The Q&A Archives: Peonies For California

Question: I have heard there is a new variety of peony especially bred to grow in California. Is this true and if so, where can I get it?

Answer: The plant you're referring to might be Paeonia californica, a one-foot tall perennial with 2" drooping maroon flowers, January through March. It's native from Monterey to San Diego County. It will tolerate sun to part shade, and needs little or no summer water. You need perfect drainage, a very green thumb, and luck with this one. Plants are available from Las Pilitas Nursery, 3232 Las Pilitas Rd., Santa Margarita, CA 93453. Phone: 805-438-5992.

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