How To Cut Peonies For The Vase

Peonies or peonies (Paeonia) are popular garden perennials with magnificent flowers. Read our instructions on how to best cut and trim the lush flower shoots for the vase.

To enjoy the magnificent flowers of peonies for a long time, you should also cut them at the right time. Therefore, for the longest possible flowering in the vase, follow our tips:

  • Leave stems with buds still green
  • these often do not open after cutting
  • choose stems with already colored buds instead
  • buds should yield to light pressure
  • already opened buds or flowers wither again too quickly

Shelf life

Unfortunately, most peonies cut for the vase do not last too long: often only one to two days, but with proper pruning (see our instructions), four to five days of flowering are possible. Especially long even in the vase bloom Chinese peonies, which is also called milk white peonies (Paeonia lactiflora). With good care, you can admire this splendor of flowers for ten to 14 days.

Cut and prune stems

How To Cut Peonies For The Vase


When the time is right, prune the peonies as follows:

  • Cut the stem just above the ground
  • then shorten to about 20 centimeters
  • keep the cut end as slanted as possible
  • cut only three to four stems per peony
  • leave two to three leaves on each stem
  • these are important for photosynthesis and keep the flowers fresh longer

Only use sharp and freshly disinfected cutting tools for cutting. Whether you prefer a knife or scissors is up to you – the blades should only be sharp. Blunt cutting edges leave undercut bruises, which you can recognize by the frayed cut ends. As a result, the stems can absorb little water and the flowers fade more quickly. For the same reason, it is also important to have the cut surface as slanted as possible, because its increased surface area allows it to absorb a particularly large amount of water – and peonies have a high water requirement.

Correct stem length


For the first cut, the stem should be about 20 centimeters long and strong enough to hold the flower without bending over. You should prune the cut ends again every two to three days, as the conductive pathways close over time and are reopened by pruning. In the process, you can quietly shorten the stems by one to two centimeters.

Frequently asked questions


Where is the best place to put the peony bouquet?


Peonies need a lot of light. In order for the buds to open and develop their full flowering splendor, you should place the bouquet in as bright a location as possible. Ideally, a place that is bright but not directly sunny – full sun promotes evaporation and thus water consumption – is also protected and rather warm.

Which container is particularly suitable as a vase?


The stems of the peonies should be as long as possible, which is why you need a tall rather than wide container to put them in. What material this is made of is entirely up to your taste. It should only be heavy enough so that the large and lush flowers can not make it topple over.

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