Can you grow peonies in your area?

Many people love peonies but ask the question “Can I grown peonies where I live?”  They make a statement in any room, can be the size of a small dinner plate and sought after due to their short  flowering season.

peony flowers

 

I am not an expert  though  I believe things are in the wind for the Itoh peonies. 

 

Itoh peony

 

This is an intersectional peony,  which is a cross between a tree peony and herbaceous peony. It is not a new peony, being  developed in the 1940’s.  Known to display huge blooms, tree peony foliage, more vigorous growth than either and loads of flowers over a longer period they can grow in warmer climates but still require a few good frosts and a cold winter.  They are scarce and hard to source in Australia. 

 

snow in peony patch

Traditionally peonies require a minimum 20 days of winter chilling, at about 4 degrees.  If you want to try to grow herbaceous peonies look at your neighbours.  If they  grow apples this is an indication of the climatatic environment  for peonies.  

See the source image

Tree peonies also prefer cold climates but will also grow in cool, temperate areas.

white peony bud

 

So there is a little bit of lee way on the climate you need to grow peonies.  Research your varieties to trial for planting, and enjoy the short, sharp period of peony flowering in November, when peonies are at their most abundant in Australia.