Festiva Maxima

Availability available early May

Festiva Maxima
Peony 'Festiva Maxima' photo courtesy of Whitehouse Nursery and Display gardens

Peony 'Festiva Maxima' has been a garden favourite for more than 150 years, a testament to its outstanding  performance. It has large, pure white, fragrant flowers with occasional flecks of crimson at the base of the center petals.  It is a tall peony with lots of blooms, but it will need staking to keep the large blooms upright. It has a classic, old fashioned peony look that makes it a great choice for a country garden.  It is also an excellent cut flower. Winner of the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.

  • Height: 91-96 cm (36-38 in)
  • Spread: 76-91 cm (30-36 in)
  • Cold Hardiness: Zone 3
  • Sun or Shade: Sun to light afternoon shade
  • Bloom Colour: white with red accents
  • Bloom Time: early
  • Flower Form: double
  • Leaf Colour: dark green

Growing and Maintenance Tips

A permanent, sunny or partly shaded site is ideal for Peonies as they resent disturbance. They need a minimum of six hours of full sun, but a location with afternoon shade and protection from strong winds will ensure that the blooms last longer. Peonies perform best in well-drained, evenly moist soil with a pH near neutral. They are heavy feeders and enjoy the addition of lots of compost at planting time as well as a regular top dressing of compost in the fall. A layer of mulch will keep the soil from drying out as well as helping to keep the foliage clean. Peonies are drought-tolerant once established.

When planting a Garden Peony, the depth is important. To ensure flowering, the eyes must be planted between 4 to 5 cms below ground level. Newly planted peonies often do not flower the first year because their energy initially goes into developing a deep, substantial root system. Once established, Peonies can live 50 years or more. If it is necessary to divide or move a peony it should  be done in the fall.