Enhance the Beauty of Your Peonies with These 18 Perfect Companion Plants

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Enhance the Beauty of Your Peonies with These 18 Perfect Companion Plants

When it comes to the garden, we always want to make sure that every plant has a companion. We think of it as matchmaking for plants – finding the perfect partner to complement and enhance their beauty. Peonies are known for their stunning blooms and practical use in gardens. They are a source of balm for the eyes and soul, bringing joy and serenity. As the 2021 gardening season starts, we want to share with you a list of 18 best companion plants for peonies that will make your garden even more enchanting.

One of the best companions for peonies are the beautiful white flowers of Anne’s Lace (also known as Queen Anne’s Lace or Wild Carrot). These delicate blooms contrast the vibrant colors of peonies and create a visual harmony in the garden. Along with their pleasing aesthetics, Anne’s Lace also attracts bees and other pollinators, helping to create a thriving ecosystem.

Dianthus, commonly known as Sweet Williams or Pinks, is another great companion for peonies. With their fragrant blooms and wide range of colors, they add a touch of elegance and charm to any garden. When planted side-by-side, Dianthus and peonies create a stunning display of contrasting colors and textures.

Fennel is a practical companion plant for peonies. Its tall stalks and feathery foliage provide a beautiful backdrop for the peonies’ large blooms. Fennel also releases a sweet scent that attracts beneficial insects, such as ladybugs and lacewings, which help control pests in the garden.

Lilacs are a classic choice for companion planting with peonies. Their fragrant flowers and well-drained soil requirements make them perfect partners. When planted together, these two plants create a dreamy landscape that combines the best of both worlds – the elegance of peonies and the intoxicating scent of lilacs.

When it comes to companion planting, it’s important to consider the space between plants. Peonies have a wide, bushy growth habit, so it’s best to avoid overcrowding them with other plants. By giving them enough space, you allow them to thrive and showcase their beauty to the fullest.

These are just a few examples of the many wonderful companion plants for peonies. From flowers to herbs, there are countless options to choose from. The key is to find plants that complement and support the growth of peonies, creating a harmonious and thriving garden.

So, whether you’re a master gardener or just starting out, consider adding some of these companion plants to your peony garden. They will not only enhance the beauty of your peonies but also create a vibrant and diverse ecosystem that will attract bees and other beneficial insects. Happy planting!

7 Best Peony Companion Plants +What to Avoid

When planning your garden, it’s important to choose the best companion plants for your peonies. The right companions can enhance the beauty of your peonies and provide additional benefits like attracting pollinators or repelling pests. However, there are also some plants that you should avoid planting near your peonies. In this article, we’ll discuss the top seven best peony companion plants and what to avoid.

Companion Plant Why They’re Great
Fennel Fennel is an excellent companion for peonies because it attracts beneficial insects like bees and butterflies. It also provides a beautiful contrast with its feathery foliage and tall blooms.
Dianthus Dianthus, also known as pinks, is another great companion for peonies. They bloom at around the same time as peonies and their compact growth habits make them a perfect addition in front of peonies.
Bee Balm Bee balm is a fragrant perennial that attracts bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds. It adds a pop of color to the garden and its tall stems create a nice backdrop for peonies.
Mint Mint is a versatile herb that can be used in cooking and teas. It thrives in sunny gardens and its spreading growth habit can help fill the empty space around peonies.
Anne’s Lace Queen Anne’s Lace is a delicate white flower that complements the beauty of peonies. Its lacy foliage adds texture to the garden, and it can grow in the shade or partial sun.
Woodruff Woodruff is a shade-loving ground cover that can be planted alongside peonies. Its star-shaped white flowers are a perfect match for the delicate nature of peonies.
Lilac Lilac flowers have a strong fragrance that can enhance the scent of peonies. Planting them side-by-side creates a stunning display of colors and scents.

While these seven plants are excellent companions for peonies, there are also some plants that should be avoided. Plants like sweet pea, which grows aggressively and competes for resources, can hinder the growth of peonies. Additionally, plants like conifers and evergreens can create too much shade and inhibit the blooming of peonies. It’s best to avoid planting these near your peonies to ensure their optimal growth and beauty.

In conclusion, choosing the right companions for your peonies can greatly enhance the beauty and health of your garden. Consider planting fennel, dianthus, bee balm, mint, Anne’s lace, woodruff, and lilac alongside your peonies to create a stunning display of colors and fragrances. Avoid planting aggressive plants like sweet pea and shade-providing plants like conifers and evergreens. With these practical tips, your peonies will thrive and bloom beautifully in your garden.

Best Peony Companion Plants

When it comes to growing peonies, having the right companions can really make a difference. A well-chosen companion plant can not only add beauty and interest to your garden, but it can also help your peonies thrive. Here is a list of the best companion plants for peonies in 2021:

  1. Dianthus – Dianthus, also known as pinks, are a perfect match for peonies. They both prefer similar growing conditions – full sun and well-drained soil. Dianthus flowers come in a variety of colors, including shades of pink and white, which will complement the blooms of your peonies.
  2. Anne’s Myrtle – Anne’s Myrtle, also known as sweet balm, is another great companion for peonies. This perennial plant produces fragrant lavender flowers that will attract bees and other pollinators to your garden. Plant Anne’s Myrtle next to your peonies to create a beautiful and fragrant display.
  3. Fennel – Fennel is a tall perennial plant that grows well with peonies. Its feathery foliage will provide a delicate backdrop for the peony blooms. Be sure to plant fennel at least 18 inches away from your peonies, as it can spread and take over the space.
  4. Lilac – Lilac is a classic companion for peonies. Both plants are fragrant and bloom in spring, making them a perfect pair. Lilac bushes can grow quite large, so be sure to plant them a few feet away from your peonies to give them enough space.
  5. Mint – Mint is a great companion plant for peonies, as it repels pests and attracts beneficial insects like bees. Plant mint around the base of your peonies to help keep them pest-free. Just be sure to contain the mint, as it has a tendency to spread and take over the garden.
  6. Geraniums – Geraniums are versatile plants that can be planted as companions for peonies. The low-growing varieties can be planted in the front of your peony bed to provide a colorful ground cover. Geraniums come in a wide range of colors, so you can choose ones that will complement your peony blooms.
  7. Siberian Iris – Siberian iris is a great choice for planting alongside peonies. They both prefer similar growing conditions – full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. The tall, graceful foliage of Siberian iris will provide a beautiful backdrop for the peony blooms.

These are just a few examples of the many companion plants that can be grown alongside peonies. When choosing companions for your peonies, consider their growing requirements and what will complement the blooms of your peonies. With the right companions, your peony garden will be a stunning and fragrant masterpiece.

Bee Balm

Bee balm is a great companion plant for peonies because it attracts bees and other pollinators to the garden. The bright and showy flowers of bee balm, also known as Monarda, come in different colors such as red, pink, purple, and white, which can complement the beauty of peony blooms.

In addition to their attractive flowers, bee balm plants have a strong fragrance that also adds to the overall appeal of the garden. This fragrance helps mask the scent of peonies, making them less attractive to pests such as ants. By planting bee balm near your peonies, you can help protect the blooms from damage.

Bee balm is a hardy plant that grows well in full sun and well-drained soil. It can withstand some drought, although it will perform best with regular watering. The plant grows up to 3 to 4 feet in height and spreads about 2 to 3 feet, so make sure to give it enough space when planting.

You can start planting bee balm next to your peonies after the peony flowers have finished blooming in late spring or early summer. This way, the two plants can coexist and create a beautiful display in your garden.

When it comes to companion planting, bee balm is one of the best partners for peonies. The plant’s nectar-rich flowers attract bees and other beneficial insects, which can help pollinate your peony blooms and increase their overall health and productivity.

Moreover, bee balm also acts as a great filler plant in the garden. Its tall and lush foliage can complement the shorter peonies and add visual interest and texture to the overall landscape.

In addition to peonies, bee balm can also be planted with other perennials such as dianthus and mint. These plants thrive in similar growing conditions and have compatible growth habits, making them great companions for each other.

To make the most of the companion planting benefits, consider planting bee balm and peonies near each other. This way, bees can easily transition from one plant to the other, helping with pollination.

In summary, bee balm is a great companion plant for peonies. Its attractive flowers, strong fragrance, and ability to attract bees make it a perfect partner for peonies. By planting bee balm next to your peonies, you can enhance the beauty of your garden and promote pollination for healthier and more abundant peony blooms.

Fennel

Fennel is a popular companion plant for peonies due to its tall and feathery foliage, which provides a beautiful backdrop for the peony blooms. Fennel plants can grow up to 5 feet tall and are known for their aromatic and licorice-like scent.

Fennel is a practical addition to your peony garden because it attracts beneficial insects, such as bees, which help with pollination. The fragrant flowers of fennel are loved by bees, making it a favorite planting choice for gardeners who want to support these important pollinators.

When planting fennel with peonies, it’s important to consider their different growing habits. While peonies are known for their ability to withstand cold temperatures and thrive in well-drained soil, fennel is a more tender perennial that prefers warmer climates and moist soil.

To make sure your fennel companion plants thrive alongside your peonies, consider planting them a few feet away from the peony plants. This will prevent the fennel from competing with the peonies for resources and allow both plants to grow without hindrance.

Fennel

Fennel is also a great companion for peonies because it attracts fewer pests. The strong scent of fennel, similar to anise, repels many common garden pests, making it an ideal plant to grow alongside peonies, which can be susceptible to aphids and other insects.

Another reason to consider fennel as a companion plant for peonies is its ability to improve the soil. Fennel has a deep taproot that helps break up compacted soil and improve drainage. This can benefit the peony plants, as they prefer well-drained soil.

Fennel can also act as a “trap crop” for certain pests, drawing them away from the peonies. For example, planting fennel near your peonies can help protect them from aphids, as the aphids are more attracted to the fennel and will leave the peonies alone.

In addition to its practical benefits, fennel is a visually stunning companion for peonies. The tall, wispy foliage of the fennel plant creates a beautiful contrast with the lush peony blooms. The soft, fern-like leaves of fennel also add a delicate touch to the garden, creating a more dynamic and interesting landscape.

To summarize, fennel is a great companion plant for peonies because it attracts beneficial insects, repels pests, improves soil quality, and provides a visually appealing backdrop for the peony blooms. Consider adding fennel to your garden to enhance the growing conditions and aesthetics of your peony plants.

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Dr Heidi Parkes

By Dr Heidi Parkes

Senior Information Extension Officer QLD Dept of Agriculture & Fisheries.