Tree Peony – Does It Grow Into A Tree

Q: You mentioned a tree peony a few weeks ago. Does it really grow into a tree?

A: They are called “tree peony” but they are more like “shrub peony”. My fifteen-year-old Paeonia suffruticosa is three feet tall and three feet wide. The blooms appear in early spring. The common garden peony, Paeonia lactiflora, dies back to the ground in winter but a tree peony only drops its leaves but keep its woody branches. An intersectional peony (also know as Itoh peonies) is a hybrid of a tree peony and a herbaceous peony.