Drying preserves the fragrance and color of peony flowers so you can enjoy them long after the short-lived flowers have stopped blooming in the garden. Use the dried petals in sachets, potpourri or as an addition to dried flower crafts. Several drying methods exist, but pressing retains the most color in the petals and requires no special equipment to work successfully. Choose peonies at their peak bloom for drying to ensure they dry with the most color and fragrance.
Things You'll Need
Grasp the petals near their base. Tug gently to separate the petals from the peony blossom.
Trim off any damaged sections on the base of the petals with shears. Dispose of any bruised or discolored petals.
Lay a sheet of newspaper on a baking tray. Place a sheet of blotting paper on top the newspaper.
Arrange the peony petals on top the blotting paper. Place the petals so they lay flat and so they are not touching or overlapping one another.
Place a sheet of blotting paper on top the petals. Lay a second sheet of newspaper on top the blotting paper.
Lay a sheet of cardboard on top the stack of petals and papers. Place bricks or heavy books on top the cardboard. The weight of the bricks presses the moisture out of the petals.
Remove the weights after seven days. Check the petals to ensure they are completely dry and feel papery. Store the dried petals in an airtight container until you are ready to use them.
Dry multiple layers of peony petals by stacking additional sheets of blotting paper and newspaper on top the original stack. Place the petals between two sheets of blotting paper in each layer.
Peony petals typically dry in a week but drying can take up to four weeks.