How to Care for Peonies

Peonies are beloved for their lush, romantic blooms and fragrance, making them a popular choice for flower arrangements. However, their delicate nature requires specific care to ensure they stay vibrant and beautiful for as long as possible. Whether you are a florist, a flower enthusiast, or simply someone who loves having fresh flowers at home, this guide will help you care for peonies in your arrangements.

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1. Choosing the Right Peonies

The longevity and beauty of your peony arrangement begin with selecting the right blooms. When purchasing peonies, look for buds that are just starting to open, often referred to as “marshmallow” stage – they should be soft but not fully open. This stage ensures that the flowers will open gradually, giving you more time to enjoy their full beauty.

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2. Preparing Your Peonies

Once you have your peonies, it is essential to prepare them correctly before placing them in an arrangement.

Trim the Stems:

  • Use a sharp, clean pair of scissors to cut the stems at a 45-degree angle. This angle increases the surface area for water absorption.
  • Trim about an inch off the bottom of each stem.

Remove Excess Foliage:

  • Remove any leaves that would be submerged in water. This prevents bacterial growth, which can shorten the lifespan of your flowers.
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3. Hydration is Key

Proper hydration is crucial for their longevity.

Initial Hydration:

  • Place the trimmed peonies in a bucket of room temperature water and let them hydrate for a few hours or overnight if possible. This helps them recover from any dehydration they might have experienced during transport.

Changing Water Regularly:

  • In your arrangement, change the water every 1-2 days. Fresh water keeps bacteria at bay and helps the peonies stay fresh.
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4. Optimal Conditions

Peonies will last longer if they are kept in the right conditions.

Temperature:

  • Keep the arrangement in a cool place, away from direct sunlight and heat sources, which can cause the flowers to wilt prematurely.

Humidity:

  • High humidity can benefit peonies, as it helps keep them hydrated. A cool misting occasionally can help maintain moisture, especially in dry environments.

Ethylene Gas:

  • Keep peonies away from ripening fruits. Fruits release ethylene gas, which can cause flowers to age faster.
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5. Handling and Reviving Wilted Peonies

Minimize Handling:

  • Handle peonies gently to avoid bruising their delicate petals.

Reviving Wilted Blooms:

  • If your peonies start to wilt, give them a fresh cut and place them in water. This can sometimes revive them, allowing them to absorb water more efficiently.

Prune Regularly:

  • Remove any wilted or dead blooms promptly. This not only keeps the arrangement looking fresh but also prevents the spread of decay to other flowers.

With their captivating beauty, peonies can be the star of any floral arrangement. By following these care tips, you can ensure that your peonies remain fresh, vibrant and enchanting for as long as possible. Enjoy the process of arranging and the beauty of your peonies!

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