Flower Guide for Peonies

Peonies are sought after for their shape, petal formation and fragrance for the everyday consumer and wedding or event floristry. They truly are an opulent and luxurious seasonal bloom. Peonies have long been cultivated with care in walled gardens and epitomise that full-blown English garden look. These large beautiful blossoms work well alone in a bouquet or in mixed arrangements. Peony blossoms make a excellent focal point. Be sure to allow room in an arrangement for the blossoms to open fully.

Common Name: Peony, Paeonia

Botanical Name: Paeonia, (pee-OH-ne-ah)

Form: Round

Botanical Facts: The name is from the Greek name paionia. A reference to Paion, then physician to the gods in Greek mythology.

Description: Large, fragrant, terminal blossoms approximately 3 - 8 inches across on stems.

Types of Peonies

There are different types of peonies available on the flower markets. Varieties can vary in shape, colour, type and head size. Here are three types that are commonly used in floristry & flower arranging.

Colours: White, Blush, Pink, Salmon, Yellow, Cerise, Red

Type of Peony: Single
Type of Peony: Semi Double
zoom inType of Peony: Double

Caring for Peonies

Purchasing and caring for peonies can be tricky. They are notorious for being an unpredictable flower, in particular for the development prior to an event or wedding.

Ideally, you are looking to purchase stems with fairly tight buds, with the calyxes just beginning to open. The buds should be showing well developed colour. However, this is easier said than done if you are purchasing from an online supplier. There are techniques that you can adopt to help encourage the blooms to open or hold back the development during the conditioning process. Refer to the video for information on how to achieve this.

In general, the conditioning process is relatively simple. Remove all the foliage from below the water line, cut at an angle with a sharp knife or scissors and hydrate in luke warm water with flower food for a couple of hours or overnight.

Peonies are wilt sensitive and last far better in vase of water, compared to designing them in floral foam.

Vase Life: 5 to 10 days

Stem Type: Semi-Woody


Seasonal Availability

Peonies are seasonal flowers, only available during limited times of the year. The flower is predominantly grown in Holland, however due to an increase in popularity and demand, they are now being grown in other countries such as Israel and Chile. Below, you will find when the typical season starts and finishes, along with substitution recommendations for when peonies are out of season.

Availability: March to July

Substitution: Garden Roses (fragrance and shape), grouped Carnations (shape)

Bonus Videos & Tutorials