Everything you need to know about this stunning winter flower

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The peony is a hardy perennial flower that is native to Europe, Asia, and North America. There are about 33 known species of this flower that range from blooming trees to herbaceous flowering plants. It’s a popular cold-weather garden staple that can come back year after year with proper care. Whether you want to fill your garden with these lovely flowers or order a peony bouquet, this flower is an excellent gift for loved ones, anniversaries, and treasured friends. How do you care for peonies in a garden or a vase so that they bloom for as long as possible? This guide will show you how to care for your winter Peonies.

The Peony’s Meaning

The peony is a stunning flower with countless pillowy petals. Since it grows in many places around the world, it has captured the imaginations of different cultures. As a result, there are many ancient legends from ancient Greece and China regarding the peony. And its plush blooms have a variety of meanings, which include romance, celebration, and prosperity. The peony is also the official flower for 12th wedding anniversaries. This wide range of meanings makes any time a good time for a peony to make its way into a bouquet.

Types of Peonies

There are three main types of peonies: herbaceous, tree, and hybrid. All belong to the family Paeoniaceae and the genus Paeonia. However, they have some differences to note:

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  • Herbaceous Peonies: These peonies grow in perennial shrubs that die in the late fall and need to be dormant to bloom again in the spring.
  • Peony Trees: This category of peonies grows on deciduous shrubs that can grow up to six feet tall. These branches lose their leaves in the fall and can be pruned to prepare the plant for next spring’s flowering.
  • Intersectional/ Itoh/Hybrid Peonies: This cross between herbaceous and tree peonies creates large, epic flowers that stay in bloom for up to three weeks.
  • This guide will talk mainly about herbaceous varieties since they are the ones that typically appear in bouquets.

Planting Depth

To start a garden with new peonies, you must plant tuberous roots that grow into the peony shrub. On these roots, there are “eyes” that grow into new plants in the spring. Peonies thrive the best in planting zones 3-5, which include colder states like Wyoming, New York, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. For these colder zones, gardeners should plant the tubers exactly two inches below the garden’s surface.

 

For zones 6 and 7, which include most of California and the southeastern United States, you should plant the eye one inch below the ground. Any tropical location should plant peonies just one-half inch below the surface. These different planting depths will regulate the proper temperature the tubers need to stay dormant during the winter. Using the wrong depth can result in poor or no growth.

Cutting Back Stems

After a successful blooming season, the peony plant will turn yellow or brown and then wither. That means that it’s preparing itself for dormancy, which is when the new bud will form. For a clean garden, you should cut the withered shrub after the first frost. Herbaceous peonies should be cut just one inch above the soil level.

 

For hybrid peonies, prune the tall shrub down to 4-6 inches in height so that only 1-2 growth nodes remain on each branch. Don’t remove any pink or red buds, or else you won’t get any new blooms in the upcoming spring. Trees simply need to be pruned.

 

However, if you forget to cut down your peonies, nature will still run its course. You will just have to clean up the debris around the regrowing plant in the spring.
Tip: No matter how cold it gets, remember that peonies need freezing temperatures to grow new buds for the following year. Resist the temptation to take them indoors. Mulching is also unnecessary in zones 6-8.

 

The “Chilling” Period

Every peony needs a “chilling” period to stimulate new bud growth during its dormant state. As opposed to most flowers and plants, gardeners in warmer climates — especially zones 7 and 8 — have a harder time caring for Peonies. Most species need between 20 to 42 cold days in the ground to fully “chill.” However, on average, these blooms need about a month for the process to fully take place.

 

A cold day is defined as any temperature between 32 and 40°F. This chilling period stimulates the growth of a new bud. That is why using greenhouses or bringing the tubers indoors isn’t advised for peony care. It’s also okay if the tuber gets extra freezing time — more is better than less in this case. Therefore, before you start gardening, make sure that your local climate will accommodate this flower’s unique cold-weather needs.

Peony Bouquet Care

Don’t have a garden but want peonies for an indoor arrangement? Then you can still enjoy the sight and scent of peonies when you order a peony bouquet. Create a classic look with the blush pink blooms of The Peony or opt for a bright pop of hot pink with The Sunburst. Because peonies only stay in bloom for five days after they unfurl, florists advise that they be sent in bud form. Watching them unfurl over the next two days is a stunning sight that reaches the grand finale of its fully open petals.

 

Caring for cut peony stems is simple. Fill a third of a clean vase with water, then add a packet of flower food. Take the peonies and remove any leaves that would sit below the waterline. Otherwise, they will rot and reduce the flower’s life. Then, immerse the peony stems in the water and cut ½ inch at an angle for maximum water absorption. By using this method, you can get the longest life out of your peony stems and have great joy watching them unfurl into beautiful flowers.

Peony Bouquet and Gifts

With these tips, you can ensure that your peony plants stay healthy throughout the year in a garden. If you don’t have the time or space to grow your own peonies, peony flower delivery makes it easy to still enjoy this iconic flower’s beauty. Whether you want a single-stem arrangement or a mixed arrangement, there are many gift options that can grace your home or office.

 

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This article originally appeared on UrbanStems.com and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

 

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Do you know your state’s official flower?

 

As the months get warmer, flowers are starting to bloom, dotting the landscape with swaths of vibrant color. In celebration of spring, we’ve put together this list of every state’s official flower, with lovely photos and a little history as well.

 

 

 

kanonsky / istockphoto

 

 

  • Year it became official: 1959
  • How to find it: Look for delicate light pink petals folded up tightly, although you can also find the flower in a variety of other colors across the South.

Camellia by junichiro aoyama (CC BY)

 

  • Year it became official: 1917
  • How to find it: This dainty purplish-blue flower has a yellow-white core. You can find varieties of the forget-me-not across Alaska.

Alpine Forget-Me-Not by Meneerke bloem (CC BY-SA)

 

  • Year it became official: 1931
  • How to find it: Unsurprisingly, Arizona’s state flower is a blooming cactus. Look for white flowers with a yellow center at the end of a cactus. When the flowers haven’t bloomed yet, you’ll likely see large green buds attached to the cactus.

Arizona: Saguaro Cactus Blossom by raelb Follow (CC BY-NC-SA)

 

  • Year it became official: 1901
  • How to find it: Given Arkansas’ history as an apple-growing state, it only makes sense that the apple blossom is its official state flower. If you can’t make of the state’s many apple blossom festivals, you can still find this white and pink flower naturally across the state.

apple blossom by to.wi (CC BY-NC-SA)

 

  • Year it became official: 1903
  • How to find it: This vibrant “golden” flower is a great choice for the Golden State. It has elegant, flowing petals that wrap around its stem.

california poppy by docentjoyce (CC BY)

  • Year it became official: 1899
  • How to find it: The columbine is a white and lavender flower with graceful yellow seeds hanging from its center like tentacles. If you couldn’t tell by the name, you can find it in the Rocky Mountains, among other places around Colorado.

Rocky Mountain Columbine by Rob Duval (CC BY-SA)

 

  • Year it became official:1907
  • How to find it: This flower is known for its star-shaped petals and reddish-pinkish specks.

mountain laurel by Arx Fortis (CC BY-SA)

  • Year it became official:1895
  • How to find it: Look for bold pinkish-orange petals, like the color of an actual peach.

Peach Blossom by pepperberryfarm (CC BY-NC-ND)

  • Year it became official: 1909
  • How to find it: Unsurprisingly, Florida chose the orange blossom for its state flower. Look for a white-cream petal with an orange-yellow middle.

Orange Blossom by (CC BY-NC-SA)

  • Year it became official: 1916
  • How to find it: This is a white rose with a bright yellow middle.

Cherokee Rose by Courtney McGough (CC BY-NC-ND)

  • Year it became official: 1988
  • How to find it: Look for a hibiscus-shaped flower that’s a bright golden yellow.

Pua Aloalo by Rosa Say (CC BY-NC-ND)

  • Year it became official: 1931
  • How to find it: This flower has four white petals with pastel yellow seeds in the middle.

Syringa by Brent Miller (CC BY-NC-ND)

  • Year it became official: 1908
  • How to find it: Keep your eyes peeled for a small flower that is, well, violet.

violet by Maia C (CC BY-NC-ND)

  • Year it became official: 1957
  • How to find it: This is a bold, fluffy flower that’s most commonly a vibrant pinkish-red, although it can be found in other colors, too.

Peony by Bob Gutowski (CC BY-NC-SA)

  • Year it became official: 1897
  • How to find it: The flower has small, delicate pink-white petals and a thick stem with lots of leaves.

Wild Rose by jinjian liang (CC BY-NC-ND)

  • Year it became official: 1903
  • How to find it: Look for thick stems and its signature yellow petals. You can find sunflowers across the state.

Sunflowers by LynnK827 (CC BY-NC-ND)

  • Year it became official: 1926
  • How to find it: The goldenrod is shaped like a lightning bolt speckled with tiny yellow buds.

Goldenrod by Elaine (CC BY-NC-SA)

  • Year it became official: 1900
  • How to find it: Magnolias have thick, curved petals and are most commonly found in a cream-white color.

magnolia by Paxsimius (CC BY-SA)

  • Year it became official: 1895
  • How to find it: White pines can be seen across Maine. Just look for the massive white pine trees, and the pine cones are sure to follow.

White Pine Cone and Tassel by Eli Sagor (CC BY-NC)

  • Year it became official: 1918
  • How to find it: As the name suggests, this flower has a strong, big black middle and is surrounded by yellow petals.

Black-Eyed Susan by Dendroica cerulea (CC BY-NC-SA)

  • Year it became official: 1918
  • How to find it: Look for bunched-together small, star-shaped petals. They’re most commonly found in shades of white and purple.

Mayflower by Jim Sorbie (CC BY)

  • Year it became official: 1897
  • How to find it: Michigan named the apple blossom its official state flower since apples grow naturally across Michigan.

apple blossom by to.wi (CC BY-NC-SA)

  • Year it became official: 1967
  • How to find it: These flowers have unique petals that curve upward, making them look like a multi-colored slipper.

Pink & White Lady Slipper by Orchidhunter1939 (CC BY-SA)

  • Year it became official: 1952
  • How to find it: Magnolias were chosen by school children to be the state flower. The flower also appears on the state’s bicentennial coin.

Magnolia by pontla (CC BY-NC-ND)

  • Year it became official: 1923
  • How to find it: Look for clustered little white flowers with black seeds.

Hawthorn flowers by Eugene Zelenko (CC BY-SA)

  • Year it became official: 1895
  • How to find it: Bitterroots have overlapping purple-white petals and white middle.

Bitterroot by David A. Hofmann (CC BY-NC-ND)

  • Year it became official: 1895
  • How to find it: Goldenrods are native to Nevada and be found by looking for fuzzy yellow buds that are grouped together.

Goldenrod by Tim Tonjes (CC BY-NC-SA)

  • Year it became official: 1917
  • How to find it: Look for tall, fuzzy stems with about three“petals” sticking up straight from the stem.

sagebrush by Joel Hoffman (CC BY-NC-ND)

  • Year it became official: 1991
  • How to find it: This flower has one long petal that curls to look like a slipper.

Pink & White Lady Slipper by Orchidhunter1939 (CC BY-SA)

  • Year it became official: 1913
  • How to find it: Violets speckle New Jersey’s landscape with bold purple flowers.

Wood Violet by Maia C (CC BY-NC-ND)

  • Year it became official: 1927
  • How to find it: The yucca flower has a signature white bulb, although there are other species of the flower across the state, too.

Yucca Flower by DM (CC BY-ND)

  • Year it became official: 1955
  • How to find it: While you may not find roses growing naturally in New York City, you can find them in the state’s more rural or country areas.

Red rose by T.Kiya (CC BY-SA)

  • Year it became official: 1941
  • How to find it: Dogwood flowers have tiny white petals and bold yellow cores. They are often grouped together like a thunderbolt.

Dogwood by David Hoffman (CC BY-NC-ND)

  • Year it became official: 1907
  • How to find it: The wild prairie rose has light pink petals and a golden center.

wild prairie rose by Alexwcovington (CC BY-SA)

  • Year it became official: 1904
  • How to find it: This flower’s red petals create a fluffy bulb.

red carnation by カールおじさん (CC BY-SA)

  • Year it became official: 2004
  • How to find it: The state liked the flower so much, they named it after themselves. This variation of the rose is commonly used in teas.

red rose by Jörg Kanngießer (CC BY-NC)

  • Year it became official: 1899
  • How to find it: The Oregon grape is a bushel of tiny yellow bulbs arranged like grapes.

Oregon Grape by Meggar (CC BY-SA)

  • Year it became official: 1933
  • How to find it: Mountain Laurels are petticoat-shaped flowers with a star-shaped pattern in a reddish-pink color on the inside. They puff out like an umbrella.

Mountain Laurel by Tim Singer (CC BY-NC-SA)

  • Year it became official: 1968
  • How to find it: You can find violets across the state, as they are common throughout the northern hemisphere.

violet by Dendroica cerulea (CC BY-NC-SA)

  • Year it became official: 1924
  • How to find it: This is another delicate but bold flower. The yellow jessamine grows wildly in the state.

Yellow Jessamine by John ‘K’ (CC BY-NC-ND)

  • Year it became official: 1903
  • How to find it: Look for oval-shaped purple petals with a yellow-gold middle.

American Pasque by Hillarie (CC BY-NC-ND)

  • Year it became official: 1933
  • How to find it: Irises have a purple-blue petal with a yellow middle where the two petals combine.

Iris by Fred (CC BY)

  • Year it became official: 1901
  • How to find it: Bonnets are small blue buds or redbuds that climb upward, forming the shape of a bonnet.

bluebonnet by Stephanie (CC BY-NC-ND)

  • Year it became official: 1911
  • How to find it: This lily has three oval petals and three triangular ones. It’s most commonly found in white.

Sego Lily by C.Maylett (CC BY-SA)

  • Year it became official: 1894
  • How to find it: This flower forms a large bulb out of smaller bulbs. It’s commonly found in red or purple.

Red Clover by Tim Tonjes (CC BY-NC-ND)

  • Year it became official: 1918
  • How to find it: This flower can be found on dogwood branches. Look for small white flowers, although in winter the flower can develop redbuds as well.

dogwood by laura.bell (CC BY-NC-ND)

  • Year it became official: 1959
  • How to find it: Look for pastel reds and pinks stained on a white flower. They naturally grow in the shape of a bouquet.

Rhododendron by Arx Fortis (CC BY-SA)

  • Year it became official: 1903
  • How to find it: The rhododendron has a series of small cream flowers bunched in a bouquet formation. They have light green seeds in their middles.

Rhododendron by Arx Fortis (CC BY-SA)

  • Year it became official: 1909
  • How to find it: Wisconsin is one of the many other Midwest states that chose the violet as their flower. The wood violet can be found across Wisconsin.

violet by Maia C (CC BY-NC-ND)

  • Year it became official:1917
  • How to find it: This flower has a tall stem with flowers budding up and down it. It’s called a paintbrush because the red flowers bloom randomly on the stem, making it look like specks of paint on a brush.

This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by MediaFeed.org.

Indian Paintbrush by rumolay (CC BY-NC-ND)

 

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