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How to make peonies last longer? Actually there are a few tricks that you can use! When I worked as a florist we knew how to make sure that they would be in bloom for when they were needed (no bride wants half open peony blooms in her bouquet!) and how to hold off blooms.
Peonies are the belle of the garden. Their frilly loveliness is like the many layered edge of a petticoat. Full and lush they look amazing in both the garden and cut in vases and arrangements, but alas, their blooms can be saddly short if you don't know how to take care of them.
The best time to cut your peonies is first thing in the morning when it is still cool. In a pinch you can cut them later in the day but it will mean that they might be slightly dehydrated from the warmth of the day.
You are looking for buds that are just about to open, they will still be in round bud form but the texture of them will be soft like a firm feather pillow. These flowers will start to bloom in two or three days if you place them in room temperature water and put them in an arrangement.
Florist receive their peonies in tight bud form, the buds will still be hard balls. The trick is that if you don't know exactly when to pick hard buds they will not open. There is a fine line between the buds being hard and too hard.
If you don't have any buds then cut the flowers that look like they have just started to open and put them in cool water. These a blooms that you will start enjoying that day.
It is absolutely important that you must put your flowers in fresh clean water and a container that has been cleaned with dish soap and a bit of bleach. Bacteria can stay in dry vases or container for 6 months and it is this bacteria that makes your flowers die quickly.
Fill your vase to about two inches from the top with cool water. Remove any folige on the stem that will be in the water. If you leave these leaves on they will turn the water green and slimy.
Recut the stems on an angle the length you want and put them into your arrangement. You are cutting on an angle so the stems don't sit flat on the bottom and not be able to draw up water and an angle will have more area for water to be drawn up.
The first two days you must check the water level morning and night. Peonies can drink a lot of water in the first 48 hours. You want the water level to remain high to immerse the stems because where you have removed leaves can draw in water as well.
I always keep an eye on the weather when my peonies are in bloom. If I see that the weather is going to turn very hot while my peonies are in full bloom I will go out and cut them all. Heat waves will make peonies "blow" meaning they will loose all their petals, so for me I would rather enjoy my peonies in my home for a few more days that watch all the petals drop to the ground during a heat wave. (If your peonies "blow" then you can always use the petals to Make Peony Potpourri)
To extend the amount of time you can cut peonies for flowers try planting several different varieties in mulitple locations in your garden. I have peonies blooming for about 6 weeks in my garden by doing this.
If it is all possible see about putting your peony arrangements in a very cool spot overnight. It is the coolness that will prolong them. If you can put the arrangement in the fridge make sure that there is no fruit in the fridge as fruit lets off ethylene gases that can damage the flowers.
If you have a cool dark place in your basement that would be ideal.
If you have blooms that you want to bloom quicker then place them in slightly warm , not hot, water in a warm area.
By cutting them properly, placing them in clean vases, keeping them out of warm areas and placing them somewhere cool overnight you will be able to extend the life of your peonies.
As some of your peonies wilt you can remove them and replace them with fresh blooms to make your arrangements last even longer!
By following these simple instructions you can easily figure out how to make peonies last longer!
Read More about Peonies and other flowers!