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How to make peonies last longer

19th April, 2021

Peonies. We just can't get enough of them. They’re somehow dreamy and dramatic at the same time. These illustrious stems have only a short vase life - typically around 5 days - so you'll want to know how to look after yours to get the best from them. That's where this handy guide comes in. Read on for peony care tips and some helpful hints from our brilliant florists.

Peony care tips


Find them a nice clean vase

Choose a vase that’s sparkling clean and fill it about two thirds full with fresh water.

Add flower food

Never, ever throw that sachet of flower food that comes with your flowers away – it’s packed full of good stuff to keep your blooms going. Just open the sachet, sprinkle the flower food into the water and stir until it disappears.

Unwrap them carefully

These beauties are precious, so handle them with care. Recycle any wrapping and take care to leave the florist’s tie in place – this is what holds the bouquet in shape and it’ll save you having to arrange the flowers yourself (an expert florist has already done the hard work!)

"We hand-tie our peonies in bud so you can enjoy the magic of watching them bloom before your eyes. The tightly packed golf ball sized buds will usually open to reveal blooms up to three times the original bud size. Peonies are really impressive flowers!" Jo, The Daisy Chain, Shepperton

Cut the stems

Use a sharp pair of shears or floristry scissors to trim the stems by 3-5cm. Always cut them at an angle. This allows your peonies to get a good drink.

Remove any leaves

Time to trim any leaves that may fall below the waterline. If you don’t, these will sit in the water and invite lots of nasty bacteria which your peonies definitely won’t thank you for!


Pop them in

The stage is set, now for the stars of the show! Pop you peonies in the vase and gently fluff them up a little to make sure they sit right.

"If you can't wait for your peonies to open, you can give them a helping hand. Just gently massage the buds at the neck of the stem and pop them in a sunny spot and you'll find they open up quicker. Strange but true!" Steph, Pickerings Florist, Barnsley

Find them the best spot

It’s all about location, location, location! To help your peonies last longer you need to put them in a good spot. You’re after somewhere with no direct sunlight and no drafts (they really hate a breeze!). A hall, coffee or bedside table is just right.

Keep an eye on them day-to-day

Peonies are thirsty flowers so make sure you top up the water daily. Change the water completely every other day and keep trimming the stems to help them drink. There’s no need to deadhead peonies (where you remove the dead flowers), and luckily for the not-so-green-fingered peony pruning is reserved for gardeners, you don’t need to do it with cut flowers.

Want to send a vaseful of peonies to someone special or treat yourself to this season's must have flower?