10 of the Most Beautiful Peonies To Grow In Your Garden - Backyard Boss
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10 of the Most Beautiful Peonies To Grow In Your Garden

Peonies are famous for their glorious scents and large, fluffy blossoms. Often used in wedding bouquets and floral arrangements, these flowering plants also make great additions to your backyard!

Peonies are hardy perennial plants with ancient roots and incredible lifespans. They typically bloom for seven to 10 days in the Spring and early Summer. To offset this short blooming period, early, mid, and late blooming varieties can be planted together.

Low-maintenance yet elegant, you can use peonies to add pops of color to your garden or complement the surrounding flowering plants. Each variety produces luscious, green foliage that you can enjoy long after its blooms are spent.

Types of Peonies

Verigated White and Pink Peonies on Bush with Dark Pink Peonies in Background
Image Credits: 1195798 via Pixabay

Peonies may be categorized into three types:

Herbaceous Peonies

Known as bush peonies, these are a soft-stemmed variety that thrives in USDA hardiness zones 3 to 7. Herbaceous peonies go through annual stem growth in the Spring or Summer. By late Fall the bush dies to the ground, only to re-emerge next Spring.

Many long-lasting herbaceous peony options require little care and pack a punch in your yard space! With bushes that grow between two and three feet and flowers in an assortment of warm colors, herbaceous peonies are a favorite for backyard gardens.

Stalk your herbaceous bush peonies before gravity conquers your top-heavy blossoms!

Tree Peonies

Compared to the soft-stemmed herbaceous varieties, tree peonies produce woody stems that remain after defoliation occurs in the fall. These deciduous shrub peonies bloom in early Spring before herbaceous varieties.

As their name suggests, tree peonies may reach heights up to five feet. They are slow-growing and may take a few years to become well-established. Well worth the wait, tree peonies produce gigantic blossoms up to 10 inches in diameter when mature!

Keep your tree peonies safe from spring frosts, and enjoy these hardy plants that boost the curb appeal of your home and garden!

Itoh Peonies

Itoh, or intersectional peonies, are a hybrid variety between herbaceous and tree peonies. These guys are prolific bloomers that produce enormous, long-lasting flowers resistant to peony blight – a fungal disease known to peonies that attack the leaves and stem, leaving behind brown patches.

Similar to herbaceous varieties, Itoh peonies die to the ground come Winter and re-emerge in the Spring. However, their flower and growth characteristics are more similar to those of a tree peony. Typically, neither tree nor Itoh peony plants require stalking.

Itoh peonies are strong and durable plants that grow into short, round bushes. Decorate your backyard space with some of these intricately colored hybrid species!

10 of the Most Beautiful Peonies to Grow in Your Garden

1. Duchesse de Nemours Peony

White beautiful peony flower
Image credits: danilsnegmb via Canva

Type of Peony:

Herbaceous

Bloom Type:

Full double

Bloom Scent:

Delightfully fragrant

Appearance:

Duchesse de Nemours Peonies boast globe-shaped blossoms that perch like a crown over attractive green foliage. They open into large, rounded flowers of creamy, ivory-white petals with a glowing touch of pale yellow.

2. Joker Peony

Paeonia Joker Double pink peony flower
Image credits: Natali22206 via Canva

Type of Peony:

Herbaceous

Bloom Type:

Full double

Bloom Scent:

None

Appearance:

Joker peonies change from a deep, dark pink color as they first open to a white-petalled flower complete with pink, picotee edges. These flowers bloom over complimenting green foliage that makes the pink in them pop!

3. Bartzella Peony

Bush with beautiful yellow
Image credits: AnnaElizabethPhotography via Canva

Type of Peony:

Itoh

Bloom Type:

Semi-double to full double

Bloom Scent:

Sweet, lemony fragrance

Appearance:

These beauties with above-average blooming abilities boast pastel yellow flowers with deep sunset orange centers. A Bartzella Itoh peony plant’s glossy, dark green bush foliage keeps its appeal from Spring all the way through the Fall.

4. Singing in the Rain Peony

A "singing in the rain" Peony blossom, salem, Oregon
Image credits: Bob Pool via Shutterstock

Type of Peony:

Itoh

Bloom Type:

Semi-double

Bloom Scent:

Soft and pleasing fragrance

Appearance:

Singing in the rain peonies live up to their whimsical name. Their creamy-yellow petals are flushed with tones of apricot and surround a ring of long, golden-yellow stamens. These delicate-looking petals blush with a salmon-pink color as they mature. Perfect for cutting, Singing in the Rain peonies grow on long stems with dark green foliage.

5. Sarah Bernhardt Peony

Sarah Bernhardt Peonies
Image credits: Devin Wood via Canva

Type of Peony:

Herbaceous

Bloom Type:

Full double

Bloom Scent:

Light and heady fragrance

Appearance:

Sarah Bernhardt’s peonies are award-winning for a reason. They produce large, full-bodied, rose-pink blooms that grow up to eight inches in diameter. These soft, fluffy beauties with ruffled inner petals are often flecked with white and shades of raspberry. Complimented beautifully by their dark green foliage, Sarah Bernhardt peonies make quite a statement in your backyard garden.

6. Coral Charm

Coral Charm Peony
Image credits: Neyya via Canva

Type of Peony:

Herbaceous

Bloom Type:

Semi-double

Bloom Scent:

None

Appearance:

Coral Charm peonies start as deep coral buds that bloom into bowl-shaped flowers with golden stamens at the center. Their elegant coral petals create an ombré effect that is beautifully showcased by these plants’ deep green foliage.

7. Julia Rose Peony

Peony Hybrid "Julia Rose"
Image credits: S.O.E via Shutterstock

Type of Peony:

Itoh

Bloom Type:

Single to semi-double

Bloom Scent:

Spicy

Appearance:

Julia Rose peonies are reminiscent of lovely, tropical-pink sunsets. These late spring bloomers grow flowers between four and six inches wide that change color as they mature. The bud of a Julia Rose peony begins a cherry red color, opening to tones of apricot orange with soft purple edges that eventually fade to yellow. With a halo of golden stamens at the center, these amazing plants boast multiple flower colors in one bush.

8. Bowl of Beauty Peony

Pink Peony Bowl of Beauty
Image credits: Oleg1824i via Canva

Type of Peony:

Herbaceous

Bloom Type:

Japanese

Bloom Scent:

Fragrant

Appearance:

Bowl of Beauty is a Chinese peony with anemone-shaped blossoms that grow up to eight inches in diameter. Their strong stems support these beautiful, hot pink flowers that resemble bowls serving up a ball of frilly, yellow, densely-packed petals.

9. Gauguin Peony

red peony
Image credits: helen2552 via Canva

Type of Peony:

Tree

Bloom Type:

Semi-double

Bloom Scent:

Light, sweet fragrance

Appearance:

This unique variety typically blooms in June and sports foliage common to other tree peony types. Gauguin peony blooms are a blend of faded red tones with subtle highlights of pastel yellow. Golden-yellow central stamens pop out of the dark centers of these unique blossoms. The delicate, papery texture of a Gauguin’s petals gives them the elegant appearance of dried flowers.

10. Nippon Beauty Peony

Nippon Beauty Peony
Image credits: Walter Erhardt via Shutterstock

Type of Peony:

Herbaceous

Bloom Type:

Japanese

Bloom Scent:

Fragrant

Appearance:

The darkest peony on our list, Nippon Beauties, produce cup-shaped blossoms with deep red petals. A bulbous shape of red staminodes with golden tips sits in the center of these blossoms, which keep their deep color through hot Summer conditions. The bushy green foliage of the Nippon Beauty peony plant effortlessly complements its striking red blossoms.

You Can’t Go Wrong With Peonies

Regardless of the type of peony plant you choose, ensure to grow your plant in fertilewell-draining soil in a sunny location that also receives a little afternoon shade. With ample color options and beautiful foliage, peonies create an elegant aesthetic wherever they are used.

Choose white or pastel-colored peonies like the Duchesse of Nemours to compliment the other colorful plants in your backyard garden. Or add cheerful tones and texture by experimenting with different bloom types and color palettes! No matter which peony you choose, you can’t go wrong!

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