Itoh peonies

Tue. Oct. 1, 2019

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show: Itoh peonies

Apparently I’m late to the game but I had never heard of an intersectional peony, also known as Itoh peony. This plant is a cross between a garden peony and a tree peony. Here’s more on Itoh Peonies from the American Peony Society

Itoh peony ‘Cora Louise’ from Monrovia

The combination means a longer bloom time and a sturdier peony. In 1948, a Japanese plant breeder,Toichi Itoh, achieved what no one else could, the perfect combination that are now called Itoh peonies. They were so valued and so rare when they were first available to the public, they went for $1,000 a plant!  They’re about $50 to $100 now.  The beauty below retails at $119 per plant

Itoh peony ‘Luxuriant’ by Cricket Hill Garden

These plants produce leaves and flowers that resemble tree peonies on a plant that behaves like a perennial. The plant dies back to the soil each year with the arrival of frost, and new growth emerges from soil each spring. This eliminates the worries of a late spring frost damaging flower buds on woody stems, which can occur with a tree peony. They’re also deer resistant and resistant to powdery mildew and botrytis blight.

Describing ‘Julia Rose’ means you must use the word “romantic’. The large soft apricot double blooms are fragrant with a slightly spicy scent atop sturdy stems that need no staking and lush, green foliage. The petals have blended reddish purple tips, and yellow centers.

Itoh peony ‘Julia Rose’ by Monrovia

 I can’t resist an Itoh named ‘Scrumdidleumptious’, seriously! That just makes a person smile! These plants grow about 3 feet tall at most and have a shape more like a garden peony. These plants are zone 4 hardy. Shipping for these bareroot beauties begins this month!

Itoh peony ‘Scrumdidleumptious’ by White Flower Farm