DIY Flower Arranging – How to make your Peonies last

Believe it or not, but thanks to the cold and dreary weather we had in April, peony season is still going strong!! While the ones in my garden are unfortunately already withered this year (they are a very early variety) you can still get a bunch of peonies almost everywhere. Certainly at your local florist and I’m pretty sure also in super markets or grocery stores.

Should you be lucky enough to have a later blooming variety in your garden, or want to buy some in store, here are a few tips and tricks on how to make them last als long as possible.

Cutting peonies

  • • Cut them in the early morning hours
  • • Cut them while they are still bulbs or just beginning to burst
  • • Squeeze the bulbs to see if they are already soft. If you cut them too early, when the bulb is really thigt they might not open
  • • Make sure to give them a thourough wash with your garden hose before you take them into the house. Usually you will find one or (twenty) two ants on them. Fun fact, the ants are attracted by the sticky sugary liquid that peonies exude before they bloom. And while sometimes a little annoying, they are not actually harmful to the plant, because when the sugar is eaten, the flowers can open more easily. So they do come in quite handy.

Storing peonies

This is a fun little trick a florist taught me, back when I worked as a wedding photographer. If you want your peonies to last longer and maybe not „use“ them right away in an arrangement, you can actually cut some fresh bulbs while they are soft, wrap them in newspaper and store them in the refrigerator until you’re ready. This way the last for one to two months.

Making peonies last longer in a vase

  • • Remove any leaves from the lower part of the stems so that they’re not submerged in the water. This prevents them from rotting.
  • • Keep them away from direct sunlight
  • • Trim the stems and replace the water every day or every other day – Cut the stems at a diagonal for maximum water absorption.
  • If the bulbs are slow to open use warm water in the beginning. Other than that cold water and a generally cool spot is best
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