I have a dilemna at times when one of my flowers bloom too early and I would love to have some blooms for a special occasion later on. This is the case with my peonies. Here is what one of my plants looked like on April 21, 2009.
Delaying peony blooms - and others too??
So, I was thrilled when I came across an article which tells you how to pick peonies early, and refrigerate them to delay blooming for up to two weeks. Perfect solution to my problem. The article is from a blog - will have to find it later. But basically, what you do is to pick the peonies when they are between the size of a golf ball and a tennis ball. Make sure the buds are dried, remove the leaves, wrap individually in absorbent paper like newspaper, put in a plastic sleeve, and refrigerate. It was an extremely windy day yesterday, so I knew the buds were perfectly dried. I cut a bunch of buds that fit the size description (though I think the last three are probably too mature), wrapped, and stuck in the fridge. Will see what happens.
Interesting, do youhave a photo of them wrapped? What did you use for a plastic sleeve?
Beautiful arrangement Dianne, your Peonies are wonderful! Great information, Thanks for sharing.
It will be fun to experiment with this technique.
This is the article that I read and decided to give it a try.
Here is another article on this same technique that was suggested by a fellow DGer in the peony forum
They skip the wrapping process and lay the buds directly in 2 gallon ziplock bags - I am off to the store to get some 2 gallon bags tomorrow and will try this method too.
Will be awaiting to hear how it works out. Interesting process, will have to read more when I get a bit more time.
And thrilled with the results. My original intention was to keep the peony buds in the refrigerator for two weeks until Mother's day. But, I had a bunch of other flowers on mother's day, so I decided to keep the peony on hold longer. We had some guests over the weekend, and this would be a great time to see the results. These stalks have been in the refrigerator for 4 weeks now. This is what they look unlike unrolled.
Since I had to cut off most of the foliage before storing the stalks, I added some leatherleaf fern to the arrangement. This is day 3. After 4 weeks, it still makes a great arrangement. Not as good as the original, but to have this vase of flowers 4 weeks later, it is amazing.
Has anyone tried this technique on other kinds of flowers?
Fabulous, I actually like the ferns better than the leaves on the poppys. This worked great for you, I wonder if same could be done with roses and such? May have to give this a whirl.
They look great Dianne! Very pretty with the ferns, new vase? very nice!!
Candee - let us know when you decide to give it a whirl.
Terri - I had that vase for about 3 months now - it was part of the five that I got at the thrift store. It's a nice one for a medium sized neck.
Wholesale florists keep peonies in the cold out of water to delay opening. But once you put them in water, they open immediately, as you discovered. Roses are often treated the same way. In fact, roses sold at Valentines have often been cut in October and November and kept in cold storage. Amazing to me that it works this way!
I read an article about this and it said to pick the buds when they were in the marshmallow stage… just a bit bigger than a golf ball but still firmish. I kept mine in the fridge for 2 months and they did bloom. I'm doing it again this spring in the hopes of keeping them for a Sept. wedding. I also read that if the flowers flop over on the stem with either roses or peonies, to submerge the entire stem and flower in cool water laying flat and they will perk up.
All of my peonies are already too far in bloom to give this a try this year... maybe next year! I do wish I had some pretty pink like yours! All of these were here (but I moved them) when we got here. I have a neighbor who has offered to thin her pink ones and I can hardly wait!
#1 is today, #2 was less than a month ago!