Real Flowers Hate Me

When people ask me why I make so many paper flowers, I tell them the truth.
“Because real flowers hate me.”
No, really. Whatever I plant refuses to grow. Believe me, I have tried. 
The people who used to live here planted some gorgeous flowers, including some a bush of luscious pink peonies.  I felt very proud thinking this would be the first time in my life I could harvest a whole bouquet of home grown flowers. Which I did. And they were great. FOR TWENTY MINUTES. 
They started like this…
…but the wilting set in within an hour and advanced overnight. I put them in the fridge for a while thinking they needed a pick me up, but no such luck. They lost the will to live.
I told you: real flowers hate me. 


  1. Melly says

    Peaches, don’t feel bad….flowers & plants hate me too. That’s why I’m so happy I found your blog….you’ve tought me to make my own beautiful paper flowers! :} Not being able to grow my own lovely plants has always bothered me b/c my mother & her mother can grow ANYTHING! They’ve tried to help me grow plants, but I guess I’m just a lost cause. I like my paper 1’s anyway b/c they last sooo much longer! I & many others owe you a great thanks Peaches :}

  2. says

    Havt you tried putting a teaspoon of sugar and a crushed aspirin tablet in the water? Also, try cutting the stems at an angle instead of straight across. Those always seem to work for me. Good luck!

  3. Jennmoye says

    Put a penny in a vase of tulips.
    It has the most amazing effect a little like Viagra for tulips. Learned it from a decorator who styled for print a lot.
    and I second the aspirin.

  4. Shoutingforha says

    I have a similar problem. I have gorgeous hydrangea, peony and lilac bushes and I love nothing more than to cut some blooms to bring inside my house. The only thing I’ve found to prevent almost immediate wilting is to make a vertical cut up the middle of stem (about an inch or two long) before placing the flowers in water. It seems to help the water flow up the stem and make my flowers look lovely for a week or two. Give it a try. Maybe it will help you too. 🙂

  5. Vicki O'Dell says

    Try cutting peonies when the bud is still pretty closed and they should open over night. Then if your peonies have more of a “woody” stem you might have to either smash the end with a hammer or cut some slits into the stem so the water can be absorbed.
    I hope that helps. 🙂

    PS. Ants and peonies go hand in hand so make sure yours aren’t covered in ants before you bring them in.

  6. nutbirds says

    Cut the flowers early in the morning or in the evening. This is to reduce the shock of being cut to the plant. Take a clean container like a bucket full of warm water with you and stick the stem in it immediately. Use kitchen scissors, or secaturs to cut the flowers. Florists “condition” their flowers when they first come into the shop. I think that means that they add the
    white powder and let them drink up water overnight, undisturbed. Regardless, your flowers will last the longest if they can absorb water really fast right after being cut. Warm water gets absorbed faster. Get a clean vase with warm water ready. Many flowers like to be cut under water. That is so no air gets in their veins. I forgot the plant term. Woody stems like lilacs and shrubs, and peonies need to get more water, so smash their stems, or make several vertical cuts with your scissors. Keep the area under the water in the vase spotlessly clean. That means no leaves or little sprouts. Place your flowers in a nice place away from sunlight and drafts. Add water every day. Every few days, recut the stems and change all the water. Get a lot of that white powder from a florist. They have barrels of it, and will probably sell you some. I don’t think pennies are enough. When the flowers are finished, clean the vase with bleach. Scrub all the scum out so that you don’t contaminate the next bunch of flowers. Practice this with green leaves. Pachysandra makes a nice low arrangement. Buy a bunch of flowers at the grocery store and try them out. Good luck. Prince Charles would say talk to the plants.

  7. nutbirds says

    No they don’t! You just don’t know how to treat them. I’ll write you instructions about it soon.

  8. Julia says

    I bought some cut peonies from the supermarket a week ago and they still haven’t opened up from their buds. In fact the buds are looking like they may shrivel up and die any day now. It’s not just you that’s for sure!

  9. Martinwheaton says

    I find for my peonies to last 10 days or so I must take a container with water in it outside with me to put the cut flowers into IMMEDIATELY. Also, you can cut ready to open peonies wrapped in newspaper in a refrigerator and keep them for up to six months. Recut at least one inch off the bottom and put into warm water to stimulate them to open. There was a peony lady on Martha Stewart and you should be able to search her on the Martha site. Also, make sure the vase or container is spotlessly clean, even bleach the inside or put in the dishwasher first.

  10. says

    loved all the comments here! I have one more question to ask you.. are you on city water? they actually add bleach to the public systems and it wrecks havock on house plants and cut flowers… use bottled water, or well water… ( if this doesnt apply, then hopefully someone else will learn about it!) xxoo

  11. PeachesFreund says

    I am on city water, but I used filtered water for the jar. That is a good tip to remember!

  12. PeachesFreund says

    Six months?! Holy cats. I would be happy for two days of blooms….six months, Ha! I’ll remember about dunking them in water straight away.

  13. abee says

    We are so happy that it’s not the paper flowers that hate you!

  14. abee says

    Sometimes when they are picked too early they have difficulties to open. Just wet the buds once or twice a day, it helps them to crack the sticky “glue” that keeps them in bud form. – I hope it’s not too late for your bunch now!

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