Now that you know the differences between the two main Peonies, let’s approach your decision from a facts-only point of view.
Location and Climate: If you live in the deep south or the far north, temperatures and humidity may rule your Peony selection.
If you live in a northern location with a shorter, cooler garden season, you’ll do better with Garden Peonies. Garden Peonies are most popular in Zones 3 - 8, and may need a bit of extra care within the extreme edges of their range.
- If you live in the deep south, one trick to getting them to behave just right, is to choose an early-blooming variety that will come into flower before the heat of summer hits.
- Likewise, a late-blooming Garden Peony is bound to be more successful in the northernmost portions of zone 3, where temperatures will have warmed up enough for them to thrive at their peak bloom-time.
If you live in Zones 5 - 8, you can get great results from any Peony.
Available Sunlight: While Garden Peonies need full sunlight, Itohs prefer dappled sunlight and can even tolerate part-sun. As a general rule of thumb, the farther south you live, the more your garden is exposed to sun and humidity. In hotter, sunnier locations, you’ll need to give your peonies more space for increased air circulation and maybe a bit less sun than usual.