Peonies forum: What do you underplant or pair with TPs?

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Name: Alex
Toronto, Ontario
Region: Canadian
Feb 24, 2018 11:45 AM CST
My first year and first TP Yachiyotsubaki planted at the north side of the house is alive and at this point I am thinking what should I underplant or pair with it? Primulas are coming to mind and I want something well behaved and not spreading like crazy. Can you share your stories about successes and what I should avoid at all costs? How about some bleeding hearts, bulbs ( anything to cover dead foliage ) or hellebores? Pictures would be appreciated. North facing, so it should be shade tolerant.
[Last edited by AlexUnder - Feb 24, 2018 11:53 AM (+)]
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Name: Annette
Duluth, Ga (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Roses Birds Tropicals Hummingbirder Bulbs
Region: Georgia Lilies Irises Peonies Clematis Plumerias
Feb 24, 2018 7:20 PM CST
Alex, I plant daylilies and irises with my peonies. Another option are hostas, that I have in a bed with one of my tree peonies.
"Aspire to inspire before you expire"

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Name: LG
Nashvillle (Zone 7a)
Peonies Hummingbirder Hostas Region: Tennessee Butterflies Garden Photography
Feb 25, 2018 9:17 AM CST
I am with Annette, also columbines, and phlox.
I saw a photo where someone had forget me nots under planted. That light blue goes with everything so I am going to try them this year!

I also plant tall Monarda to bloom during summer!
LG - My garden grows with love and a lot of hard work.
Name: Karen
Southeast PA (Zone 6b)
Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Feb 25, 2018 10:38 AM CST
Anemone sylvestris Madonna is a beautiful perennial that thrives in the shade. It has white blooms in the spring and stays under 6". Though I am not sure if it will look good colorwise with a pink peony but it does not hurt to try. I love this plant - vigorous but not invasive.

Thumb of 2018-02-25/kousa/170d00

As LG mentioned above, Forget Me Not is a good one but this plant acts like a biennual and reseeds freely so you can't really control where they are planted. They pop up whereever the seeds fall. I don't think this plant is invasive because you can easily pull them up if you don't want them. They don't have runners roots nor invasive rhizomes.

Thumb of 2018-02-25/kousa/6a1fd7

The above two will bloom about the same time as the TP, being early bloomers. If you want something that blooms at other times than the peony, hostas, heurcheras, and Japanese painted ferns maybe good choices as long as they are not too tall.
[Last edited by kousa - Feb 25, 2018 11:07 AM (+)]
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Name: Alex
Toronto, Ontario
Region: Canadian
Feb 25, 2018 9:52 PM CST
Thanks everyone! I would like to try crocuses or snowdrops at the beginning of the spring, but not sure if they will be fine in high shade on north side of the house. Bleeding heart should do well. I have forget-me-not and they are behaving nicely, probably the peony foliage will cover forget-me-not leaves later. I probably could pair TP with hostas, but they need dividing every few years and probably should not be planted too close... I lost anemone Honorine Jobert overwintering in the pot because I was afraid of it spreading in the back yard. Will try some spot with natural borders first.
The plants I am looking for could be blooming some other time, before or after TPs, I think it is more interesting. May be foxgloves ? Some of them are rather shade tolerant.

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