When Do Peony Bloom? Know the Factors that Affect Peony Flowering Time

Many people love the look of peony flowers but don’t know when they will bloom. The best way to find out when your peonies will bloom is to watch them closely and look for signs such as an increase in size, a change in color, or increased numbers of petals.

Peonies typically bloom for around six to eight weeks beginning in late spring and continuing into early summer. Unfortunately, despite their beauty, peony flowers only persist for about a week to ten days. It’s rare for all of them to blossom at once, and there’s a clear distinction between spring and summer flowers.

 Remember that this is just a general guideline – sometimes peony flowers bloom a little later or earlier, and sometimes they will not. The timing of your peony plant’s blossoming depends on several factors. Read on for information that will help you produce a garden that will fill your home with breathtaking colors all summer.

What Factors Affect Peony Flowering Time?

The length of the blooming season and when the flowers blossom depend on several factors.

Peony Species

A few peony species can bloom at different times, so it’s important to know the difference between them if you want your flowers to reach their peak.

  • Tree Peonies/ Woody Shrub Peonies: Tree peonies are a variety of peonies with a woody stalk that is permanent. In contrast to the more typical herbaceous peonies, whose stems die back to the ground each autumn, the tree peony resembles a robust shrub. Woody stalks persist over the winter and bloom the following year again. The tree peony is renowned for its huge, fragrant flowers and exquisite, delicate foliage. The tree peony’ woody stems enable them to produce enormous blossoms without staking. Additionally, the blooms on tree peonies remain considerably longer than those on herbaceous peonies. Tree peonies can grow larger than herbaceous peonies and produce more flowers per plant. In contrast to its herbaceous relatives, tree peonies are significantly less resistant to adverse environmental conditions. Additionally, tree peonies typically require more annual upkeep than herbaceous peonies and benefit from expert trimming.
  • Herbaceous Peonies/ Common Garden Peonies: Each spring, these compact plants produce abundant flowers before withering back to the ground in late autumn. New stems begin to emerge in early April in preparation for the subsequent late spring flowering. These kinds of peonies usually don’t need much care. Some herbaceous peony plants can hold up their flowers independently, while others may need to be staked in certain climates or situations. The stems of herbaceous peonies only last one growing season, while the stems of tree peonies last forever. You can split a plant’s roots between the late fall or early spring to give the plant a new start and make more plants to grow from.
  • Intersectional/ Itoh Hybrid Peonies: Intersectional peonies, commonly known as Itoh peonies (after Japanese breeder Dr. Toichi Itoh), are contemporary peony types created by crossing herbaceous with conventional tree peonies. The intersectional peony was designed to have large, fragrant blooms, excellent foliage, cold tolerance, and a compact growth habit. Intersectional (Itoh) peonies typically bloom several weeks after herbaceous peonies. You can extend the peony season into early June by including Itoh peonies in your yard.


Your local climate will determine when a particular peony variety starts to bloom. Compared to peonies planted in Illinois or Ohio, peonies grown in California or Florida bloom much earlier.

In cooler climates, the blooming period will remain longer. It will be profuse but relatively short in extremely hot and sunny climates.

Hardiness zones 3 to 8 are ideal for peonies. Early to Midseason kinds are the finest to grow if you are growing peonies in warm spring or hot summer regions since Late Season varieties cannot bloom effectively if the temperatures become too hot.

Keep in mind that the climate in your area will have a major impact on when your peonies blossom. The plant prefers milder temperatures and thrives in hardiness zones 3 through 8.

Peonies can only blossom after exposure to the cold temperatures of winter, and for optimal results, the average daily temperature should be below 40°F for at least six weeks.

It will be too hot for the late bloomers by the time they are ready to bloom if you plant them in zones 8 and 9. It would be best if you only grew in those zones early and midseason kinds of herbaceous peony. In hotter regions, tree peonies do better than herbaceous versions of this flower.

Peonies Blooming Time in Various Regions of the United States

You may get an idea of when peonies bloom in various sections of the country by looking at the following:

  • California: tree peonies bloom from the end of February to the beginning or middle of March; herbaceous varieties bloom from the middle of May to the beginning of June, and intersectional bloom at the beginning of May.
  • Texas: Tree peonies bloom around the beginning of February and continue until the end of March. Herbaceous peony variants don’t start blooming until around the first of April.
  • Michigan: Herbaceous peonies bloom from the end of May to the middle of June, while tree peonies bloom from the end of April to the beginning of May.
  • Massachusetts: Middle of May through June

Do Peonies Bloom Multiple Times?

Traditional garden peonies don’t have stems that are made of wood. Even though some herbaceous peony species start each season with fresh growth, your typical garden variety peonies only bloom once a year.

After trimming the first set of peonies, you rarely get to see another round of blooms. You may always lengthen the blossoms’ life by pruning the peonies at the proper moment. These flowers are more prone to suffer negative effects throughout the entire season when trimmed just before their blooming season.

Do Peonies Produce Flowers in Their First Year of Growth?

According to the vast majority of reports, peonies do not blossom during their first year after planting. Planting in the fall typically takes two to three years for them to blossom. When planted in the spring, the process takes even longer.

However, writers Rita Pelczar and Trevor Cole say in their book “American Horticultural Society Northeast SmartGarden Regional Guide,” which was published in 2003, “Planted with the crown buds 1-3 in (2.5-8 cm) below soil level, they should blossom the following year.”

Keeping Peonies Bloom All Summer

Peonies, sadly, do not continue to bloom throughout the entire summer. Because the buds of intersectional types do not all open at the same time, the length of time that the plant is in bloom can be up to three weeks longer than that of herbaceous kinds, which bloom first. If you want blooming peonies throughout the summer, you will need to plant a variety of peonies that blooms at a different period than the others.

If you want your peonies to bloom continuously throughout the year, you need to make sure that you clip the stems at the appropriate time. To get the plant into its ideal form, you should prune it as soon as possible after the fall has passed. Remember that the plant may still suffer frostbite damage even if you are a little late in caring for it. When trimming the plant, it is important to ensure that the stems are trimmed as close to the ground as possible.

If you cut them off sooner than typical, the peonies you have at home are likely to be stocky and have flowers on the smaller side, similar to many garden varieties of peony. If you want the flowers to live longer, snip the large buds off the stems above where they branch off. The next step is to make an effort to coax the more immature buds further down each stalk. The removal of flower buds, also known as disbudding, is a sort of pruning that has repeatedly shown to be an effective method for retaining the plant’s stunning blossoms.

Focus on Staking

Additionally, you may need to consider the staking requirements. Particular peonies may require staking if their heads are hefty and tend to fall over. However, there are always a few versions that constantly retain their shape without requiring additional support.

After repotting, fertilize your plants at least once a year (ideally during fall). You may also like to apply a second application of fertilizer in the spring when the first shoots appear.

Water Peonies Consistently

Regularly water the plant, especially during droughts. Younger peonies have even greater watering needs. Thus it is essential to keep this in mind continually. When the peonies bloom, trim them and gradually remove the spent flowers. Therefore, you may verify that the plants are not expending unnecessary energy on generating additional seed pods.

During the autumn months, when the foliage of the peony progressively turns brown, trim the peonies back to the ground and remove any excess foliage.

Work on the Requirements for Air Circulation

Peonies are recognized to be a hardy plant variety with only a few natural diseases. Botrytis is one disease to which your plant may be prone. Botrytis, also known as the grey mold, is known for being relatively harmless, yet it can potentially damage your flowers, diminish their number, and gradually weaken your plant. Common symptoms of this disease include completely blackened buds that generate a black mark on the leaves. These additional effects on the young shoots cause them to decay. Eventually, the black areas will become pliable and fully covered with greyish mold.

Unfortunately, this is a prevalent illness, mainly if your plant is situated in a chilly and moist environment. In addition, there may be no apparent symptoms of illness for an entire year. The most effective method for avoiding this issue is to prevent its occurrence in the first place. To accomplish this, always ensure that your peonies receive adequate sunshine and go the extra mile to determine if perennials are smothering them.

In the past, gardeners would plant peonies in a single row to create a free-standing hedge. We recommend you take the same route to ensure continuous and adequate air circulation. Never grow peonies near buildings or fences for added protection.

Consider incorporating some liquid fertilizer to solve this problem. This could be anything from emulsions to compost. Additionally, if you’re using emulsions, try using seaweed emulsion since it benefits the plant the most.

Do Not Move the Peonies

One of the first questions you should ask yourself if your peonies aren’t blooming is when they were last moved. Keep in mind that peonies dislike being transplanted, and it may take them several years to recover from the abruptness of the change.

It might seem melancholy if you’ve moved your peony a few times over the past four years. If you wait long enough, you will notice that the plant’s buds eventually turn into flowers.

Verify the Depth

Planting peonies in the ground shouldn’t be done to an excessive depth. Without taking this into account, your plant won’t ever flower. The location of the eye buds should be one of the first things examined. Your tubers’ buds should ideally be just above the soil’s surface. Make sure it is never submerged in the ground. If the peonies are buried too deeply, you might want to think about repotting them.

Although the procedure is straightforward, it will ultimately cause the blooms to be delayed for a few years. However, considering that it at least guarantees peonies blossom at some point, we would still advise against doing this.

Verify the Cold

If you are in a warm or temperate region, you may need to ensure your peonies receive the proper amount of cold. Peonies frequently have very strict requirements for cold. This aids in establishing the buds and encourages blossoming. Your peony may occasionally experience chilly temperatures sufficient for establishing the buds but insufficient for blooming.

Make an environment that makes it much colder if you think that’s the problem. Avoid mulching in the cooler months. The area where your peonies are growing has to be protected as well.

Remove any obstructions that can prevent the wind from reaching your peony bed throughout the winter. Although it might seem counterintuitive initially, going the additional mile might be what you need to do to ensure your peonies blossom.

This is a beneficial concept for anyone trying to figure out how cold the peonies require for proper flowering. Throughout the procedure, remember to be patient. Though peonies can be demanding, the wait is well worth it for their stunning blossoms.

You probably have a better notion of when to anticipate the blooming season for your beloved peonies now that we have reached the end of this article. All you need to do is ensure the plant receives plenty of fertilizer and a high-quality compost dressing. This will benefit the peony’s health and pave the way for more attractive flowers.

Peony Species Different Bloom Time

Very Early Season PeoniesPaeonia ‘Athena’
Paeonia ‘Claire de Lune’
Paeonia ‘Early Scout’
Paeonia ‘Golden Glow’
Paeonia ‘Red Spider’
Paeonia ‘Roselette’
Paeonia officinalis ‘Rosea Plena’
Paeonia tenuifolia
Early Blooming PeoniesPaeonia ‘America’
Paeonia ‘Buckeye Belle’
Paeonia ‘Burma Ruby’
Paeonia ‘Coral Charm’
Paeonia ‘Coral n’ Gold’
Paeonia ‘Coral Sunset’
Paeonia ‘Coral Supreme’
Paeonia ‘Cytherea’
Paeonia ‘Illini Warrior’
Paeonia ‘Lovely Rose’
Paeonia ‘Merry Mayshine’
Paeonia ‘Pink Hawaiian Coral’
Paeonia ‘Salmon Dream
Early Midseason BloomingPaeonia ‘Abalone Pearl’
Paeonia ‘Chocolate Soldier’
Paeonia ‘Henry Bockstoce’
Paeonia ‘Kansas’
Paeonia ‘Many Happy Returns’
Paeonia ‘Paula Fay’
Paeonia ‘Red Charm’
Paeonia ‘Red Emperor’
Paeonia ‘Scarlett O’Hara’
Paeonia ‘Show Girl’
Paeonia ‘Walter Mains’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Barrington Belle’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Do Tell’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Duchesse de Nemours’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Festiva Maxima’
Paeonia lactiflora  ‘Gardenia’
Paeonia lactiflora  ‘Karen Gray’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Miss America’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Monsieur Jules Elie’
Paeonia lactiflora  ‘Philomele’
Midseason PeoniesPaeonia ‘First Arrival’ (Itoh Peony)
Paeonia ‘Julia Rose’ (Itoh Peony)
Paeonia ‘Pink Derby’
Paeonia ‘Port Royale’
Paeonia ‘Singing in the Rain’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Clown’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Comanche’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Cora Stubbs’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Edulis Superba’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Fancy Nancy’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Gay Paree’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Krinkled White’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Lady Alexandra Duff’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Sea Shell’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Shirley Temple’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Sorbet’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Tom Eckhardt’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Topeka Garnet’
Late Midseason PeoniesPaeonia ‘Bartzella’ (Itoh Peony)
Paeonia ‘Rozella’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Bowl of Beauty’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Bowl of Cream’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Dr. Alexander Fleming’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Felix Crousse’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Hermione’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Karl Rosenfield’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Mother’s Choice’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Sarah Bernhardt’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Whopper’
Late Season PeoniesPaeonia lactiflora ‘Dinner Plate’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Dr. Jekyll’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Elsa Sass’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Nippon Beauty’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Pink Parfait’
Paeonia lactiflora ‘Sword Dance’