Preserving Peony Blooms by Refrigeration

lizbest1(5)November 28, 2012

I have a friend getting married late spring and have promised peonies for her wedding. I have never tried to delay blooms before but have read that they can be refrigerated at a certain stage to bloom later. Has anyone done this before? If so, what stage is best to start? How long can they be left in the fridge and how long will it take to open when they're removed? Will they last as long as if they hadn'd been chilled afterward? Thanks for any info!

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I tried this several years ago and nothing happened. You just need to experiment with buds in different stages of maturity. I know I didn't give it enough of a chance because I have heard it works.

    Bookmark   November 29, 2012 at 4:31PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

I have done it in the past, just to extend the bloom season. It worked well when picked when the bud showed signs of opening, about the same time the ants show an interest. I did not try and see how long they would last refrigerated. When put in normal temperature they took 3 or 4 days to open. Al

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 2:28PM
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Thanks for the info. I'll play around with some of my earliest blooms to get the timing right.

    Bookmark   December 2, 2012 at 4:38PM
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If they would be in the fridge longer than 2 weeks, they probably won't open. When do your peonies bloom and what kind? The doubles do better for me. When is the wedding? I pick mine when the bud starts to feel puffy.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2013 at 6:12PM
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Cut flower growers do hold them for weeks. Here is an excerpt from the book The Flower Farmer by Lynn Byczynski. She claims commercial growers hold cut peonies for up to three months.

Hope the wedding goes well.

Here is a link that might be useful: Peonies as cut flowers

    Bookmark   May 11, 2013 at 8:53PM
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My crazy friend eloped to Las Vegas last week so I'm off the hook for flowers for the wedding. Probably just as well with the lack of spring we're having in CO--only have the tiniest buds so far on a few of the very earlies, won't have blooms until mid June it looks like! I'm going to try the cooler thing for myself, though; I'd certainly love to have fresh peonies in July and August!
Flowergirl, I'm sorry, never saw the reply you posted. I have lots of different types--singles, semi-doubles, doubles, cactus, Itohs and several tree peonies. My big effort this year is to get all of them labelled again, my first labels faded to nothing! I have records of most of the ones I've bought so it won't be as hard as it could've been....I hope! I just ordered a double red fernleaf and 2 fernleaf hybrids for the fall, too--excited about those. I've heard lots of good things but couldn't find them locally and they seem to be a bit scarce on-line, too.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2013 at 10:51PM
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