19 Types of Peonies to Make Your Garden Explode with Color

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types of peonies

The different types of peonies are a rare creation of nature (or hybridized in a nursery). They're beautiful, fragrant, and delicate, but will most probably outlive you if taken care of.

There are around 30 species and thousand different types of peonies. Even though it originated in China, people worldwide have become fans of it as a garden plant.

These shrubs have been cultivated for at least a thousand years, and it has a lot of varieties ranging from simple petaled flowers to more complex petal forms.

We did thorough research on these highly durable plants and finally chose some of the most common or exciting types of peonies available all over the world.

19 Types of Peonies

While it’s true that we can’t specify all the different kinds of peonies, we’ve decided to go with the most popular and common ones found in all types of gardens around the world. Go through our list to learn more!

Coral Charm Peony

there are many colors you can observe within peony varieties and coral charm peony offers you a gradual change of colors throughout its lifespan

It might come as a surprise, but there are peony societies in the world, and this one, one of the Paeonia lactiflora, won the gold medal from the American Peony Society.

It’s safe to say, these are no ordinary peony varieties we’re talking about! It has a semi-double bloom, and the plant tops at around 36 inches. It unfurls in the salmon pink color with yellow middles.

But it doesn’t stay the same — the blossom initially turns orange, then gradually turns yellow. The blooming time usually occurs around late May or early June. This plant prefers partial shade to full sunlight.

Bowl of Beauty Peony

unlike other peony types, bowl of beauty peonies can hold on to its blooms

As the name suggests, it actually does look like a beautiful bowl. Unlike other peonies that kind of let their blooms flop after a heavy downpour, this one can hold on to its blooms against adverse weather. The bloom can go on to be as long as 10 inches across the plant.

This here is an anemone peony form that has strong stems to keep the single-petaled blooms aloft. Its white filament often appears as narrow petals and adds a whole new texture to the flower.

The plant can grow up to 24 inches. It’s a nursery hybrid plant, and it requires full sun exposure in order to grow properly.

Cardinal Vaughan Peony

among all varieties of peonies, cardinal vaughan peony can live through all seasons

Not all types of peonies can live through all seasons. For example, most herbaceous peonies die in winter.

However, it’s not the same with the Cardinal Vaughan Peony, also known as a Paeonia x suffruticosa, as it can survive through seasons all the while maintaining its woody stems. These stems provide them texture and structure when it’s freezing.

Coming to the beauty bit, this plant has a beautiful magenta purple bloom that makes it a standout in any spring garden.

These peony types can grow up to a massive 7 feet if you give it enough time. Originated from China, it is a Nursey hybrid that requires full or partial sunlight exposure.

Bartzella Peony

bartzella peony

Enough about magenta or pink blooms, let’s think out of the box for a moment. Let’s talk about Bartzella, a unique peony with semi-double yellow blossoms alongside inner lines of red.

The plant belongs to the Itoh Peony group and can have around two dozen blooms when the plant grows to be two years old.

Bartzella has sturdy stems, so the chances of it flopping under the massive bloom is very low. They take some time to bloom, considering other peonies, which is actually a blessing in disguise. This means you can get a different color shade for your garden when the other peonies fade out.

Reine Hortense Peony

reine hortense peony

This is a very interesting type of peony when it comes to color. Unlike others, this here is a color-shifting peony. It can turn white or pink as the flowers mature.

This is why as a gardener, you’ll never be tired of watching them — every day there’s a chance of a new shade of color in their bloom!

Found mostly in the central and eastern parts of Asia, it falls into the USDA hardiness zone 3-8. It can grow up to 40 inches and prefers proper sunlight exposure. However, it thrives well under shades as well!

Festiva Maxima Peony

there are different types of peonies that is has white color dominantly and festiva maxima peony is one of them

Is white the color of festivals? Maybe, maybe not. But these types of peony will surely bring a festive vibe to your garden with the deep pink splash on its beautiful white petal.

The little flecks of red also add to the beauty of this fragrant peony. Overall, it’s one of the most famous types of peonies for bouquets and centerpieces.

First coming to attention in 1850, it has not lost the market ever since. The plant can grow from 30-36 inches. It prefers full sunlight to grow.

Joker Peony

joker peonies are unique types of peony for sure, they have double flowers

Joker is another interesting type of peony that has fully double flowers with beautiful picotee edging. These attractive flowers prefer a full day of sun to bloom properly.

If that’s not possible, at least six hours of sunlight is preferred. You can add other plants like dianthus and foxgloves to implement a British-style garden design.

Originated from central and eastern Asia, this plant falls in USDA Hardiness’s 2-8 zones. It can grow up to 32 inches, and the blooming kind of resembles carnations.

Miss America Peony

miss america peony

Another gold medal winner, Miss America peony varieties come with a pure snow-white color with a hint of yellow in the middle. It’s a heavy bloomer and may show a bit of blush on the early buds.

Alongside the beautiful bloom, Miss America can withstand even the worst weather conditions, as it survived in the Zone 2 winter.

In order to have the maximum bloom, you have to test the soil and adjust the pH accordingly with the right fertilizer numbers. The sweet spot of pH should be somewhere in between 6 and 7.

These peony types don’t require any staking and, if nurtured well, will double the flowers in no time. It requires full or partial sunlight and can grow up to 3 feet in height.

Pink Hawaiian Coral Peony

pink hawaiian coral peony

Now we have another gold medalist, and deservingly so. People often complain about the difficulties of growing all these different types of peonies, and some of them do require an adequate amount of care and nurturing.

However, this one is an easy to grow and fast-growing plant that won’t keep you busy forever. This very plant has heavy blossoms, and they’re blessed with grow-through supports that keep the blossoms safe from mud after a heavy downpour.

The plant can grow from 32-36 inches. Full sunlight or at least partial sunlight must be provided to this Peony to ensure the maximum outcome.

Fairy Princess Peony

fairy princess peony

Finally, we have the royal, all red color in the color palette of peonies. Fairy Princess has satiny red petals with yellow flares. The red and yellow contrast looks stunning on these dwarf plant varieties of peonies.

In order to make the most out of this plant, you will require a loamy, rich soil that is enriched with necessary nutrients.

Considering the others, it can grow as tall as 22 inches, hence the dwarf nickname. It requires full or partial exposure to sunlight. The plant is originated from the eastern region of Asia.

Fern-Leaf Peony

there are different kinds of peonies that are dwarf and fern-leaf peony is one of them

Here’s another dwarf, two-foot peony that stands out in your garden because of its airy, delicate leaves. These are early bloomers considering other herbaceous peonies. Its leaves come with a feathery texture that will add aesthetics to your garden.

The bloom has a rich red or magenta color. If you plan to get maximum bloom, you might need to stake it.

These plants generally grow slowly and need to be kept together in order to bloom faster. However, they will thrive for a long time, all you have to do is ensure at least six hours of sun every day. 

Prairie Charm Peony

prairie charm peony

Here comes another award winner, the winner of Landscape Merit, the Prairie Charm types of peonies. This is a lightly fragrant plant that has a semi-double yellowish blossom and red flares as a petal base.

Growing up to 3 feet, this is a standard peony that has divided leaves, leaving some unique textures to the border. It’s more of a nursery hybrid and requires full or partial sun exposure.

Buckeye Belle Peony

buckeye belle peony

It’s one of those plants discovered a long time ago but very recently got the recognition it deserves. Introduced back in 1956, this peony just recently got the gold medal from the American Peony Society.

It has a beautiful reddish garnet petal alongside gold anthers. The plant would look stunning alongside plants like tulips.

Buckeye Belle can grow up to 24 inches and prefer partial sunlight exposure. It has survived in the USDA Hardiness zones 4 to 8.

Shimadaijin Peony

shimadaijin peony

Now we have a tree peony on our list. It can grow up to a staggering 5 feet in height, and in a fully grown Shimadaijan, around 100 flowers can bloom at the same time in mid-spring.

Imagine a flowering plant of human height like one of the types of sunflowers, but filled with attractive, reddish-purple flowers — amazing, no?

No pruning is required on this plant. All you have to do is use this shrub as a back border or just use it as a part of your gate. Just make sure it gets partial shade, and it’ll be alright.

Jean Erickson Peony

jean erickson peony

Beauty is entirely subjective, but we believe most of us will agree with us when we say that Jean Erickson produces one of the most beautiful flowers on the list.

It blooms early and can make a great focal point in your garden. Coming with feathery deep-red petaloid, there’s no risk for flops on the flower when the rain comes.

Moreover, the petaloid takes up a huge chunk of its mass, and hummingbirds find it safe to hover around. The plant grows up to 38 inches and prefers full exposure to sunlight.

Raspberry Sundae Peony

raspberry sundae peony

This beauty was developed in 1968. Despite it looking extremely delicate, it's hardy enough to survive in even the most inhospitable climates. The pink flowers around the rim will unfold to reveal a creamy center with even lighter pink petals to add some flair.

These are native to China and other east Asian countries and really flourish from the USDA Hardiness Zones between 3 and 8. They need at least partial sun and will grow up to a height of 36 inches.

Charlie's White Peony

charlie's white peony

Charlie's White, a Paeonia lactifolia, grows in with white petals around the outer ring with cream colored inner petals. These types of peonies grow taller than many, as high as 40 inches.

This white flower can really stand out or create a backdrop for other colors in a bouquet arrangement. Like many others, they're native to Asia but can thrive in most hardiness zones.

Pastel Splendor Peony

some types of peonies can grow in almost anywhere and pastel splendor peonies are one of them

The Pastel Splendor varieties of peonies aren't native to anywhere, being a nursery hybrid. Like most, it grows very well between the hardiness zones of 3 through 8. They're of average height between 2 and 3 feet and appreciate full or partial sunlight.

This is one of the anemone peony types that open up to reveal all shades of pink, from a very light pastel to a darker fuchsia. It's a sight to behold and can bring some visual complexity to your flower bed.

First Arrival Peony

first arrival peony

Another of the nursery hybrid types of peony, the First Arrival peony derives its name from being one of the different kinds of peonies that bloom early in the season. Unlike others, it thrives in the USDA Hardiness Zones of 4 through 9 if given partial or full sun exposure.

It comes in between 2 and 3 feet in height and is supported by sturdy stems that can support the flowers for nearly a month during peak blooming time. They come in at a solid darker pink color, being a simple but beautiful addition to your garden or flower bed.

Types of Peonies for Every Flower Bed

So this was our brief discussion on the types of peonies. We hope you now have enough information to choose a peony for yourself. Best of luck on that!

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Rick Worst Headshot Rick is a home design consultant and enthusiast, whose life is consumed by all things home and garden. Started as a hobby, Worst Room has grown into an information and inspiration wheelhouse for professionals and home owners alike. Rick serves as owner and editor for our many content contributors. Learn more about operation here.