If the fabulously fragrant peony is close to your heart, you’ll want to keep reading. Fresh peonies are one of the best ways to breathe spring into your home!

Learn all about peony colors, as well as where to buy peonies, how to extend their vase life in a peony bouquet, and so much more!

Their season is so short, but so very beautiful and sweet. Today I’m sharing tips to enjoy them for longer – and for less investment, too!

A vase of pink peony flowers on a counter top.
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I’ve been thinking about writing this post for years, but peony season is so short, I never seem to get to it before it’s over. But, it doesn’t have to be quite so short… you won’t believe one of the tricks I’m about to show you!

That’s right… next time you think your fresh peonies are starting to wilt, this little trick will save you!

I love sharing my favorite floral tips with you! I’ve shown you how to be your own florist, how to revive wilted hydrangea, and even how to create a centerpiece of hydrangea or ranunculus.

While we all wish this precious season could last all year, that’s part of the reason that peonies are such a treasure! The more fleeting their lives, the more we can appreciate those brief moments of joy.

Pink and white peonies in a blue and white vase on a kitchen counter.

“A rose is a rose, but a peony is a friend forever.”

A white peony flower next to a book.

Peony Facts

Peonies are lush, romantic, fragrant and dramatic, and they make excellent cut flowers. Their brief season makes them even sweeter to behold!

  • Scholars know that they originated in Asia thousands of years ago. Documentation dates them in Japan eight centuries back! 
  • There is an incredible array of colors! And while there are varietals with “blue” in the name… blue is actually the one peony color that doesn’t exist.
  • They can live for years… and years! It’s believed that the plants can live for over 100 years.
  • These gorgeous flowers are easy to grow. In fact, they thrive on neglect. There’s a reason they live for so long, often found alongside vintage farmsteads throughout the Midwest. Have full sun? Have soil that drains relatively well? Plant this hardy perennial and enjoy them for years to come!
  • They are considered to be an ideal wedding flower because they symbolize good fortune and a happy marriage. 
A white kitchen with pink peony flowers in a vase.

Where to Buy Peonies

Peony bushes can be found at your local nursery or hardware stores. If you want well established flowers with abundant blooms, see if someone has a mature bush you can transplant for maximum blooms.

I prefer to work with an established plant over bulbs in Missouri. If you’re considering purchasing plants for your yard, consider that they prefer full sun and good air circulation.

If you want cut peony flower stems for a peony bouquet, you can often locate them at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s in addition to your local florist. Psst… have you read my detailed post about how to shop for Trader Joe’s flowers

A bouquet of white peony flowers in a glass vase on a table.


Florists can often source peony flowers throughout the year, but you’ll pay quite a premium. Because the growing season varies all over the world, they can be flown and shipped everywhere as a cut bloom!

If you want them for a wedding or upcoming event, the best months in the US are May and June.

A white kitchen sink with a pink peony in a vase.

How to Get Rid of Ants on Peonies

Hold the stems just below the buds and gently shake with the bloom facing down. Then dip blooms into a bucket of cold water with two drops of dish detergent for 20 seconds and remove.



I like to remove ants outside with the garden hose, if at all possible. Most commercially grown versions will not have ants, but locally grown stems will because they are truly garden-fresh!

Any fresh cut peony bouquets you pick up from your farmer’s market or your own backyard could have them. Nobody needs an ant invasion so proceed with caution!

A white kitchen sink with pink peony flowers in it.

How to Get Peonies to Open

While you can’t force them, you can definitely give them a little nudge in the right direction!

  1. Cut the stem at an angle.
  2. Place stems in lukewarm water.
  3. Place flowers in a warm, sunlit room.
  4. Repeat.
  5. If they still don’t open, you can place buds in lukewarm water for 15 seconds to encourage them.
White peony flowers in a glass vase on a gold table.

How to Make Peonies Last Longer

  1. Add ice to their water.
  2. Place them in a dark, cool space or refrigerator.
Pink and white peony flowers in a blue vase on a white kitchen counter.

Ginger Jar

Looking for this pretty blue and white ginger jar? This one is very similar to mine, at a great price point! 

A pink peony bouquet inside a refrigerator to extend their life.

How to Refresh a Wilted Peony

If you take anything away from this post, let it be this little secret!

  1. Cut stems at an angle.
  2. Place in cool, fresh water.
  3. Refrigerate until they’re perky!

Yes, this really works! If your formerly fluffy blooms are just a little wilted and droopy, but not fully down, you can refresh them and get another day or two of enjoyment from those beauties!

Check out the photos below for an example of this process. It’s a game-changer!

Pink peony flowers in a bucket.
BEFORE {looking sad}
A blue and white vase full of pink peony bouquet inside a refrigerator.
A blue and white vase inside a refrigerator, filled with a pink peony bouquet.

I mean… maybe I am easily excited, but isn’t that an amazing transformation? I will do anything to extend the life of these precious blooms, but this was no work at all! Be sure to give this little secret a try next time your petals droop!

How to Store Peonies for Later

This simple trick will allow you to enjoy peonies from now until August!

  1. Choose stems in a soft bud stage. The best tip? They should feel like a marshmallow – that’s how you’ll know they are perfect for saving.
  2. Remove leaves from the stem.
  3. Wrap in clear plastic wrap, sealing both ends or in damp newspaper. Place horizontally in a refrigerator. You’ll wrap them completely from base of stem to top of buds – tie with twine or tape together like a package.
  4. Remove, trim stem and place in lukewarm water.

Peony Colors

This spectacular bloom comes in a wide range of colors. From the traditional old-fashioned pink peony bush in your grandmother’s backyard to the highly specialized and rare peony tree colors, you can find something for every peony bouquet!

  • All shades of pink peony, of course
  • coral
  • peach
  • red
  • magenta
  • deep purple
  • white
  • cream
  • yellow
A pink peony flower in a vase next to two glasses of liquid.
A Coral Charm peony in a mixed arrangement.

Frequently Asked Questions

What time of year do peonies bloom? 

This depends on your location and the variety of peony you’re discussing. In the Midwest, they bloom anywhere from late April through late May. In other (colder) parts of the US, they bloom later.

What are the three types of peonies?

There are three peony flower groups: herbaceous, tree peonies, and North American. Herbaceous are the most common perennials, growing to a height of approximately three feet.

Are yellow peonies rare?

While this peony color is becoming more common in landscapes, it is certainly much less common than the ubiquitous pink peony we all know and love! Yellow can now be found in each each of the three peony groups: garden, tree peony, and intersectional hybrids.

What do pink peonies symbolize?

The pink peony is a classic addition to a bridal bouquet because it is believed to symbolize good luck and prosperity.

Are peonies expensive?

While you can find these fresh blooms affordably at your local farmer’s markets in their brief local growing season, flower shops charge significant mark-ups.
Keep in mind, the most common growing season is late April through June. This will always be the most affordable time of the year to purchase.

White peony flowers and a book on a table.

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  1. These are such amazing tips! Peonies are my favourite flower and it always makes me sad whenever a bought bunch begins to wilt after a few days. I’ll definitely try these tips, that transformation was incredible xo

  2. Julie, love this about beautiful peonies! But I also love your gorgeous kitchen! Have you posted about your kitchen before and I missed it? I would love to know about your stove if you don’t mind sharing. Thank you!