As a wedding florist, we get LOTS of requests for peonies during the spring and early summer season. The only problem is, they are available for a short amount of time, and sometimes we need them to hold for a few weeks when we know they are on their way out. If you’re like me, and everyone else, you have a love affair with these blooms. Maybe you’re having a dinner party in a few weeks, but you’re peonies are already starting to show. Or your favorite grower won’t have them in a week when you need them. Whether your buying them from the farmers market, or harvesting them from your own garden…here is our trick to extending the season and enjoying these blooms longer!
First, cut or buy your peonies when they are still in the bud stage. They will feel hard like a marble, before the bloom has ‘popped’. Wrap your bunch of buds in news paper, completely covering the blooms and stems. No walk in cooler? No problem, a regular fridge will do!
Keep the buds in your fridge for up to two weeks(although we have had success holding them longer!). When you’re ready for fresh peonies, just simply unwrap your buds (they will look all wilty and sad-like), make a new angled cut to each stem, and place in a vase of fresh water(no, we don’t use preservative!). Make sure to remove any lower foliage so that there is none in the water.
In a few hours, and up to a day, they will re hydrate and begin to bloom!