A Peony Flower: Varieties, Planting Care, and Facts

Peony is a flower that everyone loves. Get ready, because the season is approaching. You would better be ready to find out all the things.

The history, symbolism, care, and some interesting facts about peony will be coming your way.


The Origin of Peony

The peony or paeony is a flowering plant in the genus Paeonia, the only genus in the family Paeoniaceae. Peonies are native to Asia, Europe and Western North America.
Peony Flower

Those who are interested in this beautiful flower might be wondering where did the peony flower came from.

Well, Peonies first appeared in Chinese gardens. Nowadays, Japan has become a major player in producing flowers.

Mainly, this type of flower was used as a medicine for headaches and asthma treatment.

Peonies could also work as pain relief in childbirth. Well, those were for the old times. Otherwise, we should stick to more modern medicine today.

Originally, in the late 1800s, these varieties were brought over to the countries in Europe. Peonies became a huge hit after they arrived.

Likewise, it went on to make an impact on North America and beyond! These days, the flowers are only for decoration.

The Peony’s Name

The peony is named after Paeon (also spelled Paean), a student of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine and healing. In Greek mythology, when Asclepius became jealous of his pupil, Zeus saved Paeon from the wrath of Asclepius by turning him into the peony flower.
Peony Name Origin

Two legendary stories tell you where the Peony’s name came from. Both stories come from Greek Mythology.

The first one was told that a Paeon god extracted a white-colored liquid from the root of a peony. Then, it cured Pluto.

That one made the green monster went to the god of medicine. Zeus, the protector, helped Paeon by turning him into a peony flower.

Meanwhile, another story tells you that the Aphrodite turned a nymph on its pack into peony flowers.

The Symbolization

More than simply looking fabulous and standing the test of time, though, the peony is also full of meaning. Generally symbolic of love, honor, happiness wealth, romance, and beauty, the peony is traditionally given on special occasions as an expression of goodwill, best wishes, and joy.
Peony Symbolism

For those who want to know what Peony flowers symbolize, there is more than one.

Since the second story is about the nymph of Aphrodite, people know it as the symbolization of bashfulness.

Besides, in the Victorians’ belief, if you dug up a peony, fairies would come a curse you.

Moreover, China and Japan have their concept of symbolization. For Chinese, Peonies mean “king of flowers”.

Hence, they become a big and important part of holidays and other celebrations. For Japanese people, Peones symbolize braver, good fortune, and honor.

In general, these flowers symbolize good luck, love, prosperity, and honor.

Therefore, give a beautiful bouquet of peonies to someone who is getting married, graduating, or any other special occasion.

Types of Peonies & What They Symbolize

Peony flower blooms are categorized into six types: Single, Japanese, Anemone, Semi-Double, Bombe, and Full Double. Many peonies have pink or white flowers, but there are also purple, red, orange, and even yellow peony varieties.
Peony Varieties

There are actually a lot of peony varieties on the market today. Each of them offers different colors, heights, bloom times, and so on.

However, there are only three colors of peonies everyone might be familiar with. Those types of flowers symbolize different things.

  1. White Peonies

 Paeonia Lactiflora 'Cheddar Charm', Peony 'Cheddar Charm', 'Cheddar Charm' Peony, Chinese Peony 'Cheddar Charm', Common Garden Peony 'Cheddar Charm', White Peonies, White flowers, Pink Peonies, Pink flowers, Fr Delicately fragrant, Peony 'Cheddar Charm' (Paeonia lactiflora) will charm you every spring with its large blossoms of anemone form.
White Peony

This type of peony symbolizes bashfulness. It is a great pick of a kind to give to someone to whom you want to apologize.

Thus, there is nothing that cannot let them hold a grudge when they receive the beautiful bouquet of white blooms.

  1. Red Peonies

The Red Memorial Day peony is the oldest red peony type available. It's been around some 450 years. The plant is an heirloom peony and produces double flowers that are bright crimson. Their fragrance includes a cinnamon undertone.
Red Peony

Just like its romantic vibe, these peonies symbolize love, honor, passion, and respect.

So, let us make the relationship feels much more romantic and warm with a bunch of peonies for your loved ones.

  1. Pink Peonies

This peony hass soft pink guard petals that surround a center filled with more soft pink ruffled petals encircled by yellow petaloides.
Pink Peonies

The combination of white and red, pink peonies has become a great pick for wedding bouquets. It symbolizes good luck and prosperity.

Taking Care of Peonies

Peony care involves planting peonies in a sunny location with organic, well-draining soil.
Caring for Peonies

Compared to all perennials, peony is one of the most common flowers that does not need a lot of care. It is even considered as carefree flowers.

Furthermore, if you want to grow peonies, there are things to consider. That includes location, structural support, how to plant properly, and so on.


Peonies like full sun, and though they can manage with half a day, they bloom best in a sunny spot that gets 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day. Provide shelter from strong winds, as peonies' large blooms can make them top heavy.
Planting Site Peonies

Notably, this is the first that should come to mind. This flower type would prefer a sunny area that has well-drained soil.

Besides, the area with sufficient air circulation is an essential factor for its growth.

Further, there are disease problems that any plant might have to face. For peony flowers, botrytis is the only serious problem.

Those conditions in a location would help peonies avoid such disease.


Botrytis blight is the most common disease of garden peonies and is prevalent in damp, rainy seasons.
Peonies Disease

As said before, a peony’s disease that would cause a problem is botrytis.

This fungal disease exists in most soils. It would ruin the plant if the plant is weak enough. When the weather is wet and cool, botrytis is a big problem.

Also, the disease can come from other infected plants next to the flowers.

There are signs of botrytis you may take a look at. Check out for blackened buds and stems. Sometimes, you may also see the base of the plant rotting.

To deal with this problem, simply cut off and remove the affected areas.

Avoid combining it with the compost pile. The most effective way to remove botrytis is prevention. So, proper planting is needed.


Peonies like full sun, and though they can manage with half a day, they bloom best in a sunny spot that gets 6 to 8 hours of sunlight each day. Provide shelter from strong winds, as peonies' large blooms can make them top heavy.
Planting Poeny

The first thing to do is preparing the planting hole. The soil should be 12-18 inches in depth.

Use the garden fork to lose the hole’s sides.

Then, add a shovel of compost to the bottom of the hole. After that, grab a handful of fertilizer to combine with the compost.

The fertilizer should be all-purpose, organic, granular. Next, cover it with a shovelful of the soil.

Form a cone-like feature and position the root of the peony on top of the cone.

It is such a very important step to get more blooms.

Apply similar steps for planting on containers. When it is growing, the size of the pot should be adjusted too.

Structural Support

If you're using peony cages, wire tomato cages, or another type of grow through peony supports, position the support so that the plant is centered in the hoop.
Peony Plant Support

The support system for growing peonies flowers can be tricky. It depends on the variety you have and its conditions of growth.

Besides, the support should be ready for the blooming flowers. Sometimes, peonies can get waterlogged and heavy.

You have to position any structural support for the peonies early in the growing season.

So, whenever they bloom, we can enjoy the beauty to the fullest. Do not worry. You do not have to get the support system as soon as you started growing it.

Peonies need at least three years to get lots of flowers. From that point, peonies will bloom for a lifetime.

The ideal time for dividing the flowers is during the fall season. To keep the good health of your peonies, apply the fertilizer annually.

Fascinating Facts About Peonies

Peonies are native to the eastern part of China they're the country's national flower and have been cultivated there since at least 1000 BC. The peony is named after Paeon (also spelled Paean), a student of Asclepius and the Greek god of medicine and healing.
Peonies Fact

These are several interesting facts that you should know to become a peony enthusiast.

History for Centuries

Peonies have been reported to have dated back to 1000BC in the gardens of China and by the eighth century, they had reached Japan who are major producers of the peony. In the Eastern world, peonies were mainly used for their medicinal properties.
Peony History

These beautiful blooms are native to Asia, Europe, and Western North America. It was considered the national flower in Chinese history.

Peonies have centuries of history which began in China and then Japan. In the U.S., it became popular in the early 1900s.

Huge Varieties

Species peonies are the wild plants that served as the first generation parents of our modern day hybrids and are now rare in nature.
Peony Species

Despite those types of peonies mentioned on this page, there is actually a huge variety.

There are over 6,500 types of peonies. That is because there will be new varieties introduced from time to time.

If you want to keep track of the varieties, you might check the American Peony Society.

Medicinal Properties

Peony is used for gout, osteoarthritis, fever, respiratory tract illnesses, and cough. Women use peony for menstrual cramps, polycystic ovary syndrome, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and for starting menstruation or causing an abortion.
Peony for Medical

As said before, people use peony flowers as medicine. The fact is that peony plants have mood-boosting properties and immune systems.

You can use it to treat blood clots, inflammation, and general paint.

In traditional Chinese medicine, the roots and seeds of peony are for treating asthma, liver disease, headaches, convulsions, and some other ailments.

Further, in Europe, it is part of herbal medicine for treating bladder problems and kidneys.

Many Symbolism

Peony flowers symbolise many different things around the world! Because of the Greek myth with Paeonia the nymph, peonies grew to symbolise bashfulness. ... In Japan they are used as a symbol of bravery, honor and good fortune. Generally though, peonies symbolise prosperity, good luck, love and honour.
Peony Meaning

Peonies are a common choice for a wedding. It is because of the symbol that this flower presents.

This beautiful flower represents love and romance. Also, peonies are a representation of shyness and shame according to the Victorian Era.

For Chinese and Japanese, these blooms stand for positive and strong virtues like respect, good fortune, nobility, prosperity, and honor.

Peonies in Alaska

Alaska's long cool growing season and cool soils provide the optimum growing conditions for peonies.
Peony in Alaska

Actually, the largest producer of cut peonies is the Netherlands. Surprisingly, Alaska is the up-and-coming source of these flowers.

The longer, cooler growing season in the states, the blooms will be larger. It is widely available during the wedding season between June and September.

Sarah Bernhardt comes with petal-packed double blooms. This soft pink flower is the common variety.

Other Fun Facts

Many peonies are herbaceous, meaning they die back in winter and reemerge in spring. These can grow up to three feet in height and four feet in width.
Peony Fun Fact
  • Deer and bunnies are the two animals that hate Peonies.
  • Ants love to have some fun with Peonies, they will cozy up inside the buds.
  • A peony plant has the power to live for over a hundred years.
  • If you are hungry in the middle of a Jungle and having no food, you can eat peony petals because they are edible.
  • Several types can actually change their color. It is called “Coral Charm Peonies”. When you witness it, it is surely a magical moment.
  • These flowers love the sun. Give them about 6 hours a day to enjoy basking in the light of nature.

People who know all of those facts above must be real peony enthusiasts.

Final Words

Peonies are for people who love lots of fragrances and petals. Bold, colorful, and fragrant, those are what a peony is all about.

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