HGTV Star Egypt Sherrod’s Golden Rule for Making Peonies Last Longer

published May 29, 2024
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Egypt Sherrod helps to unlock your home’s signature scent with Air Wick fragrances.
Credit: Michael Simon

It’s peony season, that fleeting moment from about mid-May to the end of June where you can find these large, layered fragrant blooms fairly easily and for about as cheap as they ever come. My own peony bush doesn’t have as many buds as I’d like this year, so you can bet I’ll be supplementing with other stems before arranging them in a flower vase. If you love peonies as much as I do — or any flower really — you’re going to want to take note of this easy tip for making flowers last longer that I heard from Egypt Sherrod, HGTV star of shows like Property Virgins, Flipping Virgins, and Married to Real Estate, among others. 

As both a designer and owner of a real estate firm that’s staged dozens of houses over the years, Sherrod knows a thing or two about getting as much mileage as possible out of fresh flowers. After all, scent can help create a vibe that can sell a house and make it feel more like a home. So it makes sense that, for one, Sherrod signed on to work with Air Wick, which partnered with national floral delivery service to create an exclusive collection of fragrant bouquets inspired by Air Wick home fragrances. And two, Sherrod has a few tricks up her sleeves for making said flowers last longer: Adding ice cubes and a bit of sugar to the water when you first put your fresh stems in a vase.  

“When you get flowers or someone gives them to you, you should always cut the stem at the bottom in a diagonal because it allows for the flower to absorb the water better versus if it’s just straight, and so it lasts longer,” Sherrod says. “Also, put ice cubes in the water. Again, this helps preserve the flowers. And then when you add a little bit of sugar to the water, it’s like food.”

The science behind these tips is pretty straightforward. According to, “cold water is slower for the flowers to drink,” so that can help prevent bacteria from rotting them. The tablespoon of sugar provides nutrients, but for best results, you’d cut that with an antibacterial and a pH lowering agent. The brand suggests a capful of bleach and a little bit of lemon or lime non-diet soda for these things, respectively. Essentially, this is a recipe for your own flower food, if you’ve run out of what’s come with a bouquet or didn’t receive anything in the first place.  

Credit: Courtesy of Air Wick

As for the Air Wick x Collection, three bouquets will be available for a limited time. Each bouquet purchase comes with instructions for receiving a complementary Air Wick Scented Oils and the Advanced Plug In or Essential Mist refill and Diffuser.