Many would agree that peonies by themselves can certainly brighten up a garden.
However, in order to make the most of the room of your gardening space and to keep your plants healthy, you might want to try something called companion planting.
In this post, we are going to briefly talk about the benefits of companion planting and we will also talk about what to plant with your peonies.
Let’s dive right in!
4 Benefits Of Companion Planting
Companion Planting Is Great For Small Gardens
If you have limited gardening space, no doubt you want to get the most out of that space. That is where companion planting comes into play. By pairing up the right plants, you can use up every inch of that space to make your garden look beautiful.
Companion Planting Keeps The Soil Moist
Not only will companion planting help to keep the soil moist after a good rain but did you know that it can also improve the soil. For example, certain vegetables can actually help to improve the soil quality for other plants around them.
Companion Planting Attracts The Right Kind Of Bugs
In order for our gardens to thrive, we need pollinators to visit our flowers regularly. By planting a variety of different flowers, ( let’s say, a variety of flowers that bloom at different times throughout the year) instead of just having a few flowers to choose from, they will have a constant supply of delicious nectar year-round.
Companion Planting Keeps The Weeds At Bay
Not only can weeds draw moisture out of the soil, but they can also remove those essential nutrients as well. What is the solution? Weeding your garden. I don’t know about you, but I hate weeding. A much easier, much more beautiful approach to keep those weeds at bay is companion planting.
By using up every inch of your garden with plants or flowers that you like, weeds won’t have any place to grow.
Now that we have briefly highlighted some benefits to companion planting, let’s talk about what are the best options to plant with your peonies.
What To Plant With Peonies? – My Top 18 Picks
When writing this post, I was trying to think of the best way to format it so that my ideas could be easily understood.
For that reason, I have divided the rest of this post into 3 parts. What to grow under your peonies, what flowers bloom before peonies, and what flowers bloom with your peonies.
Let’s begin with the first one….
You may also enjoy reading: Flowers That Look Like Peonies
What to plant under your peonies
If you are having a hard time keeping weeds at bay, you may want to plant some ivy under or around your peonies. Additionally, the dark green backdrop will make those peony flowers pop even more!
Sage? You might be thinking, I am not trying to grow an herb garden, I am trying to grow a flower garden.
Before you dismiss the idea of planting sage with your peonies, just hear me out for a second. First and foremost, sage blooms in the summer and can definitely make attract the right kind of pollinators to your garden.
In addition, they work really well at repelling certain types of insects. If you are having a problem with insects eating away at your plants you might want to give these plants a try.
Like English Ivy, Thyme is great at keeping weeds at bay and giving you that green backdrop.
4. Blue Fescue
Planting ornamental grass in your garden can give it a leafy texture that will make other flowers pop, including your peonies.
When choosing a grass-like plant, be sure you don’t choose one that spreads aggressively. The one pictured above is blue fescue. It looks great in just about any flowering garden. Plus, it doesn’t spread like crazy, so you don’t have to worry about it overtaking your flowers.
What To Plant With Peonies – Flowers That Bloom Before Peonies
As we mentioned earlier it is important to give pollinators a constant supply of food throughout the year.
Peonies will start blooming in April and will bloom until June.
In this next section, we are going to look at some flowers that bloom just before or around that same time.
Daffodils make a beautiful addition to just about any garden. With their large trumpet-shaped flower, they can make a powerful impact when planted between shrubs.
They are most known for their showy yellow or white flowers, but they come in a large variety of different colors. Some of these colors include, yellow, pink, red, orange, and yellow.
Additionally, they tend to bloom from January until April. It is important to note, you will need to plant them in the fall to see them in the spring. Typically 2 to 4 weeks before the ground freezes.
Like peonies, they do best in areas where they will get a lot of sunlight.
Another flower that will bloom just before peonies is the Crocus. Oftentimes it is this flower that pushes through the snow to show those beautiful colors.
And yes, it does produce some beautiful flowers. Some of those colors include; pink, red, orange, yellow, purple, and even blue.
Keep in mind that the bloom time depends much on the growing conditions.
Like daffodils, they will need to be planted in the fall usually sometime in September or October.
However, what is cool about these flowers is they that will spread on their own.
Tulips like peonies need plenty of sunlight to thrive. And when they get that sunlight they will reward you will some beautiful flowers.
They come in a wide variety of different colors, sizes, and even different flowering forms. For example, you have the single tulip that we are most familiar with and then you have the double tulip. Double the leaves, double the fun right?
Additionally, you have varying bloom times. Depending on the variety and the growing conditions, tulips can bloom anytime between March and May.
By planting a variety of tulips in addition to your peonies, you can expect to see blooms in early spring and even into late spring.
To see them in the spring they will need to be planted 8 weeks before the ground freezes. Typically in September or October months.
What To Plant With Peonies – Flowers That Look Great Next To Them
With their deep purple, lavender, light pink, or even white flowers, there is no better way to brighten up your garden than with some lavender.
Lavender typically blooms between June and August. Like peonies, lavender loves a lot of direct sunlight. In order for them to thrive, they will need to get at least 8 hours of direct sunlight each day.
Oh did I mention that bees love lavender? This is just another great way to attract the right type of insects to your garden.
Lastly, we couldn’t mention lavender without talking about its sweet fragrance. Not only will your garden look great, but it will smell just as great.
Did you know that poppies are one of the easiest flowers to grow from seed? In the fall, throw some seeds on the ground, next cover them with a thin layer of dirt, and then nature will take care of the rest.
In spring you will have some beautiful companions.
Poppies produce beautiful flowers that can have large ruffled petals in an array of different colors with a dark center. Those colors include; hot red, pink, yellow, orange, salmon, and white.
The one drawback to these beautiful flowers is that they only bloom for a short period of time, usually between May and June.
The large blooms will definitely make a statement in your garden and most importantly attract both bees and butterflies.
There are over 300 different species of this flower. Typically they can grow up to heights of 2 to 3 feet. They produce a very distinctive-looking blossom. It has six petals 3 of which are upright and 3 of which are hanging.
You may have heard some irises being referred to as bearded irises. The reason for this is that some of them produce soft hairs in the center of the flower.
Depending on the variety, irises can bloom sometime between early spring and early summer.
A flower that blooms with peonies is the veronica flower. It is also called the speedwell.
This plant produces several tall spikes that have small petals on them. The colors include; white, pink, blue, and purple. They can grow up to 3 feet tall and you can expect to see flowers from spring until autumn.
In order to grow them, often it is best to start them from seed inside the house. Then in the springtime, you can transplant them into your garden.
If you want to see more hummingbirds buzzing around your garden, you might want to think about planting some more columbine flowers. Also known as the Granny’s Bonnet.
These perennials are very easy to grow and they produce beautiful bell-shaped flowers. The colors of the blossoms are red, yellow, orange, purple, and light pastels as well. They can even produce bi-colors.
They typically bloom from the middle of spring until early summer.
Not only will they attract hummingbirds, but they are a favorite treat for bees, butterflies, and moths as well.
What flower doesn’t look good when it is planted next to a rose?
There is a large variety of different kinds of roses, but most roses will bloom, from late May until the early fall months.
Because there is such a large variety of them, it can be hard to choose which one would look best next to your peonies. However, I say, you just can’t go wrong with roses. They all look amazing!
In my opinion, Azaleas are Peonies’ best friends. After learning the reason I say this you will start to call them that too. 🙂
Since they are flowering shrubs, when planted next to peonies they help to hide the base of the plant. In addition, they can help to support top-heavy peony plants.
Depending on the species, Azaleas can bloom between early February until September. They produce white, yellow, pink, orange, or red flowers.
Like peonies, daylilies like to have a lot of direct sunlight. Try to place them in an area where they can receive at least 6 hours of direct sunlight.
The thing that I like most about daylilies is that they produce bright-colored blossoms that pop when grown next to peonies’ dark green leaves.
Did you know that a daylily can produce anywhere between 200 to 400 blooms in a month?
Another beautiful flower that blooms at the same time as peonies is the Foxglove.
These flowers grow anywhere from about 1 to 5 feet tall and they tend to blossom during the summer months.
On a single stem, you will find anywhere between 20 to 80 bell-like flowers that come in a variety of different colors including; pink, purple, white, cream, yellow, and violet.
When choosing a tall plant like foxglove be sure to take into consideration the height of the plant. You don’t want your plants to overshadow or hide your other plants. Depending on the size, foxgloves might do better when planted behind peonies.
Rhododendrons are another great option to consider. Like Azalea because they are shrubs they do a great job at hiding the base of the plant, while at the same time offering support to the plants around them.
White, pink, red, lavender, purple and blue are just some of the colors rhododendrons produce.
Another flowering shrub to consider is hydrangeas.
Hydrangeas are most known for those large blossoms that are almost too beautiful to resist. However, hydrangeas come in a number of different sizes and colors. Some of those varieties include; mophead, french, lacecap, endless summer, and peegee hydrangeas.
They can produce blue, pink, white, lavender, and red blossoms just to name a few.
Depending on the variety they can produce blossoms, in the spring, summer, and fall months.
Peonies are beautiful.
However, planting them with one or more of the options mentioned above can brighten up your garden that much more.
Now it is your turn. What do you plant with your peonies? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.