Peonies have always been my favorite. Their soft, beautiful pink blooms light up any garden and bring a pop of color to your yard and home.
They make for an incredible bouquet, and they are definitely my perennial of choice.
While stunning all on their own, it’s great to know what to plant with peonies, especially if you’re an avid plant-lover and interested in expanding your garden past your beloved peonies.
As much as I love my peonies, I enjoy finding other plants that mesh and grow well with them.
What To Plant With Peonies
Peonies look amazing when planted next to shrubs and fellow perennials that can add texture and shape to their surroundings. Peonies adore alliums, bearded irises, Siberian irises, spring bulbs, columbines, and various small shrubs and trees. Purple heuchera is a beautiful match, but if you’re looking for something tall and structurally sound, try Digitalis.
Finding the Perfect Peony Match
Wondering what to plant with peonies is expected in the gardening world.
In reality, there are plenty of options, and it’s up to the gardener to figure out how they’d like to go about planning the aesthetics of their garden.
Though they tend to steal the show, peonies truly sparkle when paired with the correct blooming partner.
Plants that Bloom Simultaneously
Choosing plants that bloom simultaneously as your peonies is the perfect way to keep the orchestra of colors in your garden playing well into summer.
Because peonies bloom in a round shape, you’ll want to choose the right flowers to offset that, such as foxgloves and the like.
Flowers that bloom in a spike, such as lupine, clustered bellflower, and delphinium, look incredible with peonies.
False indigo makes a great peony partner as well. However, make sure that you keep height in mind, as plants that grow taller than peonies should go behind them.
The Magical Daylily
If you’re in the market for beautiful flowers and wonderful leaf texture, then you’ll want to choose Daylilies to complement your peonies.
Daylilies grow long, which means they’re an excellent contrast to the roundness that peonies offer.
The Daylily is strap-leafed, looking outstanding next to the thick leaves of a peony.
If Daylily isn’t your thing, I have planted both Siberian and bearded iris next to my peonies with stellar results.
Grass-like plants provide a unique texture that helps peonies stand out without fading into the background themselves.
Ornamental grass needs a bit of research before planting, as some of them are on the aggressive side, and you don’t want them to overtake your garden.
Blue fescue and carex, two grass-like plants, look great with peonies. They grow in colorful varieties that complement pink and white peony blooms.
Azaleas are a gardener’s favorite. These hardy plants are tried and true, giving new life to dull gardens and providing a delightful background for blooms like peonies to thrive.
You’ll want to use shorter shrubs when planting azaleas with peonies, such as rhododendrons and dwarf hollies.
They improve the aesthetics, and they make for a great support system when peonies get a little top-heavy.
Peony Parter Rules
There are a few rules to consider when you’re deciding what you’d like to put in your garden next to your peonies.
Keep in mind that many plants, perennials included, need to be corralled from time to time to keep them from spreading.
Your peonies need space to flourish, and so do their plant partners. Consider plant tags very closely, giving each plant the space it needs to thrive.
Each plant in your garden deserves the chance to reach its full potential, so don’t deny them that by crowding them in together.
Stems tend to wander; this is true of any garden. Ensure that you’re spending the time necessary in your garden to prevent overgrowth and wandering plant limbs.
When your peony neighbors decide to invade your precious flowers, don’t be shy. Cut them back!
I like to tackle this in the spring, as overgrowth tends to get out of control during this time.
Clear the Crowns
Any plants that grow beneath your peonies, such as Azaleas, will require removing stems that have developed over your peony crowns.
If your peonies are buried more than two inches deep, they won’t flower, so ensure that your partner plants aren’t inhibiting growth.
Frequently Asked Questions About What To Plant With Peonies
Will companion plants keep my peonies from blooming?
They will if you let them. Partner plants should be pruned as regularly as needed and planted far enough away from your peonies that they won’t interfere with blooms.
Which plants are best to partner with peonies?
A lot of perennials fare well when planted with peonies. Try daylilies, ornamental grass varieties, irises, and azaleas to start!
Can roses be planted next to peonies?
This question is expected due to the romantic nature of each flower, but yes, roses and peonies will work well together. Remember to give them ample space, and you’ll have a beautiful, fragrant pair on your hands.
The Perfect Peony Companion
There is no rule for what the perfect peony companion has to look like.
You’ll each have your personalized preference regarding what you want to plant with your peonies, so consider how you’d like your garden to look, along with what blooms and textures you want to produce.
Peonies are a classic, and any plant you choose to offset them will undoubtedly look amazing.
If you’re stuck, try sketching out how you visualize your garden and go from there!
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.