Peonies are grown for their large, showy and fragrant flowers that are produced throughout spring. While most peonies also have very attractive foliage that makes them a useful addition to the landscape all season, it’s the blooms they produce that make them so prized by home gardeners.
There is a vast array of peony colors and forms to choose from including single, double, semi-double, Japanese and anemone-type blossoms. In addition to the well-known white, pink and magenta flowers, newly available colors include yellow, cream and red. Tree peonies also have a large selection of blooms and a color range that includes every color of the rainbow except blue.
Most bush peonies grow 2 to 3 feet tall, with a 3-to 4-foot spread when mature while tree peonies grow to about 4 to 5 feet under normal conditions. Peonies are long-lived (up to a hundred years), but slow-growing at first. They can be used in sunny borders or as herbaceous hedges and make excellent cut flowers.
Most peonies need at least six hours of sun per day to produce good blooms, but a little afternoon shade will protect the flowers from fading too quickly in hot areas. They prefer regular watering in well-drained soil amended with a good organic compost.
Although peonies literally last forever, spring doesn’t--so make sure and stop by soon so you can enjoy the wonderful color of peonies in your garden his year!