Name: Paeonia lactiflora aka the garden peony
Type of Plant: A low-maintenance, early summer flowering perennial plant that does best in zones 4 through 7, but can live in a zone 3 or the cooler parts of zone 8.
Why I Love/Hate this plant: This plant has many fine qualities, such as the ability to thrive in one spot for years without dividing, but we love it because of the flowers. Large, fragrant, flamboyant flowers.
Yes, they only flower for a short time, but when they do you feel like the wealthiest person on earth.
A Word to the Wise: Plant peonies in full sun. They won’t flower well unless they are getting sun from about 9 to 2 PM at the very least. More sun is better. A lack of strong sun is the main reason that peonies don’t bloom.
Yes, it’s true that they don’t want the top of their roots, where the stems come off of the crown, to be buried too deeply. But frankly, if your peonies aren’t flowering well, it’s most likely a lack of sun.
Don’t over-fertilize or they will flop. If you have to support them, do so in a way that is invisible. See how here.
Pick bouquets so you can have the pleasure of walking into a room that is filled with their fragrance.