The cutting garden
Romantic shades, clouds of flowers, cheerful colours and a multitude of shapes. The possibillities with peonies are endless. A sumptuous bouquet in a classic vase, single buds in a bowl or a single flower in a bottle. As well as the flowers, the seed pods and foliage are also decorative. Cutting your own bouquet of peonies early in the morning in your garden can make life even more beautiful!
If you want to grow your own "field" of flowers, browse our online selection of peonies for a daring garden bouquet.
Spoilt for choice
A sequence of blooms makes sense. Play with colours. Red and coral peonies bloom a few weeks earlier than pink and white. This automatically extends the picking season and gives you early-season gems that few florists stock.
Peonies make great cut flowers and the classic varieties have been specially selected for this purpose. Some varieties are well known. Sarah Bernhardt and Duchesse de Nemours are certainly worth mentioning. If you are looking for a more exotic look to entertain your guests or treat yourself, Coral Sunset and Red Grace are certainly worth considering.
The practical stuff
A peony is a long-lived plant. It takes 3 years of growth to reache maturity, starting from a healthy root in autumn. From the third year onwards, you can pick 1/3 of these stems, i.e. between 5 and 10 stems per plant. It seems rather cruel to leave the rest of the gorgeous blossoms on the plant, but if you follow these steps you will be able to cut peonies for years to come.
We recommend an average spacing of 75cm, so you need about 4 square meters for 6 peonies. This makes for easy care and picking.
Depending on the variety, peonies have one or more buds per stem. The latter are disbudded by most professional growers to make the flower even more imposing. How is this done? Break out the pea-sized side buds together with the small stalk. For a longer flowering season in the garden, it is best to leave the side buds where they are.
Use a sharp knife if possible - cutting with a knife is preferable to using scissors.
Timing is essential. The best time to cut a flower bud depends on the shape of the flower. As a general rule, more petals mean more patience. Single flowers should have a fairly firm bud when cut. Double flowers should feel marshmallowly and bombs may show a hint of colour, but this is not an exact science!
Peonies in a vase
Five tips to help peonies last longer in the vase
1. Use a vase or holder that has been super-cleaned and fill with plenty of cold water.
2. Cut the stems at an angle and remove any excess leaves.
3. Give fresh water daily or use flower food. Peonies are real slobs!
4. Do not place in a draught, in the sun or near fresh fruit.
5. Bonus: keep them cool at night.
Delaying or rushing flowering
If you are in a hurry for flowers, use slightly warmer water, and place the flowers in a slightly warmer room.
If you have beautiful peonies in the garden, but the party isn't for another two weeks, you can give nature a hand. Again, this is not an exact science and only experience will tell you which peonies do best. Healthy and strong plants that can take a "beating" are preferable.
Cut the flowers in the morning in bud and keep them dry. Remove the lower leaves. Place the flower buds in paper towels, in a large plastic container. Place the container in the coldest part of your fridge. It is important that the container is airtight. The ethylene gases produced by fruit will speed up the flower development. The flower buds can stay in the fridge for 2-3 weeks. Take the flowers out a day before you need them and treat them as described above. This procedure is not foolproof. Nothing beats a peony freshly picked from your garden or field in the early morning.
Treat yourself or surprise a loved one
Home delivery of cut flowers
Peony cut flowers can be ordered online during the season. They are delivered fresh from our fields, by a 24-hour refrigerated service, in Belgium and Luxembourg. For more information on varieties and availability click here.
Popup shop at the farm
During the open days there is a popup shop on the farm with fresh peony cut flowers.