Articles about Peony bloom
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Sunday, May 8, 2022

2022 Happy Mother's Day with Peonies!!


Southern Peony Mother's Day Bouquet

Mother's Day! What better day to celebrate our Moms (and those of us that are Moms) than with a vase full of beautiful peonies? I can't imagine a better gift!! This year I have actually been cutting more peonies than I usually do. Most of the time, I want to keep them in my garden so I have something beautiful to look at when I walk around outside.


Southern Peony Mother's Day Bouquet
Peony 'Paul M. Wild' (top)
Peony 'Vivid Rose' (left)     Peony 'Douglas Brand' (right)
Peony 'Dinner Plate' (bottom)

This year I decided I need to cut any peonies that start to fall over (instead of staking them up). Wow, was that a great idea!! I have had bouquets for weeks in my office now, and the scent is just heavenly. The peonies perfume the whole room! Whenever I leave the room and come back to it, I can smell their sweet scent that just makes me want to float!


Southern Peony Mother's Day Bouquet

So of course today I had to surprise my Mom with a bouquet of beautiful peony posies, filled with love, grown by the person she grew. First I want to wish all of the Mothers out there a VERY HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! (as I know first hand how much work goes into being a Mom). I also hope that each of you takes time to remember your own Mom and give thanks for the magic and beauty of life on this very special day!


Happy Mother's Day! πŸ’—


Southern Peony Mother's Day Bouquet & Card

Friday, May 6, 2022

2022 Southern Peony Bloom Season

I must say this has been one of the weirdest bloom seasons I've seen in a while, and I am learning to be grateful for what and however Mother Nature decides to unfold herself...


2022 Southern Peony Bloom Season

Our early season hebaceous peonies and tree peonies experienced a late frost, which did abort several in process bloom buds, even large ones, which was quite dissappointing.

Although our drought levels here in my county are considered normal, No Drought, some counties directly to our east are in Abnormally Dry, Moderate Drought, and Severe Drought conditions. I would say that it does seem a bit drier here than usual this spring, which I feel like has decreased the number of above ground stems the peonies have decided to send up. This dryness has also however prevented almost all botrytyis blight - which is a good thing!


2022 Southern Peony Bloom Season

We've gotten a couple of heavy rains after extended dry periods, which seemed to spur a few peonies into sending up a late stem or two. On some of these late stems, we got some blooms that opened on plants long after all of their other buds were completely finished blooming.

The late freeze we experienced aborted many main buds on plants, leaving some side buds undamaged. The absence of the aborted main buds and subsequent development of these side buds really impacted the initial bloom dates of these peonies. The remaining side buds bloomed much later than the normal bloom date for these peonies, causing a mixup of bloom dates with peonies all around the spectrum. This main bud damage was noted in all 3 forms of peonies - tree peonies, herbaceous peonies, and intersectional peonies.


2022 Southern Peony Bloom Season

We've also experienced some interesting temperatures as well. The beginning of the season started out with mild/normal temperatures. The middle of the peony bloom season was very hot, a couple of weeks of 80 degree temperatures, which really shrivels blooms quickly! The end of the peony bloom season seems to be leveling out in temperatures again, back to the mild/normal pattern, with temperatures back in the 70s most days, which is gorgeous weather here for this time of year!!

This lowering of temperatures at the tail end of our peony season has really made it nice for the mainstay and late herbaceous peonies. I can't wait to continue to see how they unfold! I hope your peony bloom season is going well, no matter your location, and don't forget to stop and smell the peonies!

Saturday, April 30, 2022

2022 Peony 'Tropicana' Southern Peony Best Performer - Week 3


Peony 'Tropicana'
Southern Peony Best Performer

I have excitedly been watching this Peony 'Tropicana' grow and grow steadily over the past couple years. Each year it gets larger with more blooms. It's growth habit really reminds me of Peony 'Coral Charm', but the flowers are brighter and deeper coral. The flower petals have even thicker substance, and the blooms last much longer. The foliage is not quite as sparse and a nicer color of green.


Peony 'Tropicana'
Southern Peony Best Performer

This peony usually has one bloom per stem, but it can have multiple on a stem. However each of these blooms is just so gorgeous, they pretty much need a stem to themselves!! Peony 'Tropicana' also seems to be pretty resistant to late frosts. We had a pretty bad late frost this year, and I lost a lot of main buds on many early, and early-mid peony varieties. However Peony 'Tropicana' appeared to be unscathed after the frost.


Peony 'Tropicana'
Southern Peony Best Performer

This peony also just grows and multiplies so well. It just seems to shrug off our hot, dry, long summers and just keeps on growing year after year - so tough - perfect for our Southern climate! This peony was also hit pretty bad with lawn herbicides one year by my lawn company (who is no longer allowed to spray in my back yard). It was so mangled up and twisted, I thought it might die, but this plant was so strong it fought its way back and it's even bigger and taller now than it was then!


Peony 'Tropicana'
Southern Peony Best Performer

Peony 'Tropicana' was hybridized by Jack Nordick and registered in 2012. So this is actually a more recent herbaceous peony introduction, and one definitely worth adding to your collection! The flowers seem to last longer than the other coral colored herbaceous peonies. These blooms fade as they age as well, as you can see I even captured one of them in a gorgeous ombre color-changing state - so gorgeous!! The blooms eventually fade to a pale pink edged cream. So you can enjoy a multitude of looks from these gorgeous peony blooms!


Peony 'Tropicana'
Southern Peony Best Performer

If you're looking for a place to snag one of these gorgeous gems, Peony 'Tropicana' was not only featured in our list, it also happened to be the "cover flower" this year for our 2022 Herbaceous Hot 100 Peony Catalog Price Comparison List. There seem to be a couple of growers selling it in the $50-$60 price range this year, which is pretty reasonable, I think!


Peony 'Tropicana'
Southern Peony Best Performer

Friday, April 29, 2022

2022 First Bloom on Intersectional Peony 'Haleigh's Hallelujah'!!

I was excited to see what the first would look like on Intersectional Peony 'Haleigh's Hallelujah'. This first bloom on the plant actually opened about 2 weeks ago (on 4/14). I think it bloomed a bit ahead of normal, most likely to having been grown in a green house or perhaps a warmer climate, (but my guess is a greenhouse). It was an overcast day when I took this photo, so it's not quite as sunny and bright as most of my usual photos, but the flower does look quite nice.


Intersectional Peony 'Haleigh's Hallelujah'
First Bloom to Open 4/14

I can't say that the color is anything special, as it does seem to be in the same pink to yellow color family as the majority of other intersectional peonies. However it's most unique feature seems to be the picotee edging, which is quite unique! The blooms keep their picotee edge as the flower changes color as well (as it ages). I must say I don't have another peony quite like it. It does kind of remind me of Intersectional Peony 'Berry Garcia', (which I like a LOT), with a lot more petals and deeper colors.


Intersectional Peony 'Haleigh's Hallelujah'
First Bloom to Open 4/15

The flowers do seem to be quite full of petals, a nice full semi-double form to me. The petals open with a combination of pink cream, and seem to change to a pale pink edge changing over to light yellow. The picotee edge is not harsh and seems to fade into the other color, with an almost ombre like effect. I do like it, and am very glad I purchased it when I saw it, 2022 Intersectional Peony 'Haleigh's Hallelujah' at Local Nursery!


Intersectional Peony 'Haleigh's Hallelujah' Sign


Monday, April 11, 2022

2022 Tree Peony Blooms - Week 3

Sometimes you just want to look at the flowers. This week had several tree peonies blooming and one that just smelled so good - the bright pink one, Tree Peony 'Sahohime'. I just couldn't get enough of its scent. Every time I passed by it, I just had to lean in for another sniff! The purple flares on the Tree Peony Paeonia Rockii always impress me. The bright red color of Tree Peony 'Taiyo' almost calls to you from way across the garden, beckoning to come nearer. And who can resist such a full, bountiful double blooms as that of Tree Peony 'Shimanishiki'?


Tree Peony 'Lavender Grace'


Tree Peony Paeonia Rockii


Tree Peony 'Taiyo' ε€ͺι™½ (The Sun)


Tree Peony 'Sahohime' 佐保姫 (Princess Saho)


Tree Peony 'Shimanishiki' 峢錦 (Island Brocade)


Thursday, April 7, 2022

2022 Red Tree Peony Broken!


Red Tree Peony with Broken Branch

I have a sneaking suspicion that the squirrels might have had something to do with this broken branch on my red tree peony. They have been pillaging the sunflowers in my bird feeders, digging up (and eating) lots of crocus bulbs (and muscari bulbs) in my garden this spring, and just being a nuiscance in general. They've even dug up some daffodil bulbs (which they supposedly don't like)!


Red Tree Peony Broken Branch

I know things like this (broken tree peony branches) happen from time to time, but this year this red tree peony looked especially good and was growing so well. It even had 5 blooms on it, which is the most blooms it has ever had! Aside from losing the bloom, which already hurts, it kind of feels like this tree peony is losing 20% of it's growing capabilities for the entire year, as there was quite a bit of tree peony foliage broken off with this branch as well.


Red Tree Peony with Broken Branch

My tree peony garden feels like it really has had a rough time getting started. I started collecting tree peonies last (after herbaceous and intersectional peonies), and the only tree peony that I have that is doing stupendous at the moment is Tree Peony 'White Phoenix'. I have been having a really hard time getting so many tree peonies to take. Many of them will grow for 1-3 years, sometimes more, but many of them will peter out after that or never really grow well, and just get smaller each year until they die. (Some of them have even gotten sprayed with weed killer!) I hope this string of bad luck with tree peonies ends soon!


Red Tree Peony Bloom


Friday, April 1, 2022

2022 Second Tree Peony Bloom(s) of the Season!!

We've had quite the cold spell since the 2022 First Tree Peony Bud of the Season! That tree peony ostii with the first bud was the lone tree peony with blooms for about a week and a half, and it has also been dry with no rain. Yesterday we got a big rain, about an inch and a half, with a warm front, and that really did the trick!! Several other tree peonies and one herbaceous peony all burst into bloom on the same day, April 1st! The extra moisture (and especially the warmer weather) really spurred these peonies into action! I love the whites and lavenders of these very early peonies. It is nice to enjoy these delicate, pastel petal colors in the early peony bloom season. πŸ™‚


Tree Peony 'White Pheonix'


Tree Peony 'White Phoenix'


Tree Peony 'White Phoenix'


Tree Peony Paeonii Rockii Lavender


Peony 'Halcyon'


Tree Peony Paeonii Rockii Lavender


Tree Peony Seedling


Monday, March 21, 2022

2022 First Tree Peony Bud of the Season!


First Tree Peony Bud of the Season

It is a simple, nameless tree peony seedling, but it is so lovely to see this first pale pink bud appear so early in the season! A harbinger of beautiful sights to come! When in full bloom, these P. Ostii tree peony flowers look mostly white, but it is so nice to see this beautiful blush of pink before these flowers are fully open! The petals look so delicate and soft, like beautiful wisps of pale pink crepe paper!


Pale Pink Bud on Tree Peony Ostii

I hope all of your gardens are growing well, and your tree peony seasons are upon you or quickly approaching! (And if you don't grow tree peonies yet, now might be a good time to consider it - since growing tree peonies is almost like having a whole other peony season/show before the herbaceous peony flowers show up!) πŸ™‚


Pale Pink Bud of Tree Peony Ostii

Tuesday, December 21, 2021

2021 Peony 'White Cap' Southern Peony Best Performer - Week 5


Peony 'White Cap'
Southern Peony Best Performer

I must say that this peony 'White Cap' does have one flaw, its stems like to lay flat on the ground. So if you don't mind staking it, and you love the colors, then this is one peony you'll want to grow. This Peony 'White Cap' is growing in some of the most unamended, unloved soil in my garden, and it is still growing like there's no tomorrow! There aren't a lot of peonies that have the kind of rapid growth and tenacity of this peony while growing here in the South. With a huge number of blooms on every stem, making an explosion of color, this peony is a hit!


Peony 'White Cap'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Peony 'White Cap'
Southern Peony Best Performer

Peony 'White Cap' is an herbaceous lactiflora peony, hybridized by Winchell and registered in 1956. The blooms just keep coming and coming on this peony due to the numerous side buds it produces. The bi-color anemone form of the bloom creates an eye-catching color-contrasting combo (hot pinky/purple & white) that really grabs your attention. If you want a peony that stands out in the garden this is it!


Peony 'White Cap'
Southern Peony Best Performer

As you can see from the photos, I have this peony staked up, and it seems to be very happy with the additional support. Some of you may remember last year, I decided to add this article on How to Make a Peony Support Ring from a Tomato Cage (specifically for Peony 'White Cap' as it neared the end of its bloom period). This year as it grew I just tried to make sure I tucked the peony stems into the tomato cage as the stems grew. As you can see it made a huge differnce!


Peony 'White Cap'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Peony 'White Cap'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Sunday, December 19, 2021

2021 Peony 'First Arrival' Southern Peony Best Performer - Week 4


Peony 'First Arrival'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Peony 'First Arrival'
Southern Peony Best Performer

Intersectional Peony 'First Arrival' was supposedly the first ever intersectional peony that bloomed for Roger Anderson from his intersectional peony breeding attempts. It sure is a beauty, and I don't think I've seen another intersectional peony on the market with a color quite like this one. It has a very nice pink color with a bit of a lavender tint. Intersectional Peony 'First Arrival' was hybridized by Roger Anderson and registered with the APS in 1986.


Peony 'First Arrival'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Peony 'First Arrival'
Southern Peony Best Performer

This intersectional peony will fill up the bush with buds, which bloom over a few days giving a fresh set of blooms, while the old blooms fade cleanly from the bush all on their own. This Intersectional Peony 'First Arrival' grows well here in the South. My plant took a few years to settle in, but it really seems to be taking off now. The bush gets larger and has more blooms on it each year! The blooms on this plant are quite variable in number of petals and form, but most of them have a pleasing symmetrical shape with rounded petals. The very center of these blooms have small dark pink/purple flares, giving the blooms a delightful inner glow of color!


Peony 'First Arrival'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Peony 'First Arrival'
Southern Peony Best Performer


Saturday, May 23, 2020

2020 Peony Blooms Week 9 Very Very Very Late

WOW. Is there another word for Wow? This is definitely mind blowing! For the first time ever here at Southern Peony, we've had a Week 9 Bloom Season! That is probably very rare, especially for the South, where it usually goes from winter to summer in 1 week flat. LOL. I must say I am very grateful to have witnessed our slowest spring warm up ever, with the mildest, most moderate spring temperatures in memory. It almost felt like I wasn't in the South. ;-) For our 2020 Bloom Season Week 9 we have these 2 stunners that first opened and began to entertain us, Peony 'Karl Rosenfield' and Peony 'Dinner Plate'. They are both pink, but two very different colors of pink. Peony 'Karl Rosenfield' is a hot pink oldie but goodie from 1908, while Peony 'Dinner Plate' is perfectly light pink variety about 60 years newer. Both are definitely late season beauties!


Peony 'Karl Rosenfield'


Peony 'Dinner Plate'