Are you one of those lazy gardeners who fancy plants that don’t require a lot pampering?
You might want consider growing peonies in your garden. And there’s nothing more fascinating in the spring than the look of lush peonies.
A member of the genus Paeonia, peonies are treasured for their beautiful foliage, endurance, and fragrant blooms. They are one of the best flowers to grow in your home.
However, you should realize that there are hundreds of different varieties of peonies. And not all of them will thrive in your garden.
In that light, let’s explore the major categories of peonies so you can choose the best one for your home.
These are the most popular type of peonies. They thrive in hardiness zones 3 to 8. Herbaceous peonies are available in a wide selection of flower forms, smell, and color.
They bloom in late spring to early summer for about 7 to 10 days. This variety of peony can grow up to 3 feet tall, in a lush mound gleaming green divided foliage.
The foliage keeps its charming look all through the summer until frost. It usually colors in the fall.
These are woody perennial shrubs that do well in hardiness zones 4 to 9. Tree peonies bloom between April and May. They boast exceptionally large flowers.
If you love plants that don’t require skating, tree peonies would be a great choice for you. They stand upright and grow gradually up to 7 feet.
After the bloom, this variety of peonies will give your garden a fascinating structure. You can credit that to their rich green foliage, which turns bronze and purple in fall.
Itoh peonies are a crossbreed of tree peonies and herbaceous peonies. They normally bloom after their herbaceous counterparts for 3 to 4 weeks.
Also known as intersectional peonies, Itoh peonies produce at least 50 huge flowers on sturdy short stems. These stems also don’t need staking. They are prized for their striking array of gold and yellow colors.
Itoh peonies can grow up to 2.5 feet. They come out strong and healthy in a lovely rounded bush structure.
So what’s The Best Peony for Your Garden?
Now that you understand the main types of peonies, you should take the following factors into account when choosing the best one for your garden.
Location and Climate
If you live in the far north or the deep south, your choice of peony will depend largely on temperature and humidity. Namely, the cooler and shorter your garden season, the more successful you will be with herbaceous peonies. And if you live in Zones 5 to 8, any Peony variety will work well for you.
Herbaceous and Tree peonies thrive in full sunlight whereas Itoh hybrids prefer dappled sunlight. Itohs can even survive in part-sun.
It is worth noting that the farther south you live the higher the humidity and the more the exposure of your garden to the sun.
Hence, if you choose to grow Herbaceous or Tree peonies, you should give them sufficient space for proper air circulation and maybe somewhat less sun.
Bloom Types and Colors
You can also choose your peonies based on blooms alone. In that light, Itoh blooms are exceptionally large and delicate looking. They also come in fascinating yellows and golds. It is hard to find these colors in herbaceous peonies.
Herbaceous peonies, on the other hand, are more compact and fragrant. They normally look very full and fluffy.
If you want to grow a garden that stands out in your neighborhood, peonies can be a great choice for you. They are loved for their long life, spectacularly huge blossoms, and special green foliage. However, there are numerous varieties of peonies and you need to make a careful selection. With this article, you will be able to choose the best among the three main types of peonies for your garden.