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Sorbet peonies are absolutely beautiful flowers! Their gentle petals are a soft pink color, and the vivid pink color of their outer layer of petals changes depending on the stage of their life; all of their petals range from shades of pink, and at some points reach an almost purple color. The outer layer of petals is splayed out, showcasing the magnificent center display.
Sorbet peonies are part of the Paeonia genus and the Paeoniceae family. It's a perennial and is considered herbaceous because of the large shrub it produces. The peony is named after Paeon, who was the student of Asclepius, the Greek god of medicine. Paeon was turned into a peony by Zeus to save him from Asclepius, who was jealous of him. Its scientific name is Paeonia lactiflora 'Sorbet.'
The Sorbet peony is a type of Chinese peony, which is native to Siberia and Mongolia. The Sorbet peony was discovered in the 1980s in a South Korean orchard by a Dutch horticulturalist, which is an expert in or a student of garden cultivation and management. After its initial discovery, the Sorbet was brought back for commercial production because of its lovely fragrance and beautiful appearance.
Growing Sorbet Peonies
Sorbet peonies are flowers that are visually appealing, and their strong scent is meant to be unappealing to wild animals, like deer and rabbits. Though they're incredible to look at, it’s important to be aware of and understand the needs of the Sorbet peonies before deciding to plant them to a garden.
Sorbet peonies look amazing outside and they grow out of attractive dark green foliage with smooth edges on its leaves. They can reach between 32 and 36 inches in height, and the entire plant can spread out between 24 and 36 inches. They bloom for approximately 7-10 days, usually in early June, and you can plant other flowers with staggered bloom times to extend your peonies season to up to 6 weeks.
Sorbet peonies have long and delicate stems, so it’s good to have them planted in an area where they are sheltered from strong winds and other extreme weather. When in full bloom, the peony may droop a bit because of its large size, so having a stake or trellis for support would be helpful.
Growing Zones and Weather
The foliage of the Sorbet peonies die down in the fall, and the roots remain dormant in the earth. They can be grown in zones 3-8, and grow best in partial to full sun. Sorbet peonies can also tolerate part shade if necessary, but it can possibly affect some of their blooms. These flowers will bloom between late spring and early summer.
Sorbet peonies can grow in almost any soil that is rich, moist and fertile with plenty of nutrients. Sorbet peonies need to be in an area where there is great water drainage and they can tolerate small levels of acid and alkaline.
Sorbet peonies need to be regularly watered, preferably when the top 3 inches of the soil is dry. If you live in a warmer climate, you may have to check the soil for dryness frequently.
Growing Sorbet peonies is a waiting game, as they can take up to 2 years for their first bloom. However, they can live for more than 50 years, so they are well worth the wait!
Step By Step Planting Guide
Sorbet peonies are great plants for fence and sidewalk borders, as they make any area very picturesque. When planting the Sorbet peonies, be sure to choose your location carefully. Not only do the flowers not respond well to transplanting, but they need to be in an area where they won’t have to compete for water and nutrients with other trees and shrubs.
Bare Root Sorbet Peonies
- Dig a hole in the ground 10 inches deep and the same length across. Their roots require a lot of room to grow.
- Add in fertilizer of your choice.
- Mound soil up in the center of the hole so that it’s only about 2 or 3 inches deep. Set the root clump on top so that the eyes face upward.
- Fill the rest of the hole and lightly pack down the soil. Water by sprinkling the area, careful not to flood.
Potted Sorbet Peonies
- Prepare a large hole with a fertilizer of your choice.
- Remove the peony from the pot and slightly loosen the root ball. In the hole, set it at the same height it was in the pot.
- Fill the rest of the hole and lightly pack down the soil. Thoroughly water the planting site.
Sorbet Peony Gallery
Too Much Sun!
This Sorbet Peony's petals are beginning to shrivel, even though it doesn't appear to be at the end of its life cycle. It may possibly be receiving too much sunlight or be in too harsh of a growing zone.
The shrub around the Sorbet peony is a dark and healthy green, and when fall comes it'll shrivel up and be dormant.
The outer petals of the Sorbet peony are much longer and larger than the inner petals.
This Sorbet peony features small water droplets on its outer petals. Too much water can cause the peony to droop and hang.
This Sorbet peony is in a green sea of white flowers, with another Sorbet peony off in the distance.
Sorbet peonies go through different shades of pink, some times reaching shades close to purple and shades that are almost orange.
When reaching the final stages of their life cycle, the Sorbet peony's petals begin to fade in color and can turn yellow.
The colors of Sorbet peonies are very beautiful, and they go great in bouquets for any occasion.
Buds and Blooms
An image of buds as they are starting to bloom, early in their life cycle.
End of Days
This grouping of Sorbet peonies look to be at the end of their cycle, as their colors are fading, and peonies grouped this close together are at risk for gray mold because of a lack of airflow.
This Sorbet peony looks to be in a great place with plenty of sunlight, shaded only with the shadow of the photographer.
Companion plants are plants that grow well and look great together, and these Sorbet peonies look amazing mixed in with the other flowers.
First To Go
When a Sorbet peony is in its last stages, the outer petals are the first ones to fade and droop.
This small Sorbet peony stands as a delicate decoration on a book.
Roots and Seeds
Sorbet peonies can be planted as seeds or as roots, online and in-store.
The colors on the Sorbet peony can be really bright and colorful and can reach shades of pink that are closer to purple.
Buying Sorbet Peonies
If you're thinking of planting Sorbet peonies, Amazon has great quality options for seeds and roots.
Sorbet Peony Root
This Sorbet peony root is great for planting in the fall so that the peony's roots have time to establish and settle. They bloom in late spring or early summer and need to be planted only 2 inches between the earth's surface. You can find the root for the Sorbet peony here.
Sorbet Peony Seeds
This pack of Sorbet peony seeds comes with 5 seeds in total, and the end result produces beautiful blooms. Plant these seeds in early fall to allow the roots more time to grow and settle, and know that Sorbet peonies can take up to two years to bloom. These Sorbet peony seeds can be found here.