How To Preserve Peony Buds

Peony stems should be cut while they are still in bud shape and before they have opened fully. The flower bud should feel smooth and marshmallow-like in your fingers.

It is too soon to cut the stem if it feels like a hard stone because there is a much lower probability of it blossoming later.

On the other hand, you can only keep the petals in your refrigerator for a short period of time if they are too loose and have already begun to unfurl. That’s okay if you want to utilize them this weekend for a gathering, but that’s not really what we’re after.

Here is a movie I made last year demonstrating the many peony bloom stages. It was really created with cutting peonies for vases in mind, but it still serves as an excellent illustration of the many bud phases for this topic.

Peony buds, cut

Cut your peony stems to the desired length using garden pruners or good scissors. I usually trim my peony stems to 12 to 16 inches.

Because you will be trimming them again at a later stage, you should cut them a few inches longer than you eventually want them to be.

Just remember to avoid cutting the stem off at the root level so that the bush can continue to store energy for the crop of blooms that will appear the following season.

Take Leaves Off

Disconnect the majority of the stems’ leaves. This lessens the possibility that excessive moisture would build up when you keep them.

How can peony buds be kept for later blooming?

  • Once you’ve located the delicate buds, trim just above a row of leaves with pruners or garden snips. (Because you’ll need to trim the stems again before arranging, make sure to cut them an inch or two longer than what you need for your vase.)
  • To keep the buds moist, put them inside a sizable plastic zip bag and close them. Be careful not to injure the buds or bend the stems while doing so.
  • Nothing more is placed in the bag! There is no need for additional moisture because too much moisture could lead to the growth of mold. For one to two months, you can anticipate keeping them in the refrigerator. Imagine taking out your favorite peonies in the midst of July to enjoy!

Do peony buds reopen after being cut?

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 long do peonies last in a vase?

It’s crucial to trim the stems of a peony at an angle before placing it in a vase. The lowest leaf should then be taken off and placed in a vase with warm water. Want to extend the life of your peony? You can fill your vase with a tablespoon of sugar, a dash of bleach, or sparkling water. That will keep the water fresh and prevent premature flower wilting.

Can you wrap newspaper over peony buds?

Roll your peony stems in a piece of newspaper after removing the leaves. The newspaper prevents condensation from the plastic bags, which you will see in the following step, from getting on the stems.

Place the wrapped stems in a plastic bag.

If you carefully duct tape the plastic wrap together so it won’t “unstick,” you can use it in a pinch.

Nothing else should be placed in the bag. Do not add any water or anything similar, such as wet paper towels. At this time, more moisture is not what the peony want.

Put the Bag in the Fridge

Since peony stems aren’t THAT heavy, you can stack additional bags on top of one another if you’re cooling many stems.

removing peony buds from storage so you can enjoy them

Take your buds out of their packaging, trim 1-2″ off the ends of the stems so they won’t dry out, and place the flowers in a vase filled with room temperature water.

Since the stems require time to warm up after being in the refrigerator and the buds are once more just beginning their opening process, it can take a day or two for the blooms to begin to open up.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Regular florists can preserve flowers for a lot longer than we can, but they can control their temps much better than we can.

To account for any buds that don’t open properly, you should cut at least a few extra ones—more than you actually need for your arrangement.

Even with flowers that I pick directly from my garden and place in a vase, a few never fully open for some reason.

How are peony petals preserved?

Simply gather all the individual petals you choose to keep, arrange them in a single layer on a mesh screen or a baking sheet covered with paper towels, and store the petals someplace dry and cool until they become brittle. Individual peony petals can also be preserved using silica gel.

How long do cut peonies last?

Peonies. We are simply insatiable for them. They’re simultaneously dramatic and dreamy. You’ll need to know how to take care of yours to get the most out of them because these renowned stems only have a brief vase life—typically around 5 days. This practical handbook fills that need. Continue reading for advice from our talented florists on how to take care of peonies.

What are some uses for peony petals?

Peonies that have been dried look lovely in floral arrangements and assist to maintain the beauty of these transient blooms. Dried peonies provide you the choice to enjoy them all year long because their flowers remain for a very long time on the plant and not nearly long enough in a vase in a season. Depending on the kind, dried peony can have a wide range of colors. Some people lose a lot of their pigment, while others keep it for a long time. The color will typically be a little bit more subdued and darker than the fresh cut flower. Pink flowers can turn a dusty rose, red flowers can turn a deep burgundy, and white flowers can turn yellow to beige.

When the bloom is fully opened but before it begins to droop or lose petals, dry peonies. Peonies can be hung individually or in bunches of up to three from a wire rack in a cool, dry location with consistent temperature. After drying, the stems may become brittle, but you can replace them if necessary using florist wire. Put dried peony in wreaths and dried arrangements.

Peonies’ fragrant petals can also be dried. You don’t need a lot to have enough for projects—just one or two bomb or double blossoms can fill up a mason jar with dried petals.

How are peonies used after they bloom?

After your peonies have finished performing for the year, some tender loving care will guarantee that they return even stronger the following year. Deadheading, or picking off faded flowers, helps the plant conserve energy for the blooms of the following year and guards against fungus diseases. Do not remove any foliage; only the spent blooms should be removed (the plant will need those leaves to help build up flowers for next year).

For herbaceous peonies, once a fall frost has died off the foliage, you can cut the entire plant to the ground. New growth will emerge from the roots in the spring. Trim the tree peony in the late spring. Remove any damaged wood immediately. Cut at an angle, just above buds that face outward.

My peony buds dried up; why?

excessive shadow, inadequate fertilizer, or drought Any stress placed on the plant could cause bud-blast. This may involve excessive shade. Peonies love full light, poor soil with insufficient fertilization, or a time of drought in the spring when the plants are actively growing and developing buds.

How long will a peony survive in water?

If you know when to cut them and how to store them, you may store peonies for several weeks or even months.

One of the most popular springtime flowers is the peony. They bloom in the Midwest from late May until mid-June. In her book, “The Flower Farmer, An Organic Grower’s Guide to Raising and Selling Cut Flowers,” Lynn Byczynski refers to peony as the “darlings of the spring flower world.”

I was recently discussing peonies with a friend when she said how her grandmother always had a fresh bouquet of peonies on her Thanksgiving table. Years had passed before our beloved South American spring flowers made their fall market debut. Flowers are now commonly seen “because to the fact that they are produced and transported daily throughout the world. Even now, the expense of peonies in November would be so prohibitive that the bouquet would be more expensive than the entire supper. For longer than the brief period they are in bloom during their season, many of us who adore peony yearn to use them as cut flowers. How could my friend’s granny celebrate Thanksgiving with a peony bouquet? How can the cut flower enthusiast help the peony season last longer?

happy news Peonies can be cut and stored for a few weeks or even months, depending on the kind. Knowing when to cut them from the plant and how to preserve them correctly are essential if you want your peonies to bloom much later after being kept in the refrigerator.

You must first understand when to cut the peonies. The time must be exact. According to Wilma Jackson of the Sunny Dale Spring Peony Farm in Valley Center, Kansas, you should cut the blooms when the buds are showing some color and are soft like a marshmallow if you want to preserve a peony for proper bloom and attain a vase life of five to ten days. To ensure that you are cutting peonies at the right developmental stage, you must check them multiple times a day while they are in bloom.

The peony should be kept dry after being cut. To stop water loss, Michigan State University Extension advises removing the leaves off the stem. The next step is to completely wrap the peony in clear plastic wrap, from stem to bud, and secure both ends. The covering should be sealed to prevent moisture loss from the flowers. If you’re going to keep them in a frost-free refrigerator, a good tight seal is essential.

For up to three months, keep them horizontal. (Or, till Thanksgiving, as my friend claims. She put her grandmother’s in wet newspapers.) Cut the stem before placing them in tepid water in a cool room after removing them from their cold storage. The peony should bloom for about a week after being properly watered.

If you’re considering receiving a bouquet of peonies for Thanksgiving, read Byczynski’s book, “Numerous peony varieties are listed along with their vase life in The Flower Farmer, An Organic Grower’s Guide to Raising and Selling Cut Flowers. Try extending the amount of time you may enjoy fresh peonies, perhaps for months, even if you have no idea what kinds of peonies are flourishing in your garden.