What Do You Know About Peonies?

Peonies 101

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Peonies are lush large blossoms that could be single, semi or double blossoms, double blossoms are most popular. These are also known as the bomb type, because of their explosion of numerous petals and the round shape. The blossoms at times reach 5 to 6 inches across.

Fresh peonies must be cut or bought in bud stage, when the bud is the size of a tennis ball and is rather soft to touch—somewhat like checking a peach for ripeness. If the buds are too firm they probably won’t develop. Peonies make outstanding cut flowers if they are cut at proper bud stage. Old peonies have a good number of their petals opened and turned down. The flower is supple to touch, with some outer petals faded. The flower may fall apart or shed when handled.

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Peonies’ dark red shoots that emerge in spring do not bear any resemblance to the large shrub that would develop in few months. In winters Peonies die and fall to the ground, replacing the foliage in spring. Arranging peonies is easy. Just a few of them can fill up a vase, and only few flowers are required to create a bouquet.

Few facts about Peonies:

Name: Peony, Paeonia

Variety: Herbaceous in single, semi double and double bloom types.

Colors: Shades of cream, white. Pink, peach to deep crimson shades, some varieties might be multi-colored, with a speck of contrasting color at the bottom of the blooms center.

Scent: Few varieties have sweet to mild fragrance and few are very aromatic.

Freshness: Best to buy or cut when the flower is in bud stage.

Vase Life: Seven to Ten days, or longer

Availability: Only spring, however some cut flowers are available in winter from New Zealand.

Costs: Spring—somewhat expensive. Winter—pricey

Meaning: timidity, bashfulness

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Arranging Tip: When the blossoms reach around 5 inches across, peonies are an arrangement in themselves.

Growing Tip: For the best blooms, buy tubers of plants with 3 to 5 eyes or growth shoots, because 1-or-two-eyed tubers can take years to produce blossoms. Keep in mind to not to plant peonies very deep, or they will produce a show of leaves without flowers. The eyes should be about 2 inches under the soil level. Although peonies tolerate partial shade, it is better to plant them in full sun, away from shrubs and trees, so the plants need not contend for nutrients. Bloom time for peonies is just a few weeks, so pick early, mid, and late blooming varieties. Be cautious while cutting for arrangements—if you cut more than one-third of the flowers produced will restrain blossom size and count for the subsequent year. Be patient; peonies typically take 3 to 5 years to reach maturity, however once established, would bloom forever.

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January

– Pink

– Hot Pink

– White

February

– White

– Sarah Bernhardt Pink

– Blush

– Pink

– Dark Red

– Hot Pink Fuchsia

– Assorted

March

– White

– Festiva Maxima

– Sarah Bernhardt Pink

– Hot Pink

– Pink

– Dark Red

– Assorted

April 1 – May 15 – June 30

– Festiva Maxima

– White

– Blush

– Sarah Bernhardt Pink

– Pink

– Hot Pink Fuchsia

– Coral

– Dark Red

– Assorted

May 16 – June 30

– Festiva Maxima

– Hot Pink Fuchsia

– White

– Sarah Bernhardt Pink

– Blush

– Coral

– Dark Red

– Assorted

July – September

– White

– Festiva Maxima

– Blush

– Sarah Bernhardt

– Coral

– Pink

– Hot Pink

– Dark Red

– Assorted

October – November

– Festiva Maxima

– Sarah Bernhardt Pink

– Blush

– Pink

– Coral

– Dark Red

– Hot Pink Fuchsia

– Assorted

December

– White

– Blush

– Dark Pink

– Pink

– Sarah Bernhardt

– Hot Pink Fuchsia

– Assorted

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