Wednesday, November 30, 2016

2016 Herbaceous vs. Intersectional Fall Foliage

If you are looking for fall color in your peony landscape, then herbaceous peonies are definitely your best bet! The range of colors is amazing - there are reds, golds, oranges, lime greens, and even a few that are still a lovely dark green. Of course not all herbaceous peonies have fall foliage. Some herbaceous peony varieties do die back early. For information on those, check out my post about Peonies with Early Dormancy Foliage. To see which peonies have created colorful foliage for me in the past, check out some of my fall foliage colors from previous years - 2015 Beautiful Fall Peony Foliage Colors, 2014 Enjoy Fall Peony Foliage Colors, 2012 Colorful Fall Peony Foliage, 2011 Peony Fall Foliage Colors, 2010 Peony Fall Foliage.

Herbaceous Peony Fall Foliage Colors - Orange, Red, & Gold

The beauty of the fall colors of these three herbaceous peonies really struck me, and I just had to snap this photo to share. These peonies are (from left to right) Peony 'Green Lotus' (orange foliage), Peony 'Pink Spritzer' (red foliage), and Peony 'Raspberry Clown' (gold foliage). I also could not help but notice the contrast of this herbaceous peony flower bed to my intersectional peony flower bed (and my tree peony flower bed as well). As you can see the herbaceous peonies are proudly displaying a range of autumn colored foliage, while the intersectional peonies are all brown (and they've been brown for weeks, actually). It seems that intersectional peonies are much more like tree peonies than herbaceous peonies in the fall. The leaves on herbaceous peonies last much longer than either of the other two types (intersectional and tree). So if you want to add beautiful spring blossoms and bright fall foliage to your garden, then herbaceous peonies are where it's at!

Intersectional Peony Brown Fall Foliage


  1. We had such a dry summer and early fall that most of my foliage looked like your Itoh pic! There were a few exceptions, which of course I neglected to document, maybe next year I'll be more organized in my note taking.

    1. Liz,

      Yes, I think we lucked out on the summer weather this year. Somehow my grass managed to stay green all year, which is rare. Some years it is toasted by June or even May! We had a really slow warm up this spring and a really slow cool down this fall. So the colors came out a bit later than usual, which makes me happy to still see such nice foliage in late November and early December this year! :-)