6 Different Peony Growth Stages (Explained)

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Peonies are notable perennials with exceptional attributes. They are the excellent flowering plant that would reward your effort if you leave them in an admirable condition. And in favorable conditions, it will take peonies 3 to 5 years to grow and become fully established plants.

The 4 main peony growth stages include the planting stage, growth stage, flowering, and the rest phase. But peonies have detailed growth stages from planting to the dormant stage.

Peonies go through bud swelling, germination, leaf opening and extensions, flower bud enlargement, flower opening, and the rest phase.

Now, let’s learn more about the different growing stages of peony plants!

What You Need To Know About Peony Plants

Scientifically referred to as Paeonia, Peony is a perennial flowering plant in the genus Paeonia from the family paconiaceae. Peony is native to Asia, especially central and Eastern Asia.

You can grow peonies in spring and fall, which will grow to a height of almost 1 meter. Peonies do great in cold winters. No wonder it can resist cold during the frost season.

Although peonies are likely to do well in cold winters, they are sun-loving plants. Peonies would need at least 6 hours of sunlight per day. However, for the growth of peonies, it would require some level of attention.

Another essential factor that contributes to the successful growth of peonies is the soil. Have peonies planted in loose, fertile, and well-drained soil, and it would reward your garden with mind-blowing blooms during summer.

Peonies are an excellent flowering plant that would grace your garden with vast and compelling scents too! When peonies are established, your garden will have bold and colorful flowering plants.

The colors of peonies range from white, pink, red, and purple. However, the most popular of them all is pink. No wonder Peonies are extensively used for weddings and other special events.

So, what are the Peony growth stages that prove the flowering plant underwent the proper developmental stages?

See Also: Different Orchid Growing Stages

Different Peony Growth Stages

Now let’s learn the peony growth stages.

Originally, every plant begins its life cycle from the seeds. And usually, the seeds contain an embryo that germinates in the long run and matures into a plant.

However, there are rare cases where peonies are cultivated from seeds. This is because peonies take longer to grow when planted from seeds, but you can still plant peonies from seeds. It will only take two years before the seed germinates.

1. Bud swelling

Buds are flowers that are still in the embryonic stage. And at this stage, the plant is transitioning from dormant to where it would actively develops.

The growth cycle begins once the plant enters this phase. Since this is the initial stage, it is also a critical period for the plant, so you must treat the plant well.

The Peony would need maximum attention to thrive on its own after some time.

How long does the bud swelling period last? Initially, this stage lasts from two weeks to six weeks. However, this is dependent on the variety of Peony.

It is crucial to pay attention because anything can affect the plant’s growth. Remove dead leaves from the plant, so the Peony has enough space to grow.

Tips: exposing the plant to a favorable condition would assist in its growth too. So it would be best if you cared for your Peony at this stage.

2. Bud germination and shoot appearance

Once the plant has entered the active stage, it begins to germinate. The Peony will start to show some level of growth after the period of dormancy. And at this phase, every other reproductive body begins to respond to change.

If the plant has been exposed to the required elements like water, good light, oxygen, and shade, all these will contribute to the successful germination of the peony plant.

So as the bud matures and divides, the leafy stalk will emerge. With time, you will always discover other shoots emerging from the stem simultaneously. This is the second notable stage the peony plant will undergo during growth.

3. Leaf opening

At this stage, it is expected that the leaves to begin to open. The leaves are the sites of food production for the flowering plant. At this stage, the plant will also need carbon dioxide and light energy for photosynthesis.

Although every leaf from a plant takes a different shape, they all have pore-like openings called stomata. The stomata contain a guard cell that controls the opening and closing of the stomata.

Once the leaves reach this stage, they will begin to open, and the leaves will start to take their usual flat shape. You will also notice that the flower bud will begin to form on top of the leaves.

4. Flower bud enlargement

It is expected at this point of the Peony growth stage for the flower bud to grow larger, showing the blooms respond to growth. Each bud will grow not less than 1 inch in diameter.

However, don’t be surprised when the buds grow to the size of a golf ball. The blossoms will begin to develop some vibrant Colors too.

Immediately the bud reaches the size of a golf ball, and it will take some days, about 6 to 11 days, for the plant to grow into the next stage.

5. Flower bud opening

When flowers are budding, you will begin to notice signs of blossoms appearing on the flower. Another stage that peonies undergo is the flower bud opening. The successful transition into this stage depends on how well the plant did with the other stages.

So, it is at this very stage the petals of the peony plant will open, and the blossoms will display the aesthetic of the cultivar.

It is important to note that peonies bloom only for a short period, about 7 to 10 days.

6. Rest phase

This is the last of the peonies’ growth stages. Also referred to as the dormant stage, peonies would assume rest at every end of the growth. Since Peony is a relatively hardy herbaceous, it is likely to take rest during the winter.

During the rest phase, peonies will shed their vegetables and other reproductive parts, which will also occur during the fall.

So, the whole plant will die in the autumn and then go dormant during the winter. At this point, remove all the leaves, and cut the stems. This, in the end, will encourage new growth.

Once this is done and the winter is over, the plant will rely on the conserved energy for a new life cycle. The plant will use this energy to reproduce Peony.

These are the critical Peony growth stages. It is required during these stages, and you should pay close attention to it as each phase will need some level of attention for the plant to do well.

What are the Varieties of Peonies?

Peonies have wide varieties; however, we have three groups of peonies. The herbaceous Eurasian peonie, the Asian tree or mountain peonie, the North American peonies

The herbaceous Eurasian peonies are known to produce massive, glossy leaves. So, they grow substantial single or double flowers from late spring to the beginning of summer. These flowers come in white, pink, or even crimson color. Overall, peonies will grow and reward your efforts when you care for them.

You can learn how to care for Peony the right way so you would avoid unnecessary shortcomings during the growth of the flowering plant.

How to Care for Peony Plants

  • When growing even plants, the first and essential thing to do is to use the perfect soil. Always use well-drained soil for your Peony
  • Exposing your peonies to good lighting is another key to growing this flowering plant. However, do not expose it to the scorching sun
  • Ensure you always prune old or worn-out leaves to make room for a new cycle
  • Always look out for pests. They are capable of rendering your hard work futile

Do Peonies Need Attention to Grow?

Undoubtedly, every plant needs some level of attention to grow. Peonies require less maintenance since it thrives on their own. However, you must care for the plant for some time before it can thrive.

So peonies need attention to grow. You can make peonies queen of the garden by caring for them. Doing otherwise might affect the growth process of the plant.


Knowing the growing stages of plants gives you a highlight of what to expect for every season when you are growing any plant. The peony growth stages are similar to every other plant, but you must know how peonies grow.

Peonies are the type of flowers that many people could use to beautify their homes or gardens since the aesthetic features are pretty glaring.

Now that you know the growth stages, you should be able to understand the blooming period and the necessary things you need to do to keep them blooming!

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