More Information About Paeonia
Our trials for heat-tolerant peonies for the southern US have provided some amazing results and provided us with a great collection of heat tolerant peony plants for sale for those in the south who want to buy peonies. Not only are some of the wild peony species proving to be well-adapted, but several of the peony cultivars, even those with Paeonia lactiflora bloodlines, are doing amazingly well, as are the fabulous itoh peony hybrids (herbaceous peonies x tree peonies - read more about them below).
We will continue to expand our listing of peonies for sale with new plants from our trials. We only sell large size peonies, in active growth and we start with large peony rhizomes containing 3-5 eyes. Compare that to the paltry 1-2 eyes on the dried up bare root peonies that our competitors sell. Our peonies cannot be beat.
Peony bushes are great flowering perennials that gardeners from the northern states know well. In the south, we cannot grow the large variety of lactiflora peonies that you can in the north, but we can grow Tree peonies, Itoh hybrids, and woodland Japanese peonies, so we cannot complain too much.
Peonies are long-lived hardy perennials with huge 5-10" wide flowers that come in a wide range of colors. There's the traditional white peony, pink peony and red peony that most people have seen and there is also a giant yellow peony (Bartzella) that will leave you drooling. No matter the color, peonies attract butterflies.
How do you grow peonies? They are easy to grow. Just remember that...
- most peonies like sun, (but not the Japanese Peonies)
- peonies like well-drained soil,
- and peonies like even moisture
Peonies are great deer-resistant, pass-along plants...after a few years, your clump will be large enough to divide and share with friends.
We also carry the charming woodland peony species (Paeonia japonica and Paeonia obovata) for those who want to buy peonies for shady spots. When you are ready to buy peonies for your perennial garden and to give your neighbors peony envy, check out our list of peonies for sale.
Itoh Peonies (Traditional Peony x Tree Peony) have become very popular in the last few years, although they were first created in the 1940's (by Toichi Itoh, a Japanese peony breeder) and were not available to gardeners until the mid-1970's. They combine the cold hardiness and flower power of the standard herbaceous peony with the bright colors and large flower size of the tree peony.
The tree peony parent contributes some really fantastic flower colors like the incredible yellow peony, Paeonia 'Bartzella', which always sells out for us. Whenever our customers see the giant yellow flowers of Bartzella peony in our Raleigh garden they run to the greenhouse and grab as many as they can for their own garden.
Also called Intersectional peonies, they come in a wide variety of colors and have become favorites now that breeders have expanded the selections and nurserymen have perfected the propagation and growing of these gems.
Growing itoh peonies is a lot like the traditional herbaceous peony...rich soil, full sun, do not over water in winter. In the fall cut off the dead foliage, but leave the stems at about 1.5' tall. Then when the buds break in spring, you can cut back the stems to the topmost bud. Itoh peonies prefer sweet soil to acidic so if you live in an area like Raleigh that traditionally has acid soil, perform a soil test and add some lime if needed.
When we talk about the Japanese Peony here at Plant Delights, we mean P. japonica and P. obovata, the species peonies that are native to northern Japan and prefer shaded woodland conditions. This is not to be confused with the Japanese Peony flower form...one of the six peony flower forms of lactiflora peonies (Single, Japanese, Anemone, Semi-Double, Double, Bomb-Double), or the Japanese Tree Peony, which is a group of tree peonies hybridized in Japan.
Now that we have cleared that up, let's talk about how to grow a real Japanese Peony. Part shade or morning sun followed by shade, and rich woodland soil that gets regular water and is well drained.
And why grow a japanese peony? Because it provides garden interest in both spring and fall. The large single white (P. japonica) or pink (P. obovata) flowers contrasted with bright yellow stamens and red stigmas in spring are followed in autumn by seed pods that split open to reveal a stunning bright red interior that supports large blue-black or scarlet-red seeds. In early spring, the new foliage is also novel, emerging with a pink-burgundy color. For those with deer-issues, this is a good plant...quite deer resistant.
Lactiflora Peony / Herbaceous Peony
Traditional peony cultivars are favorites in the garden with their huge spring flowers (or as Bernie would say...Yuuuuuuuge) in a wide variety of bright colors like pink, yellow, red and white. The familiar herbaceous peony plant grows best in the northern US, but here in the south there are some wonderful heat tolerant lactiflora peony plants for sale.
(Paeonia ostii or Paeonia delavayi) The tree peony is a very slow growing peony that prefers part shade and produces extremely large flowers. Grows well in the south, but is very hard to find.