How to Choose the Perfect Peony Flowers  

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A woman in a blue denim short is arranging pink peonies s in a vase in her kitchen

Peonies are undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and captivating flowers out there. With their soft, velvety petals and delicate fragrance, it’s easy to see why they’re a favourite among interior designers and flower enthusiasts alike. For me personally, there’s nothing better than mesmerising peony bouquets and I would have had them as my wedding flowers if I hadn’t used up all my wedding budget on other essentials that I wasn’t willing to compromise on.

Whether you’re looking for wedding flowers, wanting to add a touch of elegance to your home, or choosing a long-lasting arrangement for a loved one, this blog post will explore the enchanting world of peonies and help you decide how, when and which Peonies to choose.

How to Choose a Beautiful Bouquet of Peony Flowers

Choosing which flowers to buy and especially which flowers to give is a little more complicated than you may think. In order to create a memorable and meaningful experience, you should choose flowers that convey the right message and set the right tone for the event.

The right flowers can make all the difference in creating an unforgettable experience and there are many considerations that will affect the final choice, such as symbolism, colour and occasion.

So, let’s take a deep dive into some of these considerations to make sure that we know when and how to choose peonies.

A close up of pink peony flowers

What do Peony Flowers Symbolise?

The delicate, soft petals and ample buds of peonies illustrate the ideas that perfectly match their appearance: charm, passion, and prosperity. In most Western cultures, femininity and romance can also be represented by these flowers. That being said, Chinese culture views peonies as tokens of affluence and integrity.

A close up very pale pink peonies

The Assortment of Peony Hues: Which to Pick?

Given that these magnificent flowers demonstrate a vast colour range, each having a unique significance in gift-giving, picking the right shade for a specific occasion can be tricky. But don’t worry! Here’s a quick guide to the most popular peony hues so you can make the right choice every time.

1. White Peonies

Meaning: Purity and new beginnings; also shame and apology.
Perfect for: weddings, christenings, or any events symbolic of starting a new chapter in life. Alternatively, a wonderful fit for saying “I’m sorry”.

2. Pink Peonies

Meaning: Love (romantic and platonic), affection, and happiness.
Perfect for: Valentine’s Day, anniversaries, or any romantic occasion. They’re also ideal as gifts for friends.

3. Red Peonies

Meaning: Passion, desire, and respect. Traditional Chinese symbolism: joy and vitality.
Perfect for: bouquets which express deep emotions, such as infatuation with someone, or to present at weddings and anniversaries. 

4. Yellow Peonies

Meaning: Friendship, joy, and prosperity.
Perfect for: Anything to do with a significant change in life: graduating, starting a new job, or moving into a new home.

A white woman's arm holding a bunch of pink peony flowers

When to Give Peony Flowers?

As some of the most sought-after flowers, peonies make for an elegant and meaningful gift. However, to make a truly unforgettable impression, it’s essential to find the right time and place to present an arrangement of peonies. Here are the most fitting occasions for gifting a peony bouquet:

For A Birthday

When it comes to selecting a birthday composition, peonies are an unrivalled choice for offering congratulations and wishing someone a long, happy life. Not only are these flowers a stunning way to show your love and appreciation but they can also be easily combined with other specimens. For example, an arrangement with sunflowers is excellent for a faithful friend, while a romantic partner might enjoy a mix of peonies and roses.

For a Romantic Dinner

Given the exceptional variety of peonies’ shades, these flowers are a great addition to any romantic dinner. An anniversary or a weekend brunch will become absolutely unforgettable when complemented by a bouquet of pink or red peonies. If you want to convey your feelings to your loved one without having to say a word, these are the best flowers for you.

For a Wedding

Spring and summer weddings are frequently associated with peonies, and that’s not just a coincidence. This is the time when most peony varieties are in full bloom, meaning they will be fresh and crisp for the big day. Besides adding a touch of elegance and romance to the ceremony, these flowers eloquently represent the three pillars of marriage: love, respect, and happiness.

For No Reason At All

Sometimes, the best gift is the one given for no reason at all! On a dreary working day, a simple pick-me-up is bound to go a long way when presented to a dear friend or a beloved partner. Choose a surprise bouquet of peonies to brighten your loved ones’ day and demonstrate that you’re always thinking of them. 

Pink Peony flowers wrapped in paper inside a woven palm leaf bag

More Frequently Asked Peony Questions

When is Peony Season?

Typically, the peony season begins in late spring and concludes in early summer. This is the best time to find fresh and vibrant peonies without having to worry about extra costs or low quality. However, keep in mind that the exact timing can vary depending on your location and the weather conditions. For example, in London, the perfect weeks to purchase peonies fall between April and June.

At What Time of Year Do Peony Flowers Bloom?

Late spring and early summer are the seasons when peonies are in full bloom.

What Goes Well with Peonies in a Bouquet?

Not surprisingly, peonies are both beautiful and versatile, which means they can be paired with almost any other flower variety. Some popular choices include roses, hydrangeas, and ranunculus, as well as eucalyptus or ferns for a dash of extra texture and depth.

How Long Do Fresh-Cut Peony Flowers Last?

The usual answer is up to a week or more, as long as the proper care is provided. Make sure you change the water every 2-3 days, trim the stems, and protect the flowers from direct sunlight and heat sources.

Are Peonies Luxurious Flowers?

Absolutely! Lush, ample, and colourful buds produced by peony bushes have long been considered symbols of high social status and luxury. And if that doesn’t convince you, the flowers’ fragrant scent and soft, delicate petals definitely will. 

Why Do Peony Flowers Close Overnight?

The main reason is the close connection between the plants’ life cycle and sunlight. A surplus of ultraviolet light typically serves as a sign for the peonies to open their buds, while low light levels cause the petals to close up in order to conserve energy.

A bunch of pale pink peony flowers lies beside a baguette and a bottle of wine in the basket of a bicycle being ridden by a young white woman.

So there you have it. Hopefully, that will provide you with enough information to make an informed choice when it comes to choosing the perfect peony flowers for your occasion. I’d love to know what you think of peonies and whether you like to decorate with flowers so don’t forget to let me know in the comments and please do share any caring tips you have too.

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