Bowl of Beauty peony

The Bowl of Beauty peony is a pink and cream bicolor variety with huge anemone-type flowers. This popular variety has lovely fragrant blooms and grows early in the season under full sun. Plants grow about 34″-36″ tall, with an overall foliage width of 32″-36″ wide.

Bowl of Beauty peony basics

The Bowl Of Beauty peony (Paeonia lactiflora ‘Bowl of Beauty’) was bred by Aart Hoogendoorn of Boskoop, Netherlands, and was introduced in 1949. It is well known for its cup-shaped hot pink outer petals and inner narrow cream-yellow-colored petaloids. The Bowl Of Beauty Peony received the RHS Award of Garden Merit in 1993.

Perhaps the most notable characteristic of Bowl of Beauty flowers is their large size, often reaching 10″-12″ wide each on an established plant. They have strong stems and lovely ornamental foliage. Bowl of Beauty flowers early in the peony growing season (generally mid-spring).

Bowl of Beauty peonies grow to be 34-36 inches tall, so they are a relatively tall perennial flower. The overall width of an established Bowl of Beauty plant can reach 32-36 inches wide when mature.

Bowl of beauty peony

Peony classification

Bowl Of Beauty peonies (Paeonia lactiflora Bowl Of Beauty’) are herbaceous perennial plants with anemone-type peony flowers that bloom early in the season.

Amenone-type peonies like Bowl of Beauty have stamens that have thickened past the point of “staminodes” to become “petalodes” – a transitional type of inner structure with a width between that of Japanese-type staminodes and the inner petals of double/bombe type flowers.

Bowl of beauty peony plant

Planting a new peony plant

Bowl of Beauty peonies are generally sold as bare-root plants (although potted plants of this variety are sometimes available in spring – see pic above). There are videos below showing how to plant both types.

When planting peonies, pick an area where they will receive plenty of full sun. However, only do this if you live in an area with moderate temperatures. If you live in an area with high heat, plant the peonies in a slightly shady area so that they don’t dry out in the full sun. Avoid too much shade, as you still want them to get moderate sunlight.

Plant peonies in an area with nutrient-rich, well-drained soil with no other plants or trees growing in the area. Peonies sometimes struggle if they are planted in an area with competing roots.

Before you plant the bulbs/tubers, dig a hole that is about 2-4 inches deep and make it about 1 foot wide. After digging the hole, add some fertilizer to the bottom and the bulb/root.

After the root is placed, cover it with soil and compact it slightly to get rid of any air pockets. Water the area well after planting.

Make sure that the soil is kept moist but not muddy during the spring and summer. A top dressing of homemade compost as mulch can help keep moisture and temperature consistent. You can top the compost with a coarser mulch like a wood-based mulch.

Bowl of Beauty peonies need plenty of room to grow. Plant Bowl of Beauty peonies 30″-36″ inches apart from each other. These plants grow to be quite large and will fill any space left to allow them to grow.

Caring for Bowl of Beauty peonies

Growing the peonies can be very easy in the flower garden, especially if you get them off to a good start. An inch of water per week, whether rainfall or irrigation, can help keep the plant strong. Bowl of Beauty peonies can be fertilized in early spring. They grow best with a nice organic mulch.

The ‘Bowl of Beauty’ flowers can be deadheaded after they bloom to allow the stems to stand upright (the dead flowers tend to become heavy with rain and droop over). A peony ring can help with drooping flowers during blooming, especially in windy and rainy climates. Remove spent flowers, stems, and foliage by cutting down close to the ground in the late fall.

Bowl of beauty peonies

Bloom duration

Bowl of Beauty peonies typically bloom for 7-10 days. Although the blooms do not last for a long time, Bowl of Beauty peonies are beautiful flowers and will add color to any garden for as long as they bloom.

However, you can extend the life of the blooms if you want them to last longer. If you want your Bowl of Beauty peonies to bloom longer, cut the flowers off of the stem before they bloom. After you cut the flowers off, put them in a vase with water. After a few days, they will likely bloom, and you can enjoy your flowers for up to two weeks. Make sure to change the water that the blooms are in regularly to preserve freshness.

Supporting peonies in bloom

Bowl of Beauty peonies often need support to thrive and avoid drooping. The blossoms on the Bowl of Beauty peony can grow to be as wide as the stem is tall, so the stems sometimes have a hard time supporting the heavy blossoms.

If you want to add support to your peonies, place a flower stake underneath where the flower will blossom. You can also use peony rings to help the stem support the weight of the blossom. You can find flower stakes or peony rings at any local garden store, plant nursery, or online.

Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a quintessential Canadian gardener. An engineer by trade, she tends to an ever-expanding collection of plants. In her world, laughter blooms as freely as her flowers, and every plant is raised with a dash of Canadian grit.

Mary Jane is a certified Master Gardener and also holds a Permaculture Design Certificate. She's also a proud mom of three, teaching her little sprouts the crucial difference between a garden friend and foe.

When she's not playing in the dirt, Mary Jane revels in her love for Taylor Swift, Gilmore Girls, ice hockey, and the surprisingly soothing sounds of bluegrass covers of classic hip-hop songs. She invites you to join her garden party, a place where you can share in the joy of growing and where every day is a new opportunity to find the perfect spot for yet another plant.

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