Get ready to unlock the captivating beauty of peonies in no time!
Delicate, luxurious, and oh-so-beautiful, peonies are gorgeous flowers that can bring an elegant pop of color to any space. But what if you simply can’t wait for them to open naturally?
In this article, I’ll share my favorite trick and tips on how to force open peonies to bloom quickly, allowing you to enjoy their stunning blossoms faster.
If you’ve bought peonies at your local florist or grocery store, you may have found some buds closed tight. Sometimes, this happens when peonies are picked too early for shipping because the peony is a fragile and fleeting bloom!
So, if you have an event and need to open them open quickly, I’m sharing my overnight methods!
As an avid lover of flowers and as someone who lives where the varieties available are so limited, it’s frustrating!
Peonies are akin to elusive butterflies and they don’t grow at all in the tropical south. So I’m forced to find them at florists and occasionally at grocery stores like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s.
This weekend, I was in shock to see just a couple of bunches of peonies at one of the above, imported all the way from Holland. They were $10 for a bunch, or $2 each, and were just tight buds about the size of a quarter.
Although I bought them knowing it was a risky business, it has allowed me to do some experiments.
How to Force Peonies to Open
Peonies are very special and delicate flowers. Their blossoming depends on a few different factors that directly affect the timing and quality of their blooms. Knowing some of these factors is important when trying to force peonies to open.
A reason why you may find these tight buds is that they get shipped earlier than they should, as the blooming stage is very short.
Higher temperatures encourage a speedier blooming process, while cooler conditions can delay it. To hasten the bloom, we need to give our buds a little more warmth. Sunlight, warm indoors, or warm tap water if the buds are still tightly closed, will work wonders.
Adequate sunlight is crucial for the blooming of peonies. These flowers thrive in full sun to partial shade conditions. When forcing peonies indoors, ensure they receive sufficient natural or artificial light to stimulate the blooming process.
Below is what I have found works and although it’s not entirely foolproof, if you have a photoshoot due or an event…try this method to force peonies to open!
Force Peonies to Open: Hydrate upon Arrival
Another cause is the buds naturally have a wax-like coating on them that is eaten by ants to get them to open and bloom in the garden. This is particularly important to know when trying to force peonies to open.
Upon bringing home your store-bought peonies, it’s important to give them a refreshing drink of water.
As soon as you get your peonies home, cut them on a sharp angle to allow as much water to penetrate into the stem as possible.
I like to use garden clippers and then remove all foliage, except for maybe a few at the top.
Place them immediately in a bucket filled with enough warm water to cover the stems. Having the water as HOT as your tap will allow is best and add a packet of flower food.
Keep the peonies in a warm and sunny (if possible) room and repeat this process every 3-4 hours.
After a day or so your blooms should start to open. If they don’t, fill a pitcher with hot tap water and soak the actual buds face down in the water. This will help to melt the waxy coating when all else fails.
Rinse and repeat!
I purchased the peonies above yesterday and they would have never bloomed if I didn’t force the peonies to open with the method above.
Sometimes you have to massage the blooms to force the peonies to open. I did that with these last night and today we have beautiful blooming peonies!
Remember that to keep your peonies fresh, you need to change the water in the vase every two to three days. Fresh water helps prevent bacterial growth and ensures that the peonies stay hydrated!
And that’s my secret tip to force peonies to open and blossom quickly! Have you tried other ways? Let me know in the comments!
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