This peony cultivar was introduced in 1851 and has charmed gardeners ever since. Each summer, Festiva Maxima explodes with white, crimson-flecked flowers that compliment its deep-cut foliage. This perennial makes an excellent addition to a garden, where you’ll be able to smell its fragrant flowers.
- Blooms in the summer
- Features white double flowers with crimson markings
- Resists pests
- Requires minimal care
- Spring only item
Peonies can be planted in either the spring or fall, although fall planting is preferred. Rootstock buds (eyes) should be planted about 1–2" below the soil surface. Dig a hole 12–18" deep and 12" wide and replace part of the soil in the form of a cone, then spread the roots over it.
Each plant will flower for approximately 7–10 days. Remove spent flowers after bloom, cut foliage to the ground, and remove it from the garden in fall after frost. Peonies are long-lived and can be left undisturbed for years. Cover root areas with mulch in winter, especially in climates where snow cover is minimal.
In most of the country, the rules for success are simply full sun and well-drained soil. Peonies even relish cold winters, because they need chilling for bud formation. In zones 9-10 they are harder to grow. They are not fussy, but choose your location wisely so that they can be left alone once planted.
The plants require little maintenance as long as they are planted properly and establish themselves; they don't respond well to transplanting. Unlike most perennials, they thrive on benign neglect as they do not need to be dug and divided.