Plant Highlights: Garden Peony

 

Common Name: Garden Peony

Botanical Name: Paeonia

Sizes Available: 2 Gallon size

Season of Interest: Spring and Summer

There are few plants that are able to compete with the majesty of the Peony. Long lived, beautiful blooms, and attractive foliage; combined with minimal maintenance, make this a staple for every garden. If planted with care, the Peony could even outlive the planter, being able to live over 100 years!

Being such a long-lasting plant, the Peony does not like to be transplanted, so choosing a special (permanent) place for them is essential. Mostly they require full sun, and good drainage, and should flourish. They tend to do better in a cooler climate with a cold winter, which helps with the formation of new buds. Although most blooms are finished by the end of Spring, the foliage puts on a lovely display reaching into the Autumn. Peonies love their space, so don’t plant them too close to other shrubs or plants to compete. You should plant Peonies in the Fall before the first hard frost. Most experts say they perform better on this timeline than when planted in the Spring. No matter when you plant, the Peony typically takes a few years to reach its full potential. Perfection should never be rushed!

With such a spectacular show of blooms, one would think that the Peony is sensitive and time-consuming to cultivate. Not true! Neglecting your plant may be the best thing for it, so let Nature do the work. Peonies are very hardy and resist most plant blights. They even have a built-in form of protection in the form of ants that love it’s nectar, as they attack the harmful insects that try to invade the foliage and buds. Complete this package by being deer resistant, and the Peony is a truly astounding plant. Plantworks offers all of our Peony stock in 2 Gallon sizes. We offer the following varities as a “Perennial”: 

  • Armani– Deep red blooms
  • Bowl of Beauty– Light pink blooms
  • Cora Stubbs-Dark pink rims with lighter pink centers
  • Coral Sunset– True, coral color blooms
  • Do Tell-Orchid to shell pink blooms
  • Duchesse de Nemours– Double white blooms
  • Felix Crouse– Watermelon red blooms
  • Festiva Maxima– Double white blooms
  • Itoh ‘Bartzella’– Bright yellow blooms (very hard to acquire)
  • Karl Rosenfield– Double red blooms
  • Krinkled White– Single white with crinkled petals, and yellow stamens
  • Monsieur Jules Elie– Double light pink blooms
  • Moonstone– Pink blooms that fade to white
  • Paul Wild– Deep red blooms
  • Pink Parfait– Double pink blooms
  • Pink Dawn– Light pink and white blooms
  • Primevere– White outer petals and yellow centers. Semi-double bloom
  • Raspberry Sundae– Double pink blooms
  • Sarah Bernhardt– Dark pink blooms
  • Scarlet O’Hara– Red single blooms, with yellow stamens
  • Sorbet– Light pink with yellow center

 Peonies have varying types of blooms. These are important to know, as they are listed on most of the plant descriptions. They are as follows:

  • Single: a single or double row of broad petals encircle fertile stamens, carpels visible
  • Japanese: a single or double row of broad petals encircle somewhat broadened staminodes, may carry pollen along the edges, carpels visible
  • Anemone: a single or double row of broad petals encircle narrow incurved petal-like staminodes; fertile stamens are absent, carpels visible
  • Semi-double: a single or double row of broad petals encircles further broad petals intermingled with stamens
  • Bomb: a single row of broad petals encircles a shorter dense pompom of narrower petals
  • Double: the flower consists of many broad petals only, including those which likely are altered stamens and carpels

 

Did you know? A bit of Peony trivia…

  • “Sara Bernhardt,” is one of the most popular Peony varieties on the market today. Typically in the range of over 20 million stems sold each season!
  • The Peony is named after Paeon, a student of Asclepius the Greek God of medicine and healing. When Asclepius became jealous of his pupil, Zeus saved Paeon from the wrath of Asclepius by turning him into the Peony flower.
  • The ancient Chinese city Luoyang, has a reputation as a cultivation epicenter for the Peony. Throughout Chinese history, Peonies in Luoyang have been said to be the finest in the country. Dozens of Peony exhibitions and shows are still held there annually.
  • Mischievous nymphs were said to hide in the petals of the Peony, giving it the meaning of Shame or Bashfulness in the Language of Flowers.

 

Plantworks also grows a version of the Peony known as a “Tree Peony,” or Peony suffruticosa. 

*All plant highlights reflect plants grown by Plantworks Nursery. If you are interested in availability, please contact us for information. (plantworkssales@gmail.com or 919-732-6594) 

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