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Peonies are very popular as cut flowers, even for wedding decorations. This is not the only reason why the question arises as to how to properly preserve the buds and capture the beauty of the flowers forever.

In a nutshell

  • Peonies come in many colors that are said to hold up when preserved
  • fully open peonies fall apart easily during the drying process
  • buds are more suitable
  • other preservation options depend on the intended use

Preserve whole flowers

The upside-down method is suitable for this, in which the flowers or the bouquet are hung upside down. In this way, bridal bouquets also dry evenly.


  1. Tie the flowers into a bouquet. Bouquets that are already tied are given a loop for hanging.
  2. Wrap the bouquet in newspaper to protect it from dust.
  3. Hang the bouquet upside down in an airy, warm spot.
  4. A slight draft facilitates drying, while strong winds can endanger the cohesion of the flowers.
  5. Do not choose too bright a place, especially not direct sun. Otherwise the colors will fade.
  6. Dried bouquets are suitable as vase decorations and for drying arrangements.
  7. The flowers can be sprayed with hairspray to fix them.

use of glycerin

Glycerin has long been used to preserve plants. It binds moisture, but must be able to penetrate the buds to preserve them. Glycerine is available in pharmacies. Normal tap water is also required. It works better with warm water than with cold, but it must not be too warm, the flowers cannot tolerate that. In addition to the opened flowers, buds can also be preserved in this way.

  1. Two parts water are mixed with one part glycerin and placed in a vase adjusted to the length of the flower stalks.
  2. Cut the flower stalks at an angle to improve water absorption.
  3. Leaves should not be left hanging in the water as they may rot. They will be removed if necessary.
  4. Place the prepared flowers in the water.
  5. Conservation occurs while the plants are absorbing the water. In order for this to work properly, no more water must be refilled.
  6. The drying process is completed within a few days and can be recognized by the drops that form on the flowers.


Single leaves of peony flowers are the easiest to preserve. Possible uses are:

  • tea blends
  • decorations for food
  • Use in salad
  • for craft projects, such as cards

Drying methods at a glance:

  • Dry salt (from the florist), silicate gel, detergent
  • Oven with and without sand
  • dehydrator
  • air dry

When using a desiccant, a tightly sealed can is also required.


  1. Pour desiccant into the can until the bottom is covered.
  2. Spread petals on them, they should not touch each other.
  3. Cover leaves with desiccant.
  4. Depending on the amount of leaves to be dried, this method will take several weeks.

Notice: These desiccants are not or only partially suitable for food, but salt and silicate gel can be reused after drying in the oven.

oven method

If the petals are to be eaten, no sand is used. However, this speeds up the drying process.

  1. Scatter a baking sheet with sand.
  2. Scatter the petals over it.
  3. Sprinkle more sand.
  4. Leave the baking sheet in the oven at 40 degrees for 30 minutes. The petals should then be dry.

If you work without sand, only baking paper is spread out on the tray. It may take a little longer for the leaves to dry.

Notice: If the oven gets too hot, the leaves will burn or turn unsightly brown.


Many foods can be preserved in the dehydrator. Households that grow and preserve fruit and vegetables themselves often have a dehydrator. It is also suitable for preserving peony buds. The petals only need to be spread out on the grids of the device. Modern devices are equipped with a temperature setting that makes it possible to select the right temperature for every purpose. Buds don't need too high a temperature to dry out without changing color.
A disadvantage of dehydrators, but also of the oven, is the power consumption.

air dry

Simply drying petals in the air is only possible in warm rooms or outdoors in summer. A grid is suitable for this, which you can build yourself, for example, from fly wire with a wooden frame. It is also possible to spread the leaves out on newspaper or paper towels. They are occasionally shaken or turned a little, the drying process is then more even.
The leaves should never be left in direct sunlight, as this will cause the colors to fade. A shady place is better. Air circulation also needs to be taken care of outdoors. While little air movement is conducive to drying, high winds can blow the petals away.
Bouquets or complete blossoms can also be dried on grids. Unfortunately, the result is often unsatisfactory, as the flowers lose their shape or do not dry completely. Another danger is mold growth if drying takes too long.

frequently asked Questions

Are there other ways to preserve buds?

It would be possible to cast the buds in epoxy resin, for example to make jewelry. It is best to dry the buds beforehand.

Why is it so difficult to dry open peony flowers?

Unlike roses, the petals of the peony do not adhere very firmly to the base of the flower, so they are very delicate. The older the flower is, the more leaves fall out when it dries.

Are all peonies good for canning?

Basically yes. If the flowers are to be consumed, you only have to make sure that the flowers are unsprayed. They are best from your own garden.

Is it possible to preserve whole flowers in the oven?

It's possible, but the flowers don't dry evenly in the oven, they need a lot of attention and have to be turned more often. The same applies to the dehydrator, which would only fit buds anyway.

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