Peonies or peonies (Paeonia) are popular garden perennials with magnificent flowers. Read our instructions on how best to cut and trim the lush flowering shoots for the vase.

Optimum cutting time

So that you can enjoy the magnificent flowers of the peonies for a long time, you should also cut them at the right time. Please note our tips for the longest possible flowering time in the vase:

  • Leave stems with green buds
    • these often no longer open after the cut
  • choose stems with buds that are already colored through instead
  • Buds should yield to light pressure
  • Buds or flowers that have already opened fade too quickly


Unfortunately, most peonies cut for the vase don’t last very long: Often only one to two days, with the right cut (see our instructions) four to five days of flowering are possible. Chinese peonies, also known as milky-white peonies (Paeonia lactiflora), also bloom in vases for a particularly long time. With good care, you can admire these flowers for ten to 14 days.

Tip: If you buy cut flowers from the florist, you always get a sachet of preservative to keep them longer. A little baking soda in the vase water will serve the same purpose.

Cut and trim stems

When the time is right, cut the peonies as follows:

  • Cut the stalk just above the ground
  • then shorten to about 20 centimeters
  • Keep the end of the cut as slanted as possible
  • Cut off only three to four stems per peony
  • leave two to three leaves on each stem
  • these are important for photosynthesis and keep the flowers fresher for longer

Only use sharp and freshly disinfected cutting tools for cutting. It is up to you whether you prefer a knife or scissors – the blades should only be sharp. Blunt cutting edges leave unsightly bruises, which you can recognize by the frayed ends of the cut. As a result, the stems can only absorb a little water and the flowers fade faster. For the same reason, it is also important to have the cut surface as sloping as possible, because the increased surface area means that a particularly large amount of water can be absorbed – and peonies have a high water requirement.

Correct stem length

When you first cut the stem, it should be about 20 centimeters long and strong enough to hold the flower without buckling. You should cut the ends of the cut again every two to three days, as the pathways close over time and are opened up again by the cut. You can shorten the stems by one to two centimetres.

Tip: Change the vase water daily to prevent germs from settling.

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