by:

Deborah Lynn

Published:

June 9, 2020

Modified:

June 6, 2022

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Preserving Peonies 

Peonies are so beautiful and usually once you start growing them you have bundles of blooms. The hard part is that you have a narrow window to cut peonies and bring them indoors! What if I told you, you could make peony flowers last for MONTHS!! Yes months! Using this technique of preserving peonies, you will be able to have fresh peonies right into the fall months! Just follow these EXACT instructions, and you too can have peonies almost all year long!

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peonies in an antique dough bowl in front of a blue cabinet

What to do with peonies after they bloom?

Peony flowers are beautiful flowers to cut and place in a vase indoors. You can also use the method below to preserve them or try hang drying them to enjoy as decor! 

Do you love fresh cut flowers in your home? Take a look at these 12 homemade fresh flower foods that are good for any type of fresh cut flowers in your house. 

How to Preserve Fresh Peonies

Tools & Supplies

  • Fresh Peonies
  • Sharp gardening shears or scissors
  • Roll of plastic wrap
  • Sealable plastic bag or Ziplock bag

Shop a few of my favourite gardening tools

Gathering Your Peonies

  • Cut the peony flowers at the optimal time! For this technique to work, you cannot use just any peony. The optimal peony for this technique is a bloom that is still mostly closed, but not tightly closed! When you feel the peony it should feel like a marshmallow.
  • Trim the peony with approximately 16” of stem below the flower. DO NOT PUT THE PEONY IN WATER … immediately do these steps! If you don’t have time to do this, only put the stem tips in the water so that the stem doesn’t get wet.
  • Using a sharp pair of garden shears or a floral knife, give the peony a good clean cut. You also need to remove all the leaves and make sure the peony is clean of dirt and bugs (specifically ants).
  • peony flowers farmhouse sink antique belgian bottles

    If a large part of the stem is wet or if there is dirt, it promotes mold growing.

  • Layout plastic wrap on a flat surface. For a 16" peony, you will want approx 20" of plastic wrap.
  • Place the cleaned-up peonies on the plastic wrap. You can place the peonies individually or have a few going in opposite directions on the plastic wrap.
  • Roll the peonies up in the plastic wrap. You want to wrap them so that the stem tips and the blooms are fully covered and the flower is completely sealed.
  • Place the wrapped-up peonies into a resealable bag. Remove as much of the air from the bag as possible.
  • Place the bag of peony flowers in the fridge and lay them horizontal. The hard part is that this can take up a lot of room in your fridge.
  • peonies in a french trug in agarden

    Shop beautiful container to hold your peony bouquets in. 

    Reviving the Peonies

  • When you are ready to enjoy or use the peonies allow 2 days to revive the blooms. Begin by removing the peonies from the fridge.
  • Give the peony a nice clean trim approximately 2” off the bottom.
  • Place the peony in a clean vase with lukewarm water. It will take the peony approximately 2 days to warm up and start to open. The peony was closed when you cut it, so it may take a few days to open up.
  • The next day, change the water again and give the peonies some flower food if you would like.
  • Enjoy your peonies months later!

    Peony Preserving Tips

    If you were planning to use the peonies for a specific purpose, be aware that it will take the peonies a few days to open up after pulling them out of the fridge.

    Peonies usually bloom in mid-June in Alberta, Canada. I have been able to use this technique and revive peonies in late September.

    Please note to be sure the peonies are clean and free of bugs or some of the peonies became moldy.

    If you need peonies for a specific reason, i.e a wedding, then it is recommended that you wrap up extras! The longer you need to keep them in the fridge, the odds are that more will become brown or moldy before you use them.

    Deb B Vintage Style
    Main Types of Peonies

    There are 4 main colors of peonies … white, light pink, red and dark pink. I find that the light pink and dark pink peonies are preserved better. The lighter colored flowers, like the pink peony or the white peony flower, tend to brown on the edges over time in the fridge. Darker-toned peonies, like the red peony and dark pink peony flowers, are much less noticeable if there is any browning.  

    Another issue to watch for is that if the peonies are too tightly closed and the buds are hard, they are much less likely to open after being preserved. Therefore, it is crucial to snip the peony blooms when the petals are still closed but they are soft when you squeeze them.

    Looking for more tips on how to care for peonies? Check out this post by Flower Power Daily all about How to Grow and Care for Peonies

    Hang Drying Peonies

    Do you also love lilacs? Make sure to check out this complete care guide for lilac blossoms.

    How to Dry Peony Flowers

    Looking for another fun preserving idea for peonies? Here are the steps on how you would dry peonies:

    1. When the peonies are near their maximum of opening but the petals aren'y yet falling off, cut them with a sharp paring knife.
    2. Using twine or string, tie a bundle together
    3. Hang them on a hook to dry. 

    I love to snip a big bundle and immediately hang them to dry rather than putting them in water. They look so pretty hanging and will last as pretty decor all summer long! Also, if you immediately hang them the peony leaves will preserve as well!

    I hope you enjoyed these tips all about preserving peonies! Let me know if you try this technique at home and how it works for you! Leave me a message in the comments below and if you love it, please spread the word and share this post on your Pinterest or social channels! Happy Gardening! 

    Yield: 1 Peony

    How to Preserve Peonies

    preserving peonies pinterest

    Using this technique, you will be able to preserve cut peonies! Follow this step-by-step tutorial and you will have fresh peonies right into the fall months!

    Prep Time 5 minutes
    Active Time 5 minutes
    Total Time 5 minutes

    Materials

    • Peonies, any color will work!
    • Plastic Wrap
    • Sealable or Ziplock Bag

    Tools

    • Sharp garden shears or floral scissors

    Instructions

      1. Cut the peony flowers at the optimal time! For this technique to work, you cannot use just any peony. The optimal peony for this technique is a bloom that is still mostly closed, but not tightly closed! When you feel the peony it should feel like a marshmallow.
      2. Trim the peony with approximately 16” of stem below the flower. DO NOT PUT THE PEONY IN WATER … immediately do these steps! If you don’t have time to do this, only put the stem tips in the water so that the stem doesn’t get wet.
      3. Using a sharp pair of garden shears or a floral knife, give the peony a good clean cut. You also need to remove all the leaves and make sure the peony is clean of dirt and bugs (specifically ants).
      4. Layout plastic wrap on a flat surface. For a 16" peony, you will want approx 20" of plastic wrap.
      5. Place the cleaned-up peonies on the plastic wrap. You can place the peonies individually or have a few going in opposite directions on the plastic wrap.
      6. Roll the peonies up in the plastic wrap. You want to wrap them so that the stem tips and the blooms are fully covered and the flower is completely sealed.
      7. Place the wrapped-up peonies into a resealable bag. Remove as much of the air from the bag as possible.
      8. Place the bag of peony flowers in the fridge and lay them horizontal. The hard part is that this can take up a lot of room in your fridge.
      9. When you are ready to enjoy or use the peonies allow 2 days to revive the blooms. Begin by removing the peonies from the fridge.
      10. Give the peony a nice clean trim approximately 2” off the bottom.
      11. Place the peony in a clean vase with lukewarm water. It will take the peony approximately 2 days to warm up and start to open. The peony was closed when you cut it, so it may take a few days to open up.
      12. The next day, change the water again and give the peonies some flower food if you would like.

    Notes

    If you were planning to use the peonies for a specific purpose, be aware that it will take the peonies a few days to open up after pulling them out of the fridge.

    Peonies usually bloom in mid-June in Alberta, Canada. I have been able to use this technique and revive peonies in late September.

    Please note to be sure the peonies are clean and free of bugs or some of the peonies became moldy.

    If you need peonies for a specific reason, i.e a wedding, then it is recommended that you wrap up extras! The longer you need to keep them in the fridge, the odds are that more will become brown or moldy before you use them.

    There are 4 main colors of peonies … white, light pink, red and dark pink. I find that the light pink and dark pink peonies are preserved better. The lighter colored flowers, like the pink peony or the white peony flower, tend to brown on the edges over time in the fridge. Darker-toned peonies, like the red peony and dark pink peony flowers, are much less noticeable if there is any browning.  

    Another issue to watch for is that if the peonies are too tightly closed and the buds are hard, they are much less likely to open after being preserved. Therefore, it is crucial to snip the peony blooms when the petals are still closed but they are soft when you squeeze them.

    Pin for later

    preserving peonies pinterest
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