Peonies forum→How many hours of direct sunlight do your peonies get?

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Connecticut (Zone 6b)
krazyquilter
May 5, 2020 8:16 PM CST
Thought this might be a good comparison question to ask!

Mine get 5-6 hours of direct sun.
I have good soil and treat mine to bulb tone and azomite, so other than crazy weather (like this quarantine year!), the other major deal seems to be sunlight. My peonies are healthy and strong, but don't double/triple in size in a 2-3 year timeframe like some others have mentioned.
Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
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LizinElizabeth
May 5, 2020 8:29 PM CST

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Krazyquilter, a lot depends on variety, some increase faster than others. I don't see anywhere near that rate of increase, either, mine most likely because of how arid Colorado is.
LizB
Name: Anya
Fairbanks, AK (Zone 3a)
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anyagoro
May 6, 2020 12:36 AM CST
I agree it depends on a variety, some are fast growers, some are slow. Our garden is surrounded by forest so different peonies get different amount of direct sun light, something between 14 and 5 hours. I have to watch the lower number, never actually counted.
Name: LG
Nashvillle (Zone 7a)
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Mieko2
May 6, 2020 4:56 AM CST

Moderator

I have different garden beds. I know most get at least 6 hours, and several get almost 10. I have found that you have to be patient with peonies.
LG - My garden grows with love and a lot of hard work.
Name: Liz Best
Elizabeth Colorado (Zone 4b)
Peonies Dragonflies Butterflies Bulbs Birds Bee Lover
Annuals Irises Enjoys or suffers cold winters Winter Sowing Region: Colorado Plant and/or Seed Trader
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LizinElizabeth
May 6, 2020 9:55 AM CST

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Isn't 6 hours and over considered full sun anyway?
LizB
Name: Jasmin
Toronto, Ontario (Zone 5b)
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Jasmin
May 6, 2020 10:15 AM CST
Since all my herbaceous peonies are rescued, I had to plant them in partial shade. That is, because my garden is small, and the sunniest spots are reserved for roses, poppies and three peonies. As the time passes by, I've figured out that three peonies are doing better in partial shade. I believe that is because they prefer a bit of shelter in our climate (Zone 5b.)

Thus, I had two herbaceous peonies blooming in almost total shade (e.g., no more than 2 hours of direct sun light.) I believe one of them was White Wings and the other was Sarah Bernhardt. In general, single flowering peonies peonies do better in partial shade than doubles. All of them will need more time (i.e., additional two or three years) to start blooming in partial shade.

A couple of years ago, I rescued one creamy-white peony from the neighborhood. I admired that plant for many years; it was huge. Just when I'd come to rescue it, I realized that the plant was growing in almost total shade. Cannot explain how. Anyway, I had to dig through the piles of bricks and concrete (developers!) to save it. The roots broke into five or six pieces, which I gave to other neighbors. The piece that I took was planted in partial shade, but it gets a lot of morning sun. Hopefully it will bloom again this year and we will be able to id it.

Another rescuee was growing under a huge Norway maple tree; total, total shade. I noticed a couple of dry flowers that were still there when I dug it up. Not sure re the id, but it might be Karl Rosenfield or Red Charm. We can try to id it this year. Hopefully, it will bloom.

On the other hand, there ate some peonies that really need more sun. Several years ago, I got an old variety that we couldn't id. The plant was really nice when it was growing in the full sun, but the neighbor wanted to get rid of it, so I took it. It's in partial shade in my garden, but it obviously needs more sun - the plant simply stopped blooming. I'll have to replant it in the fall.


"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."~Albert Einstein
[Last edited by Jasmin - May 6, 2020 10:22 AM (+)]
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Name: SoCal
Orange County (Zone 10a)
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SoCalGardenNut
May 6, 2020 6:17 PM CST
Jasmin, you give me hope, I have an alley that my mulberry tree is growing and getting fruit. Maybe I can plant some of my single flower peonies there.
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Name: Jasmin
Toronto, Ontario (Zone 5b)
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Jasmin
May 7, 2020 11:12 AM CST
SoCal, can you have tree peonies in your temperature zone? They are much more shade tolerant. There are also woodland peonies.
"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."~Albert Einstein
Name: SoCal
Orange County (Zone 10a)
Lazy Gardener or Melonator
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SoCalGardenNut
May 7, 2020 11:58 AM CST
I don't have one yet but I've read the Huntington Library which is in Pasadena can grow them, also the nursery Charmaron in the Bay Area said you can grow them in California. I can grow Itoh and some herbaceous types. I will put them in a shady area.
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Name: Jasmin
Toronto, Ontario (Zone 5b)
Peonies Roses Clematis Native Plants and Wildflowers Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Bee Lover
Cat Lover Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Enjoys or suffers cold winters Region: Canadian Permaculture Garden Ideas: Level 2
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Jasmin
May 7, 2020 12:20 PM CST
SoCal, mulberry trees may create dense shade. By the way, I love mulberries, since childhood. The only reason I didn't plant a mulberry tree in my garden was dense shade that it may create.

You can try, for example, if there are at least two to three hours of sunlight below the tree, it might even work. You can always move the peonies. Smiling
"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."~Albert Einstein
Name: SoCal
Orange County (Zone 10a)
Lazy Gardener or Melonator
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SoCalGardenNut
May 7, 2020 1:12 PM CST
Jasmin, mine is in an alley and in a pot. Delicious fruit btw. I'm thinking of putting the peonies in that alley but not right underneath this mulberry tree. This area is about 3 feet wide space, along the length of my house. The mulberry is about 2-3 years old. It won't be huge but at least I get something useful out of this space.
2022 wishlist: Pastelorama, Pastelegance, and Blonde Vision.
Sacramento, CA (Zone 9b)
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amymonel
May 17, 2020 3:58 AM CST
I have found that in northern/central California (where I am), it thrives the best in partial shade, especially in those brutal high temp afternoons. My herbaceous peonies get about 5-7, but there are older plants near them to provide some shade during the high afternoon sun.
[Last edited by amymonel - May 17, 2020 3:59 AM (+)]
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Name: SoCal
Orange County (Zone 10a)
Lazy Gardener or Melonator
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SoCalGardenNut
May 17, 2020 9:23 AM CST
I have an area, that are in the shade, I hope to plant an easy going tree peony like High noon. Most things I plant in this area died, rose and fig tree. It's amazing how fig tree is a survivor and it died on me. The only tree that survived in this area is a mulberry tree.
2022 wishlist: Pastelorama, Pastelegance, and Blonde Vision.

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