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Drying peonies is a wonderful way to preserve their beauty for long-lasting enjoyment. You can transform fresh bloom into lovely dried flowers that are perfect for crafts, decor, and more.

I am lucky enough to have an abundance of these blooms at my home every summer, and I have loved to dry these big beauties for years. We even used these beautiful dried flowers at our wedding years ago as the feature above the head table. They looked like a chandelier of flowers cascading down from above. Simply beautiful.

I also have an amazing post on how to preserve fresh peonies to use later in the year and one on how to arrange peonies for a bouquet!

Colorful peonies that have been gathered, tied and then hung to dry.

Why Dry Peonies

There are so many reasons why you might want to preserve these beautiful peony flowers:

  • Long-Lasting Decor: Unlike fresh flowers that wilt quickly, dried peonies keep their beauty for an extended period, allowing you to enjoy them throughout the season or year.
  • Preserve Memories: Drying peonies allows you to preserve the beauty of a special bouquet or garden blooms and can even serve as a keepsake. (Like our wedding)
  • Crafting and DIY Projects: You can use them to make wreaths, floral arrangements, potpourri, or other creative crafts.
  • Seasonality: Peonies are seasonal flowers, and drying them enables you to enjoy their beauty beyond their blooming season.

Best Time To Dry Peonies

The best time to dry peonies is when they are at their peak bloom, but the petals are still firm and haven’t started to wilt or drop. Understanding the best time to dry them will ensure that your dried flowers keep the desired shape and look beautiful for longer.
Here are a few tips for harvesting the peonies at the best time to dry them.

  1. Optimal Bloom Stage: Cut the peonies at their peak bloom before the petals droop or fall off. This stage ensures that the flowers retain their shape and color when dried.
  2. Harvest in the Morning: The best time to harvest peonies for drying is in the morning after the dew has evaporated. This helps preserve their freshness and reduces the risk of molding during the drying process.
  3. Avoid Rainy or Humid Days: Avoid harvesting peonies on rainy or excessively humid days, as moisture can interfere with drying and lead to mold. If you harvest when the flowers are wet, let them dry completely before you begin drying.
Pink peonies in a garden that are ready to be harvested to dry.

How To Dry Peony’s

The most common method is to air dry them. It is a wonderful way to preserve their beauty, form, and shape. Here are the simple steps you can use to do it:

Air Drying :

  1. Choose the Right Stage: Harvest peonies when they are fully open but the petals are still firm and not yet falling off.
  2. Bundle with Twine: Gather several peony stems and tie them into a bundle using twine or string. Make sure the bundle is secure, remove any excess foliage, and tie several stems together with twine.
  3. Hang to Dry: Find a suitable location that is well-ventilated with good airflow, away from direct sunlight, and hang the bundle upside down on a hook or hanger. Allow the peonies to air dry naturally for 1-2 weeks until the petals feel dry and crisp to the touch.
Beautiful bundle of peonies that have been hung above a desk to be dried.
  1. Avoid Water: Instead of placing the peony bundle in water, immediately hang it to dry. This helps preserve the shape of the flowers and leaves.
  2. Enjoy as Decor: Once dried, the peonies retain their beauty and can be used as lovely decor throughout the summer. The dried flowers and leaves make for charming arrangements.

Other Drying Methods To Use

A few other methods can be used to dry these flowers for crafts, decor, or keepsakes. Experiment with different techniques to find the one that works best for your project!

Silica Gel Drying Method:

  • Purchase silica gel, a desiccant used for drying flowers.
  • Trim peony stems to the desired length and remove leaves.
  • Place the peonies in a container filled with silica gel, ensuring flowers are completely covered.
  • Seal the container and leave in the silica gel for 3-5 days until fully dried.
  • Carefully remove peonies from the gel and gently brush off any remaining silica.

Pressing Method:

  • Choose smaller peony blooms for pressing.
  • Trim peony stems to the desired length and remove leaves.
  • Place peonies between sheets of absorbent paper, such as blotting paper or newspaper.
  • Stack heavy books or use a flower press to apply pressure on top.
  • Leave peonies pressed for 1-2 weeks, changing the paper every few days to absorb moisture.
  • Once dried, carefully remove pressed flowers from the paper.

Deb’s Tips

Generally, well-dried peonies can last several months to a few years as decorative elements. Over time, they may naturally fade or become more brittle, but when cared for properly, they can still retain their charm and beauty for a significant period.

  • Some peony varieties may naturally hold up better when dried than others. I have found that white peonies dry to an ivory or yellow tone, and I don’t love the look, so I generally stick to pink or red peonies to dry. The best option is to experiment with different types to find ones that dry well and maintain their appearance.
  • Gentle handling during the drying process and when arranging or displaying dried peonies can help maintain their integrity.
  • Ensure the flowers are fully dried before storing them to prevent mold or decay.
  • Store dried peonies in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. Excessive heat and light can cause the flowers to fade and deteriorate more quickly.
  • If peonies are dried thoroughly and without any moisture remaining, they can retain their shape, color, and texture for several months to a few years.
Deb from B Vintage Style harvesting peonies in a garden.

Ways to Use Dried Peonies

There are so many ways to use beautiful dried peonies. In fact, these dried blooms can look very similar to dried roses, especially the pink and red variations. Use your imagination and explore different ways to use the beauty of these preserved flowers! Here are just a few ideas to inspire you.

A large bouquet of peonies that have been displayed on a kitchen island.
  1. Home Decor: Arrange dried peonies in a vase or create floral wreaths and garlands for beautiful, long-lasting home decor. I love to hang mine from hooks and leave them like that; they look simple and timeless.
  2. Craft Projects: Dried peonies can be used for various craft projects, like pressed flower art, greeting cards, or floral bookmarks.
  3. Wedding Decor: Incorporate dried peonies into wedding decor for a rustic or vintage theme. They can be used as centerpieces, bouquets, or as table decorations.
  4. Gift Wrapping: Attach dried peonies to gift packages or use them to embellish gift tags for a personalized touch. When I had my retail shop, I used to add a beautiful dried peony to the bag of every product I sold.
  5. Potpourri: Combine dried peonies with other dried flowers, herbs, and essential oils to create a fragrant potpourri for a natural air freshener.
  6. Hair Accessories: Attach hair clips or headbands with dried peonies for a unique and whimsical accessory. These can even be made as flower crowns for special events.
  7. Wreath Making: Incorporate dried peonies into wreaths for different seasons or occasions, adding a touch of elegance to your front door or interior walls.
  8. Photography Props: Use dried peonies as props for photography sessions, adding a romantic and vintage vibe to portraits.


Can you dry peony buds?

Absolutely! However, they may take longer to dry as they retain moisture longer than the full blooms.

What to do with dried peonies?

There are so many ways to use these beautiful blooms. Hang them on a hook in your home for a stunning focal point or use them to create floral arrangements or wreaths for home decor. They also make lovely additions to crafts like handmade cards, potpourri, or other DIY projects.

More Fresh Flower Care

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