Preserving Peony Flowers: The Marshmallow Bud Hack

In the Garden Sue May 12, 2024
66 People Read

Preserving Peony Flowers using the "Marshmallow" Bud Method

Peony flowers are a true delight for flower enthusiasts, but their beauty is fleeting. Did you ever want to have a beautiful bouquet for a special occasion, but the peonies were done blooming?

To preserve these stunning blooms for weeks to come, it's important to know when and how to pick them and how to store them properly.

In this blog post, we'll explore the art of picking peonies at the right stage for preservation, specifically when they resemble marshmallow-like buds.

We'll also discuss simple steps for storing peonies in refrigeration to extend their lifespan.

1. Picking Peonies at the Perfect Stage:

Timing is crucial when picking peonies for preservation. Look for buds that resemble marshmallows, which are soft and plump. The outer petals should have a slight opening, showing a hint of color. These buds are at the ideal stage for long-lasting beauty.


The "Marshmallow" looking bud on the left is the perfect size to preserve. The two on the right are ready to enjoy in an arrangement or bouquet today.

2. How to Pick Peonies with Care:

Handle peonies gently to prevent damage. When cutting the stems, make a clean, angled cut using sharp pruners or scissors. Aim for a length that suits your vase or container.


3. Preparing Peonies for Refrigeration:

Before storing peonies, prepare them properly. Remove any excess foliage. Give the stems a fresh cut at an angle. If you notice ants on the flowers, gently shake them off. Ants are a companion of the peony, so don't fret if you see them. These steps ensure the peonies are ready for refrigeration.


4. Storing Peonies in the Refrigerator:

To maximize the lifespan of peonies, it's essential to store them correctly.

For preservation for a couple weeks, place the peonies in a clean vase or container with 1 inch of fresh water. Keep the peonies in the refrigerator at a temperature between 34-36°F (1-2°C).

Avoid storing them with fruits and vegetables, as they release ethylene gas, which can accelerate wilting. These "marshmallow" like peony bud will last in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

When you are ready to make that beautiful bouquet for that special occasion, just get them out and they will open their pedals.

For preservation up to 3 months, after you cut the peonies, you should store them dry. Michigan State University Extension suggests stripping the leaves off the stem to reduce water loss.

The next thing you need to do is wrap the peonies completely, stem to bud, wrap in paper towels then in clear plastic wrap, sealing both ends of the wrap. Sealing the wrap helps to ensure minimal moisture loss from the flowers themselves. A good tight seal is imperative if storing them in a frost-free refrigerator.

Store them horizontally for up to 3 months. Then get them out for that special occasion, place them in tepid water and watch them bloom.

5. Extending the Beauty of Peonies:

To keep your peonies looking fresh in an vase in your home, change the water every two to three days. Recut the stems at an angle each time you change the water to ensure optimal water absorption. Display the peonies away from direct sunlight, heat sources, and drafts. These simple measures will help extend the life of your cherished peony flowers.

Preserving the beauty of peony flowers for weeks to months involves picking them at the right stage and storing them properly.

1. Remember to look for marshmallow-like buds with slight petal openings and vibrant colors.

2. Handle the flowers with care when cutting their stems. Before refrigerating, prepare the peonies by removing excess foliage and giving the stems a fresh cut.

3. Store them in the refrigerator at the recommended temperature and proper procedures listed above.

4. When they come out of refrigeration, change the water regularly, keep them away from sunlight and drafts, and enjoy their exquisite beauty for an extended period.

With these simple steps, you can become a skilled peony preserver and revel in the splendor of these captivating flowers.

Related Articles:

19 Shallow Rooted Plants for Your Raised Beds

Create A Wildflower Meadow: Our Simple Guide

7 Best Gardening Tools

Gifts to Make Gardening and Yard Work Easier