Though its flowering season is a bit short, the peony remains a very popular perennial, and with good reason. These beautiful blooms smell wonderful and make a great cut flower to add to your favorite bouquet, pulling double duty to decorate your house inside and out. Most people choose peonies for their bright, showy flowers. You can choose from white, pink, magenta, yellow, cream and red -- peonies come in just about every color but blue. And once the flowers fade, they still leave nice greenery for the rest of the season.
While peonies are sun-lovers (they need six good hours of sun a day) a little shade won't hurt them. In fact, shade can help them if it reaches them in the late afternoon. After a day of bright sunshine, a bit of shade can help to revitalize fading flowers.
Certain varieties of Peonies do need a winter chill in order to become dormant and re-grow the next spring. If you live very far south, look for varieties that work specifically for your area and don't need the ground to get so cold. With many varieties in plants, hybrids and trees, you're sure to find one that works for you.
And don't forget, these perennials are here to stay. Though peonies are slow to start growing, they can live for up to 100 years!