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Cut Flowers and Floral Design: Delaying peony blooms - and others too??

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soilsandup
Sacramento, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 28, 2009
11:18 PM

Post #6476879

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.

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soilsandup
Sacramento, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 28, 2009
11:20 PM

Post #6476884

One week later, it is opening up like crazy.

This message was edited Apr 28, 2009 4:21 PM

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soilsandup
Sacramento, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 28, 2009
11:21 PM

Post #6476890

So, I cut some for arrangements that I can enjoy now. But my problem? I want some of these blooms for Mother's day, which is almost 2 weeks away.

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soilsandup
Sacramento, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 28, 2009
11:27 PM

Post #6476908

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.

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haighr
Hagerstown, MD
(Zone 6a)

April 29, 2009
4:32 PM

Post #6479836

Interesting, do youhave a photo of them wrapped? What did you use for a plastic sleeve?
terriculture
london England
United Kingdom

April 29, 2009
10:22 PM

Post #6481339

Beautiful arrangement Dianne, your Peonies are wonderful! Great information, Thanks for sharing.
It will be fun to experiment with this technique.
soilsandup
Sacramento, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 30, 2009
7:09 AM

Post #6482953

This is the article that I read and decided to give it a try.
http://annieinaustin.blogspot.com/2007/05/bossing-blooms.html
soilsandup
Sacramento, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 30, 2009
7:24 AM

Post #6482966

Candee - I had laid the buds out in order of tightness - the tightest one being number 1, and the most open number 9. Here is a photo of wrapped bud number 5 in newspaper.

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soilsandup
Sacramento, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 30, 2009
7:27 AM

Post #6482971

The writer of the blog suggested using the plastic sleeves that the newspaper comes in, but I could not find any at the time. So, I did have a long plastic bag and bundled the 9 wrapped buds into that.

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soilsandup
Sacramento, CA
(Zone 9a)

April 30, 2009
7:30 AM

Post #6482975

Here is another article on this same technique that was suggested by a fellow DGer in the peony forum
http://www.hollingsworthpeonies.com/AboutPeonies/storing.htm

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.
haighr
Hagerstown, MD
(Zone 6a)

May 1, 2009
12:00 AM

Post #6486046

Will be awaiting to hear how it works out. Interesting process, will have to read more when I get a bit more time.
soilsandup
Sacramento, CA
(Zone 9a)

May 26, 2009
5:31 AM

Post #6598648

I'm BAAAAAACCCCCCCK.

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.

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soilsandup
Sacramento, CA
(Zone 9a)

May 26, 2009
5:35 AM

Post #6598655

Following the instructions, I cut off the ends of the stalks to expose a fresh surface and then placed them in water. This photo was taken at the end of the first day, a few hours after the unwrapping. Most of the buds are already opened.

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soilsandup
Sacramento, CA
(Zone 9a)

May 26, 2009
5:37 AM

Post #6598659

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?

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haighr
Hagerstown, MD
(Zone 6a)

May 26, 2009
3:57 PM

Post #6599898

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.
terriculture
london England
United Kingdom

May 27, 2009
4:33 PM

Post #6604799


They look great Dianne! Very pretty with the ferns, new vase? very nice!!
soilsandup
Sacramento, CA
(Zone 9a)

May 28, 2009
2:50 AM

Post #6607469

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.
Gwendalou
Langley, WA
(Zone 7b)

June 5, 2009
9:37 PM

Post #6647335

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!

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