How to Cut a Fernleaf Peony for a Bouquet


The fernleaf peony (Paeonia tenuifolia) displays dramatic fringed foliage that can make an elegant bouquet. These early-blooming peonies come in shades of pink, fuchsia and red. Fernleaf peonies bloom early in the spring and die back by mid-summer. Gather fernleaf peony blossoms while they are in bloom, and place them in a vase or hang them upside down to dry them; then create a dried bouquet.

Step 1

Locate fernleaf peony blossoms that are on the verge of opening. This guarantees you'll have the longest-lasting fresh bouquet. Almost-open buds will be less tight than freshly-formed buds--still shut but swollen--and you can glimpse the leaves inside. For a dried bouquet, harvest already-open flowers.

Step 2

Wait for a cool day or plan to harvest peonies in the morning, before the sun heats your garden.

Step 3

Cut peony buds using scissors. Leave at least three leaves on the remaining stem to maintain a sturdy and healthy plant. Cut all buds in this manner, but do not remove more than one-third of the plant's surface area.

Step 4

Strip off the fernleaf peony's lower leaves. If the leaves come into contact with water, they will rot and emit a foul odor. Hang peonies you intend to dry at this point. You do not need to trim back their leaves. Tie the stems together with a string and hang them upside down from a nail.

Step 5

Place the cut peonies in a vase with water that is the same temperature as your skin. The ideal water will neither feel warm nor cool to your touch.

Step 6

Change the water in your bouquet every other day to promote a long-lasting bouquet of fernleaf peonies.

Things You'll Need

  • Scissors
  • Water
  • Vase
  • String (optional)
  • Nail (optional)


  • University of Nebraska -Lincoln: Peonies
  • Iowa State University: Growing Garden Peonies
Keywords: fernleaf peony, peony bouquet, cut peonies

About this Author

Based in Northern California, Elton Dunn is a freelance writer and nonprofit consultant with 14 years' experience. Dunn specializes in travel, food, business, gardening, education and the legal fields. His work has appeared in various print and online publications. Dunn holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing and a Bachelor of Arts in English.