How To Take Care Of Your Favorite Flowers, Peonies!

Jun 18, 2024

How To Take Care Of Your Favorite Flowers, Peonies!

Hey there,

Today we’re talking about the coveted and oh-so-loved peony flower! It’s only 92% of you guys’ favorite flower, so we thought it deserved a moment in the spotlight and a little “how-to” guide for taking care of these delicate blooms upon their delivery to your doorstep (and beyond).

For as model-off-duty photogenic as peonies are once they’ve bloomed, they can be, well, a little underwhelming right out of the box. We affectionately call this ugly-duckling phase the lollipop stage and would be lying if we said the unboxing experience didn’t come with a few (...or more than a few) disclaimers around what to expect upon arrival. After all, knowledge is power, right?

We’re sharing the best tips, tricks, and fun-facts curated from our most asked questions or concerns from you peony lovers, or as we like to call it, Peony 101. Let’s get into it! 


First thing’s first, let’s talk delivery and unboxing.

You may notice that your peonies were shipped without water or any sort of hydration pack or sponge. This is totally intentional and, in fact, you wouldn’t be too happy with us if we did ship your peonies with hydration support - trust us! We want you to enjoy the full (brief, but oh so beautiful!) bloom life of your peonies and if we shipped them with a water source, they would open up in the box on their way to you. Shipping peonies without water doesn’t damage the bloom in any way, but it does mean your peonies will need a tall drink of water after their long trip (so be sure to get them into a vase with fresh water right away… but we’ll get there!).

One other super important thing to note here is this – any peony that leaves our fulfillment center is shipped out in bud form (or as we like to call them, little lollipops!). Why do we do this? It’s the same reasoning behind why we don’t ship these fresh flowers with a hydration source – to prevent premature blooming. If you haven’t caught on by now, peonies are one of the most sensitive flowers, so if we were to ship them even slightly bloomed already, you’d be missing out on their already-short vase life. Pro tip! The outer leaves or petals of these little peony lollipops are often accompanied by brown spotting. Don’t fret! As they bloom, the spots will not be noticeable but if a few petals don’t look so hot, gently remove them! 

Last but not least in regard to unboxing this cult favorite flower, peony foliage often arrives looking wilty… and this is totally normal. Weird, right? We leave these leaves on for transit to help protect the health of your delicate peonies, but it’s best to remove most of the foliage once you receive them. We recommend giving your peonies a nudge by removing the outer, green petals from the bloom. Gently grasp the top of each petal with your fingers and peel back. Pro Tip: peonies have a sap that can make this removal a bit of a sticky situation. The sap is harmless and easily rinsed off with soap and water once you’re done.


Now that you have your peonies, hydration (ASAP) is key! 

Before you drop your peony stems in a vase of water, give the stems a trim of at least half an inch (or more depending on how short your vase is) at a 45 degree angle. Trimming the stems at an angle provides more room for the stems to drink up and perk up after their long journey to you. It also helps prevent the peony stems from sitting flush to the bottom of the vase where bacteria can build up over time.

After a nice trim, fill that vase with cool, fresh water (and the flower food pack included in your box!) and let these beauties bloom in a cooler, shaded spot. Just like us humans get thirsty after a long journey, your peonies do too. Remember to replace your vase water daily and give the stems regular trims to keep your flowers as fresh as possible for as long as possible (which, with peonies, is simply never long enough!).

Psst… depending on the variety, peonies can take up to 5 days to bloom, so don’t panic if you don’t see those lollipop buds still tight after a few days. Rest assured, they will pop! Keep this in mind if you’re ordering peonies for a special occasion and leave a couple days between your order’s arrival and the big day so your stems have plenty of time to get ready for their close up.


Still not popping? Here’s how to speed along the blooming process.

If dinner is in an hour and your mother-in-law is, at best, a breath from your doorstep, get your stems blooming ASAP by adding warm (not hot!) water to your vase. Placing your stems in a sunny spot near a window for thirty minutes to an hour will also help do the trick, but be careful! Peonies are super sensitive to sunlight and heat, so don’t overdo it. Once you’ve had the warm water and sunlight exposure for a bit, replace with cool, fresh water and move these beauts away from the sun. You’ll thank us later!

And just like that, you have our tried and true, favorite tips and tricks for getting the most of out of your (and our!) favorite flower. Peony season (and their vase life!) might be short, but we hope you use these pro tips to make the most of these beautiful flowers while you have them. Looking to schedule a farm fresh flower delivery (hellooo peonies!) of your own? We've got you covered. Shop all fresh flowers, burlap-wrapped bouquets, single stem flower varieties, and more!



Team Farmgirl

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