Many times when you purchase peonies from the grocery store, they aren’t opened up yet and you wonder if they ever will. No worries. Here’s how to get peonies to bloom.
When I posted the big peony word debate of 2019 (you can see it here) the response was incredible.
I talked about peonies and how to say the word and how to decorate with them and how to add them to your living room and watch them bloom.
And the number one question you all e-mailed me?
The number one thing that you asked about my peonies and the living room?
How to get peonies to bloom.
I had just gone to Trader Joe’s and purchased peonies and in the pictures (you can see them here) they hadn’t opened up yet. My peony blooms were just buds. You all asked me how to get those to open up and did they ever open up and did my peonies ever bloom.
And most of them did.
Most of them opened up on their own and looked amazing and super bloomy.
But a few? They never opened up–not even a little. They just stayed a bud for their entire life.
So yesterday I went on my weekly trip to Trader Joe’s and when I checked out I told them my peony woes. I explained that every time I would buy peonies and most of them opened up, but I had a few that didn’t.
And they smiled. And gave me the BEST TIP EVER to get your peonies to open up.
Here’s how to get peonies to bloom straight from the Trader Joe’s check-out line.
How to Get Peonies to Bloom
1. Look at bud
Here’s a close-up of the bud.
See how tight it is.
This is how most peonies show up at a grocery store near you.
This is how some of my peonies looked after a week in my home.
2. Sometimes they open up on their own
The buds are encased in leaves that hold them tightly together.
Most of the time, these leaves loosen on their own.
But sometimes you have to help nature just a little.
3. Insert upside down in warm water
Start by trimming the peonies to the length you want.
Remove excess leaves.
Then insert them in warm water upside down for about 30 minutes.
3. How to Get Peonies to Bloom: Pull back leaves
- Then? After the peonies sat in the warm water, I helped the process along by pulling just back the leaves
- I could literally see the bud open up before my eyes.
- It reminded me of one of those comforters that are air-packed and when you let a little of the air out, the entire comforter expands.
- That’s exactly what happens when you pull back the outer layer of leaves.
This is the same bud about 5 seconds after I pulled it out of the water and pulled back the leaves.
4. Fluff petals
And here’s the peony completely opened up.
All those flower petals held together by an outer band of leaves.
Isn’t nature amazing?
Before you put the peony blooms into a vase, you also want to make sure you cut the stems at a sharp angle.
And make sure your water is tepid, not cold so you don’t shock them.
Flowers (just like me) don’t want to jump into a cold pool.
Here are my peonies in full bloom on my dining room table.
They are opened up and ready to summer.
Thank you Trader Joe’s for your super-smart check-out people.
And your “everything but the bagel seasoning blend.”
They are brilliant.
Just like you.
PS Just in case you were wondering? Peonies are philosophers, too.
PPS Here are some other beautiful gardening ideas.