Peonies are an old fashioned, long lived perennial that is very popular in the perennial garden. They are an herbaceous perennial which means they die to the ground each season producing all new leaves and flowers each season. When I bought my first house, one of the only plantings was a 15’ row of hot pink peonies. 16 years later that planting has become a 50’ x 20’ garden bed filled with shrubs, trees and perennials…an yes still some hot pink peonies. I have dug these plants many times to share with friends and family. They are incredibly hardy and easy to grow and difficult to kill. Dividing is best done in the fall and each clump should contain 3-5 red eyes that you plant just below surface of the soil. The flowers appear in June and I find it best to offer most peony varieties some support to help hold the stems upright when they bloom. Once they are done flowering they offer attractive foliage for the garden and a nice dark green backdrop for other summer and fall blooming perennials and annuals. Many varieties have some red fall coloring to their foliage adding another season of interest.
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Tree Peonies are another form of this plant but with woody stems that remain above ground thru the winter and producing new leaves and flowers each season. They grow larger (3-4’ ) and produce loads of spectacularly large flowers in shades of yellow, orange, purple and white where most of the herbaceous peonies are in shades of red, pink and white.
Itoh Peony ‘Garden Treasure’
Itoh Peonies, a combination of these two varieties have been gaining in popularity offering the best qualities of each with superior foliage, strong stems, and extremely large flowers and up to 50 blooms per plant. You will pay $75 to $100 for a nice quality Itoh Peony but it will be a unique, treasured addition to your garden for many years to come.