Try Roses Instead of Peonies

10 roses that will hold you down until the next peony season

By: THURSD. | 07-04-2024 | 6 min read

Roses Instead of Peonies

We all love the lush elegance of peonies but unfortunately, these beauties are known as a spring flower and can become very scarce during the fall and winter season. On top of that, at this time of the year, you'll likely have to reach deep down into your wallet to get those peonies over the counter. But there's no need to panic. Luckily, there are some great substitutes that will look just as enchanting in your arrangement or bouquet: roses!

The Iconic Powder-Puff Petals

And not just any roses. Today we are exploring a couple of top-notch varieties of garden roses or 'cabbage' roses that can pose as excellent peony look-a-likes and will still add the feminine and romantic touch that peonies always do. These types of roses are not only year-round available in an abundance of white, pink, and pastel hues, they also have almost identical petals that mirror the peony's iconic 'powder-puff' petal. The likeness is especially evident in these roses when they are in bloom.


Try Roses Instead of Peonies Yves Piaget roses
Yves Piaget roses from Parfum Flower Company

A Scoop of Strawberry Ice Cream

If you want to try roses instead of peonies this season, one of your must-haves is the Yves Piaget rose. This French-bred variety - the diva of the Piaget family - is once seen, never forgotten. It has a gloriously strong scent with a hint of sunny citrus and an average of 80 layers of petals per bloom. With its bright to light pink colors that swirl around the rose, it looks just like an enormous scoop of strawberry ice cream, making it hard to resist.



As mentioned before, this variety was bred in France and introduced in 1985. The large-flowered Yves Piaget rose is also sometimes known as 'Queen Adelaide' and is an award-winner for its sweet scent and large, full-petaled pink blossoms reminiscent of the old garden roses grown during English Queen Adelaide's reign in the 19th century. Yves Piaget also has several genetic sisters that make great alternatives for peonies, such as the Yves Piaget Ivory and the Yves Piaget Cream rose.

Two Romantic Sisters

The term 'cabbage rose' could have been invented for Romantic Antike. With its extra-large flower heads in muted pink, tending toward salmon pink in the center, this rose could be plucked from an old Dutch Master's painting. Along with a light lavender fragrance, Romantic Antike offers high impact, high value, and a wealth of romantic associations.


Try Roses Instead of Peonies Romantic Antike roses by FlirtyFleurs
Romantic Antike roses by Flirty Fleurs

“Caramel and cream” beautifully describes the distinctive color of this large, impressive, high-fashion flower, which has lighter tones near the edges and darker tones in the center. Caramel Antike also happens to be Romantic Antike's genetic sister. This rose retains a spherical shape as it opens just wide enough to reveal a multitude of overlapping petals. And don't forget about the lovely, light fragrance that adds to the charm of Caramel Antike roses.


The Pink Peony Rose

If you're desiring an alternative that gives the same full, fluffy look to your arrangement but you don't want to compromise, then this rose called Peony Pink should be one of your top picks. This elegant rose with its perfect peony-shaped flowers and a delicious fresh myrrh scent will be a seamless substitute. Peony Pink roses have a very light pink color and come close to the popular 'Sarah Bernhardt' peony in look and feel.


Roses Instead of Peonies Peony Pink roses
Bunches of Peony Pink roses that look just like peonies by @preferefleurcz

People may perceive the scent differently, but they mostly agree that peonies' fragrance can be described as a sweet roselike scent or a clean, slightly citrus scent. Which makes it pretty close to the smell of Peony Pink roses that have a strong fresh myrrh scent with notes of lemon and almond. This rose has been around for decades but it took some time to gain popularity because - as with most other garden roses - it has a shorter vase life than commercially grown roses. However, its heavenly smell managed to win the hearts of florists so now Peony Pink can be found in flower shops all around the world.


Try Roses Instead of Peonies Peony Pink rose
Peony Pink rose by Parfum Flower Company

English Garden Roses

When we say English garden say David Austin Juliet. This wildly popular garden rose was the first of David Austin's cut roses and is sometimes known as the '£3 million rose'. Juliet combines the beautiful cupped rosette form of old roses with a very contemporary color, making her a great alternative for peonies. The unusual and sophisticated color of David Austin Juliet was not found in roses of the past and is hard to find among modern roses. A truly unique variety with voluminous petals, that ombré beautifully from soft peach to warm apricot.


Try Roses Instead of Peonies David Austin Juliet rose
David Austin Juliet roses by @davidaustinweddingroses


Although Juliet might be the most obvious pick, there are plenty of other English garden roses to choose from. Take David Austin Constance for instance. A very feminine rose with layers of ballet pink and deeper hues, opening from a cream heart in a billowy ballgown shape. Sometimes it looks just like someone poured a pitcher of cream into a pretty pink cup. Even though each rose can look a little different from the next, they are all equally enchanting.



Just Like a Fresh Peony

Another great option for peony substitutes is Piano roses. The heads of the blooms are generally smaller than those of peonies but with their rounded buds, they look just like fresh peonies. Piano roses come with side shoots that add rhythm and texture to the surface of bouquets and emphasize her origins as a true garden rose and are sold in three different varieties: Piano, Pink Piano, and Bridal Piano.

Roses Instead of Peonies Red Piano roses
Red Piano roses via @coolflowerscz
Roses Instead of Peonies Pink Piano roses
Pink Piano roses via @kates_flowers
Roses Instead of Peonies Bridal Piano roses
Bridal Piano roses via @theflowerhousenorwichflorist

A Little Bit of Magic

Last but definitely not least, is this pretty blush rose with blended tones of pink and peach, from strawberry cream to glowing apricot. Called Princess Charlene of Monaco, this variety is as beautiful as the European princess she was named after. It has a sweet and fruity fragrance and holds well in a fully open form. Perfect for flower arrangements, and bridal bouquets, and it also fits right into the often-requested blush wedding theme. Put this rose in the hands of a floral designer and it becomes magical!


Try Roses Instead of Peonies Princesse Charlene de Monaco rose
Wedding bouquet by @sweetnessbyhm

Although both gorgeous, roses and peonies will never be quite the same. But with heaps of postponed weddings due to Covid-19 and only a very limited amount of peonies available at this time of the year, it won't hurt to broaden your horizons a little bit and keep a few great roses in your back pocket as an alternative.



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