Peony Species Culture
Growing the Gems From the Wild
Species peonies are enjoyable to grow, but may present some challenges compared to the hybrids and P. lactiflora cultivars. Water in the environment appears to be the biggest barrier to growing many of them well. Species peonies require sharply drained soil and a few in particular are intolerant of water during certain periods of the year. However, there are plenty of others that are less needy in their cultural requirements, which will serve gardeners well.
There is likely a species for everyone’s particular garden micro-climate, as some do well in shade and others in full sun. Most are cold hardy and are well suited to rock garden siting. Soil amendment will often enable gardeners to grow those species that struggle in North American environments. Getting to know them before planting is enjoyable and will likely pay dividends.
See Additional Resources below for more detailed information about growing Paeonia species.