Some of the species and early blooming peony varieties are showing changing colors in their foliage. The leaves of many peony plants will turn from green to bronze, yellow, maroon or other Fall colors as summer progresses. Colors vary by variety.
Fern-leaf peony plants generally go dormant early, so if you see yellow/brown 'die-back' on them in late July, don't fret - they are simply ahead of most other varieties in the 'dormancy' schedule.
Illini Warrior has fabulous serrated foliage and it's changing from a nice bright green to bronze-maroon tones. It's an early blooming peony, so, it shows some great color changes in July.
Paeonia mlokosewitschii 'Molly the Witch' is a species peony, blooming very, very early (a month ahead of Coral Charm). It's a prolific seed producer, so we generally let some of the seed set. Here it is, cracking open it's first seed pods of the season. It has gorgeous colored foliage this year. Plant one of these peony roots and you'll likely have great success in producing new peony varieties in only a few years.
I love the contrasting colors on the peony plants this time of year. Take a look at your plants to see the colors and textures peonies add to summer gardens.
Photos: P. mlokosewitschii seed pods and foliage; Illini Warrior foliage.