Peonies are a favorite among many, which is hardly a surprise considering their luxuriant beauty. These breathtaking, fluffy blooms with silky petals will make an impressive addition to your garden.
Peonies flower between the months of May and June but quickly disappear again, so enjoy them while they last! There are three types of peonies: herbaceous, tree, and intersectional.
Herbaceous varieties are the most popular and low-maintenance choice. They offer the longest bloom season, appearing each spring before dying back every winter. They usually come in shades of pink and white and can grow between two to three feet tall.
The green, flexible stems of herbaceous peonies are meant to last for one growing season only, so they tend to droop down toward the ground, especially when they get wet from the rain. For this reason, they may need some staking.
Next, we have the tree peony, which grows from a woody stem. The plant is much more shrub-like. Unlike the common herbaceous peony, tree peonies don’t die down at the end of the season.
Their woody stalks remain standing throughout the winter and on to the next season. They also don’t require staking because their stems are strong enough to hold up the weight of the flowers.
The flowers on tree peonies tend to last longer as well. However, they are less tolerant of harsh environmental conditions and are more high-maintenance than their herbaceous counterparts.
Finally, there are intersectional peonies, also called Itoh peonies. These are rarer and are a cross between tree and herbaceous.
Intersectional peonies offer a wider variety of colors. Not only are there the classic pinks and whites, but oranges and yellows are available, too.