Photo of Peonies flower

How to Grow Peonies from Cut Flowers

Peonies are delicate flowers that are renowned for their beauty and longevity. Unfortunately, most people who buy them don’t take the time to properly care for them and end up killing them before they have a chance to bloom.

When adding the cutting process, it can complicate matters a little bit more. So, how do you grow peonies from cut flowers

For cut peonies, wait for when the buds are softened, and the soil is moist. At this point, you will want to cut the stem and leave behind a few sets of leaves. Leaves allow it to continue to process the light of the sun.

If you plan on managing a cutting garden, you will want to place stems in a plastic bag devoid of moisture.

For the remainder of this article, we will go through some details on managing peonies and a potential cutting garden.

How to Plant Peonies from Cut Flowers 

Regardless of what types of peony you want to plant (be them herbaceous peonies or the Sarah Bernhardt peony), these flowers are pretty rugged. 

Below, we will ensure your peonies bloom in such a way where they will be easy to grow. This process applies to anyone who wants to start a cutting garden or someone who enjoys peonies!

Step One: Know When and Where to Plant

Typically peony season occurs during late spring to early summer in USDA hardiness zones two through eight. They are full-sun flowers, meaning that they need at least six to eight hours of sun per day. 

When creating planting holes, keep these in mind, as the peony flowers won’t thrive without these conditions. Be sure to also keep them about four feet from each other. This applies to new peonies and old peonies going through the cutting process

After some time of cutting your peonies, you will likely need to start removing them. The peony roots might have a bit too much crossover, causing them to compete for nutrients. You’ll want to remove the peonies that are not doing well, 

Step Two: Relocate Dying Peonies

Once you’ve determined which of your peonies is struggling the most, you will want to remove them. Loosen the soil around the dying peonies using a pitchfork, garden hoe, or another similar tool.

You will want to dig a hole at about two or three feet to preserve the roots.

Remove as much as you can, ensuring that you have about two or three root eyes on the remaining plant. Eyes refer to the point of growth of these plants, meaning the ends of roots. 

Bury them at a planting depth of about two feet. Ensure your peony is at a position where all of the leaves have a few inches from the ground. 

Step Three: Know Where and When to Cut

Whether you start a cut flower garden or plan on doing this for personal reasons, planting peonies requires many setups. Another article on how long it takes flowers to grow details garden soil mixes and other essential factors.

Once you’ve taken care of the initial process, you can move onto cutting. 

You’ll want to cut in such a position where two things are your priority:

  • A place that encourages the peony buds to grow back. 
  • You need a position that removes any unwanted portions.

If any of your plants seem diseased, remove the diseased part. You will need to leave behind a handful of leaves, as those are required to process sunlight in photosynthesis. Given that these are full-sun plants removing too many leaves is a death sentence

You also want to cut them at the right time, when the stem is soft and the flower appears to look like a poofy, white marshmallow. Some people call this the “marshmallow stage.” 

For Those Running a Cut Garden 

cut garden flowers

If you plan on transferring cut flowers into a vase, you will want to move them over to a fridge. Otherwise, you can transfer them to a vase and give them to whoever requested them. 

Flower buds will return to their original state while they are in a fridge. You’ll want to move fast, as flowers don’t typically last long in this environment. You will also want to get rid of any that show signs of mold, so check them every few days. 

Peonies will last a few weeks in the fridge, but peonies bloom for up to ten days

Final Thoughts

Peonies are picky about three things:

  • Position
  • Soil depth
  • Living space

Soil is also an important factor, but these flowers’ hardiness covers a wide variety of zones. Some peonies, such as tree peonies, have more narrow coverages from zones four to eight. Still, the variety of areas these plants can thrive in cover a huge swath of space. 

If you want some flower diversity in your garden, check out our sister article on how lotus flowers grow. Thanks for reading!

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