Bowl of Beauty peony

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The Bowl of Beauty is one of the most sought-after varieties to grow in the garden. And it’s not hard to see why!

Bowl of Beauty peony is a pink and cream bicolor peony variety with Anemone-type, huge flowers. This popular variety has a 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. The Bowl of Beauty peony was bred in the Netherlands by Aart Hoogendoorn in 1949. Bowl of Beauty is a cultivar of Paeonia lactiflora.

Now that you know a little bit about Bowl of Beauty peonies, you may be wondering what they look like and if they need support after they bloom. Keep reading to find out more tips on how to care for this beautiful plant.

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Bowl of beauty peonies with hot pink petals and frilly yellow centers

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 petaloid. Mr. Hoogendoorn also introduced the gorgeous white peonies Blush Queen Peony and White Wings Peony. 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 established Bowl of Beauty peony grows to be 32-36 inches wide when mature.

Bowl of beauty peony

Which type of peonies are Bowl of Beauty peonies?

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

Peony blooms come in six main flower types: Single, Anemone, Japanese, Semi-Double, Bombe, and Full Double. 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.

A peony plant can come in three main types: tree peony, herbaceous peony, and intersectional peony. Bowl of Beauty peonies are herbaceous peonies, so they’re perennials with foliage that will die in late fall. Even though foliage dies back, the roots remain alive while dormant in the earth and will sprout new stems in early spring.

Bowl of beauty peony plant

How do you plant a Bowl of Beauty peony?

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 that does not have any 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, dig a hole that is about 2-4 inches deep, and make it about 1 foot wide. After you dig the hole, add some fertilizer to the bottom of it and add the bulb/root.

After the root is placed, cover it with dirt and compact it slightly to get rid of any air pockets. After the soil is back in place, water the area and peony buds. Make sure that the soil is kept moist, but not wet. A top dressing of homemade compost as mulch can help keep moisture and temperature consistent.

How far apart do I plant Bowl of Beauty peonies?

Bowl of Beauty peonies need plenty of room to grow. Plant Bowl of Beauty peonies 30″-36″ inches apart from each other. Don’t worry, you will not have a lot of empty dirt when the peonies bloom. Bowl of Beauty peonies grow to be quite large and will fill any space left to allow them to grow.

How to grow 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 (read more about fertilizing peonies). 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 can by cutting down close to the ground in the late fall (read more about when to cut back peonies).

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When do Bowl of Beauty peonies bloom?

Bowl of Beauty peonies bloom in the late spring or early summer, depending on the temperatures in the area and when it was originally planted. Bowl of Beauty peony plants are one of the early blooming varieties of peony.

Bowl of beauty peonies

How long do Bowl of Beauty peonies bloom?

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.

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Do Bowl of Beauty peonies need support?

Bowl of Beauty peonies often does 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.

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Mary Jane Duford
Mary Jane Duford

Mary Jane Duford is a Master Gardener and founder of the gardening website Home for the Harvest. She has been featured by Better Homes & Gardens, Real Simple, Good Housekeeping, Mother Earth News, and the National Garden Bureau. Mary Jane lives with her family in the Okanagan Valley.