Martha Stewart adorned her breakfast table with gorgeous peonies – this is how to extend the longevity of our blooms

An expert weighs in on peony preservation strategies – so we can make our fresh-cut flowers last in the same way as Stewart's

(Image credit: Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images for Churchill Downs)

The season's most coveted table accessory is, once again, fresh-cut flowers. And can you blame us for loving it? Blooms make for stunning decor on both indoor and outdoor dining tables, bringing a burst of color, fragrance, and texture to gathering spaces.

Martha Stewart is giving us some inspiration with a recent Instagram post featuring pretty pink peonies in a glass vase accompanying a delicious-looking breakfast.

'I hosted a lovely late spring business breakfast and garden tour at my farm – homegrown strawberries just picked from the patch, freshly cut peonies, and a stroll through my productive half-acre vegetable garden,' Stewart states in the caption. The set-up is an early summer postcard – complete with everything we could ever want from an al-fresco farmhouse breakfast. However, we admit that her peonies take center stage.

While Stewart's trimmed peonies are certainly showstoppers, they also require thoughtful maintenance to remain that way. Luckily, we got some tips from an expert on how to achieve lasting blooms. First up: consider these flowers as perishable as fresh food, and store accordingly.

'Peony season is short and sweet, but you can preserve your unbloomed peonies by wrapping them in plastic wrap and placing them in the fridge,' says Interflora's bouquet design manager, Vicky Wilson. 'They can stay there for up to 1 month to bloom at a later date when you're ready to put them on show!'

Once ready to display, Wilson suggests putting the peonies in a clean vase, like Stewart's and ensuring to take care while taking the flowers out of their packaging as they are super delicate.

'Cut the stems by 3-4cm and trim any leaves that may fall into the water which will help bacteria spread to your peonies,' she states. 'To give your beautiful peonies the best chance to thrive you need to place them out of the way of direct sunlight and any drafts. Peonies are thirsty flowers so remember to top up their water every day and change the water completely every other day.'

Alternatively, peonies can be dried and used as accessories in the home (or even crafted into a wreath).

'Air dry your peonies by cutting 6 inches from the stem and removing any leaves,' Wilson suggests. 'Attach a rubber band around each stem or bunch and hang the flowers upside down. Allow room between the flowers so they can dry out evenly. Make sure they are stored in a cool and dry place with no sunlight for 2-3 weeks.'

Hannah Ziegler
News Editor

Hannah is Homes & Gardens’ News Editor, with a focus on celebrity style and entertainment content. She got her start in media as a digital editorial assistant at ELLE Canada, and has since written about lifestyle and culture for publications such as Nylon and i-D.

Her love of film is rivalled only by one with a great soundtrack, and she hopes to someday decorate a Nancy Meyers-worthy kitchen.