Prolong the peony show
Peonies flower just once in spring and some years it seems like those amazing blooms are gone in a flash. You can extend the show by growing peony varieties with different bloom times. You can find early, mid- and late-flowering peony varieties and get up to 6 weeks of color, depending on the weather. (Warmer weather speeds the process along.) The early bloomers come into flower about a month before the midseason bloomers. The bloom time of mid-season peonies can range from late April in southern gardens to early June in northern gardens. The late bloomers take over just as the mid-season bloomers finish up.
Peony cut flower tips
With all these flowers you'll have plenty to cut a few handfuls to enjoy those luscious blooms that are often fragrant. Look for just open blooms or buds with color, then use pruners to cut a long stem and place it in a bucket of water. Harvest in the morning when temperatures are cool and flowers are freshest. Once indoors, you can cut the stem back to fit the vase and remove any foliage that would sit below the water. This prevents the leaves from rotting and shortening the life of the bouquet. Did you know you can even save peony blooms for later? Check out our tip on how to enjoy peonies several weeks later!
Wherever you have peonies, ants are sure to follow — at least for a little while. When you see ants hanging out on a peony bud, they’re not causing damage. These little guys in the photo above are feeding on a sugary nectar the bud secretes. Because it’s a food source, ants will chase away pest insects, such as the rose chafer, which does feed on peony buds. When the nectar runs out, the ants go away.
Peony varieties with different bloom times
You'll find some beautiful peonies in the gallery below to mix and match and create a gorgeous peony show that has maximum impact. The peony varieties are arranged from early, mid-, to late bloomers. If you can't find them at your local garden center check out these excellent retail source: