Formerly pink now white peonies

The peonies are finally starting to bloom. They seem to be a little bit late this year. When I was growing up in Southwest Nebraska the peonies almost always opened on or within a couple days of Memorial Day. They were out traditional flower to decorate grades at the cemetery. We’re a little farther North in Madison and a little bit later in the year. Anyway, while they last, which often isn’t too long because of rain and wind this time of year, the peonies are gorgeous.

A few years ago a friend gave us some peony plants. The first time they bloomed they were the usual pink. Over time though they’ve gradually turned white with just a tinge of pink on the largest, outside petals and a little red vein in the very center. Any ideas what’s going on here with the peonies at Ladybird Lane? Is it something in the soil? I planted a hydrangea a few years ago and when we bought it it was this reddish rusty color. Very nice. Now it’s the usual white hydrangea. It’s just starting to bud so I’ll have some photos in a couple of weeks I suppose.


4 Responses to Formerly pink now white peonies

  1. Were they pink when they opened and faded or did they open white? Must be the amount of sun or warmth – seemingly cooler temperatures can lead to washed out colours

    • Mike says:

      These just opened today and have just the lightest tinge of pink on the outside petals. It’s so light you can barely see it in the photos. I would say their are white peonies except when we first planted them they bloomed pink. Last year there were some pink and some white and this year all white with just this light pink in the outer petals. It’s something I didn’t realize could happen with peonies.

  2. I used to have over 70 varieties of peonies on the property I sold a couple of years ago. There are many kinds that will open one colour and softly fade to another lighter colour with age. I had one that was a deep blood red when it first opened and then changed to a maroon shade later on.
    But there were many that opened pink and faded to white.

    My lilacs do the same. One that I have opens up a lovely soft pink and then a couple of days later, they are pure white.

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the soil, it’s just the nature of the plant.

    Now I’m talking about fading during the same season. If you mean that over the years (not days), that they’ve gone from pink to white, then perhaps there is something in the soil (or something lacking in the soil) that’s causing that.

    • Mike says:

      Thanks for the info, Donna. I was talking about your later point, that over the years these peonies have gone from pink to white. It’s strange. I’m not much of a serious gardener. I just like to put things in the ground and see what happens. My gardening looks more like messing around :-) So I usually don’t think about amending the soil with anything. Maybe I should try see what might be lacking in the soil that causes flowers to change color.

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