Zone: 4 – 8
Bloom Time: Spring
Height: 3′ to 8′ (depending on the variety)
I hesitate to include Tree Peonies (Paeonia suffruticosa) in a list of shade loving shrubs because the horticultural literature states it should be grown in full sun. As an example of ‘it is sometimes okay to break the rules’, I can attest that I have been growing Japanese tree peonies in the dappled shade for years.
This deciduous, shade loving flowering shrub (it is not a tree!) likes acidic to neutral soil.
A much tougher plant than it looks, it is definitely low maintenance – requires only regular watering and mulching. It produces huge luncheon plate sized ruffled blooms mid-spring. I counted 15 blossoms on the tree peony ‘Pluto’ in my front shade border this year.
Click HERE if you want to learn more about how to grow tree peonies.
You can find a lot of different varieties of tree peonies for sale (including ‘Pluto’) HERE.
This post was originally published on June 21, 2020 but was updated with new content on December 8, 2021.