5 tips for perfect peonies

Article by Homes to Love

Homes to Love caught up with florist Eden Kersten, aka The Botanist, to find out her top 5 pointers for pretty-as-a-picture peonies

Eden Hessell, The Botanist

When is peony season?
You’ll find peonies from November to early January.

peonies, The Botanist, pink peonies

When buying peonies at a florist, what should we be looking for? Should they be closed or open?
They should be in bud but still showing colour to ensure they will open. The bigger the heads, the better!

Should flowers be trimmed or the leaves removed before putting them in a vase?
The stems should be cut on an angle and leaves should be stripped about three quarters of the way up the stem.


How do we keep the cut flower looking its best?
Change the water daily, recut the stems and keep peonies out of direct sunlight.

What’s a new way to display them that we might not have thought of?
Once the flower has opened, cut the stem all the way down and place in a beautiful china teacup. If you have an array of different teacups, even better! It looks so elegant and the lip of the cup prevents all the petals falling off and leaving a mess on the floor.

peonie teacup

Caring for your peonies:

  • From bud to bloom, cut peonies usually last five to six days. To extend their lifespan, keep away from direct sunlight, change water daily and cut stems on an angle.
  • When arranging, remove most of the excess foliage, and stagger stems to create height and voids.
  • In the video, we have used the coral gem variety, at different stages of bloom. Peonies change colour as they open and become quite full and dramatic. It is best to buy them in bud form.

A little bit about Eden
Resident florist and events co-ordinator at The Botanist, Eden Kersten has a passion for flowers with nearly 20 years’ industry experience. She has both NZQA and internationally recognised floristry qualifications. You can follow her floral endeavours on Instagram @thebotanistnz.

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Words by: Eden Hessell at by: Georgia Bramley

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