Types of peonies will add a stunning pop of color to your garden.

Types of Peonies Plants

And luckily, they come in the form of a tree, herbaceous, and a cross between them both, giving you multiple options.

Our team will list 13 colorful peonies for you to consider for your landscape. 

Peonies To Grow To Add Vibrance

1. Bowl of Beauty

Captivating Bowl of Beauty Peony

Distinguishing characteristics
  • With blossoms in bright shades of pink with white stamens, the herbaceous Paeonia lactiflora will be a show-stopping addition to your landscape. 
  • The flowers grow on strong stems, withstanding the wind, with rose-pink outer petals and yellow strap-like petals on the inside. 
Specific Needs
  • These pretty peonies will thrive in organically rich, fertile, moist, well-draining soil. 
  • Growing them in a sheltered location will keep them intact, and you might have to stake them to protect them from the wind. 
  • These flowers appear on top of luscious foliage that stays attractive all summer and changes color in the fall. 
  • The flowers are scented and make excellent cut flowers. 
  • The stamens add more texture, making them more desirable for bouquet designs. 
  • If you’re growing these flowers, you might want to keep them in a flower bed to protect them from damage. 
  • They can suffer from honey fungus and peony wilt. Substantial rainfall might break the stalks. 
  • The pretty flowers are toxic to animals. 

Paeonia lactiflora ‘bowl of beauty’ is characterized by its 8-inch anemone-shaped flowers. It’s a recipient of many awards thanks to its beauty and hardiness.

Since it’s quite adaptable, this peony can be grown as a specimen plant or as a colorful and fragrant border. You can pair it with the Shirley Temple variety for a pink display in your garden. 

2. Karl Rosenfield

Classic Karl Rosenfield Peony

Distinguishing characteristics
  • These flowers grow from deep green mounds that would still add aesthetic value to your garden when the flowers aren’t blooming. 
  • The flower forms late in the season, so you might consider pairing them with other early-season Paeonia lactiflora varieties to extend your peony season. 
  • You can grow these red peonies as specimen plants or in groups in flower beds and borders, paired with other red varieties, like red charm peonies. 
Specific Needs
  • The Karl Rosenfield peony is very adaptable and low-maintenance. 
  • This variety thrives in fertile, well-draining, moist soil and full sun. 
  • Some partial afternoon shade might be recommended. 
  • These fragrant peonies attract butterflies and bees to your pollinator garden. 
  • They’re resistant to deer and rabbits and stay in bloom for up to 10 days, making perfect bouquet flowers. 
  • The red flower color will be an excellent addition to your Japanese or cottage garden when paired with another Japanese-style peony bloom like the ‘do tell’ variety. 
  • These perennials are rarely disturbed by pests and insects. 
  • You might notice some powdery mildew and ants on the leaves, but they don’t harm the plant. 

With exceptionally eye-catching, cherry-red, large double-bloom types, this peony variety will be what you need to add vibrance and attractiveness to any gardening setup.

This variety is eye-catching and one of the most popular red double blooms. Pairing it with early-season varieties like the pink Hawaiian coral peony or ‘buckeye belle’ will extend the peony season in your garden. 

3. Claire de Lune

Elegant Claire de Lune Peony

Distinguishing characteristics
  • This popular hybrid peony has ivory-yellow guard rounded, wrinkled petals, golden or sometimes orange stamens in the middle, and deep green foliage. 
  • The pale flowers contrast beautifully with the red stems and green foliage and can be about 3 feet tall. 
  • Pair it with the snow hill sage or different white peonies like ‘bride’s dream’  to keep your moon garden bright, as this perennial will bloom throughout the summer when the peonies fade. 
Specific Needs
  • Grow peonies in the early fall, and they’ll take about two years to bloom. 
  • This plant thrives in well-draining, medium-moisture, and fertile soil and will grow best in full sun or partial shade. 
  • This is one of the earliest season bloomers in your garden, appearing in early spring, along with the Paeonia ‘coral charm.’ 
  • As the peony opens, it will resist the rain and stay in bloom for up to 10 days. 
  • You can pair these hybrid peonies with another deep-colored variety like ‘fairy princess,’ ‘fern leaf,’ or ‘chocolate soldier’ peony. Similarly-colored varieties like ‘green halo’ peonies will also work as companion plants to extend your peonies’ season. 
  • Some staking is recommended to protect the stems.
  • Fusarium wilt usually infects this peony through soil and seeds and spreads in the wet season. Overfertilization worsens the problem. 
  • Lack of proper spacing and poor circulation leads to the formation of powdery mildew. 

These pale yellow hybrids work best for moon gardens, cottages, and informal city gardens.

The flowers are resistant to rain and can stay in bloom for up to 10 days. Pairing it with the Paeonia lactiflora ‘krinkled white’ will be a good landscaping design for your moon garden. 

4. Cardinal Vaughan 

Vibrant Cardinal Vaughan Peony

Distinguishing characteristics
  • This deciduous Chinese peony has deep-green leaves with bluish undersides and will grow ruby-red to purple flowers in the summer. 
  • It’s considered a tree peony, where the tree or woody shrub will reach a maximum height of 7 feet, and it’s essential to grow this plant in the fall or early spring, so the roots have enough time to establish. 
Specific Needs
  • This peony thrives in USDA zones 5 to 8 and will appreciate afternoon shade to protect its delicate petals in hotter climates. 
  • It tolerates loamy and clay soil but prefers slightly acidic pH levels. You should water this plant more often in the summer. 
  • Pruning is essential, as removing the spent flowers will help preserve the plant’s energy to grow more colorful blooms. It will also help prevent wilt spread and other diseases that might attack your plant. 
  • This long-lived peony can last for more than 20 years. 
  • It’s an excellent choice for fences and hedges. 
  • Just like most peonies, this variety is prone to fusarium wilt and aphid infestations.
  • Botrytis blight is another serious issue, especially in the rainy season. 

This semi-double tree peony is usually a focal point in your garden. The Paeonia rockii is also known as rock’s tree peony and still maintains a cultural significance in Modern China. 

5. Reine Hortense

Fragrant Reine Hortense Peony

Distinguishing characteristics
  • The Paeonia ‘Reine Hortense‘ is a French cultivar from 1857. 
  • It was named after Hortense de Beauharnais, the Queen consort of Holland and the stepdaughter of Emperor Napoléon I. 
  • The double blooms are fragrant and sometimes show red speckles that contrast beautifully with the deep green foliage. 
Specific Needs
  • This peony thrives in USDA 3 to 8 and prefers moist, fertile soil. 
  • It prefers to grow in full sun but can use some shade, especially if you grow it in hot climates. 
  • In optimal conditions, this plant will reach 40 inches tall. 
  • Gardeners grow this flower because it shifts color from white to light pink as it matures. 
  • You can pair it with pink Itoh peonies like the Paeonia suffruticosa or moutan peony for a pink garden. 
  • These attractive blooms make excellent bouquet flowers. 
  • You must harvest them at the right time to ensure they last long. 
  • Most of these flowers can struggle or spend more time until they open. 

The Paeonia lactiflora ‘Reine Hortense‘ is a fascinating color-shifting peony that originated in Europe and found its way to the rest of the world because of its beauty.

It has a strong clove-like fragrance, even after it’s cut for a bouquet arrangement. 

6. Prairie Charm

Cheerful Prairie Charm Peony

Distinguishing characteristics
  • These mid-season peony plants have deep green foliage and medium-sized semi-double yellow flowers that grow in the spring and summer. 
  • The flower’s centers are scarlet, reddish, and open in sequence, adding beauty to any landscape design. 
  • The attractive foliage maintains its beauty throughout the season, and the flowers will attract butterflies to your pollinator garden. 
Specific Needs
  • This peony variety thrives in USDA zones 4 to 9, growing in full sun to partial shade. 
  • The soil should be kept moist but well-draining to protect the roots from rot. 
  • They make perfect bouquet flowers lasting up to one week in a vase. 
  • Each plant can produce up to 50 flowers on erect stems that don’t require stalking. It takes only a few plants to add vibrant colors to your garden. 
  • This healthy plant will be an excellent hedge or can be used to border a sidewalk. 
  • Without regular pruning, nutrients wouldn’t be appropriately distributed to the flowers.
  • The flowers can wither prematurely if the soil drains too fast. 

The Paeonia ‘prairie charm’ is an Itoh hybrid peony created in 2009. The flowers can stay in bloom for two weeks but last for four weeks in cold weather. These peony blooms will last up to a week in a vase when cutting the bud. 

7. Raspberry Sundae

Refreshing Raspberry Sundae Peony

Distinguishing characteristics
  • This is a fast-growing peony, reaching 2 and 3 feet tall. 
  • This variety has attractive soft pink and white petals but is darker towards the center. 
  • The beautiful blooms will be the perfect addition to the dark green divided leaves that maintain their beauty throughout the summer, while the pretty peonies bloom in spring. 
Specific Needs
  • This is one of the popular types for colder climates because it can survive in USDA zones 3 to 8. Some gardeners have also successfully grown it in USDA zone 2. 
  • It thrives in fertile, moist soil and prefers full sun to bloom. However, some afternoon shade in hotter climates will protect the delicate petals from scorching. 
  • If you can’t find a good spot for these flowers, you can grow them in a container or garden bed. 
  • It will work for you if you want to change the look of your landscape quickly. 
  • Compared to other peonies, this one is exceptionally fragrant, so it’s the perfect choice for your pollinator garden. 
  • Planting it as a hedge or fence will fill your outdoor space with refreshing fragrances that other peonies can’t compete with. 
  • Botyritus can be a severe problem for these flowers during humid spells.
  • Despite its beauty, you should wear gloves while handling this flower, as it causes skin irritation upon contact. 

This herbaceous perennial doesn’t like to be moved, so give it enough space to grow for years in your garden. It looks like a scoop of vanilla ice cream; the roots should be soaked in water before planting.

It might start blooming in the first year, but it reaches its peak flowering potential in the second and third years. You can pair it with another white peony like the Paeonia ‘cora louise’

8. First Arrival

Stunning First Arrival Peony

Distinguishing characteristics
  • A lot of homeowners and gardeners consider this flower to be one of the best intersectional species. 
  • The plant has bright green foliage and stunning lavender-pink flowers. 
  • The semi-double blooms are darker towards the center and emit a rose-like scent. Younger flowers are almost magenta-like, but the color fades as the plant ages. 
Specific Needs
  • First arrival peonies are better suited for warmer climates, as they grow in USDA zones 4 to 9. This is why they will appreciate afternoon shade to protect the leaves and petals. 
  • Plant peonies in fertile and well-draining soil, and water them when it feels dry. 
  • If you want a sturdy peony variety to grow in your garden, this species won’t disappoint you. The show-stopping flowers can be about 8 inches across and grow on erect stems. 
  • The stems can carry the blooms for up to four weeks without staking. This is why they can be grown as a hedge or fence in your cottage garden. 
  • Although these plants can divide and stay on your land for years, they don’t respond well to transplanting. So, you must think carefully before picking a permanent location to grow them in your garden. 
  • All the plants’ parts are toxic to pets and horses, so you might need to grow them in a container or flower bed if you keep animals on your property. 

These intersectional peonies are among the first Itoh flowers to bloom in your garden. The blooms are attractive to butterflies but resistant to deer and rabbits. The flowers can last for about a week in a vase. 

9. Sarah Bernhardt

Graceful Sarah Bernhardt Peony

Distinguishing characteristics
  • ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ peonies grow in the spring with a vibrant shade of pink that gets darker towards the flowers’ centers. 
  • The blooms can be about 8 inches wide. 
  • They usually take a couple of years to grow their showy flowers. 
Specific Needs
  • They bloom heavily in the early to mid-spring, so they’re best grown with other mid-season and late-season bloomers to extend the peonies’ season in your garden. 
  • It’s best to plant the Sarah Bernhardt peony in the spring to establish the roots before the soil warms up. 
  • These plants thrive in well-draining soil and need to be watered regularly. 
  • Homeowners and gardeners love this peony because it’s low-maintenance and easy to grow, so it will work for you if you’re a novice gardener. 
  • The flowers are resistant to rabbits and deer and will attract different pollinators to your garden. 
  • They make excellent cut flowers, lasting up to 10 days in a vase. 
  • This peony is sensitive to waterlogging that causes rot. 
  • Overfertilizing, especially in the summer, can damage the plants. 
  • Pruning old branches is necessary, or they will take too much energy and prevent the plant from blooming. 

These award-winning peonies are named after a famous French actress and will attract butterflies to your garden. This peony is great for mass planting and is excellent as a bouquet flower. 

10. Joker

Playful Joker Peony

Distinguished characteristics
  • These peonies usually bloom in late spring to mid-summer, depending on where you grow them. 
  • They feature fragrant 6-inch bright pink double blooms that get whiter as the plant matures. 
Specific Needs
  • At least 6 hours of full sun are needed to allow these peonies to achieve their best blooms. 
  • They thrive in organic-rich well-draining soil, which shouldn’t be allowed to dry. 
  • You might need to water them several times weekly in hotter climates. 
  • By the time the flowers are about to fade, they can be almost white with pink picotee edges. People might mistake them for giant carnations from a distance, so they will pair beautifully with them. 
  • Since not all flowers will bloom simultaneously, the white and pink display of colors make these flowers the perfect addition to the 3-foot foliage. 
  • Grow them with other early-season bloomers to extend your peonies’ season. They pair beautifully with other light-colored blooms like the Julia rose peony. 
  • Be patient with these peonies because they might take several seasons to bloom.
  • The crown should be planted slightly below the soil level because they’re sensitive to planting depth. 

Joker peonies are double-blooming herbaceous peonies that grow in June to add a pop of color to your mid-season garden.

People love the flowers because they change color throughout the season and contrast beautifully with the gray-green leaves. 

11. Festiva Maxima

Festive Festiva Maxima Peony

Distinguishing characteristics
  • Packed with attractive frilly petals, this medium-sized variety features slightly fragrant double-white blooms. 
  • The white ‘festiva maxima’ peony is occasionally freckled with a bright shade of crimson, adding to its beauty. 
Specific Needs
  • These herbaceous peonies thrive in full sun, but some shade might be tolerated in hot weather. 
  • The soil should be well-draining to allow the roots to spread, and you should water your plants regularly. 
  • You might want to stake your plants to prevent the big blooms from flopping over if you live in a windy area. 
  • These plants are resistant to pests and rabbits. Yet, they might not be resistant to deer. 
  • They’re a good choice for your pollinator garden because they attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. 
  • In southern and hotter climates, early-blooming cultivars should be chosen, as this variety is sensitive to heat. 
  • Unless the eyes are planted about 2 inches into the soil, this plant might not bloom. 

Despite not being an Itoh peony, this variety has strong stems that allow it to stand in your garden for decades.

The foliage of the festiva maxima peony changes color throughout the year, becoming burgundy in spring and yellow in the fall. 

12. Bartzella

Luminous Bartzella Peony

Distinguishing characteristics
  • With golden yellow, semi or double blooms, these late-season peonies will be the perfect choice to extend your peonies’ season after early and mid-season bloomers have faded. 
  • The flowers are between 6 to 8 inches wide and feature a red flush towards the center. 
Specific Needs
  • Grow these plants in fertile, well-draining soil, and water them regularly. 
  • They thrive in full sun and will achieve their best blooms. 
  • Growing these Itoh peonies will add a pop of color and a fresh scent to your outdoor area. Unlike other varieties, they emit a fresh lemon-like scent that attracts butterflies. 
  • Planting them along edges, hedges, and flower beds will be a great investment as they can last for years. 
  • Gardeners love these yellow peonies because they’re resistant to most issues. In addition, they’re pretty sturdy and reliable, blooming for several seasons as long as you’ve allowed the roots to establish. 
  • If you keep pets or animals on your land, you might need to reconsider these peonies because they’re toxic.
  • They don’t respond well to transplanting, so any spot you pick for them will be their permanent location. 

These award-winning tree peonies represent a prized addition to any gardening setup, thanks to their flourishing blooms. They have sturdy foliage, which remains attractive until fall. They’re pretty hardy in cold conditions. 

13. Pastel Splendor

Serene Pastel Splendor Peony

Distinguishing characteristics
  • The peony flower color is a mix of light pink and yellow with a bright crimson or maroon color towards the petals’ base. 
  • Unlike other Itoh peony flowers, these ones will die back like herbaceous peonies, but they maintain the lobed leaves of tree or Itoh varieties. 
Specific Needs
  • These plants thrive in USDA zones 3 to 8, appreciating full sun exposure, especially in colder climates. 
  • Tolerant of various pH levels as long as the soil is slightly moist and well-draining. 
  • Allowing between 36 and 48 inches of space between plants will allow the roots to spread well.
  • The yellow centers open to contrast beautifully with this vibrant shade, making these tree peonies a showstopper in any landscape and gardening setup. 
  • In hotter climates, partial shade will work best for these plants, protecting them from scorching, so they’ll work for your shade garden. 
  • This Itoh peony is a slow grower, so if you want a fast-growing variety, you might opt for pillow talk peonies. 
  • Plants are very sensitive, so keeping them in the shade will affect flowering and result in leggy stems. 
  • Regular pruning is recommended to maintain their beautiful look. 

These tree or Itoh peonies are mid-season bloomers with outstanding flowers that attract attention to any landscape design. They’re pretty easy to grow and are pretty hardy in harsh weather conditions. Removing the dead leaves in the fall will protect the plant from diseases. 


There are different types of herbaceous, hybrid, and tree peony flowers that you can grow in your garden. 

  • Tree peonies, like first arrival and bartzella varieties, have stronger stems.
  • Herbaceous and hybrid peony varieties like claire de lune require staking to protect the stems from breaking.
  • Some peony flowers, like pastel splendor, are more tolerant of cold weather.
  • Raspberry sundae peonies are more fragrant, but all flowers have a delightful scent.

With these amazing varieties, you’ll have the perfect choice for every season and occasion. Experiment with growing peonies and pick various flowers for an ever-colorful garden. 

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