Peonies, lilacs in partial shade

Racine, WI(Zone 5b)

This thread has been so helpful with roses for shade that I hope someone has had luck with peonies and/or lilacs in partial shade. If any of you know what might work, that would be great!

Columbia Heights, MN(Zone 4a)

My peonies only get morning sun and bloom beautifully, but I don't know what they are. I tried moving a patch to a shadier location. Lotz of foliage, but no blooms.

Can you point me to the thread that discusses roses in shady locations? I'd love to be able to do that.

Racine, WI(Zone 5b)

Hi --

Stay in the Shady Gardens section and scroll to the Shade Tolerant Roses Thread. In addition to the info from responders there are two invaluable hyperlinkes -- one for Woodland Gardens and the other for a very comprehensive list of roses. I think the responder "Tabasco" provides both hyperlinks. Thanks for your reply.


Lisbon, IA(Zone 5a)

Lilacs really need to be in full sun if at all possible otherwise they will get mildew. I have some peony in partial shade and they will bloom, but just not as much as those in full sun. If you can limb your trees up really high and are able to get as much light and air circulation into your peony and lilacs they will probably do better. Just my .02.

IA Z5a

Sterling, VA(Zone 6b)

My mother gave me a bunch of plants one year and I planted what I thought was 3 lily-of-the-valley plants in a shady spot (gets probably 4 hours of morning sun and then no direct sun after that). Yep it turns out they were peonies. They tend to lean toward the sun but they have flowered well. The picture below was taken in 2004. In 2005 I staked them with tomato cages and they stood much more upright.

BTW, yes, you should space your peonies more than one foot apart!!

- Brent

Thumbnail by Brent_In_NoVa
(Zone 7a)

Syringa meyeri 'Palibin' is very floriferous and fragrant for us in partial shade where any other lilac we've tried just won't flower.

Also, the herbaceous peony Festiva Maxima produces a few blooms where it grows under a tree.

Sterling, VA(Zone 6b)

I have guessed that the peonies in my picture are Festiva Maxima.

- Brent

Rockford, IL(Zone 4b)

We have a tree peony in partial shade, but I don't know the variety. It's on the north side of the house where it gets morning sun, and blooms wonderfully. It was planted by the previous owners and there wasn't a tag.

Thumbnail by sstateham
Racine, WI(Zone 5b)

Thank you all very much! Now I can at least experiment and have some expectation of success!

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

I have a woodland peony... single....blooms in shade.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Here it is just coming up..

Thumbnail by levilyla
Racine, WI(Zone 5b)

Hey Levilyal -- this weekend I saw (or I think I did) barely emerging daffodils -- maybe a half inch of green. How nice to be so warm in March! How wonderfully full and healthy your peony is.

Baltimore, MD(Zone 7a)

Yes..ours early ones are up and blooming...very exciting to see those first little green shoots coming up...winter is over!

Chicago, United States

Especially for those looking for peonies for shade, I have created a list of the most suitable varieties, please look here:

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