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Peony Flower | How to Care for Peonies

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The peony flower is an absolutely stunning addition to your cutting garden. I adore peonies and the many peony varieties available. However, there are a few simple tips people often overlook when growing peonies. Here are three simple tips you may not know about peonies and peony care.

The peony flower is an absolutely stunning addition to your cutting garden. Here are three tips you may not know about peonies and peony care. #fromhousetohaven #peonies #peonycare #growingpeonies

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Peony Flower

Peonies come in many varieties. Every type is so unique and beautiful. From the peony bud stage all the way to a full bloom, peonies offer a great array of diversity. There are many different peony colors, including the traditional pink and red, to white, deep purple and even yellow.

My absolute favorite is the double peony. It is similar to the look of an English cabbage rose, but is easier to grow.

The peony flower is an absolutely stunning addition to your cutting garden. Here are three tips you may not know about peonies and peony care. #fromhousetohaven #peonies #peonycare #growingpeonies

Growing Peonies

Peonies are perennial flowers and grow so well in Michigan. Make sure to check your climate to see if they will thrive in your zone or not. Growing peonies is not complicated, however after sharing some tips with my Instagram friends I realized how few know these three simple tips for peony care.

The peony flower is an absolutely stunning addition to your cutting garden. Here are three tips you may not know about peonies and peony care. #fromhousetohaven #peonies #peonycare #growingpeonies

Ants are Your Friends

If you are inexperienced with the peony flower, then you may be surprised at the amount of ants swarming your bush. My first instinct in my novice years was to spray the ants so they didn’t harm the flowers. However, ants are actually help aids for peony flowers.

The peony flower is an absolutely stunning addition to your cutting garden. Here are three tips you may not know about peonies and peony care. #fromhousetohaven #peonies #peonycare #growingpeonies

Ants chew the bud leaves back so that the flower can bloom! They are your little buddies when your peonies are forming and growing. So make sure not to deter them from helping your flowers bloom.

Ants are also pests

On the other hand, ants are also known to completely infest your peony blooms! Once they’ve done their job and the peony flowers have opened, they have a knack for hiding in all the beautiful petal layers.

The peony flower is an absolutely stunning addition to your cutting garden. Here are three tips you may not know about peonies and peony care. #fromhousetohaven #peonies #peonycare #growingpeonies

Obviously, this is not a problem if you plan to leave your flowers outdoors. But peonies are one of the most beautiful cut flowers there is! I know that I love to see them adorning my countertops all spring. So that means that the ants must go.

To avoid bringing in hitchhikers, cut your peonies outside and immediately place them in a bucket of water. This will drown the ants and force them to crawl out of the petals.

I wish I could say that this worked 100% all the time, but ants are tiny and expert hiders. So once you’ve soaked your flowers in water for at least an hour, you will want to leave your flowers in a vase of water outdoors for awhile longer so any stragglers crawl out. You may even want to comb through the petals with a butter knife for those stubborn ones.

The peony flower is an absolutely stunning addition to your cutting garden. Here are three tips you may not know about peonies and peony care. #fromhousetohaven #peonies #peonycare #growingpeonies

Save them for later

My last tip that shocked the most people is that you can cut peony buds before they bloom and save them for later!

Once your peony bud reaches the stage where it is slightly squishy (like a marshmallow), but not open, cut the flower and place it in a small amount of water.

The peony flower is an absolutely stunning addition to your cutting garden. Here are three tips you may not know about peonies and peony care. #fromhousetohaven #peonies #peonycare #growingpeonies

Shop my Kitchen

Next, put your vase in the back of the fridge where it will stay the most consistent temperature. Your peony buds will remain in bud form for up to a couple of months if you keep them cold and change out the water every now and then.

Once you are ready to enjoy them, simply put the vase on the counter and watch them bloom!

This is how I stretch out my peony season for personal enjoyment. I can enjoy the short peony season for an extra month or two by using this method.

The peony flower is an absolutely stunning addition to your cutting garden. Here are three tips you may not know about peonies and peony care. #fromhousetohaven #peonies #peonycare #growingpeonies

Were any of these tips news to you? I hope that this is helpful to those who want to enjoy peony flowers indoors for more than the traditional two week blooming season!

If you’re looking for tips on vegetable gardening, you might find this post to be an interesting and comical read today too. 😉

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The peony flower is an absolutely stunning addition to your cutting garden. Here are three tips you may not know about peonies and peony care. #fromhousetohaven #peonies #peonycare #growingpeonies

18 Comments

  1. The ants is what scares me away! Sounds dumb but I really have a problem with those buggers. I could try the water tip. Never new that. Is a peony a plant you can buy and plant or is it seeds? Very ignorant when it comes to these beauties! Thanks Sarah.

    1. if you have a friend that has peonies you can ck your local zone to see when dividing is good. Then if they have a large plant you can gently divide and plant it in a good sunny area. Sometimes they might not bloom next yr. but the yr. after. My neighbor sold her home and the new owners were rearranging plants and I asked if I could have a peony. I was blessed w/ 2 and they did bloom ..But yes, at a nursery or if in your local area we have a peony nursery that sells…Great post I learned something new about refreg. blooms..!

    1. Peony trees are like herbaceous peonies but they have a trunk similar to a tiny tree and does not die back to the ground in winter. The flowers are just as large and may get an ant or two as well but placing in a bucket of water does the trick. The tree form also works well in smaller suburb landscapes as it will stay more compact without the flowers falling into the ground. Mine blooms most of the summer. They do like a bit of dappled shade if planted in a hot area as the leaves will brown up a bit. Great peony post and love the fridge tip!! If you buy the peonies at the nursery already started vs a tuber they will bloom quicker for you. I’ve been waiting over 2 years for my Festiva Maxima’s to bloom..so excited for this summers blooms!

  2. This might be a dumb question but when you put them in water to drown the ants, do you mean submerging the whole flower in the water?

  3. I have never heard the tips for saving them for later. We just moved to a new house that has two bushes. I’m excited to try this new tip!

  4. Thanks so much for the tip on extending peony time by putting them in the refrigerator! I never knew that and I’ve been growing them for years. I’m looking forward to trying it out this season.

  5. I also live in Michigan and grow peonies. Soaking them in water definitely helps, however it is a myth that the ants are needed for the buds to open.

    1. I’ve read up from experts who both say they are needed and some who say it’s simply a symbiotic relationship. It’s always interesting to me how different experts can disagree! I guess all that matters is that they don’t hurt them so no need to try to control them while blooming. 🙂

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