его, как правило, не нужно подвязывать, потому что у него одревесневшие стебли.

К травянистым пионам, не требующим подвязки, относятся:

  • Krinkled White – this single flower type peony has crinkled white petals with gold centers
  • Coral Sunset – a semi-double with coral pink ruffled flowers and gold centers
  • Bride’s Dream – pure white Japanese style flowers with thin white centers
  • Buckeye Belle – a vigorous grower with very dark red semi-double flowers
  • Bowl Of Beauty – великолепные анемоновидные цветы розово-розового цвета со светло-желтыми вычурными центрами.

Favorite Peony Plants

If you are planning on planting more than one peony plant in your garden (and by all means, please do. ), you have to choose whether you’re going to plant more of the exact same peony variety or mix it up with lots of different varieties. Personally, I like to mix it up a bit in my peony bed!

These are three of my favorite peony plants. In chemistry flasks, because . . . why not.

Peonies using Chemistry flasks for upcyclced vases

Left to Right – Duchesse de Nemours, Victoire de la Marne, Sarah Bernhardt
Duchesse de Nemours is a beautiful white peony variety that was first introduced in the 1800’s. It has creamy white double flowers with just a hint of yellow in the center and is wonderfully fragrant. You can’t go wrong with this one!

Victoire de la Marne gives a much-needed POP of color! This bright fuchsia red variety has very large double flowers and is oh so pretty as a cut flower.

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Сара Бернар peonies are probably one of the most common peony varieties and for a good reason. Sarah Bernhardt peonies have large light pink double flowers backed up by glossy green foliage. They are easy to grow, have been around for over 100 years and they are readily available at most garden centers and big box stores.

Festiva Maxima is an heirloom herbaceous peony with huge, double, pure white blooms with dashes of raspberry pink sprinkled throughout the bloom. It is a favorite as a cut flower for vases and arrangements due to its strong stems and extra-long vase life.

Большой Бен was introduced in 1943 and is an excellent grower with lovely fragrant flowers. The 5″-6″ blooms are a bold cherry red color and sit atop sturdy 4′ stems. Big Ben is terrific as a cut flower.

Карл Розенфилд is a classic peony with ruffled, deep fuschia-red double blooms. Flowers can be up to 8″ across and make a huge statement in early summer arrangements.

Duchess de Nemours Peonies in a vintage green vase.

Are you a peony lover? Have you ever gone completely overboard with them at your house?

More Frequently Asked Questions:

Is It Possible To Grow Peonies In Zone 9?

I get asked this question a lot! Although peonies grow BEST in zones 2-8, you may still possibly be able to grow them in zone 9 with a little extra care.

USDA Hardiness zones 9A and 9B can be found in middle Florida, southern Louisiana, parts of southern Texas, and parts of California to name a few. Zone 9 will be the outermost limit of being able to grow peonies.

In zone 9, make sure you:

  • Keep them well watered in the summer heat so they don’t have a chance to wilt
  • Plant them in an area where they can enjoy some afternoon shade.
  • Plant varieties that bloom early in the season so when they are blooming the hottest part of your summer hasn’t hit quite yet.

It’s definitely not a sure thing, but it may be worth it to try growing a peony in your climate.

Can I Grow Peonies In A Pot?

You want to make sure you get a large enough pot to hold it (at least 1 ½ foot tall and 18 to 24″ wide) and it MUST have drainage holes. Peonies don’t like to sit in water as they are susceptible to root rot, so make sure you use a well-draining soil.

If you live in a cold climate, pull the pot into a sheltered area (porch next to house, carport, etc) in the winter. It needs to experience the cold weather in order to bloom the following year, but you don’t want it to have a hard freeze.

If you need to feed your gardening addiction more you can check out:

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