Paeonies or Peonies? Doesn’t matter, they’re still pretty

A field of peonies or paeoniesThings I learnt about paeonies today:

  • The peony rose will guzzle through water like no other cut flower. A vase with only five peony stems can drink up to one litre of water every day.
  • In New Zealand, they’re only in season for about 10 weeks and that window of opportunity is here.
  • This feathered rose needs a frost to grow so they are mainly grown in cooler climates. A cold frost will help set the buds in the ground, encourage stem strength, and even affects the colour quality of the peony.
  • If you want your cut peonies to open sooner, put them in warm water or in an area that gets lots of sun. If you prefer your peonies to last the distance, keep them in cold water and place them in cooler areas.
  • Originally from China, the peony has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese art as a symbol of riches and honour.
  • For the Japanese, peonies are a common subject in male tattoos. Used in conjunction with other motifs, connoting elements of strength such as tigers and dragons, peonies became a masculine symbol associated with a ‘bad boy’ attitude.
  • And the New Zealand Paeony Society has a new website with great peony cultivation information, upcoming events and links.