11 Purple Peony Varieties For Your Flower Garden

Are you looking for some purple peonies to add to your flower garden? There are a number of different varieties to choose from, which is great if you love variety! In this article, we look at our favorite peonies with purple hued blooms that will help you get the pop of color you are looking for this season!

Purple Peonies

There are few things more satisfied than seeing beautiful purple flowers bloom in your garden. If you are looking for a majestic flower that equals the majesty of the color purple, look no further than the peony.

While peonies come in several varieties, many of their care needs are similar. In general, these plants do best if you plant them in the early Spring or late fall. Peonies also do not do well when transplanted. However, you may sometimes be able to divide rhizomatous roots.

Purple peonies do come in heirloom varieties. However, those varieties are somewhat rare. So, many purple peonies are the result of hybridization. Many of these hybrids result from the combination of tree and herbaceous varieties. Read on to learn about the most beautiful varieties of purple peonies you should add to your garden as soon as possible.

‘Adolphe Rousseau’

Reddish-Purple Flower of the Paeonia lactiflora “Adolphe Rousseau” Blooming in a Garden
Adolphe Rousseau Chinese Peony blooms with red-purple double flowers that add rich colors to the garden.
Scientific Name: Paeonia lactiflora “Adolphe Rousseau”
  • Plant Type: Hybrid herbaceous perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Nursery Hybrid with origins in China
  • Plant Size: 2-3 feet
  • Sun Exposure: Partial to full sun
  • Plant Zone: 3-9

The Adolphe Rousseau Chinese Peony generates deep reddish-purple double blooms and dark green leaves. It provides beautiful visual interest throughout the blooming season. This plant produces plenty of blooms throughout the season and strong stems.

This peony is very easy to care for. Trim it back in the fall for optimum growth. The plant needs an average amount of water since overwatering can be harmful.

‘Cardinal Vaughan’

Paeonia x suffruticosa 'Cardinal Vaughan' With Red-Violet Petals and Yellow Stamens
Cardinal Vaughan produces semi-double red-violet flowers and dark green leaves.
Scientific Name: Paeonia x suffruticosa ‘Cardinal Vaughan’
  • Plant Type: Deciduous tree peony
  • Geographic Origin: Nursery hybrid derived from parent species native to China
  • Plant Size: 5-7 feet tall
  • Sun Exposure: Partial to full sun
  • Plant Zone: 5-8

The Cardinal Vaughan peony is a tree peony that can grow to be a tall, structured plant over a few years. The blooms have semi-double flowers, and their petals are in the shape of a wide bowl. These plants are easy to take care of if you plant them in the spring or early fall.

The colors of this plant’s blooms are reddish-purple. This unique hue paired with the peony’s impressive height makes the Cardinal Vaughn a dramatic addition to any garden. The vibrant flowers provide a beautiful compliment to the dark green leaves with bluish-green undersides. 

‘Cherry Hill’

Reddish-Purple Flowers of the Paeonia lactiflora 'Cherry Hill'
These are incredibly fragrant double flowers of deep reddish-purple color.
Scientific Name: Paeonia lactiflora ‘Cherry Hill’
  • Plant Type: Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: United States
  • Plant Size: 4 feet tall
  • Sun Exposure: Partial to full sun
  • Plant Zone: 3-8

The Cherry Hill Peony produces medium-sized deep reddish-purple double blooms that are fragrant. This plant blooms in early to mid-spring, making it an early bloomer for a peony. When the plant is not blooming, it also has beautiful foliage throughout the season.

Plant the Cherry Hill Peony in partial to full sun. It can handle any soil as long as it is fertile and well-draining. These plants can take a few seasons to get fully established.

‘Cora Louise’

White and Lavender Flowers of the Paeonia x ‘Cora Louise’ in a Sunny Garden
Cora Louise Itoh Peony produces semi-double light lavender flowers that stand out against the dark green foliage.
Scientific Name: Paeonia x ‘Cora Louise’
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous hybrid perennial
  • Geographic Origin: United States
  • Plant Size: 2 feet
  • Sun Exposure: Partial to full sun
  • Plant Zone: 3-8

The Cora Louise is part of the Itoh group of peony cultivars. These flowers are a fairly new hybrid addition to the peony world. Itohs are hybrids between tree peonies and herbaceous peonies. This plant has semi-double light lavender blooms that grow between eight and ten inches across.

Cora Louise’s light blooms stand out against this plant’s dark and vibrant green foliage. Like other peonies, this plant has average water needs and well-drained soil. This plant can produce 50 blooms per year. Encourage blooming and growth with annual fertilization in the spring.

‘First Arrival’

Lavender-Pink Flowers of the Paeonia x 'First Arrival'
First Arrival Itoh Peony blooms with semi-double lavender-pink flowers in late spring.
Scientific Name: Paeonia x ‘First Arrival’
  • Plant Type: Hybrid herbaceous and tree peony
  • Geographic Origin: Nursery hybrid
  • Plant Size: 2-3 feet
  • Sun Exposure: Partial to full sun
  • Plant Zone: 4-9

The First Arrival Itoh Peony gets its name because it arrives early in the season for hybrid peonies. It blooms in late spring to early summer. The semi-double lavender blooms measure between six and eight inches across. Each plant produces around 30 blooms during its two-week bloom.

This perennial is fairly low-maintenance. It is most important to cut back the plant in the fall once the foliage dies away. Since the stems are small, you do not need to stake this plant. These plants die like herbaceous and hybrid peonies in the fall and have similar leaves to tree peonies. 

‘Kokuryu Nishiki’

Kokuryu Nishiki Japanese Tree Peony Growing in a Sunny Garden
This peony blooms in dark burgundy with variegated semi-double flowers in mid-spring.
Scientific Name: Paeonia x suffruticosa ‘Kokuryu-nishiki’
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous tree perennial
  • Geographic Origin: Japan
  • Plant Size: 3-5 feet
  • Sun Exposure: Partial to full sun
  • Plant Zone: 4-8

Add some art to your garden with this variegated maroon or purple and white peony. The beautiful blooms of this plant are semi-double and papery in texture. Expect to see these beautiful flowers in mid-spring and early summer.

Planting a tree peony in the right spot is essential to longevity. These plants do best with full sun and nutrient-rich soil with plenty of drainage. They do not need much care beyond removing old blooms and trimming back in the fall.      

‘Morning Lilac’

Morning Lilac Itoh Peony in Bright Sunlight
Morning Lilac Itoh Peony blooms early in the season with gorgeous purple, fragrant flowers.
Scientific Name: Paeonia x ‘Morning Lilac’
  • Plant Type: Hybrid Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: United States of America
  • Plant Size: 2-3 feet tall
  • Sun Exposure: Partial to full sun
  • Plant Zone: 3-8

The Morning Lilac Itoh Peony can have single or semi-double blooms with crinkled lilac and purple blooms. The center of the flower is filled with vivid gold stamens. This plant has strong stems, which are necessary because the fragrant blooms are usually about six to eight inches across.

The foliage is dark green and lush. The Morning Lilac Itoh Peony produces many flowers as it blooms early in the season. These are a rare hybrid between garden peonies and tree peonies.

‘Nightlife’

Close Up of Deeply Colored Paeonia lactiflora “Black Beauty”
Nightlife Peony blooms with dark purple double flowers that exude a magnificent aroma.
Scientific Name: Paeonia lactiflora “Black Beauty”
  • Plant Type: Herbaceous perennial 
  • Geographic Origin: China
  • Plant Size: 3-4 feet
  • Sun Exposure: Partial to full sun
  • Plant Zone: 3-8

The Nightlife Peony, Black Beauty, is a fantastic choice if you want a truly dark peony. This plant produces plenty of fragrant dark purple, almost black, double blooms that beautifully compliment rich, deep leaves.

When the foliage first appears, it is a burgundy color. The blooms usually appear in late spring and early summer. Like other peonies, you should prune the Nightlife Peony in the fall after flowering is done. 

‘Pastel Splendor’

White and Purple Paeonia x 'Pastel Splendor' Flowers Up Close
Pastel Splendor produces light pink flowers with a dark purple center and a delicate fragrance.
Scientific Name: Paeonia x ‘Pastel Splendor
  • Plant Type: Hybrid perennial
  • Geographic Origin: United States
  • Plant Size: 2-3 feet
  • Sun Exposure: Partial to full sun
  • Plant Zone: 3-8

The Pastel Splendor Peony lives up to its name with its lovely light pink and lavender petals with a deep purple petal center. It is a mid-season bloomer that does not get very tall. The blooms produce a gentle fragrance and are usually between four and six inches wide.

Each plant produces plenty of blooms from mid-spring to early summer. These peonies do best in full sun. Cut back the plants in the late fall and fertilize them in the early spring. They like an average amount of water throughout the growing season.

‘Peter Brand’

Rich Fuschia Paeonia lactiflora ‘Peter Brand’Flowers in a Garden
Peter Brand Peony blooms with dark red flowers that turn purple.
Scientific Name: Paeonia lactiflora ‘Peter Brand’
  • Plant Type: Deciduous perennial
  • Geographic Origin: China
  • Plant Size: 3 feet tall
  • Sun Exposure: Partial to full sun
  • Plant Zone: 3-8

The Peter Brand Peony is a historical peony with double blooms that start as a deep red before developing into a beautiful purple. This plant has strong stems that help support the six-inch wide blooms.

Thanks to those strong stems, you likely will not need to stake this peony. They can grow to a tall three or four feet tall and spread about three feet wide.

‘Visions of Sugar Plums’

White and Raspberry Colored Petals of the Paeonia Itoh 'Visions of Sugar Plums' Flower
This rare Itoh Peony prefers to grow in full sun and in well-drained soil.
Scientific Name: Paeonia Itoh ‘Visions of Sugar Plums’
  • Plant Type: Hybrid Deciduous Perennial
  • Geographic Origin: The United States
  • Plant Size: 2-3 feet tall
  • Sun Exposure: Partial to full sun
  • Plant Zone: 4-7

The Visions of Sugar Plum Peony has white petals with delicate purple accents. The blooms are typically around six inches wide, and the colors evolve throughout their bloom time. The flowers start as pale pink and get lighter, with more developed markings.

These plants do best in colder climates, as evidenced by their tendency to bloom in the spring. To get the best results from this plant, plant it in full sun and soil with plenty of drainage. You should also trim it in the fall and make sure you remove any dead blooms as needed. 

Final Thoughts

Purple peonies provide a unique and bold touch to your garden. These plants come in several shapes, sizes, and shades, with blooms ranging from lavender to deep purple to reddish purple. If your garden lacks the many beautiful shades of purple, you may consider planting purple peonies to enrich the overall atmosphere.

Most purple peonies are relatively easy to grow if you provide them with the necessary maintenance and care. Simply prune back in the fall and plant in well-draining soil where they can get plenty of sunlight and you’ll enjoy these fragrant beauties all season long.

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