The UK's #1 rated ethical flower company
New Seasonal Subscription Available
£5 off for you and a friend with code GIVEFRIEND5


A Guide to Cut Peonies: Symbolism and Care Tips

The peony (pronounced pee-uh-nee) is one of Spring’s greatest joys. In the UK, their season is short but glorious – they bloom between April and June – which makes their arrival a true event in the floral world. Much loved for their mesmerising and dramatic petals, peonies arrive in marble-sized buds that bloom over a few days, slowly but surely revealing their elegant and voluminous ruffles. With an abundant palette ranging from deep ruby to pale pink, along with a uniquely sweet and delicate fragrance, it’s the perfect flower for Spring.

What Do Peonies Symbolise?

The magic of flowers is their ability to convey an emotion or sentiment on our behalf, and peonies represent the full versatility of these visual missives. The earliest reference to the beloved bloom can be traced back to 1,000 BC in the gardens of China, where the flower is a symbol of wealth and prosperity. As their popularity spread – they were introduced to Europe in the late 1800s – the meaning of peony flowers has blossomed. With each coloured peony, a different emotion can be expressed: white peonies symbolise bashfulness, making them the ideal gift for those wishing to say sorry; pink represents good luck and prosperity, which is why they’re so often featured in wedding bouquets; and red is said to symbolise love, passion, honour and respect, making them the perfect choice for a romantic gesture. Purple peonies, meanwhile, represent admiration, respect and nobility, and yellow epitomises happiness, warmth and new beginnings – the ideal gift for a friend embarking on a new adventure.

How to Care for Cut Peonies in a Vase

Peonies bring an abundance of colour and beauty to a home, so it’s understandable that one would want to extend their lifespan for as long as possible. With the correct care and
attention, cut peonies can last up to five days or longer.

1. Cut the stems
Cutting your stems will make it easier for your peonies to drink water. Use a pair of sharp
shears to cut around 3-5cm off at a diagonal slant.

2. Remove any lower leaves
Leaves that fall or sit in water can cause bacteria to build up, which will affect the lifespan of your flowers. Be sure to remove any low leaves before placing your peonies in your vase.

3. Place your peonies in a clean vase
Clean your vase thoroughly before filling it with water and placing your peonies inside. The water should cover around three-quarters of the stems.

4. Put your peonies in a cool, bright spot
Warmer temperatures will make your peonies wilt faster, so try to place them in a cool spot free from direct sunlight.

5. Keep your peonies hydrated
To ensure your peonies last as long as possible, keep an eye on the water levels and clean and refill your vase every few days.

How to Make Your Peonies Open Faster

Peony buds should open after a few days, but if you’d like them to open sooner, try filling the vase with lukewarm water and placing them in a warm room.

How Do You Revive Fresh Cut Peonies?

If your peonies are starting to wilt, try trimming the stems and placing them in hot water for a couple of seconds, and then transferring them to cold water. This will help to revive your blooms and allow you to continue enjoying them in all their magnificent glory.

Searching for the perfect gift? Explore our collection of hand-tied bouquets, luxury blooms and letterbox flowers.
By Arena Flowers