Peony Varieties and Care

peonies yellow, red and peachy pinkPeonies, one of the most commonly planted species in North America are popular for their glossy green foliage and highly fragrant and massive blooms. They were a favorite in my Mom’s garden to snip and present as a gift to my Mom, as if I had anything to do with their growth and beauty. Also known as “Chinese peonies,” these herbaceous perennials are simply timeless and the perfect addition to a California landscape.

Peony Selection:

Please note that selection may vary by location and time of year

Itoh bartzella yellow peony

Bartzella Itoh Peony

The Bartzella Itoh Peony showcases very large, bright yellow double blossoms with a subtle red center stain, elegantly rising above the lush, dark green, deeply dissected foliage. These flowers emit a pleasant, slightly spicy scent. Notably vigorous, this plant boasts sturdy flower stems that remain upright without the need for staking.

Buckeye bell red peony

Buckeye Belle Peony

The Buckeye Belle Peony presents semi-double, velvety dark red blooms atop sturdy stems, making them ideal for cutting. Their deep, rich color contrasts beautifully with yellow-flowering spring bulbs, creating a stunning visual display. This variety also serves as a striking spring focal point in mixed shrub borders, adding a touch of showiness to the landscape.

Cora louise peony

Cora Louise Itoh Peony

Lovely fuchsia pink petals create a bowl around the pale lemon yellow center of each bloom. The stunning spring flowers are displayed on sturdy, upright stems above the lush green foliage. An excellent background plant for spring bulbs, or for use in mixed or shrub borders. A choice cut flower.

Coral charm peony

Coral Charm Peony

The Coral Charm Peony presents abundant, nostalgic, large, cup-shaped flowers that initially appear as a deep persimmon color, gradually transforming into elegant coral-cream colored semi-double blooms as they mature, emitting a subtle fragrance. Its glossy, dark green foliage with smooth edges adds a charming element to beds and borders, enhancing the overall appeal of any garden setting.

pink cytherea peony

Cytherea Peony

The Cytherea Peony presents large, vivid coral-rose-hued, bowl-shaped semi-double flowers measuring 6 inches wide, held high on robust, erect stems. As they mature, the bloom color gently fades, resulting in a captivating array of hues from rich French rose to delicate peachy pink. Complementing this floral display is the glossy, dark green, intricately divided foliage, which retains its allure throughout the summer and fall seasons. This peony variety is an enduring herbaceous perennial, bringing lasting charm to any garden setting.

Jan van leeuwen cream peony Monrovia grow beautifully

Jan Van Leeuwen Peony

The Jan Van Leeuwen Peony features fragrant, large, single blooms adorned with white satin petals and striking yellow centers, gracefully adorning lush green foliage in mid-spring. It adds a delightful touch to spring bouquets, offering a wonderful addition to any floral arrangement. Furthermore, it serves admirably as a backdrop for spring bulbs or as a charming addition to perennial or shrub borders.

Julia rose itoh peony Monrovia grow beautifully

Julia Rose Itoh Peony

The Julia Rose Itoh Peony showcases stunning, large, double flowers rising above vigorous, lush, toothed green foliage on sturdy stems that remain upright without staking. Exuding an air of romance, its pleasantly fragrant blooms feature soft apricot petals with blended reddish-purple tips and vibrant yellow centers. This variety is a delightful addition to any spring bouquet, offering timeless beauty and charm.

Kansas red peony

Kansas Red Peony

The Kansas Red Peony boasts massive, double, carmine red blossoms showcased proudly on sturdy, upright stems of this perennial plant. It serves as an outstanding backdrop for spring bulbs and adds charm to perennial or shrub borders. Its blooms are highly prized for cutting. Recognized with an award from the American Peony Society.

pink karl rosenfield peony

Karl Rosefield Double Peony

The Karl Rosenfield Double Peony showcases magnificent large, red, double blooms held aloft by sturdy, upright stems amidst stunning, verdant green foliage with a rounded silhouette. It's a truly stunning choice for floral arrangements. This peony serves as an ideal backdrop for spring bulbs or as a striking spring focal point in sunny mixed borders. As an herbaceous perennial, it brings enduring beauty to the garden.

Keiko double pink itoh peony monrovia grow beautifully

Keiko™ Double Pink Itoh Peony

The Keiko™ Double Pink Itoh Peony showcases large, semi-double to double, lightly fragrant flowers held aloft by sturdy stems above a dense mound of dark green foliage. Initially adorned with dark lavender-pink petals, the blooms gradually soften to a gentle pink hue, revealing a cluster of vibrant yellow stamens at their center. This variety thrives in full sun to dappled shade conditions. It was hybridized by Don Smith, a renowned breeder specializing in Itoh Peonies.

pink lady orchid peony

Lady Orchid Peony

The Lady Orchid Peony features delicately scented, soft lavender-pink, double flowers adorning a sturdy, rounded plant with abundant lush green leaves. It serves admirably as a backdrop for spring bulbs or as a standout spring specimen in sunny gardens and shrub borders. This mid-season bloomer also yields exceptional cut flowers.

pink madame emile peony

Madame Emile Debatene Double Peony

The Madame Emile Debatene Double Peony presents stunning, salmon-pink, rose-shaped, double blooms showcased on robust, upright stems, making it a striking addition to any garden. It serves splendidly as a backdrop for spring bulbs or as a focal point in sunny gardens and shrub borders during the spring season. This exquisite and fragrant flower also makes a perfect choice for classic cut flower arrangements, adding elegance and charm to any floral display.

peachy pink oompa loompa itoh peony garden candy monrovia grow beautifully

Oompa Loompa Itoh Peony - Garden Candy™

Oompa Loompa Itoh Peony boasts peachy pink petals with dark pink accents encircling vibrant yellow stamens at their center. These charming flowers are nestled closer to the foliage, forming a naturally compact, rounded shape that remains sturdy without the need for staking. Its foliage, resistant to mildew, maintains its appeal throughout the entire growing season. This perennial beauty promises enduring delight in any garden. 

old rose dandy itoh peony

Old Rose Dandy Itoh Peony

The Old Rose Dandy Itoh Peony showcases fragrant double blooms in shades spanning from rose-pink to copper, adorned with a striking red flare. Its lush, dark green foliage forms a robust mound, ideal for mid-border placement. Remarkably, the stems of this Itoh peony require no staking, displaying resilience even in challenging weather conditions such as wind and rain. As an herbaceous perennial, it offers enduring charm and reliability in any garden setting.

red paul m wild peony

Paul M. Wild Double Peony

The Paul M. Wild Double Peony presents magnificent, ruby-red, double blooms showcased proudly on sturdy, upright stems of this perennial plant. It serves superbly as a backdrop for spring bulbs or as an addition to perennial and shrub borders. This variety is also highly esteemed as a choice cut flower, adding elegance to any floral arrangement.

pink raspberry sundae peony

Raspberry Sundae Peony

The Raspberry Sundae Peony features large, luscious, fragrant double flowers in soft pink with sweet cream tones, exuding classic charm and endearing springtime color. Perfect for adding a touch of elegance to a spring bouquet, its robust, rounded plants boast lush green foliage, serving as an ideal backdrop for spring bulbs or enhancing the beauty of beds and borders.

Takara itoh peony

Takara™ (Treasure) Itoh Peony

The Takara™ (Treasure) Itoh Peony showcases an exquisite and ever-changing array of colors. Its large, nearly 6-inch wide blooms start as light yellow but are heavily flushed with deep lavender-pink, creating a predominantly pink appearance. Over time, the pink and yellow hues fade to a delicate pale white, with a striking dark burgundy flare emerging in the center. This captivating variety was hybridized by Don Smith, a prominent breeder specializing in Itoh Peonies.

peachy pink truly scrumptious itoh peony garden candy monrovia grow beautifully

Truly Scrumptious Itoh Peony - Garden Candy™

The Truly Scrumptious Itoh Peony features petals spanning from peachy orange to creamy white, transitioning to delicate pink along the edges. Positioned closer to the foliage, the blooms shape a naturally compact, rounded silhouette that remains self-supporting, eliminating the need for staking. Its foliage, resistant to mildew, retains its allure throughout the entire growing season. As a perennial gem, it promises enduring beauty in any garden.


peonies mixed with salvia and other companion plants

Planting & Care

Peonies thrive in organically rich, well-drained soil with a neutral pH. Water deeply, regularly during first growing season to establish extensive root system; once established, reduce frequency. Remove spent blooms for a tidy appearance. Prune foliage in fall. Needs little fertilization; an annual side dressing of organic compost is beneficial.

Companion Plants for Peonies

lavender plant


Both peonies and lavender enjoy similar growing conditions, including well-drained soil and plenty of sunlight. Lavender's aromatic foliage and colorful blooms complement the lush peony flowers.

salvia perennial


Various species of salvia, such as Salvia nemorosa or Salvia officinalis, can thrive alongside peonies. They offer vibrant flowers and foliage while attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies.

daylily perennial plant


Daylilies provide a burst of color and can fill in the space around peonies nicely. They tolerate a range of soil conditions and bloom throughout the summer, extending the flowering season in your garden.

red penstemon


These drought-tolerant perennials feature tubular flowers in shades of pink, purple, or red, which contrast beautifully with peony blooms. They also attract hummingbirds, adding movement and interest to your garden.

california poppies

California Poppy

As native wildflowers, California poppies thrive in the Bay Area's climate. Their vibrant orange, yellow, or red blooms create a striking contrast against the lush green foliage of peonies.

catmint with bee perennial


Catmint is a low-maintenance perennial with aromatic foliage and spikes of lavender-blue flowers. It's attractive to pollinators and can serve as a ground cover around peonies.

dianthus perennial


These compact perennials, also known as pinks or carnations, produce fragrant flowers in various shades of pink, red, or white. They bloom in late spring to early summer, complementing the flowering period of peonies.

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