Peonies are the flowering plant that blooms from spring to summer season. Peony plants are found in a wide range of colours, forms, and sizes. They come in different shades of red to white or yellow, and they are found in Asia, Southern Europe, and Western North America. The colours of the flower range from white, pink, and red to coral, maroon and yellow. Chinese people called them the King of flowers or the Flower Fairy. They are herbaceous perennials that are extensively grown as ornamental plants. You can send this flower as a gift for your loved ones. Peony is a fragrant flower in the genus Paeonia in the family Paeoniaceae. There are three varieties of peonies: herbaceous (bush), tree, and Itoh (intersectional). The Herbaceous and Itoh varieties of a peony grow 1 to 3 feet tall, while a mature tree peony can be 4 to 7 feet tall and 4 to 5 feet wide. They have compound, deeply lobed, and large leaves.
Peonies are also further classified based on their flower form, i.e., the single ring of petals or multiple rows of the corolla. Some of them are Single, Japanese, Anemone, Semi-double, Full double, and Bombs.
- Single: They have a single or double row of broad petals that encircle fertile stamens. Carpels are visible.
- Japanese: They have a single or double row of broad petals that encircle broadened staminodes. They may carry pollen grains along the edges. Carpels are visible.
- Anemone: They have a single or double row of broad petals that encircle narrow incurved petal-like staminodes. The fertile stamens are absent, and carpels are also visible.
- Semi-double: They have a single or double row of broad petals encircle further thick petals intermingled with stamens.
- Double: It consists of many broad petals only, including those who likely are altered stamens and carpels.
- Bomb: They have a single row of broad petals that encircles a shorter dense pompon of narrower leaves.
Most of the peony plants are sun-loving, and they prefer light shade in midday to blossoms for 10 to 14 days. If they are grown in the sun, the leaves of Peonies flower turn from green to burgundy in just one week. Firstly, the shoots and leaves of peony have emerged, but the real flower blooms in the late spring. Being big, delicate, bold, and fluffy, peonies are the nation’s favourite one. Peonies demand very little care as they are hardy flowering plants. There are two kinds of Peonies grown in the home garden:-
- The garden or herbaceous type
- Tree peony
Features of peony flower
- Botanical Name:- Paeonia
- Plant Type:- Flower
- Sun Exposure:- Full sun, Part sun
- Soil Type:- Loamy
- Soil pH:- Neutral
- Bloom Time:- Spring to summer
- Flower Color:- Pink, Red, White, Yellow
- Hardiness Zone:- 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
- Types:- Herbaceous (bush)
- Itoh (intersectional)
Types of peonies
There are three different types of peonies plants.
Herbaceous plants are hardy in zone 2 to 8. This type of plant blooms from May to June. They need a reliable winter chill to flower at their best. Sometimes, they are also known as Chinese peony. Herbaceous peonies typically grow from 2 to 4 feet tall. They require a little amount of water and naturally resist most pests.
Herbaceous plants are hardy in zone 4 to 9. This type of plant blooms from April to May. They are woody shrubs that are native to China. It consists of shrubs that have perennial areal woody stems. They don’t like to be moved, and they grow about 6 inches per year.
Itoh peonies are also known as intersectional peonies. They are hardy in zone 4 to 9. This type of plant blooms in June. Being shorter than the tree and herbaceous peonies, they are good at the front of the border. Itoh peonies are showy, and they don’t need staking.
Yellow peonies are those cheery bloomer flowers which are found in various yellow shades, from lemon to butter, to gold. You can also find yellow peonies in every peony group: garden or Chinese peony, tree peony, and Itoh intersectional hybrids. Among Chinese garden peonies, the classic one is called ‘Goldilocks.’ The classic yellow peony is an early blooming peony that opens a traditional, fully petaled peony flower in a light yellow shade.
Peonies are gardener’s favourite, and they are long-lasting flowering plant. Peonies grow from a tuber, a bulb-like structure. The bulbs need to be divided every three to five years. Spring and summer-blooming bulbs can be dug up or divided at any time after the foliage gets brown or after the ground freezes. Digging fork is used to dig up the bulbs. The bulbs should be dried out for a few days. If there’s any bulb that is damaged, then discard them. Store the healthy bulb in the mashed sack until it’s time for the plantation. And plant the bulb in the spring or summer season for better development of the flower.
How to grow peony plants?
Peonies need to be planted in the right spot for achieving its success. Herbaceous and intersectional varieties of peony should be planted in a place with five to six hours of full sun every day. Both types of peonies, flowers, and Japanese can be planted in early autumn. The peony plant can also be planted in the spring season.
- Plant the tuber in a well-prepared bed, with a mixture of compost or peat moss into the soil.
- Dig a hole approximately 18 inches across and 18 inches deep.
- Fill the hole with half full of soil.
- Mix it in a handful of a balanced fertilizer, such as 5-10-5, at this time.
- Plant the garden tuber with the uppermost eye, not more than 2 inches below the ground surface.
- Put a little amount of soil around the tuber and water thoroughly.
- Then cover the hole with the remaining soil, and tamp down firmly.
- Water it to settle down the tuber.
- Plant a tree peony tuber with 4-5 inches of soil covering the graft.
How to care for peonies?
Like children, you need to take care of young peonies to develop. It usually takes a few years for them to be established and bloom. You need to work well with the soil before planting. Also, mix the compost with little fertilizer.
Uses of peonies
Some of the purposes of peonies flower are listed below:-
- The peony flower has been widely used in the traditional medicines of China, Japan, and Korea. The flower and seed of this plant are used to make medicine.
- The peony flower has a chemical called paeoniflorin, which reduces facial wrinkles if applied on the skin in the form of the cosmetic product.
- Some of the research showed that taking peony with the drug methotrexate for nine weeks helps to improve symptoms in children.
- Taking a specific combination of peony with licorice can help ease muscle cramps.
- According to traditional Chinese medicine, the primary health benefit of peonies is its ability to help heal inflammation.
Some of the side effects are as follows:-
- For sensitive people, peony plant causes rashes when it comes in contact with the skin.
- During pregnancy, you need to avoid breastfeeding while having peony, as it is unsafe. It also causes uterine contractions.
- Peony increases the risk of bleeding because peony might slow down blood clotting.