Easy projects can freshen up your home & be inexpensive, too
Add a Beautiful Peony Arrangement to Any Room
It's best to buy...
When they are fresh cut and still in bud stage, because it allows you to enjoy the full blooming process. If you get peonies that are already fully open, they will look gorgeous but will only last a few days at most.
Once your peonies are purchased...
1. Peonies will usually arrive wrapped in paper. Carefully remove and put the paper wrap aside.
2. Fill up a clean container or vase with at least 3” to 4” of room temperature water.
3. Cut at least ½” to 1” off each stem at a diagonal and quickly place it in the water. (To read more on cutting flowers, click here) You’ll want to make sure you remove any foliage that falls below the water line.
4. After you’ve cut each stem, re-wrapping the paper around the peonies. Depending on your container, you can wrap around the whole vase. This is not necessary, but wrapping around the peonies keeps them upright and enables them to hydrate better. This is also advisable when arranging tulips.
5. You can remove the paper wrap after 3-4 hours.
6. The rate at which the blooms open will vary and depend on a variety of factors. Some peony varieties (e.g., coral charm) open quickly, while others may take a few days to start. The temperature of the room they are kept in will also affect how quickly they open: warmer room = faster open rate.
7. You’ll want to keep an eye on the water levels as peonies can drink quite a bit of water so you may have to re-fill the vase often. Also, you’ll want to clean and refill the vase and re-cut the stems at least every 2-3 days to maximize vase life.
Hosting a dinner party in a few hours? Here's how to make your peonies open faster...
1. Pull off as much foliage as possible. Some people like to leave a little bit on for some greenery, but if you don’t need it, pull off all foliage. This will divert all of the plant’s energy to opening up that bloom.
2. Fill up your vase or container with at least 6” of slightly warm (not hot) water. (The deeper the water, the faster the blooms will open).
3. Re-cut each stem and quickly place them in the water
4. Put the vase in a warm, but not hot room. The warmth will help speed up the bloom process, but you don’t want to cook the peonies, so make sure that you also keep it away from direct sunlight and heating vents.
5. If buds have started to open up and you really need them to open up more, you can help them along by VERY carefully and gently opening up the bloom with your fingers. Slightly push back the calyx (the outer green petal-like covering) and outer petals to help it start to open up more.
Need to slow down the blooming process?
1. If you have not yet processed your peonies, just leave them as they have arrived wrapped in paper and put them in a dry spot in a refrigerator. Make sure to keep the blooms away from moisture and also fruits and vegetables. These naturally give off ethylene gas which will speed up the aging of your blooms which you don’t want. You can keep peonies out of water in a refrigerator for up to a week. Once you’re ready to use them, just follow the same steps to hydrate them.2
2. If you’ve already cut and put the stems in water, don’t worry you can still slow down the process. If you have a fridge big enough, just place the whole vase inside (making sure to keep them away from fruits and vegetables).
3. If your fridge is not big enough, then you can remove the blooms, gently dry off the stems with a clean cloth. Make sure there is no moisture on the leaves or blooms and re-wrap them in paper before putting them into the fridge.
4. If you don’t have a fridge available, then the next best thing is to keep them in the coldest and dimmest room possible. That could be a closet, bathroom or even a garage. Just make sure it’s not SO cold that they freeze!