How To Pick Peonies From Garden

I struggle to identify which flower is my favorite type when the seasons change and new blooms start to display their stunning hues and variegated petals. Peonies are clearly the winner right now! The queens of midsummer, zinnias and sunflowers, too hold a special place in my heart.

We had the good fortune to learn that last spring, our property was blessed with the presence of more than 30 peony plants. We appreciate whoever left those behind for us. We have a large amount of landscaping surrounding our farmhouse that we intend to change over time. Even though they are stunning, the peonies are scattered around, some under trees and some among other perennials. In order to grow even more blooms and have them in a specific agricultural area, I eventually want to divide and transfer them.

Last year, I immediately realized that waiting until the flowers opened before cutting them was wasting a lot of our blossoms. That seems to be the wrong time to do it because your vase life will drastically decrease as a result. Peonies have a very precise optimal time to be harvested, which can significantly affect when they bloom and how long they last in a vase. Let’s discuss how to gather and preserve peony so you may continue to enjoy them well into the fall.

Step One:

Examine the maturity of your peony. The closer it gets to harvest time, the more noticeable and big the buds will become. They are ready to cut once the petals have started to show and feel soft (also known as the “marshmallow stage”). You may get a fair idea of how they seem from the pictures above!

You must observe them closely at all times. Peonies appear to take an eternity to open, but once they get to the marshmallow stage, they usually do so the following day or the day after. I’ve been keeping a close eye on them for weeks, and I’ve occasionally lost track!

Step Two:

Cut your peonies to the length you want. In arrangements, I usually cut a little longer than I really want. This guarantees that I can keep trimming the stem’s end as the days go by while they are in the vase. The photographs above give you a decent indication of how lengthy the stems can be. The flower can enjoy a brand-new day of drinking if the stem is cut every day by around a quarter to a half inch.

Step Three:

Remove the stem’s whole leaves. With a pair of razor-sharp shears, a knife, or a floral foliage stripper, cut the leaves flush to the stem. 2-4 more buds are typically present on peony stems. I prefer to remove the leaves while keeping the bigger buds in place. Though they frequently remain closed, they occasionally open. It simply depends on where they are in the process when you cut them. If anything, they complement their big sister’s blossoming appearance well. The stem will concentrate all of its water intake on the bloom rather than the leaves if the foliage is removed.

Step Four:

Organize your peonies. Here, you can choose from a few different strategies. After cutting, you may simply put them in the vase! Depending on the variety and the stage at when you cut the plant, you can anticipate completely opened blooms in 1-3 days.

Alternatively, you can keep them in the fridge for up to three months! How illogical is that? It’s a tiny miracle, really! To achieve this, enclose your peony in plastic wrap from the bottom to the top. I close the two plastic bags I use with a rubber band or twist tie, one on top and one on the bottom. In order to make my life a little bit easier when getting ready for market, I also always gather my peonies into bouquets first.

Laying horizontally, keep in the refrigerator away from produce for up to three months. Place them in the vase with the floral addition when you’re ready to remove them. In the event that the stem ends start to turn brown or gray, you might want to clip them. Every day, change the water. They should open within a few days.

The delicate, billowing petals of peonies and their potent, sweet perfume make them such lovely flowers. For us, they always steal the show in markets and in the country store! We cherish their season to the fullest. This year, I can’t wait to divide up some of our plants, and I might even look into some novel and unusual varieties.

How are peonies cut from the garden?

Peony Flowers Should Be Cut Make sure to leave one to three pairs of leaves on the portion of the stem that is still attached to the plant when you cut each bud so that its stem is between 14 and 18 inches long. Snip off the lower third of the leaves from the cut stem after shaking or brushing off any ants that are still clinging to the bud.

How are peonies selected?

Peonies from the field should be chosen at the “stage of a marshmallow, when the heads have a tiny bit of give.

Forget about imported flowers. The best flowers can be found in your own area, directly from a flower farmer.

According to the USDA (USDA Farmers’ Market Data), local farmers’ markets grew by a startling 17 percent countrywide in 2011. Additionally, as more farmers’ markets sprout up in towns across the country, you can count on seeing more lovely flower stands, which is fantastic news for DIY floral designers, hostesses, and nature lovers.

You’ll be astounded by the variety and quality of fresh, in-season, and unusual floral crops at a weekly farmers’ market. Yes, meeting the individuals who grow these flowers is enjoyable. However, you can also benefit from their expertise and experience. Request advice from your flower grower on how to take care of their lovely stems at home. Here are some suggestions on maximizing the vase life of farmers’ market flowers while still enjoying them:

Selection: To get particularly fresh variety right from the field, most farmers harvest their crops as close to market day as possible. The best selection can be found by shopping early in the day (besides, cooler weather always makes flowers happier!). If the market is outside, be prepared to see sizable awnings or umbrellas to shade the floral goods from the sun. Check the restroom’s cleanliness. Do the buckets contain fresh water and are they clean? Be certain to inquire “Where is your farm? and “What kind of growing techniques do you employ? Tell the vendor how much you value eco-friendly methods.

What to watch out for

For her summers bouquets and vase arrangements, Chicago floral designer Lynn Fosbender, owner of Pollen Flowers, relies on Midwest flower farmers.

When selecting a mixed bouquet, make sure all the components are equally fresh. The centerpiece flowers, delicate pieces with soft textures, and greenery should feel full, not limp or wilted. When choosing a straight bunch, also known as a “Check the grower’s bunch to make sure that all the stems and blossoms are the same length.

  • Most flower kinds should have rather tight flower heads so that they will keep opening in the vase on your dining table.
  • When a flower is clipped, some, like dahlias, do not continue to open; what you see is what you get. Others can be fully open and last for much over a week, like zinnias.
  • With lilies, like Stargazer or the Asiatic types, choose stems with plump, tight buds and perhaps just one full bloom; you’ll love seeing the flowers unfold one after the other for more than a week.
  • Sunflowers should be around halfway or halfway open, and as their petals spread out in the vase, they will start to appear fuller.
  • The tops of the foliage on tulips should have a tight head and be as tall as feasible ” (if the tulip head is far above the foliage tips, it means the flowers have been in water for several days, as the stems continue to “grow).
  • Tightly budged daffodils will open up attractively indoors to a full trumpet form.
  • The peonies ought to be in the “Stage of the marshmallow (gently squeeze the bud and you’ll notice a spongy feeling similar to a marshmallow). Peonies won’t keep well at home if you purchase them already completely opened.
  • Look for a rose head that is just partially open; garden roses shouldn’t have tight heads or fully opened heads.
  • Those upper-most buds will open in your vase. Tall or spiky flowers, including delphiniums, gladiolas, and snapdragons, should have tight or closed buds along the top one-third of the stem, with the lower two-thirds in bloom.
  • Although lilacs rarely stay longer than five days in a vase, their heady aroma more than makes up for this. Choose lilacs while the top florets are still in bloom.
  • Hydrangeas should be almost fully opened, and they require a lot of fresh water in a vase filled to the neck in order to hydrate the entire stem.
  • All stems should be free of bottom foliage, clean, and without any slime. Any lingering leaves must be healthy and unblemished.

Locally grown flowers will stay considerably longer in the vase when properly cared for than flowers that were imported.

How to take care of flowers at home:

When my workshop participants inquire, “How long will these flowers stay in a vase?,” I’m always taken aback. How long do you enjoy a bottle of wine for? is a common way for me to respond. or “How long does it take to dine at your favorite restaurant a farm-to-table meal?

Usually, the answer is 45 minutes! We appear to be content with the less than an hour of enjoyment that food and wine provide, but we demand flowers to look amazing for longer than a week! Change your expectations and enjoy the present. Some flowers are so delicate that after being cut, they don’t really last that long. But it in no way lessens how much I adore it! Farmers’ market floral selections typically last 5 to 7 days.

  • As soon as you can, get your flowers at the farmer’s market and bring them home. The more time those bunches spend in your car while you conduct errands, the more quickly their freshness will start to deteriorate.
  • Open the bundle, take out and discard any rubber bands or twist ties. If you’re handling thorny flowers, wear work gloves.
  • With a large vase or fresh pail of water handy, I prefer to prepare one stem at a time. Remove any extra foliage by starting immediately beneath the flower head and working your way down the stem. A few green leaves should be left at the top, close to the flower. Some leaves can’t be stripped off in this manner; they must be manually plucked or snipped off one at a time. Put all plant matter waste in a compost container.
  • Use a clean, sharp flower knife, floral snips, or pruning shears to recut all stems (for woody stems). Cut stems at a 45-degree angle, then insert them right away in your water-filled bucket or vase. Before arranging the flowers, set them in a cool, dark location to let them hydrate for a few hours.
  • Give any flowers that want additional reviving a cool “Put a hand towel on top to keep them immersed while giving them a bath in the sink or tub. Lift the stems out of the water after about 15 minutes, tie them loosely in a bunch, and hang that bunch from the curtain rod or shower head to allow more moisture to enter the flower head. This method frequently helps perennials and hydrangeas with wilted necks.
  • It is not necessary to break or twist woody stems, as was traditionally thought to be advantageous. Woody Cut Stems for Growers and Florists, a research-based reference, by academics Lane Greer and John M. Dole, claims that the method “never been demonstrated to increase vase life. Using clean, sharp pruners and changing the vase water every day or two is the greatest thing you can do.
  • Utilize fresh water and a spotless, watertight container. I don’t use any home remedies or florist’s food. The best thing you can do is to keep your bouquet out of direct sunshine, away from any heat sources, and with fresh water in the vase.
  • When you change the water, recut the stems if it is possible (cut all stems 1/2 inch from the bottom). Try this advice if your setup is complicated and seems impossible to fix: In the kitchen sink, put the entire arrangement. Lift the leaves at the vase’s edge with care so that the spray from the faucet is directed inside. Activate the water and let it run for a few minutes. The fresh water that has just filled the vase will start to overflow and spill out into the drain, replacing the current water (dry off the bottom and outside of the container when finished). For the duration of the arrangement, do this once or twice per day.

At Seattle’s Pike Place Market, one of my favorite farmers, Gretchen Hoyt, sells tulips that have been produced responsibly.

The new rock stars of the floral industry are flower farmers! Supporting regional American flower growers helps preserve agricultural land, promotes rural economic growth, and generates farm employment that pay a living wage. These dedicated farmers are willing to share their experiences with you and introduce you to seasonal botanical elements such as annuals, perennials, and other plants that will stimulate your own imagination. Some farms allow U-pick visitors, while others collaborate directly with wedding parties to grow flowers specifically for the DIY couple. If you are unable to locate a local grower of flowers in your area, try these resources:

When clipped, do peonies grow back?

Herbaceous peonies have delicate stems and naturally die back in the fall before regrowing in the spring. In the fall, trimming the dead stems to the ground keeps the garden looking neat and helps keep pests and illnesses at bay. Be careful not to harm the crown, the fleshy portion of the plant that lies in between the roots and the stems, when you cut the stems.

As soon as you notice stems that have disease or insect infestations, remove them. Trim peony tree limbs to eliminate winter weather damage and to fix structural issues in the spring.

Is picking peonies a wise idea?

What is the optimum time to select my peonies and how do I make them last? is a frequent query we receive. On our property, peony blossoms are frequently among the first to bloom. Their tiny red beaks emerge from the ground and develop into crimson shoots, green bushes, balled tips, and eventually lovely blooms. However, they arrive in a hurry, and throughout the years, we have developed several strategies to keep them around the house for as long as we can.

When do I cut peonies?

I’d guess that most gardeners clip their peonies after they have nearly fully opened, which is a touch too late. It is ideal to choose them as they change from being a hard ball to a soft “marshmallow like firmness” in order to achieve the longest vase life and savor the anticipation as the bloom gently opens. At this point, if you place them outside in a vase, they will continue to open and blossom into the stunning, enormous flower.

Take the longest stem you can to the flower’s base before cutting. This will promote root development and energy storing for the following season.

How can I save flowers and have a supply for an extended period?

Peonies have the drawback that they all bloom at once and then vanish. Here are some suggestions to prolong the season and your enjoyment.

  • Planting PeoniesAt Celtic, we have a rotation plan that takes different types, exposure levels, and ages into account. Peony cultivars bloom at slightly varying intervals of time. Thus, adding a lot will lengthen the blooming season in your garden and landscape. As your collection expands, you’ll notice that older plants tend to bloom earlier and more quickly than newer ones. A small variance in bloom dates is also added when the parent plant is divided. Finally, changing plantings and exposure will change the bloom schedule. A plant’s bloom cycle may be shifted to a later stage by full 8-hour light exposure as opposed to a little morning or afternoon shade. A combination of all three will produce some excellent outcomes.
  • Refrigerator
  • We’ve discovered that blossoms that spend some time immediately in the refrigerator endure a lot longer. Additionally, storing your cuttings in wet paper or plastic can keep them fresh for weeks or even months depending on the kind. Cut the stems after you remove them and place them in warm water to start the bloom.

How long will peonies last in a vase?

Peonies that have been cut usually last 5 to 10 days. You can easily surpass that amount and enjoy peony ecstasy for closer to two weeks if you cut them at the ideal moment, store them in the refrigerator for a short while, and add floral preservative to the water.

Just a little post on how to cherish our favorite flower forever. How do you keep yours intact?