Peonies have been grown for thousands of years and were in cultivation in China more than 2000 years ago. The Greeks, Japanese, the Emperor Charlemagne, and 15 century English literature, all mentioned or used peonies for beauty or medical purposes. In the United States, Thomas Jefferson mentioned working with and breeding peonies. Peonies are great beauties, very colorful, long lived, and quite hardy. There may be few landscapes that would not be enhanced with a peony.
Peonies prefer a sunny, well drained location. They will tolerate some shade but bill bloom more prolifically in the sun. Peonies do not like to compete for moisture and nutrients with large trees or big shrubs. Plant them away from such competition. They prefer a neutral soil pH, with a pH of 6.5 being optimum. Peonies are not heavy users of fertilizer. An application of a slow release fertilizer every several years should be sufficient. Nature Hills offers a variety of peonies and they are displayed below.