Tree peonies are the national flower of China. Unlike the typical herbaceous peonies, tree peonies are deciduous, woody plants that don't die back to the ground in the winter - they just grow larger and more beautiful each year. Tree peonies are extremely long-lived and in the right location, can live for well over 100 years!
The beautiful, showy flowers of tree peonies have a silky, crape paper-like texture and are usually larger than the flowers of herbaceous peonies, measuring from 5" to 10" across. Single, semi-double, or double blooms cover the shrub mid-May to early June, and because the branches are woody, tree peonies do not usually flop under the weight of the flowers like ordinary peonies can.
Tree peonies come in a wide variety of colors and many have a lovely fragrance. They make an excellent background plant for perennial beds and can provide a stunning focal point in the garden. They can grow between 4-7 feet tall.
Plant tree peonies in rich, loamy, well-drained soil that is high in organic matter. They prefer sun to part shade but dappled afternoon shade will protect the flowers from the hot afternoon sun. Once established, they are very drought resistant.
Never cut tree peonies back to the ground like you do with herbaceous peonies. They can be pruned lightly after the blossoms fade in the early summer.
Watch Mark's Video Tips about Tree Peonies.