How to Cut and Preserve Fresh Peonies for Entertaining

This post is about How to Cut and Preserve Fresh Peonies for Entertaining! Freshly cut from the garden, fill a container with room temperature water, and quickly place the peonies in the water. To cut the peonies, make sure and use sharp shears, cutting about 1 inch of the stem diagonally.

How to Cut and Preserve Fresh Peonies for Entertaining

Peony season is here and I can’t be any happier. I think they are my favorite springtime flower. They are just so … stunning! They’re great for spring and summer entertaining!

Summer How to Cut and Preserve Fresh Peonies for Entertaining

How to Cut and Preserve Fresh Peonies for Entertaining

We have peonies in the front of our house and some in the back. But the big question I always wrestle with is:

1. Do I leave in the in the yard to enjoy? For our neighbors to enjoy?

2. Do I bring them inside to enjoy on my kitchen counter? (watch out for the ants!)

3. Do I cut them for a centerpiece for a dinner party?

I have to say, it’s a hard decision. I like all of the answers.

How to Cut and Preserve Fresh Peonies

This year, I decided to cut and use for our dinner party we had last Saturday night in our backyard.

Fresh Peonies

When to cut peonies

I’ve done my research and peonies are supposed to be cut while still in the bud. In other words, don’t wait for them to flower (even though they are gorgeous when they start to flower).

The flowers are just starting to bud where the color is showing but the petals haven’t started to open.

I’ve noticed that when I’ve gone to pick my peonies, early morning is best because I can still find the buds not opened.

How to Cut and Preserve Fresh Peonies!

How to cut peonies

You can take most of the stem when cutting the flowers, leaving some foliage on the plant, or cut all of the stem. If you cut all of the stem don’t do it on every flower. You don’t want to effect the growth for the next year’s growing season. I ended up having to take off the leaves, for my display in tall clear glasses.

How to preserve peonies

If you cut the flowers as suggested above, they will last longer in a vase. They may be a bud for that day, but will probably open the next day.

You can also wrap the peonies in plastic and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them.

I’ve been saving clear bottles and wine bottles. (By the way, use Goo Gone for easy label remover!)

Fill with water.

Line a table.

Fresh Peonies for Entertaining - PINK

You can even cut about 1-2 inches from the flower and place in a low-line vase!

Oh, and this amazing dessert? It’s called Frosty Raspberry Squares, and it’s a frozen dessert delicious for summer!

Fresh Peonies for Entertaining - Frosty Raspberry Squares

As always, just the right flowers are stunning on a table, and even at times, conversation starters around the table!

13 comments on “How to Cut and Preserve Fresh Peonies for Entertaining”

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  4. I cut mine and put the in a bucket but n the garage and spray over them with a light mist of Raid house and garden.  I leave them for a few hours and voila!  No ants and the flowers survive beautifully.  I don’t spray the flowers themselves but the area above them.  I was skeptical at first but it worked very well.  Good luck!

  5. Thanks for the info! I’ll wait until dusk to cut for the baby girl shore tomorrow. Lovely table setting, too!

    And….I’m a reluctant entertainer as well!!!!!

  6. Thanks for the peonie tips! Your table is gorgeous!

  7. That is a real pretty table, Sandy! Our peonies finished 2 weeks ago and the iris last week. The daylillies and coneflowers are getting ready and by next week will be starting to open. Even the fall bloomers are getting buds on them. I think I finished up the landscaping last week and except for picking up a flat of flowers for a few large pots, I think I am done. The warm weather came early this year and this old body is running a little behind schedule. Hoping to finish up by tomorrow.

  8. Sandy,

    So pretty. Our peonies bloomed over a month ago…. so sad. I wish we had some to look forward to. Love the table.


  9. Thank you for this! My peonies are ready to bust and I never really understand exactly when to cut them to bring them inside. I love their smell and just today will cut a huge bunch to enjoy with your suggestions!

  10. I love peonies, but how do you get rid of the ants? They are certainly not a welcomed addition to the dinner table.

  11. A gal after my own heart. I just cut peonies yesterday for indoors. I do an ant inspection and get what I can. There might be more coming in on the G-Pup! I planted a new variety called Bowl of Beauty in my frontscape this year. They are a medium pink with a creamy center. Just beginning to open.

    Love your table.

  12. What a gorgeous table, Sandy. Those peonies are beautiful!

  13. Hi Sandy – lovely table and great advice about the peonies. You are so right about wrapping them in plastic to hold the buds in the fridge. My only additional tip would be to wrap them loosely in damp newspaper or paper towel. You can hold peonies for up to 2 weeks this way – that’s how the professional growers hold them for flower shows.

    We’re having a dinner under the stars on Saturday night too. My plan is a woodland theme with ferns tucked into bottles. I’d do peonies but I don’t have enough in the garden this year.

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