Fern Peony

We often grow peonies for their blooms, which are as stunning on this variety as they are on any other. However, while peonies last decades in the garden, their bloom season is relatively short each year. What you’ll have most of the time is just strong structure and a nice foliage backdrop to your floral blooms. With Fernleaf Peony, the leaves are just as eye-catching as the blooms. It’s a highly unusual cultivar—you’re not going to find this in your local garden center. It stays more compact, so you’ll want to keep it up in the foreground—which serves it well as a focal point instead of a backdrop peony. Also called the Mother’s Day Peony, as it blooms early in the peony season. Paeonia tenuifoliaPeonies have few requirements: give them a sunny well-drained location, plant 2-4′ apart, with the eyes (new buds at the crown) no more than 2″ below soil level and apply fertilizer or compost in spring. First, they’ll bring you lasting, handsome foliage for reliable structure in your garden borders. They take a while to establish, often 3 years before the first bloom—but the wait is worth it. They are heirloom quality. Let them grow undisturbed and they will bring joy to you and your loved ones through the decades.

  • Botanical Name:

    Paeonia tenuifolia

  • Form:
    Perennial
  • Sun Exposure:
    Full Sun, Partial Shade
  • Height/Habit:
    12 – 36 inches
  • Spread:
    12 – 24 inches
  • Spacing:
    18 inches
  • Hardiness Zone:
    4-8
  • Flowering Date:
    Blooms late spring to early summer for approximately a week to a week and a half.
  • Planting Instructions:
    Set eyes (buds) not more than 1 1/2 inches below soil surface; prepare the bed very deeply, incorporating ample compost or cow manure.
  • Winter Care:
    Mulch as needed in colder climates
  • Growth Rate:
    Moderate
  • Flower Color:
    Red
  • Flower Form:
    Cup-shaped peonies
  • Foliage Type:
    Wispy green fern-like foliage that resembles needles
  • Resistance:
    Deer Resistant
  • Pruning:
    Prune spent blooms as they fade away. Cut back after the foliage has died down in the fall.
  • Soil Requirement:
    Well-drained garden loam enriched with humus such as well rotted manure or compost.
  • Watering Requirement:
    Average water needs, do not over water