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Photo: Michèle M. Waite

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How to Extend the Life of Peonies (for Later Use)

Cut stems can also be stored for later use; they will last for 2 to 3 weeks in the refrigerator. When storing, remove almost all of the leaves; bunch the stems together, and slip them into a plastic bag with a few paper towels inside to absorb any excess moistures. Lay flat on the shelf in the produce area of the fridge and then check them every few days for signs of mold. Discard any that begin to rot. Upon removal, the flowers often look limp, but don't worry. Recut the stems and place them immediately in warm water with flower preservative. The buds will open within 24 hours, and the blooms will last a good week in the vase.

Excerpted from Floret Farm’s Cut Flower Garden: Grow, Harvest and Arrange Stunning Seasonal Blooms. Text copyright © 2017 by Erin Benzakein and Julie Chai. Photographs © 2017 Michèle M. Waite. Reprinted with permission of Chronicle Books LLC.

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