In Chinese culture, peonies signal the beginning of spring and symbolise good fortune, romance, and wealth. However, people adore these majestic flowers simply for their appearance. Large blooms and unique ruffled petals - no one can resist their beauty!
Unfortunately, peonies are hard to come by as they aren’t always in season and are extremely expensive to some. In this article, we’re sharing our favourite peony alternatives and when you can get them.
When is Peony Season?
Peonies typically are in their prime season from mid-May to early June. But this depends on how early spring starts and when the heat of summer kicks in. If you’re getting married either in May or June you can almost guarantee peonies for your wedding day.
There are some techniques that growers can use to prolong the amount of usable time per stem. If done effectively, peony growers can make these flowers usable through the end of June and into July and potentially August - just in time for the wedding season. So you might be lucky enough to get peonies after June.
Why Are Peonies Expensive?
Perhaps the most highly-requested flower of all, the limited-edition peony has rightfully earned its throne, with dramatic layers of fragrant petals that exude romance and elegance. But for those who aren’t up for the splurge, this flower proves to be a letdown.
The wonderful thing about the floral industry is that it imports from other countries. However, this also means that certain flowers can be expensive, and that includes the ever-graceful peony. Most peonies are imported from other countries. On top of that, with the seasonality and high demand, peonies are often priced higher.
It’s important to note that florists would typically charge peonies per stem. So, if you have a peony-focused design idea for your upcoming event (especially weddings), your budget will increase very quickly. But lucky for peony lovers, peonies are replicable with some affordable options.
Top 5 Peony Alternatives
If you want to enjoy these flowers outside of the peony primetime, here are our favourite peony alternatives.
1. David Austin Roses (English Roses)
This particular rose type is probably the most desirable and most similar to peonies on the list. But with such ethereal beauty, comes with a hefty price. Yes, not only does this rose look almost the same as a peony but it’s also as expensive.
David Austin Roses are hand-grown British-bred roses that use the hybridisation of old gardens and modern shrubs to create new flowers with the best characteristics of both. These roses are known as English Roses - a name David Austin himself “coined for his ground-breaking varieties that fused the old with the new.”
Just a few stems of these beauties could beautify a room and make it smell heavenly. What we find most fascinating about David Austin Roses is that once the petals open up, they’ll reveal a beautiful ruffled centre.
Can't wait for the peony season? Ranunculus can give you your peony fix. Ranunculus - otherwise known as buttercups - blooms around late February and early spring, while you have to wait until May (at the least) for peonies. You may even get them during the winter months if you’re lucky.
Credits to Pexels
The ranunculus is very similar to peonies in appearance, with lots of pretty layers of petals, but the ranunculus has slightly smaller blooms. Include these beauties in your bouquet for an inexpensive peony-like arrangement without breaking the bank.
You’ve probably seen these pom pom-like blooms in a garden somewhere or perhaps you’ve received them as a gift before.
Adding hydrangeas to any bouquet makes for a much fuller and lush look. Thanks to their large flower heads, hydrangeas look stunning even on their own. But if you want their bright colours to stand out more, simply include some leafy greens in the arrangement.
Credits to Pexels
With clusters of tiny petals that blossom from mid-spring to late summer, hydrangeas are perfect to comfort those post-peony season blues. Speaking of blue, did you know that hydrangeas are one of the very few flower varieties with true blue petals? This depends entirely on the pH of the soil they’re grown in.
Hydrangeas also make gorgeous dried flower bouquets if you fancy a more rustic look. A huge plus point as you can enjoy these blooms for much longer.
4. Double Tulips
You’ve seen regular tulips. Beautiful, aren’t they? Now imagine those regular tulips with extra petals. Behold, double tulips! Like regular tulips, double tulips typically bloom in spring and come in a rainbow of hues, from bright orange to purple.
Credits to Pexels
Double tulips are essentially just tulips with multiple layers of fluffy petals. This specific feature is what makes these springtime bulbs have that peony-like look. Resulting in a fuller, fluffier, and larger bloom in just a single tulip.
Carnations are another budget-friendly option if you want something similar to peonies. With delicate layers of feathery and ruffled petals, carnations are like miniature peonies. Though their blooms are not as big and pronounced as peonies, carnations are, in fact, pretty powerful.
Credits to Pexels
These sturdy flowers can thrive in any condition with little nourishment and are able to stay fresh for up to three weeks! What’s more, carnations come in an assortment of colours, and some even have two-toned petals.
All in all, the best thing about carnations is that they’re available all year round, ready to fill that peony void in your life.
Peonies are loved by many and for good reasons. Alas, these limited-edition blooms only grace us with their presence in such a short timeframe. Thankfully, Mother Nature offers many peony-like flowers so you can get your peony fix no matter the season.
When peony season comes around, be on the lookout as you’ll definitely find these iconic flowers in our collection. But for the rest of the year, we have a myriad of bouquets featuring these peony alternatives and other blooms that are just as beautiful.
For inquiries or custom orders, you may contact us here or on our socials at @lunafloral.my.