Peonies are one of the prettiest and most adored plants in the gardening world; their large blooming look is just mesmerizing.
Peonies have many varieties, and being the prettiest perennial plant, you wouldn’t want to miss out on those.
They are good for planting in walkways, turning from green leaves to shiny purple flowers with a shade of goldish or reddish splash; the plant becomes a show stopper in the garden.
Peonies require very little maintenance, and if established, they do not like to be transplanted, so choosing the right place is very important.
They are lovely for vases, making wonderful cut flowers and lasting almost a week. It represents true virtuosity and prosperity for your blooming garden.
Peonies can grow beautifully and yield productivity when planted around good friends. In this article, we will learn about some of the best companion plants and plants to avoid growing around peonies.
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Why Does Peony Need Companion Plants?
Peonies like to grow up near friendly plants, which has the same growing requirement as the bearded iris; similar to peonies, the bearded iris likes full sun and rich neutral soil for blooming growth.
Peonies like a sufficient amount of space to grow and intake good airflow; otherwise, it is prone to many fungal diseases, mainly botrytis. Plants like foxglove like some space too.
Planting these two plants around each other will fulfill the requirements and allows them to grow well together. Hence, choosing a good companion plant before planting is very important.
6 Best Peony Companion Plants
Peonies provide a beautiful atmosphere and visual beauty around the garden when planted alongside their good pals, as it increases the productivity and health of the plant.
Below are some of the best companion plants of Peonies.
Foxglove and peony, when planted together, will give your garden a jaw-dropping beauty making them good companions.
Foxglove blooms in summer, and its tall spikes, which turn purple with a slight pinkish touch, make it absolutely stunning.
Peonies produce puff-shaped flowers in their blooming, and foxglove has a bell-shaped flower; this combination will bring a good contrast to your garden.
Foxgloves should be planted behind the peonies, as they tend to like some space; planting foxgloves behind will create a visual beauty providing ample space they need.
Peonies and foxgloves have the same color bag as both these plants produce a purple shade set of flowers.
2. Bleeding Heart
Another best companion plant to peony is a bleeding heart, and yes, it is a plant’s name given because of the heart-shaped flower it produces.
If you reside in colder climates, bleeding heart is one such plant that complements peony the best. Bleeding heart is a deer-resistant plant and is considered toxic to animals and humans.
Reine Hortense peony is the best partner for peony plants, as when the peony plant changes its white color to pink, the bleeding heart flower will provide similar beauty with shiny pink-colored flowers.
A bleeding heart cannot take too much sun and likes to grow in the shade, and does not require continuous sunlight, unlike peonies, so they can be planted around with bleeding hearts getting the shade and peonies getting the sun in the same garden area.
Next on the list is alliums, one of the best companion plants of peonies. These tall, growing flowers are an absolute beauty to have.
Allium grows tall lollypop-like shaped flowers, which are generally purple in color but can turn white, pink, or yellow.
Alliums from the onion family have an odor that helps in repelling pests and insects apart from providing structural contrast to your peonies.
Alliums are fast growers, and when planted with peony, they will start looking beautiful right away and will show flowers the next growing season.
After an onion-like smell in your garden, it is time to bring some sweet honey-like smell to attract pollinators.
Allysum plants are another good friend of peonies, which is a perfect combination in your garden bed.
If you are giving a thought about which is the best underplant of peonies, you should stop your search and plant sweet alyssums right away.
Sweet alyssum is also a good choice if you are stressed about what should be planted after peonies blooms, as some alyssums bloom in the fall, creating an astonishing every staying beauty in your garden.
It goes by the scientific name Aquilegia; columbine is a perfect perennial partner for your peonies plant.
A very easy-to-maintain plant, they have an airy look to them and will provide a good contrast to the peonies plants.
Columbine can grow tall, up to 20 inches, and bloom different colored flowers, mainly in pink, white, purple, black, and blue, being the most ordered.
6. Bearded Iris
The ever-beautiful and most-awaited bearded iris has made it to the list. The combination of bearded irises and peonies makes a perfect border for your spring season.
The name bearded iris comes as the dropping down flower petals looks like a beard, and it is uniquely beautiful to the viewers.
One of the easiest perennials to grow, the bearded iris compliments peonies perfectly, as they bloom just a bit early than peonies and flowers in gorgeous blue, purple, pink, and red varieties, creating a majestic sight.
Both these plants grow well together and are around the same height requiring full sun and avoiding any shade.
2 Worst Companion Plants For Peony
Even though peonies are a jolly plant, there are some plants when planted near, can damage and stunt the growth of peonies or themselves. Hence, it is very important to know such plants and avoid making them neighbors.
Planting rapid grower plants along the peony is not recommended. It can harm the growth of the peonies.
Mint plants are known to be invasive and have stronger roots that can entwine the peony roots, weakening them.
2. African Violets
Peonies are generally tolerant to many diseases and pets but are prone to fungal disease, and botrytis is the main infection they suffer from. Planting plants like African violets and dahlias can pose a risk of fungal infection.
What Are Peony’s Growing Requirements?
Peonies require minimum care and maintenance, but still, it is essential to know their growing requirements to prevent fungal infections and promote healthy growth in them.
1. Light Requirements
Peonies love the sun. They need at least 6 hours of sunlight daily, and the ideal growing need is a full pleasant sun which will prevent any fungal infections.
They do not like shade, and blooming may seem pale if they are kept in the shade, with lesser and smaller flowers.
2. Soil Requirements
A good quality of peonies is they are very tolerating and adaptable to almost any soil condition. The ideal soil requirement of peonies is a well-drained, slightly acidic soil.
Peonies do not do well when transplanted and like to be in the same spot, and can live up to 60 years or even more in the same soil. Hence it is very important for gardeners to provide the ideal soil before planting peonies.
3. Water Requirements
You need to water peonies once a week up to an inch deep. They need moist and well-drained soil to grow.
They are not drought-tolerant and can handle a bit of wet soil.
4. Temperature Requirements
As said, peonies are not drought tolerant and do not want the scorching sun to be above them.
They like the sunlight and need it around 6 to 8 hours a day during the pleasant winter season to help them grow, and they can do well in cold winters as well.
4. Fertilizer Requirements
They are generally healthy plants and require very minimum fertilizing in the initial days. Once they are established, fertilize when you see any infections or diseases, which is rare.
Feed very lightly when the blooming season has passed, and away mulch during the winter season.
Grass Diseases and Pests
Peonies are prone to botrytis; if your plant has blackened buds and stems, it’s a sign botrytis has attacked.
and attack when the peonies are not getting proper airflow or are planted too close to each other.
Try cutting the infected areas and throwing them away, do not use them as compost. If there is a mild infection, then fungicides can be used to eliminate them; copper soap is very fungicide advised.
There is a blessing in disguise in the form of ants, as ants attack peonies for the nectar of the flower through the odor the blooms have. They feed on many soil insects, which can be harmful to peonies.
They can be cleaned by washing or shaking after you have cut the flowers for the vase.
Peonies are beautiful flowers with a fragrance, bringing special attraction to the vase. If you are thinking about growing one in your garden, this article will act as a guide, as you cannot transplant peonies.
Peonies grow well around their good companion plants; choose any one you like from the six good companions of peonies mentioned above and know which ones to avoid. Learn their growing requirements well, as peonies do not like to be transplanted, and protect them from botrytis as suggested.
Till then, happy planting.