Every day’s a celebration: the first Peonies

Nice when the Peonies are there again! You can already start working with Peonies on special floral arrangements (such as bridal bouquets) as early as February. They are enchanting when combined with delicate spring flowers. Or use a bunch of Peonies in a single colour to make a powerful statement.

Nice when the Peonies are there again! You can already start working with Peonies on special floral arrangements (such as bridal bouquets) as early as February. They are enchanting when combined with delicate spring flowers. Or use a bunch of Peonies in a single colour to make a powerful statement.

Peony time!

Florists can start stocking a varied assortment of Peonies from early February to late June. The very first Peonies of the year, which are cultivated in greenhouses, arrive from Israel in early spring. After this the Israeli Peonies come from the field — at nearly the same time as the first Peonies from France (from greenhouses), followed by the French field Peonies and the first Dutch examples. First from the greenhouse, then from the field. The absolutely best Peony period is from late May to mid-June: that’s when Dutch growers are busy harvesting Peonies from the field.

Sooner or later?

You can subdivide Peonies into early, middle and late-blooming varieties. The flowering time is influenced by the location of the nursery (for example, the warm south of France or the cold Netherlands). The decision to grow Peonies indoors or outdoors also affects the flowering time: in a hot greenhouse the Peonies bloom earlier than those in the field.
Early-blooming Peonies (in order of blooming)

1. Paeonia ‘Flame’; single-flower Peony with shocking pink flowers
2. Paeonia ‘Alertie’; sweet-scented flower changes colour from pink to light pink
3. Paeonia ‘Coral Sunset’; large salmon-orange flowers, with the best fragrance of all Coral types
4. Paeonia ‘Red Charm’; very large, full, deep-red flower
5. Paeonia ‘Coral Charm’; flowers with unique orange-pink colour
6. Paeonia ‘Many Happy Returns’; clear red, large-flowering, double Peony with oval-shaped buds
7. Paeonia ‘Command Performance’; very large, deep-red flowers
8. Paeonia ‘Charle’s White’; full, white Peony with subtle fragrance
9. Paeonia ‘Diana Parks’; naturally-red colour and fragrance, which is unusual in most red varieties
10. Paeonia ‘White Cap’; anemone-shaped, pink-red flower with contrasting full, white heart

Tip: Check with your flower wholesaler for availability times of Peonies!

Plant care tips from a Peony expert

  • Do not buy Peonies when they are too hard. The flower buds should feel soft (slightly spongy).
  • Place the flowers in clean water with cut-flower nutrient. Then they will flourish in the vase (single-flowering or double-flowering does not affect vase life).
  • Do not put Peonies in sunlight. They will then retain their colour better and you can enjoy them longer.
  • Have the Peonies started to droop? Cut them again and place them in a vase with clean water and cut-flower nutrient

With thanks to Daan Kneppers of Green Works. This company specialises in seed stock for growing Peonies.

What would you like to know?

Ask the growers your questions

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