10 Little-Known Peony Plant Facts

10 Little-Known Peony Plant Facts  :  A peony plant is cherished for a reason—it is elegant and timeless. Find out why peonies are a favorite flower among gardeners.


10 Little-Known Peony Plant Facts


1. Peonies Grow in Alaska

Every year, farmers in Alaska gather over 300,000 peony. Why is there a demand? In the Lower 48, the growing season closes by late June, while in Alaska, peony plants flourish until July and August.


2. Peonies Love Cold Weather

Hardiness Zones 3 through 8 are ideal for herbaceous peonies because of the mild winters that promote bud formation. The majority of peony types need an average winter temperature of 40 degrees to grow to full potential. They can withstand temperatures as low as -50 degrees. Not as resilient are tree peonies.


3. Peonies Have Multiple Flower Forms

This garden staple comes in six flower types, according to the American Peony Society: single, double, semi-double, anemone, bomb, and Japanese.



4. Not All Peonies are Fragrant

Every peony cultivar has a different fragrance. Look for peonies that are marketed as fragrant when choosing peonies. Festiva Maxima’s white flowers with scarlet specks are among the most fragrant. Red Magic smells hot and spicy. Eden’s Perfume’s double-pink flowers are incredibly fragrant as well.



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5. These Blooms Have Ancient History

For over 1,400 years, during the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618-907), peonies have been regarded as the “king of flowers” in China. Because of their striking blossoms, they were cultivated at the imperial palace.


6. Peonies Make Great Cut Flowers

When the buds on peonies are marshmallow-soft and stale, clip them for your favorite vase. The lifespan of a cut peony is up to seven days.


7. Look for Native Peony Plant Varieties

The Brown’s peony (Paeonia brownii) and the California peony (Paeonia californica) are the two native peony plant species found in North America. These two can be found on the West Coast.


8. Gardeners Can Grow Dozens of Peony Plant Species

There are 33 recognized species of peonies and 15 additional subspecies.


9. You Can Visit a Peony Garden

More than 270 vintage cultivars are on display at the Nichols Arboretum Peony Garden at the University of Michigan. Make plans to see the peony in the spring; admission is free. Visit the arboretum in any season as it is open seven days a week and provides other gardens.


10. The Peony Is a State Flower

In 1957, Indiana officially recognized the peony plant as its official flower, reserving the status that the zinnia had enjoyed since 1931. Learn about the national tree, bird, and flower of the United States.



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