Enjoy the beautiful blooms all year long.

Peony Arrangement
Credit: Alison Miksch

Fragrant, fluffy peonies are perpetual showstoppers that continue to wow year after year. These colorful perennials bloom in late spring, making them popular choices for Mother's Day arrangements and wedding bouquets. Peonies are hardy, cold-weather-loving flowers that typically flourish in northern regions of the country, but some have been known to blossom as far south as Jackson, Mississippi, and Montgomery, Alabama.

If you dread the end of peonies' growing season every year or live in an area with a climate that's not conducive to the flowers' blossoms, don't fret! There's an easy solution to enjoying the beloved blooms all year long—air-dry them. Dried bouquets of peonies make stunning displays, or the dehydrated petals could be used for potpourri and other craft projects. Not to mention, the simple steps to air-drying peonies are very cost-efficient. You probably already have all the tools you need: florist snips, rubber bands, string, and a coat hanger (or a place from which you can hang the flowers, like a closet).

Start by cutting peonies from the bush when the flowers are in their prime blooming stage. Stems should be at least 6 inches long. Remove all leaves and shoots from the stems, leaving just the blossom at the top. Group a handful of peonies together, and tie them with a rubber band. (If the peonies have larger blooms, then keep them separate from each other.)

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Tie the bundles of peonies or individual stems with a piece of string, and attach them to a coat hanger. (We suggest attaching one bundle or flower to each end of the hanger, so they'll have plenty of space.) Hang them in a dark, cool place with no humidity and good air circulation, such as a hallway closet. It's important to keep them out of direct sunlight so that the flowers will retain their rich color. Allow them to dry for a couple of weeks, or until they're completely dry. Then arrange the air-dried peonies into a beautiful bouquet.