How to make cut peonies last longer in a vase

light pink cut Peonies in a tall Vase

Learn how to keep cut peonies thriving for as long as possible. Follow our expert tips on how to make peony blossoms last up to a month – it’s easy!

Peonies, with their lush petals and intoxicating fragrance, are a quintessential favourite among flower enthusiasts. Whether adorning a bridal bouquet or brightening up your living room, these delicate blooms can bring joy and elegance to any space. 

However, their beauty can be short-lived if not properly cared for once cut. Fear not, for with a few simple tips from the experts at Westmount Florist, you can extend the lifespan of cut peonies and enjoy their splendor longer. 

Dive into the art of peony care with these expert tips.


1. Understand the peony blooming lifecycle

Knowing when you can expect your peonies to start blooming – and how long these blooms should last – makes it easier to appreciate the fleeting beauty of these late-spring/early-summer flowers. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind when ordering cut peonies from Westmount Florist.

  • When peonies arrive from wholesalers, the buds are still tightly closed like golf balls. Depending on the weather and environment, they can take 4 to 6 days to bloom fully from this point – except for yellow peonies. which bloom faster in just 3 days. 
  • Peonies blooms don’t all open together at the same time – one of Mother Nature’s lovely quirks! 
  • Once fully open, peony blooms will last 2 to 3 days.
  • At Westmount Florist, we typically use peonies in the slightly opened marshmallow stage for our peony arrangements so that customers can watch their peonies blossom, without having to wait too long. Marshmallow buds take 24 hours on average to open; from that point, the peony can last another 5 days.
  • We always use fully open peonies for bridal or presentation bouquets to guarantee maximum impact on the big day.
Here's a helpful visual on the three different types of peony blooms we keep in our stores:
    picture of golf ball size peony bud
    marshmallow size peony bud
    Opened peony bloom
     Tightly closed "golf ball"
     Slightly open "marshmallow"
     Open Peony bloom

     2. Use the right vase for cut peonies

    Choose a vase that’s big enough to allow the blooms to spread out once fully open. The vase should be tall enough to support the heavy blooms. Make sure it’s perfectly clean and free of detergent residue before adding peonies.

    Expert peony care tip #1

    Use glass or ceramic vases; they won’t interfere with the hydration process. Never use containers made of metal or reactive materials; they can alter the water’s pH and shorten the lifespan of cut peonies.

    Looking for the best vase for your cut peonies?

    Westmount Florist offers a lovely selection of glass or ceramic vases. Our experts are also here to advise you.

    3. Use the right amount of water for peonies in a vase 

    Fill the vase to about two-thirds full with fresh lukewarm water. 

     Expert peony care tip #2

    Lukewarm water means between 98ºF and 105ºF. It should feel just a teeny bit warm on the inside of your wrist.

    4. Add flower food to cut peonies

    Before adding cut peonies to a vase, sprinkle the sachet of flower food that comes with your Westmount Florist peonies in the water. Stir until fully dissolved. 

    Expert peony care tip #3

    The peony flower food we use at Westmount Florist helps the flower bloom faster. Are you Peonies still not blooming fast enough for your liking? Gently massage the buds at the neck of the stem and place them in a sunny spot. They’ll open up quicker.

    5. Unwrap cut peonies carefully

    Peonies are beautiful but fragile so unwrap the flowers with care. When you order a peony bouquet from Westmount Florist, our experts carefully tie the bouquet with our brown bond wire. Keep this tie in place; it will keep your bouquet in the perfect shape.

    Order cut peonies with same-day delivery

    Westmount Florist offers reliable same-day delivery to the greater Montreal region and beyond. Order online.

    6. Trim the stems of cut peonies

    Trim the stems by 3 to 5 cm at an angle. Use the sharpest scissors you have; floristry scissors or a sharp pair of shears are ideal. Cutting peony stems at an angle gives the stem a larger surface area to drink up water, which will help keep your peonies hydrated and radiant.

    Need flower care accessories?

    At Westmount Florist, we sell high-quality flower care accessories and tools – including floristry scissors. Find your nearest Westmount Florist store.

    7. Remove excess leaves from cut peonies and place peonies in the vase

    Gently remove any leaves that will sit below the waterline in the vase. Leaves will decay when submerged in water and cause bacteria to grow, shortening the lifespan of cut peonies. 

    Expert peony care tip #4

    Removing excess foliage also minimizes debris in the water, which means healthier peonies.

    8. Find the best spot for cut peonies in a vase

    Peonies prefer cool temperatures away from direct sunlight and heat. They especially dislike drafts and breezes; hallways, bedside tables, and coffee tables are usually good spots for displaying cut peonies in a vase.

    Expert peony care tip #5

    You can keep cut peonies fresh longer by storing them in the fridge overnight. Just keep them away from fruits. As they ripen, fruits emit ethylene gas, which can cause peonies to wilt prematurely. 

    9. Check cut peonies everyday

    Cut peonies need a lot of water so top up the vase with fresh lukewarm water daily.

    Love peonies but want a longer-lasting flower arrangement?

    At Westmount Florist, we sell seasonal flower arrangements blending shorter and long-lived blooms for any taste, budget, and decor. Browse our spring and summer collections.

    10. Change peony vase water regularly

    Completely change the water in the vase every day or every other day to protect your cut peonies from bacteria and keep the blossoms fresh. The frequency of water changes depends on the temperature and humidity of your environment. hot & dry = daily changes, cool & humid = every two days

    Received flowers from Westmount Florist as a gift, but aren’t sure how to best care for them?

    Our florists are always happy to help. Call us or visit your nearest Westmount Florist store.

    Expert peony care tip #6

    Each time you refill the vase, retrim the stems at an angle. This will allow the stems to continue absorbing water effectively.

    11. Revive drooping peony blooms

    When properly cared for, cut peonies from Westmount Florist should last up to a week or more, depending on your environment. If your cut peonies start to wilt prematurely, submerge the entire stem in lukewarm water for 30 minutes to 1 hour to rehydrate the blossoms.

    Expert peony care tip #7

    If submerging drooping peonies in water doesn’t revive them, try retrimming the stems at a sharper angle to help them drink up more water. Then place the flowers in fresh water to encourage better water uptake.

    Good to know!

    There’s no need to deadhead peonies (ie. remove the dead flowers) – whether they’re cut peonies from Westmount Florist or growing in your garden.

    How to Cut Peonies from the Garden

    Want to bring your lovely garden peonies into your home to enjoy? Here are our expert tips for cutting garden peonies.

    1. Choose the right time to cut garden peonies

    Wait until the buds show color and are slightly soft to the touch (ie marshmallow stage) before cutting. If you cut peonies too early when the buds are still tight, the blooms may not open fully.

    The best time of day to cut peonies from your garden is in the early morning, preferably right after the dew has dried. At this time, the peonies are typically well-hydrated from the overnight moisture, and the temperatures are cooler, which helps the flowers retain moisture and freshness after cutting. 

    Additionally, cutting them in the morning ensures that you're harvesting them when they're at their peak freshness and fragrance. 

    2. Cut garden peonies at an angle

    To harvest live peonies, use sharp, clean shears and cut the stem on a diagonal. This increases the stem’s surface area for absorbing water – the cut peonies will be better hydrated and the blooms will last longer.

    3. Put cut peonies immediately in water

    Bring a bucket of lukewarm water with you to the garden and plunk the peonies in there as soon as you cut them. Then take the bucket to a cool, dark place and leave the peonies to hydrate for a few hours before arranging them in a vase. This will minimize any moisture lost during harvesting.


    If you want to learn more about the origin and meaning of Peonies, check out our Flower Reference Guide. 

    Dreaming of a beautiful Peony bouquet for yourself or someone you love?

    Give us a call at our Westmount or Pointe-Claire location to arrange same-day delivery. 

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