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Under/over-planting peonies

hatty_hatty_ Berkshire, 🇬🇧 Posts: 96
Hi everyone! 

I was wondering if anyone could recommend a plant to plant under my peonies?

They leave a big gap in my border before the shoots start to come through (see photo). 

If I plant something over the tubers (rhizomes?) will they still come through??


  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,259
    Hello @hatty_, Unfortunately it is not recommended to plant anything near or over peonies, they dislike other plants nearby and need maximum light/sunshine for them to prosper. Just one of the things gardeners have to accept I'm afraid.
  • B3B3 Posts: 21,482
    That's one of the reasons I dug out my peony. A few of weeks of flowers if you're lucky and boring and later ratty leaves for the rest of the year. OK in a large garden but not worth the space in a small/medium garden. But that's just my opinion😊
    In London. Keen but lazy.
  • bertrand-mabelbertrand-mabel Posts: 1,500
    We have a tree peony that is underplanted with various iris reticulata. They come up before the peony is growing. This has had been the case for many years and it is a delight to see the spring flowers and then see the new peony growth.
  • Lizzie27Lizzie27 SomersetPosts: 9,259
    Tree peonies are completely different @bertrand-mabel, as you probably know, more like a woody shrub than the herbaceous peony. Mine is also underplanted with iris reticulata, snowdrops and primroses.
  • hatty_hatty_ Berkshire, 🇬🇧 Posts: 96
    thanks everyone for the advice! I feared as much. Oh well. 

    They are very beautiful so they can stay for the moment! 
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,274
    I have a Hebe right next to mine with no problem. You could have some bulbs around it too, as long as you're careful when planting them later on. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • ButtercupdaysButtercupdays Posts: 3,999
    I grow most of mine in a fairly narrow, sunny bed next to a path. It is backed by Euphorbia Fireglow and has Doronicums along the front as well as some bulbs. The peonies are the filling in the sandwich.
    The other plants provide colour before the peonies get going, and as the Euphorbias seem to gradually expand, they fill in some of the gap as the peonies fade, but don't outshine them in their hour of glory.
    I have another peony that is planted in a fairly shady spot right at the foot of rose 'William Lobb'  surrounded by geraniums and other perennials and it flowers beautifully every year. I think it enjoys its share of  manure mulch that the rose gets in spring :)
  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 46,274
    I had mine in a border previously, and it had some similar planting around it like yours @Buttercupdays, but it was a bit too big for the space, so it's now planted into the gravel, right up against a corner of the house wall, which suits it very well. I might add some other plants there too, or bulbs, as it's a good little site, and links the other two beds along the walls. I have a bench there too, so it's nice for a cuppa when it's in flower  :)
    I love them but I don't have enough suitable spots for them in this garden. 
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • LoxleyLoxley Posts: 4,453
    Cyclamen coum would work rather well. The foliage will never get in the way of the peony, and by the time the peony is in leaf, the cyclamen will be dormant.
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