What are Peonies?

Peonies are gorgeous perennials (plants that can live for a long time) that can grow for decades. Growing peonies is easy and pays huge dividends. Their beautiful, fragrant blooms and glossy green foliage adds interest even after the spring display is done.

Peonies can last for 100 years if properly cared for! Peonies are adored for their delicate, fluffy blooms and sweet fragrance. Most of us love this beautiful flower, but how much do you really know about them?

Peony Flower Meaning: The Different Colors

Just like most flowers, peonies also come in a variety of colors. Each colour has a meaning associated with it!

Pink Peonies

Pink Peony

Pink Peonies are the most popular with plenty of variety in this shade. A pink peony signifies love, beauty, and romance. Some of the pink peonies are Big Ben, Angel Cheeks, Bowl of Beauty, Blaze, Candy Stripe, Do Tell, Fairy’s Petticoat, Gay Paree and Myrtle Gentry. 

White Peonies

White Peony

White Peonies are the embodiment of spring with their beautiful petals. White is the colour of purity, innocence, and cleanliness. It can also be a symbol of peace and tranquillity.

Some of the popular white peonies are Festiva Maxima, Duchesse De Nemours, Bowl of Cream, Bride’s Dream, Ann Cousins, White Towers, Nick Shaylor, Charlie’s White and Baroness Schroeder.

Red Peonies

Red Peonies are favorite for most people for their beauty and fragrance. The colour red represents the most prestigious rank in the peony hierarchy. It is usually reserved for those who have risen to the top and attained a position of power and authority.

But, in today’s day and age, red peonies are mostly used as gifts for loved ones! The varieties of red peonies include Red Memorial Day, Buckeye Belle, Big Ben and Dandy Dan.

Yellow Peonies

Yellow Peonies are also equally popular especially among the Chinese people as the yellow peony represents the sun and happiness. It is a sign of joy and good fortune. The varieties of yellow peonies are Bartzella, Blush Queen, Bowl of Cream, Butter Bowl, Claire de Lune, Early Glow, Garden Treasure, High Noon and Honey Gold.

Peonies have a rich history.

Peonies are called mu dan (牡丹) in the Chinese language and it is one of the most famous flowers in Chinese history. According to the Chinese historical story, the only female Chinese emperor (Wu Tze Tian) was furious towards Peonies because they “refused” to bloom overnight during the winter season. She demanded her servants expel the flowers from her capital.

The flowers were ripped out and sent to a different place. As soon as the peonies arrived there, they blossomed into beautiful flowers. After knowing this, the empress ordered her servants to burn the flowers to death.

Despite burning the flowers to root, the blooming flowers become even more dazzling and to this day peonies are very well-known in China.

Peonies' names came from Greek mythology.

Peonies were given their name from the Greek word Paeon. According to Greek mythology, Paeon was the physician to the Greek Gods. He outsmarted his teacher (Asclepius) when he extracted a milky liquid from the root of a peony that cured Lord Pluto.

This caused Asclepius to be angry and jealous of Paeon as Asclepius was the God of medicine and healing. Lord Zeus saved Paeon by turning him into a beautiful flower (peony) when he was threatened to be killed by Asclepius out of jealousy.

Peony has health benefits and therapeutic value.

Natural products such as flowers usually have a lot of therapeutic value to them and peony is certainly not an exception to that!

Peonies are particularly beneficial to the skin and their antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties are interesting to fight bad tissues and soothes skin rashes.

Peonies Care Tips

Cut the stem

Cut 3-5 cm off at an angle with a sharp scissors for the peonies to drink their water

Remove any leaves below waterline

If there are any low leaves that's sitting in your water of your vase, make sure to remove them to prevent them from moulding

Pop them in a clean vase

Make sure the vase is cleaned before filing it up with lukewarm water

Keep away from direct sunlight

It's important to keep them away form direct sunlight so they don't wilt. They also prefer it if they weren't too drafty

Change water regularly

Just like people, peonies needs water to be their best, beautiful selves

Avoid placing them near fresh fruit

Fresh fruit will release off chemical gas that causes your peonies to age prematurely. And don't forget to fertilize your water with flower food