Peony Season in Australia: When to Buy and How to Care for Your Peonies

Peonies are among the most beloved flowers worldwide, celebrated for their lush, full blooms and delightful fragrance. In Australia, the peony season is a much-anticipated time for gardeners and flower enthusiasts alike. This blog post will guide you through the peony season in Australia, when to buy these exquisite flowers, and how to care for them to ensure they thrive in your garden or home.

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Understanding Peony Season in Australia

When is Peony Season in Australia?

Peony season in Australia typically begins in late October and extends through to December. This period marks the blooming season for peonies, making it the ideal time to purchase and enjoy these stunning flowers. The specific timing can vary slightly depending on the region and climate, but generally, the peak blooming period occurs in November.

Factors Influencing Peony Season

Several factors influence the peony season in Australia, including:

  • Climate: Peonies thrive in cooler climates. Regions such as Tasmania, Victoria, and the higher altitudes of New South Wales are particularly suitable for growing peonies.
  • Variety: Different varieties of peonies may have slightly different blooming times. For instance, herbaceous peonies typically bloom earlier in the season compared to tree peonies.
  • Planting Time: The timing of when peonies are planted can also affect their blooming period. Peonies planted in autumn are likely to bloom in the following spring.

When to Buy Peonies

Buying Peony Plants

If you’re looking to add peonies to your garden, the best time to buy peony plants is during the dormant season, which is in autumn (March to May in Australia). This allows you to plant them before the winter, giving the roots time to establish themselves before the growing season begins.

Buying Cut Peonies

For those who prefer cut flowers, the best time to buy peony blooms is during the peak of the peony season in Australia, from late October to December. During this time, you’ll find the freshest and most vibrant peonies at florists and flower markets.

How to Care for Peonies

Planting Peonies

Proper planting is crucial for the successful growth of peonies. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Choose the Right Location: Peonies need a sunny spot with well-drained soil. They thrive in areas that receive at least six hours of sunlight daily.
  2. Prepare the Soil: Enrich the soil with organic matter such as compost to ensure it’s fertile and well-draining. Peonies prefer slightly acidic to neutral soil (pH 6.0-7.0).
  3. Planting Depth: Plant peony tubers with the eyes (buds) facing upwards, about 2-3 cm below the soil surface. Planting too deep can prevent blooming.
  4. Spacing: Space peony plants about 90-120 cm apart to allow for adequate air circulation and growth.

Watering and Feeding

  • Watering: Peonies need regular watering, especially during the growing season. Water deeply to encourage strong root development, but be careful not to overwater as this can cause root rot.
  • Feeding: Fertilize peonies in early spring with a balanced, slow-release fertilizer. Avoid high-nitrogen fertilizers as they can promote foliage growth at the expense of blooms.

Pruning and Maintenance

  • Pruning: After the peonies have finished blooming, deadhead spent flowers to prevent seed formation and encourage more blooms. In late autumn, cut back the foliage to ground level to prepare the plant for dormancy.
  • Support: Peonies often need support to keep their heavy blooms from drooping. Use stakes or peony rings to support the stems.

Pest and Disease Management

Peonies are relatively hardy, but they can be susceptible to certain pests and diseases:

  • Pests: Common pests include aphids and thrips. Use insecticidal soap or neem oil to manage infestations.
  • Diseases: Peonies can be prone to fungal diseases such as botrytis blight. Ensure good air circulation and avoid overhead watering to minimize the risk. Applying a fungicide in early spring can also help prevent disease.

Winter Care

In regions with cold winters, peonies require some protection to survive the winter months:

  • Mulching: Apply a layer of mulch around the base of the plants to insulate the roots from freezing temperatures.
  • Protection: In particularly harsh climates, consider covering peony plants with burlap or a frost cloth to shield them from severe cold.

Enjoying Your Peonies

Peonies are not only beautiful in the garden but also make stunning cut flowers for indoor arrangements. Here are some tips for enjoying your peonies indoors:

  • Cutting Peonies: The best time to cut peonies for vases is early in the morning when the blooms are just starting to open. Use sharp, clean scissors to cut the stems at an angle.
  • Arranging Peonies: Remove any leaves that will be below the water line to prevent bacterial growth. Change the water every two days to keep the flowers fresh.
  • Extending Bloom Life: To extend the life of your peonies, keep them in a cool, draft-free area away from direct sunlight.


Peony season in Australia is a magical time, offering an opportunity to enjoy one of the most cherished flowers in the world. By understanding when to buy and how to care for peonies, you can ensure these beautiful blooms bring joy to your garden and home. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a flower enthusiast, peonies are sure to captivate your heart and add a touch of elegance to any setting. So, mark your calendars for late October to December, and get ready to embrace the beauty of peony season in Australia.

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