K & K Gardens offers both bush peony (considered herbaceous perennials), and tree peony (Paeonia suffruticosa), which are woody perennials.
Peony plants bear an attractive, glossy green foliage that reaches 2'-3' in height with a similar spread. Their popularity is due mainly to the flowers. The most striking peony flowers are the highly fragrant, massive doubles, usually pink, red or white. Other colors and flower types do exist, however. There's even a hybrid with yellow flowers. Peony plants bloom in late spring or early summer.
Botrytis blight and other diseases may affect peony plants. Be careful peony plants, grouped en masse, do not become too crowded. Overcrowding reduces air circulation -- an open invitation to disease. If you experience this problem, make a habit of keeping the foliage trimmed back, so that one peony plant does not touch another. A preventive measure is to space peony plants sufficiently when planting (3'-4' on center).
Peony plants prefer full sun. Grow peony plants in a soil that is fertile and well-drained, with a pH of 6.0 - 7.0.
Uses for Peony Plants
Peony plants sometimes are planted individually, or by sharing perennial beds with other perennials. In this case, they should be planted in back. Peony plants are also often planted in groups, side by side, and to form a row. When used to form perennial borders, they can make a bold statement in the yard.
Care for Peony Plants
Support peony plants with stakes or hoops, as you would tomatoes. The large blooms get heavy, especially after a rain. Trimming back and disposing of the foliage in autumn helps prevent the disease, botrytis blight. Other diseases may cause a gradual decline in peony plants. If you see one specimen is stunted while the peony plants around it are doing fine, remove and destroy that plant.