A staple of many country gardens, peonies are showy perennial flowers, with an exceptional lifespan. Each spring, large bushes reward gardeners in USDA zones 3-8 with a profusion of intricate blooms. Though available in a wide range of colors, the addition of peonies that are white can add an elegant and sophisticated element to landscapes and cut flower gardens.
Planting White Peonies
The process of planting white peonies is very similar to that of planting other peony varieties. Though plants are often available through local nurseries or home improvement stores, more rare or unique white peony varieties can be purchased online as “bare roots.” Not only is purchasing bare roots sometimes cheaper, but it also affords gardeners with greater selection.
Ideally, both bare roots and potted peonies should be planted in the fall, several weeks before the first frost. Planting can also occur in early spring. However, spring planted peony bushes may take additional time to become established.
To plant, simply work soil in a well-amended location. Ensure that the planting site receives at least 6-8 hours of sunlight each day and drains well. Transplant potted plants to the depth of the container. Bare roots should be planted with the growing “eyes” facing up, and no more than 2 inches (5 cm.) below the soil. This guideline is especially important to follow, as peonies that are planted too deeply may not bloom. Ensure to plant only varieties which are suited to your growing zone, as a winter chill is required for these perennials to flower.
Herbaceous peonies will begin growth in the spring, when leaves will emerge from the soil. Depending upon the size and age of the plant, blooms may appear after planting or take several years to become established. Once established, growers can expect beautiful blooms for upward of 50-100 years.
Peony plants require minimal maintenance, and rarely have issues with pests. Commonly, ants are found on the large nectar-rich flower buds. While the ants can be washed away with water, they do not seem to damage the plants.
These bushy blooms may also require staking or the use of a cage, as their weight can cause plants to droop, especially when wet. To maintain the plants each season, cut back foliage within 3 inches (8 cm.) of the ground when leaves begin to turn yellow, or after the first fall frost.
White Peony Plants
The following list includes popular garden peonies that are white:
- Festiva Maxima
- Duchesse De Nemours
- Bowl of Cream
- Bride’s Dream
- Ann Cousins
- White Towers
- Nick Shaylor
- Charlie’s White
- Baroness Schroeder