Peonies are one of the most beautiful and beloved flowers, and their blooms make for stunning cut flowers. If you're looking to cut peonies for bouquets or other arrangements, there are a few things you should know to get the most out of your blooms.
First, it's important to wait until the flowers have reached the "marshmallow" stage before cutting them. This means waiting until the buds have fully opened and the petals are starting to soften and develop a slightly spongy texture, similar to a marshmallow. Cutting the flowers too early can result in buds that don't fully open, and cutting them too late can result in blooms that quickly wilt and drop their petals.
When you're ready to cut your peonies, make sure you have a clean pair of pruning shears or scissors. Cut the stem at a 45-degree angle, just above a set of leaves or a lateral bud. This will help promote new growth on the plant and ensure that you get the most out of your blooms.
Another important factor to consider is debudding. This involves removing the side buds that grow along the stem of the plant. While these buds can produce smaller flowers, removing them allows the plant to direct more energy to the main flower, resulting in a larger, more substantial bloom. However, if you're using your peonies for a more casual arrangement, leaving some of the side buds can add a charming, rustic look.
Finally, it's important to properly care for your cut peonies to ensure they last as long as possible. Immediately after cutting the stems, place them in a clean vase filled with fresh water. Add flower food to the water to help keep the blooms looking fresh. Change the water every other day and recut the stems at a 45-degree angle each time to keep them from becoming blocked and unable to absorb water.
With these tips in mind, you can enjoy beautiful, long-lasting cut peonies for all your floral arrangements.