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Outdoor Plants

How to Grow Peonies

March 12, 2020 3 min read

Peonies are one of the most beloved herbaceous perennials in Ontario. Their unmistakable beauty and fragrance can be seen in full bloom from early to mid-spring.

Plant peonies in an area that has good drainage, and receives full to partial sun. If you notice your peonies aren’t prolific bloomers, they need some more sunshine (five hours minimum). Keep in mind the more sunlight they get you might need to water more often. It is best to avoid the direct afternoon sun.

When possible, remove spent flower stems after flowering. This will help maintain an attractive perennial all summer long.

Fact: if you see ants crawling over peony buds – they are not harming the plant; they are enjoying the sugary syrup the buds produce.

Whether you plant peonies to enjoy in the garden or if you like to cut them to bring indoors, we have the list of varieties you must plant this year.


This variety is a double-bloomed peony that explodes in early spring with a crisp white and pastel pink petal.

Alexander Fleming

An ideal peony for mid-season bloom time. It has an intense, dark pink colour that contrasts wonderfully in any landscape. Extremely fragrant.

Bowl of Beauty

This late mid-season peony will flower for seven to ten days. The vibrant rose-pink blooms are enjoyably fragrant. We love to use this variety as a cut flower due to its long vase life.

Peony Bowl of Beauty

Bunker Hill

Double bloomed petals with deep, rosy red blooms on this variety have been a garden favourite for over 100 years.

Sarah Bernhardt

A classic peony in the garden and floral design. Large, double flower pastel pink blooms known for its delicate floral fragrance.

Catharina Fontijn

One of the dreamiest peonies to plant! Rich shades of pink and hints of creamy white blooms will shine in your garden paired against dark foliage and grasses. The large flowers are also fragrant.

Catharina Fontijin Peony

Duchesse de Nemours

One of the whitest peonies you can plant. Perfect for brightening up gardens It’s been around for more than 150 years!

Felix Crousse

Large, crimson double blooms will provide intense colour against lush, deep green foliage.

Jan van Leeuwen

This is a unique single, bloomed peony. Large, fragrant satin white blooms with vibrant yellow centres will appear mid-spring. Perfect for mass plantings, borders and planting with spring-flowering bulbs.

Mme. Emile Debatene

Salmon pink double blooms are a spectacular addition in a garden. Makes a statement when used a specimen planting and along shrub borders.

'Mme. Emile Debatene' peony

Monsieur Jules Elie

This beauty was introduced to gardens in 1888! Large, double flowers are elegantly ruffled rose-pink petals. These will bring colour and fragrance to your garden in late spring to early summer.

Paul M Wild

Ruby-red, double blooms have a velvety texture. Can be used as a cut flower or a background plant in mixed perennial beds.

Peonies in the garden