The series “Get Crafty” features handy how-to guides that will help you tap into your passion for crafting and show you how to make all kinds of fun and inventive creations. Craft expert Julie Mulligan will provide a step-by-step tutorial for the creation process.

Peonies are one of the most popular cut flowers.  The only problem is that they are very seasonal and readily available for only a few weeks each spring.  Do you think the limited availability adds to their charm?

Their exquisite beauty and limited availability might lead you to think that they would need special care and handling.  They don’t.  The basic fresh cut flower care steps are all a peony needs to thrive.

Tips for Caring for & Arranging Peonies in a Vase

  1. Have your vase ready before working with the flowers. Fill the container about ½ – ¾ full with warm water and floral food according to packet directions.

TIP: I always have extra packets of floral food at my house because I always have fresh flowers!  When you buy flowers from a florist they will give you packets to use at home – why not ask for a few extra so that you have them on hand too!

  1. Start by removing all the leaves that would be below the water in the vase. Leaves that are submerged will rot, thus creating bacteria that will shorten the peonies vase life.

TIP: Making sure that the vase is extremely clean before arranging and adding a splash of bleach to the water, especially if you don’t have any flower food, will help keep bacteria at bay.

  1. Using a sharp knife or cutting shears, give each peony a fresh cut, on an angle, before placing directly into the prepared vase. How much you cut from the bottom of the stem will depend on the size of the container you will displaying them in.

TIP: Most varieties of peonies have very large blooms with multiple petals and can become top heavy.  Cut the stems so that they are not too tall in the vase, allowing the sides of the vase to help support the stems as the peonies start to open.

  1. Change the water and flower food every three to four days and re-cut the stems at least one inch.

TIP: Peonies are big drinkers!  Check the water level daily as you might need to add fresh water, and always check before re-cutting the stems, too.

When buying fresh cut peonies look for ones that have not yet begun to bloom.  Peonies are cut when they the flower is still in a ball shape.  I recommend buying when they have just started to crack open.  You will get to experience the opening of the bloom and will enjoy a few additional days of the peonies unique charm!

Check Out Some of my Favorite Peony Varieties:

Festiva Maxima

Bartzella Yellow

Coral Charm

Felix Supreme


Julie started her career in the floral industry over 30 years ago in a small, family-owned flower shop. From floral designer to author and lifestyle expert, her insight has been instrumental in developing the brand. Representing the company’s floral lifestyle vision, Julie has shared her talent and passion in numerous television appearances and national magazine features. She is an active fundraiser and longtime friend of IGHL, a group dedicated to facilitating a more independent life for developmentally challenged adults.

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