This gorgeous pink perennial is having a moment right now, and we can't get enough of its signature blooms. Whether cut from your garden or bought at a favorite florist, peonies can last a surprisingly long time—provided they're given the proper care. We found the best tips and tricks for choosing peonies and keeping them fresh.
Peonies are best bought or harvested when they're still in bud form. Buds aren't always pretty, and slight deformities—like little brown spots—are normal. If you do decide to buy stems already blooming, know that they'll only last for a few days.
Lost track of that little food packet that came with your flowers? Don't fret—add sugar to the water instead. Doing so mimmicks the sugar rush that occurs during photosynthesis. Just be sure to replace the water every two days.
Like many fresh flowers, stashing peonies in the fridge at night is a guaranteed way to help them last longer. But you can take the trick a step further. Try cutting fresh peony buds when they feel as soft as marshmallows, wrapping them in newspaper, and storing them in the refrigerator until you're ready to use.
If you're collecting peonies from a garden, beware of unwanted pests that might make a home on your blooms. Ants and peonies have an especially notorious rooted relationship. Place peonies in water and leave them outside for 20-30 minutes before bringing them inside. This allows the ants to migrate off the flowers.
For maximum water absorption, cut your peony stems at an angle every other day. This trick increases the surface area of the cut, helping the blooms absorb more water and nutrients.
You're throwing a dinner party and bought or cut a batch of peonies, still in bud form. It's the day before your party, and the buds have yet to bloom—what do you do? To speed up the process, trim the stems and plunge them directly into warm water. After, put the flowers in a warm place, like a hot car, and check on them periodically. Once they start opening they're good to go!