If you’re a peony lover buy your bunches now – as growers warn the season is set to end sooner than usual

Uncertainty in supply chains means this popular cut flower won’t be around for much longer this year

pink peony flowers
(Image credit: Birute/Getty Images)

Peony growers are predicting the season for this popular cut flower will be shorter than usual, owing to persistent and heavy rainfall.

Growers in both the US and in Europe say high moisture levels have forced them to end peony season early, and with more rain forecast there is considerable uncertainty about the availability of peonies in the coming weeks.

Excess moisture will also prevent them from cutting and storing these blooms - which is a method often used by growers and wholesalers to extend the season by several weeks.

Pink peonies in clear glass vase, with petals dropping on the table below

(Image credit: Getty Images/Jasenka Arbanas)

Kady Adelman, retail manager for Adelman Peony Gardens in Salem, Oregon, says their farm is now past peak bloom season. ‘We have been hit with heavy rain, which has forced us to finish cutting flowers,' she explains.

Kady also says excess moisture has impacted quality, and will prevent them from storing stems for longer. 'As the flowers get water trapped in the petals we have a hard time getting them dried out, and they are more likely to rot in storage with the wet petals.'

Excess rain can also affect the growth of these flowers. 'Peonies really don’t like their roots be too wet,' says Kady. For optimum growth and flower development, peonies like to sit in well drained soil, which isn't too heavy or water logged.

Kady Adelman headshot
Kady Adelman

Kady is a peony expert and retail manager for Adelman Peony Gardens who grow a large collection of peonies over a 30-acre site in Brooks near Salem, Oregon, in the Willamette Valley. Adelman has 500 named peonies growing in their fields.

The impact of temperature shifts on peony development

soft pink peony flower

(Image credit: Isabel Pavia/Getty Images)

It isn't only rainfall and that can have an impact on peony season - warmer-than-average temperatures also play a part in how these herbaceous perennials develop, too.

'We thought our season would be a little behind this year because we had colder, early spring weather, then it turned warm really quickly,' says Kady, explaining that as a result some flowers were smaller sized because they didn’t get as much time to grow in bud before they bloomed.

Katy King, of Hidden Springs Flower Farm in York, Pennsylvania, says they experienced a warmer spring, which brought the season forward.

'I felt that this years' peony crop was about a week earlier than expected,' says Katy. 'We had a stretch of really warm weather that pushed them to open early, so rather than mid-to-late May they bloomed early-to-mid.'

'The weather is always challenging, although it is something out of our control and we just have to work with it,' adds Kady Adelman.

If you want to understand more about how to care and better protect peonies in your own yard, you can have a look at our expert guides on how to support peonies from flopping over, and the benefits of deadheading peonies.

Rachel Bull
Head of Gardens

Rachel is a gardening writer, flower grower and floral designer. Her journalism career began on Country Living magazine, sparking a love of container gardening and wild planting. After more than a decade writing for and editing a range of consumer, business and special interest titles, Rachel became editor of floral art magazine The Flower Arranger. She then trained and worked as a floral designer and stylist in London for six years, before moving to York and joining the Homes & Gardens team. Her love of gardening has endured throughout, and she now grows an abundance of vegetables and flowers on her rambling Yorkshire plot.