This month our spotlight is on the magnificent cloud-like flower, the peony. We’re seeing more and more inclusion of this flower in bouquets and wedding arrangements and it’s not hard to see why. Peonies are a favourite of ours in Belles Fleurs Florist and we’d love to create a bespoke arrangement for any occasion which includes these beautiful blooms. Browse our online florist or contact our team in our florist shop in Blanchardstown to order a nationwide flower delivery.

History and Uses of Peonies

Peonies have been reported to date back as far as 1000BC to the gardens of China, particularly the gardens of Chinese Emperors. by the 8th century, production and use of the peony had reached Japan, which is now a major producer of these colourful blooms. They are used as a symbol of bravery, honour and good fortune. They are also said to symbolise prosperity, good luck, and love. The peony is traditionally given on special occasions as an expression of goodwill, best wishes, and joy.

In the Eastern world, peonies were mainly used for their medicinal properties including blocking the chemicals that cause pain and swelling. In China, peonies are partially cooked and sweetened and consumed as desserts. They can also be added to salads or as a garnish for lemonade.

Growing Peonies

Growing peonies is challenging but rewarding. Peonies can last up to 100 years, regrowing and self- propagating each year to reproduce bigger and brighter blooms which last 7-10 days each. Peonies need a lot of sunlight so plant them in a bright spot in the garden. They prefer all-day light but will grow with half a day. They need plenty of water but never allow them to become waterlogged. Peonies often attract a lot of ants, due to the nectar which is abundant on this flower, simply shake the plant to scare them away. If you cut peonies without the colour show, it’s highly unlikely they will open so make sure you see a big flush of colour before you snip a few for a vase.

Care of Cut Peonies

Follow our basic flower care tips in our previous blog – clean vase, plenty of water, away from direct sunlight. To get the most out of your peonies, remove the leaves running up the stem, so that the water and nutrients travel straight to the flower heads as opposed to travelling to each leaf followed by the flower heads. Snip the ends of each stem at an angle, change the water, thoroughly clean out the vase and replace with fresh, cool, water and flower food every two to three days.

The peonies in our bouquets usually arrive in bud and will take a couple of days to start opening. After a few days, if they haven’t started to loosen, they could be covered in a natural sap. Take the flower from the arrangement and hold it head down under a tap of room temperature water to wash away some of the sap.

Display your Peonies

The peony is one of the most popular flowers for summer wedding bouquets. They are also the official flower for the 12 th  wedding anniversary. The most popular Peony varieties are typically blush pink, bright white or cream. You can get peonies in almost any shade apart from blue. Peonies look their best when they’re displayed in their own individual vases and then grouped together with other flower varieties to create a stylish, chic look. Choose a heavy-bottomed vase as the flower istop heavy and might tip over. Choose a vase that is half the height of your stems and keep it away from wind or direct sunlight.

Order a bunch of fresh, long-lasting peonies from Belles Fleurs online florist today. We provide arrangements for all occasions and offer nationwide flower delivery. Call, email or drop into our florist in Blanchardstown to learn more.