In the Northern hemisphere, Peonies are a spring to early summer favorite, and with good reason! These showstoppers ooze elegance and romance. Available in an array of colors such as white, yellow, pink, salmon, red, and burgundy, these beauties make an instant impression. Treated with care, peonies are long lasting with outstanding vase performance. Following a few simple care and handling guidelines will help ensure you get the best results.
Problems & Solutions
Ethylene sensitive at warm temperatures
Do not ship or store around ripening fruits. Symptoms of ethylene damage are petal wilting and shattering. Ethylene may increase botrytis severity. Be sure your peonies are shipped with EthylBloc™ sachets and the cold chain is maintained throughout the distribution chain to minimize potential ethylene damage.
Vulnerable to Botrytis
Avoid temperature fluctuation during shipping, the resulting condensation can lead to the development of botrytis. We advise packing with FloraLife® Transport Paper during shipping.
Use a holding solution when storing wet, such as FloraLife® Express ULTRA 200, and a feeding solution like Express® Universal 300 for vase arrangements. It is extremely important to maintain the cold chain throughout the distribution, as well as adhere to strict cleaning protocols. Storage temperature should be 34°-38°F, 1°-3°C.
Semi-hard stems/Bloom support
Thinner stems may have a hard time supporting fully open flowers. Be selective when choosing stems for certain types of arrangements and be sure flowers have had time to hydrate fully before designing.
After opening, outer petals may rapidly turn brown, particularly in white varieties. This is often confused with botrytis but is physiological and usually more prevalent late in the season. Use FloraLife® Finishing Touch spray to keep your peony blooms fresh and hydrated.
Need to Know: Peonies Helpful Hints
- Peonies are a cool weather crop with a limited growing season.
- The season in the US and Europe lasts from March through June with production shifting from the south to the north.
- Quality tends to be better earlier in a regional growing season before field temperatures start to warm.
- Peonies are available from Alaska (June through September), Chile in the southern hemisphere (November through January), and Israel (January through March).
- Growers may store stems in the cooler for several weeks, particularly at the end of their growing season.
Properly Mixed Flower Food: The Benefits
- Helps blooms fully open
- Helps peonies stay hydrated and avoid wilting
- Longer vase life
- Better color
Pack with Care
- Peonies should be securely fastened inside box to eliminate shifting during transport.
- Cushion well with natural wood excelsior or other packing material to protect blooms.
- Physical damage is minimal when harvested and dry shipped at the "marshmallow" stage (in bud form). Blooms that are open are more prone to get damaged during shipping and handling.
- Shipping dry pack is best when harvested in marshmallow stage. If flowers are open, we recommend shipping upright wet pack.
- Opening speed is slow when stored in the cooler, and it may take a couple of days for flowers to fully open at ambient temperatures.
- Expected vase life is typically 5-8 days for end consumer with flower food and proper care measures.
- Peonies can be mixed with other flowers in a vase or bucket without any negative or harmful effects to the other flowers. Keep an eye on flower food solution to be sure flowers stay hydrated.
- Flowers are usually harvested in a tighter bud stage when the bud has just begun to soften slightly, sometimes referred to as the "marshmallow" stage, this is the best cut point for transport, overall quality, and vase life performance.
- Peonies are typically very fragrant.
- Peonies have a large, single flower which can mean a possibly weak stem, especially once flowers are hydrated and blooming. You can use peonies in floral foam designs, we recommend a secure foam as blooms tend to be heavy. As you're designing, it's best to cut stems at a sharp angle before inserting into foam and check foam often so that peonies have adequate hydration.
- For best results, be sure stems are well hydrated before using them to design and use FloraLife® Finishing Touch spray once your design is complete to keep blooms fresh.
- FIFO (First In First Out) inventory rotation is always our recommendation. In season, Peonies can be held dry pack in their bud stage for 2-4 weeks in dry storage if kept in the cooler at 34°-38°F, 1°-3°C. Please note that stems do not store as well late in the season. Toward the end of season, you should limit your storage time to the absolute minimum.
Have questions or need expert advice? Visit FloraLife.com or contact your local representative for an in-person consultation.
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