Peonies are perennials, meaning they return every year, bringing outrageously beautiful blooms to your garden each spring. Peonies have been known to thrive for more than a century, so your peonies may outlive you. They love cold winters and need chilling time to make flowers.
Peonies make fine sentinels lining walkways or a lovely low hedge. After its stunning bloom, the peony’s bushy clump of handsome glossy green leaves lasts all summer, and then turns purplish-red or gold in the fall, as stately and dignified as any flowering shrub.
Peonies like full sun, and though they can manage with half a day, they bloom best in a sunny spot that gets 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day.
Provide shelter from strong winds, as peonies’ large blooms can make them top heavy. (Use stakes to hold them up, if necessary.) Don’t plant too close to trees or shrubs, as peonies don’t like to compete for food, light, and moisture.