How to Store Peonies
Pick peonies still in their bud state several weeks in advance of an event and store them in your refrigerator until they are ready to be used. When needed, these hardy flowers can be revived in water and allowed to bloom normally.
Things You’ll Need
- Plastic bags
- Select peonies with a well-developed bud. Ideally, the bud should be neither too loose or too compact. Pinch the bud lightly. It should have the consistency of a soft marshmallow. Cut the peony, leaving a 14- to 16-inch stem attached to the bud.
- Strip off most of the leaves, leaving only a couple of decorative leaves beneath the bud. The lack of leaves will prevent the flowers from becoming too wet during the time in storage.
- Bundle peonies in groups of 10. Make sure all of the remaining leaves are pointed up against the stem so that they don’t break off during storage. Wrap the bundle in a sheet of newspaper.
- Place the paper-wrapped peony bundle inside a plastic bag, such as a grocery bag or the long, slender bags used to store newspapers for delivery.
- Set your refrigerator to its coolest setting, which should be in the range of 36 to 40 degrees. Peonies stored at this temperature can last for three weeks or more. Store the bags of peonies flat on a refrigerator shelf.
- Remove peonies from the refrigerator at least 12 hours before use. Trim the dried ends off the stems, place the stems in deep water and store them in a cool, protected place. The buds should bloom naturally after several hours.
Tips & Warnings
As some flowers might not survive the storage process, cut more peonies than you plan to use. Cut only a few stems from each peony plant to keep the remaining plant healthy. Allow additional time for tightly-compacted peony buds to revive and bloom in water after removal from storage. Monitor the condition of the stems during storage. If the newspaper becomes soaked due to excessive moisture absorbed from the flowers, discard it and wrap the stems in fresh newspaper.
Fungus can develop on stored peonies and can destroy the appearance of the blossoms. If your peonies are susceptible to fungal infestation, treat them with a fungicide before storing them in the refrigerator.