Categories > flowers

Caring for Poinsettias – #3 Creature Comfort

Once you’ve mastered Thing 1 and Thing 2 in caring for your poinsettia, Thing 3 is pretty simple.  The key is to once again remember that poinsettias come from the tropics.

Poinsettias like to be kept comfortably warm – not too hot and not too cold – kind of like Goldilocks’ porridge — maintain your poinsettia at room temperature, in the high teens to mid 20s Celsius and keep it from areas that are too hot or too cold.

Poinsettias will dry it out quickly if they are kept in close proximity to forced air vents and fireplaces.   The flowers and leaves dry out – first they curl and then they get crisp like a potato chip.

Also watch for areas that get too cold.  An area that is notorious for handing out regular blasts of our subzero freshness  is by the front door. We get that it’s  awesome to have that poinsettia splash of color at the front door to greet company, but set it back a little further into the house.  Draughty window ledges and cold window panes offer the same problem.  When a poinsettia is chilled it will look wilted – this is kind of a poinsettia’s universal sign for displeasure –  sometimes they recover but other times they do not, depending on how chilled they get.

Enjoy this traditional Christmas decoration and all of us at Wallish Greenhouses wish you a most delightful Christmas!

 Contact us today for more information about caring for your poinsettia!

Tips on Making Cut Flowers Last

Summer is the time when we can cut our own fresh flowers and grace our spaces with the colors of the garden. Delphiniums in blue, Dianthus in pink, Salvia & Limonium in purple, and Rudbeckia in yellow all great vase flowers. Here are a few tips on maximizing the lifetime cut flowers and how to get them to last a longer.

About the Vase:

  • Make sure your vases are squeaky clean – this slows the growth of bacteria in the water.
  • Use clean, fresh, cool water to fill the vase.
  • Add anything to the water?
    • This is a question with a LOT of discussion and opinion! There isn’t much agreement on what is best here…with ideas starting at adding pennies or lemon juice or sugar or vinegar or bleach to getting hairspray involved on the top end.
    • Here’s one recipe:
      • To 1 Litre of water add – 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (some acidity) + 1 tbsp sugar (food source) + a few drops of household bleach (to deter bacterial growth) — but we’re making no guarantees on how this will work.
  • Change the water in the vase regularly, like every 3 days — nobody really does this – BUT it would keep things from getting slimy.

About the Flowers:

  • Cut your flowers first thing in the morning while they plumped up and fresh from a good night’s rest.
  • Some flowers are best cut closed – do a quick check online for recommendations to your specific flower.
    • cut peonies closed when they feel like a marshmallow
    • allium, tulips, roses, daffodils all do best cut closed
  • Other flowers are best cut open or partially open like:
    • delphiniums, dahlia, dianthus, gladiolus, liatris, lilies, rudbeckia, stocks, salvia, sunflowers, sweet peas, zinnias
  • Use a knife to cut the flowers – this ensures a clean cut which leave the xylem & phylum open, clippers can crush the xylem & phylum if they aren’t sharp and this makes it more difficult for them to take up water & sugar.
  • Cut the stems at a 45º angle – this maximizes the surface area of the stem to take up water.
  • Strip leaves off the stems that would otherwise be below the water level – this decreases the amount of plant material that will rot in the water and decreases bacteria counts.
  • Keep your cut flowers away from direct sunlight and sources of heat to keep them from drying out.
  • Some sources say that storing flowers in the fridge overnight will extend their life, that’s why florists keep most of their flowers in a cooler.

We have a blog on Peonies as Cut Flowers that gives more specific instructions on getting the most mileage out of this spring bloomer.

Contact us via our website or give us a call on the phone (780-467-3091) and we will be happy to talk fresh cut flowers with you!

Sources:

Light it Up with a Gas Plant Vlog

This is ONE. FUN. PLANT!

Let me tell you the story of this Gas Plant, correctly called Dictamnus.

A few years ago, one warm & lovely June evening, as the sky was getting dusky near 10 o’clock when my pink Gas Plant was alive with blossoms and color, my then teenage son, Joshua, asked if he could see if the Gas Plant would light on fire. Rumor had it, the perennial books said, that Gas Plants could light on fire. They produce a citrusy smelling volatile oil that evaporates around the flowers on hot days. They also said that if you lit a match beside the flower, the gas would light up and sparkle. So, I agreed but didn’t really pay that much attention to his quest.

Out he went with the lighter and as I sat in my living room, I saw this FLASH of light out of the corner of my eye. He didn’t just light up a flower; he lit up the ENTIRE STEM!! Just like a Tiki-torch.

It. Was. Amazing.

So we proceeded to light up every single branch. The marvellous thing was that the flowers, leaves, and stems all came out unscathed – not a hint of scorching anywhere. Only the vapor burned.

From that moment on, this has become a June tradition in our household.

What you need:

  • a fully blooming Gas Plant
  • a nice warm, dry day – think 25C or higher so the oil vaporizes
  • still weather, no breeze
  • a lighter 🙂

Dictamnus plants come in white and in pink flowers. They are a tough & hardy zone 2 perennial with a tap root. The tap root means that they can handle hot & dry conditions once they are established. We carry them in our perennial section each year, although it’s not always easy to find both colors every year. They’re not the fastest grower on the block, but they are definitely worth the wait. This is the ultimate fun plant for children, men, and firefighters! And we would be happy to show you them to you on your next visit to our greenhouse.

Call us or email us at and we can let you know about our stock status of Gas Plants and answer any questions you may have about them.

We hope you enjoy this video!

And the Bride Wore White – Great White Flowers for Wedding Planters

June is just around the corner and will soon be ringing in the summer’s wedding season.  You may be hosting a shower, a rehearsal dinner, a gift opening, or any other occasion associated with the wedding and there’s a lot of pressure to have the flowers right, even if it’s not for the actual wedding.  For those of you who would like to dress up your gardening space in white for the occasion, or for those who love having a white yard with its warm and subtle glow at sunset, this blog is for you.

As with any other gardening project, planning is the key to success. To plan effectively, equip yourself with the following information:

  • Determine where you would like to feature planted containers – would you like hanging baskets or standing containers? Are there open spots on a deck that you would like fill in? Are there seating areas, tabls & chairs, or benches that you would like to book end with something floral?  Would you like some hanging baskets under the eaves of your home, or would you like to place some hanging from tree branches, or from a pergola?
  • Once you have a general idea of where you would like to place containers, count up how many you would need because knowing your quantity, more or less, will keep you from running short of materials and having to take extra trips to the greenhouse.

The next bits of information you need are to know what the gardening conditions are like:

  • How many hours of sun exposure does each location have?
  • How much shade will those areas have?
  • How windy are those locations?

Foliage is really important in white containers.  Leaves of different textures, colors, and variegation add depth to white container plantings. Sometimes people are afraid to use variegated or bold foliage but leaf colors like black, bronze, lime, silver, and purple add an element of sophistication.  So don’t be afraid to use them.

Once you know the details on container placement, numbers and gardening requirements; take a peek at the chart below for ideas on white flowers and good foliage for containers.  This isn’t an exhaustive list, there is more to discover at our greenhouses.  Come and visit us in our sales greenhouse and any of our Wallish team members would be happy to walk you through to collect the perfect white flowers for your occasion.  Feel free to call us at 780-467-3091 or email us via our website with any questions you may have.

If you are having a wedding coming up, we wish you the very best and that your event is filled with laughter and joy!

Great White Flowers & Foliage for Wedding Containers
Hours of Sun or Shade Upright White Flowers Cascading White Flowers Foliage
Full Sun and Part Sun

 

Direct Sunshine exposure:

Full Sun: >8 hours

Part Sun:  6-8 hours

Alyssum

Baby’s Breath

Gerbera Daisy

Upright Geraniums

Nicotiana

Pansies

Petunias

Shasta Daisies

Snapdragons

Sunpatiens

Zinnias

Bacopa

Euphorbia

Million Bells

Ivy Geraniums

Portulaca

Scaevola

Spanish Daisies

Trailing Verbena

Coleus

Dichondra

Dusty Millar

English Ivy

German Ivy

Purple Fountain Grass

Other Grasses

Helichrysum

Lamium Jade Frost

Lamium White Nancy

Lysmachia

Nepeta

Ornamental Millet

Sweet Potato Vine

Vinca

Shady & Deep Shade Locations

 

Direct Sunshine exposure:

Shady:  < 4 hours

Deep Shade: 0

*All in this category hate wind

Upright  Begonias

Fibrous Begonia

Tuberous Begonias

Fuchsia

Impatiens

Lobelia

 

Trailing Begonias

Bridal Veil

Euphorbia

Kennelworth Ivy

Lobelia

Scaevola

 

Coleus

Dichondra

English Ivy

German Ivy

Grass– Purple Fountain

Lamium Jade Frost

Lamium White Nancy

Lysmachia

Muhlenbeckia

Oxalis

Plectranthus

Setcresia

Sweet Potato Vine

Vinca

Windy Locations

 

Direct Sunshine exposure:

Full Sun: >8 hours

Part Sun:  6-8 hours

Ivy Geraniums

Upright Geraniums

 

 

 

 

Bridal Veil

Euphorbia

Kennelworth Ivy

Scaevola

 

Bridal Veil

Dichondra

English Ivy

German Ivy

Lamium Jade Frost

Lamium White Nancy

Muhlenbeckia

Lotus vine

Vinca

Why Daylilies are So Awesome

There is a theme that rings loud in our culture.  It’s about creating an uncomplicated life – one where the clutter is reduced and spending energy on things that matter is optimized. Daylilies are one of those plants that support this idea – they are great performers and very easy to care for.  Properly known as Hemerocallis, they are a class of perennial flower that are perfect for our Edmonton climate.  They tolerate our winters and they love living here.  Adding structure and simplicity, daylilies are a wonderful addition to every sunny garden.

Daylily flowers are available in an unparalleled array of colors and textures.  The blossoms can be solid or striped in color or they can have a gradual progression of colors beginning with lime greens or yellows at the throat blending into pinks, yellows, creams, reds or purples at the tips of the flower petals.  If that isn’t enough to whet your appetite, the blossom shapes vary as well – they can be simple with smooth edges, they can be ruffled, or they can be a combo of the two.  Despite the fact that daylily flowers last just a little over 24 hours (hence their name, daylily) shouldn’t deter you – when the clump is large, they appear to bloom continuously.  Not all daylilies bloom all summer long, most have a season of bloom but that season lasts for about a month, depending on how large the clump is.  Some have 2 seasons of bloom where they bloom for 2-3 weeks in early summer, take a rest, and then bloom again for another 2-3 weeks. Remember to read tags carefully so you know their individual habits & patterns.

 

Here are a few more details on daylilies:

  • grow in full & partial sun
  • are incredibly hardy – they tolerate a significant amount of heat & drought once established (after 3 summers)
  • are simple to divide
  • have few predators
  • are very low maintenance
  • remember to dead head daylilies by removing the spent & dead blossoms so they continue to dedicate their energy to blooming and expanding their roots.

It’s difficult to recommend specific varieties because there are so many choices. But for a starting point to great performers year in & year out,  some of our favorites include:

  • Stella D’Oro – continuous golden blooms all summer long
  • Barbara Mitchell – a ruffled, sophisticated creamy-pink blossom with a lime green throat
  • Happy Returns – reblooming yellow all summer, blooms are larger than Stella
  • Mighty Chestnut – ruffled reblooming 2 tone orange flower
  • Passion for Red – deep red with a green & yellow throat
  • Nosferatu – a ruffled deep purple with a green throat

Come and take a walk through our perennial department and see the choices of daylilies available for your garden.  Need help deciding?  We’d be happy to go through the options with you.  Also, feel free to email or call us at 780-904-3514.

Easter Lily Care

Easter lilies, or “Lilium longiflorum”, are native to the southern islands of Japan and are said to have been brought to North America by Louis Houghton, a WW1 veteran.  A vast majority of Easter lilies imported to Canada for Easter are grown along the California – Oregon border.  This horticultural zone makes it a zone 5, so it’s not winter hardy here in the Edmonton area.  Let’s explore the care and feeding of this highly fragrant seasonal beauty.

Caring for Easter Lilies in the pot:

  • Keep it indoors in an area with lots of ambient light
  • Avoid direct sunlight
  • Avoid cool draughty areas
  • Watering:
    • Allow the lily to become dry between waterings and water when the pot feels light
    • Water the pot thoroughly until water drips out the bottom
    • Don’t allow the lily to stay wet, this will cause the bulb to rot
  • Because it is mature and in full bloom, it doesn’t need any fertilizer.
  • Once the lily has finished blooming, it will not rebloom this year; it needs to grow from the bulb again to reflower.

What to do with this lily once it’s done blooming?

  • Because it is a zone 5 plant, it will not over winter in our Edmonton area – our horticultural zone is a 3 – 4.

Here are a couple of options:

  • Keep it inside in its pot until the leaves die back naturally

OR

  • You may plant it outdoors and let the leaves die back naturally in the garden. Once the first frost arrives, dig out the bulb and over winter it.

How to store the lily bulbs after the leaves have died back and over winter:

  • After the first frost, take the bulb out of the soil, whether it was in a pot or in the garden and store it in lightly moistened peat moss in a sealed brown paper bag. Place the bag in a cool dark place to store the bulb over the winter until February.

If you would like to force its bloom for Easter follow these steps:

  • Determine when Easter will be in the coming year, because the date changes annually.
  • Count back 115-125 days on the calendar.

Planting instructions:

  • Planting lily bulbs is simple – find a pot that will accommodate the lily bulb 4” below the soil, so you will need a pot with a minimum depth of 5”.
  • Track down a good quality soil mix, one that is not purely peat moss.
  • At the bottom of the pot, place the amount of soil necessary to keep the bulb at a depth of 4” below the top surface of the soil.
  • Plant the bulb right side up – with the roots on the bottom. This seems like an obvious thing, but bulbs planted upside down happen!
  • Water lightly and maintain soil moisture a little on the dry side, lily bulbs don’t need a lot of moisture and if they stay too wet, they will rot.

Are Easter Lilies Poisonous?

  • All parts of Easter lilies, as with all Asiatic lilies, are extremely toxic to cats, causing kidney failure and death.  So be extremely cautious to keep pets out of harm’s way.

If you have any questions, please feel free to give us a quick email at – we enjoy interacting with you and we check our emails daily.  If you need an answer quickly, call us at 780-467-3091.

 

Happy Easter!

 

Sources:  Marie Iannotti, on line plant guide.com, Dr Leonard Perry, University of Vermont, thegardenhelper.com, ext100.washingtonstateuniversity/chelan-douglas, gardeners.net

Cool Weather Lovers: Pansies & Violas

Like characters in CS Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia, The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, there are days when we wonder if it will always be winter and possibly never Christmas.  As winter and spring continue to tussle over who is on top of the weather dog pile, we’re always on the lookout to kick start spring color.

Look no further, Pansies & Violas LOVE cool weather. Pansies are actually from the Viola family.  In the garden, Pansies tend to refer to the larger faced garden flowers and Violas have tiny flowers.   Pansies are our go-to flower for early spring container color here in Edmonton .  They can handle a little frost – up to -3C or possibly -5C, so they should withstand our cool spring nights.

Pansies & Violas are available in the entire color spectrum from white – through the rainbow’s ROYGBIV – to black.  Their happy faces can be clear, blotched, or whiskered; and their edges can be smooth or ruffled.  They will bloom all spring, summer, and fall. And, added to all of that, they are lightly scented AND edible.  Such a deal!

They are tough and easy to grow:

  • They will grow in garden beds, rock gardens and containers.
  • Favored locations are firstly partial sun, and then full sun – the partial sun will keep them cooler during the heat of summer.
  • They will grow in the ground ranging from fertile to poor soil, but for any garden, always avoid clay – not much of anything likes to grow in clay.
  • Pansies can stretch in hot weather from the heat, so they may need to be pinched back to keep them compact – just take out your scissors and give them a shaping haircut.
  • Pansies and Violas have few problems with insects & diseases.
  • Water them when the ground is dry. When watering, it’s always a good practice to water the soil and to avoid getting the leaves wet.  If plant material is soggy for long periods of the time, it will get leaf diseases and rot.
  • Mulching is always a great way to keep soil moist and roots cool.
  • Violas are known to overwinter in zone 3 and Pansies in zone 4. However, some varieties reseed and they start popping up at the end of April.

About blooming:

  • As mentioned, Pansies & Violas will bloom all season long but remember to keep them deadheaded; otherwise they will stop blooming and direct their energy to producing seed heads.
  • Another thing that keeps them blooming is a weekly application of fertilizer – Nature’s Best, 20-20-20, and Miracle Grow are good options for fertilizer.
  • They thrive in cooler weather, so spring and later summer are their favorite time to bloom – Pansies are often planted in the southern US states in the winter for flowerbed color.
  • Plant them in partial shade to keep them cool during the summer’s heat.
  • Their flowers & leaves are edible & can be used to add a great splash of colour for salads and fruit plates. Garnishing with flowers always generates great conversation at the table.

Come on in our greenhouse and find some Pansies or Violas to grace your front step, balcony, or veranda with early spring color.  They will add sparkle and colorful magic at a time when we are so over the winter drab…..

If you have any questions about Violas and Pansies, please feel free to call us on our phone at 780-467-3091 or send us a quick email – we would be happy to discuss this fun & hardy flower with you.

sources:  Reader’s Digest A_Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants by Brickell, Cole, & Zuk,

Nerding Out on Ladybugs:  Who They Are, Why They’re Good & How to Attract Them

February is very much about the color red, red, and more red – it’s EVERYWHERE as Valentine’s Day approaches.  Let’s talk about a nice red bug – there are nasty red bugs out there like Scarlet Lily Beetles – but let’s focus on every child’s favorite – the Ladybug.

Who They Are

Ladybugs are also known as ladybirds and ladybeetles.  To be correct, ladybugs actually are beetles.  Here are a few reasons:

  • the structure of their mandibles (mouth parts) that chew their food
  • their diet
  • the kind of wings they have – National Geographic has an aaa-mazing video on YouTube of a ladybug folding its wings – it’s worth the 1½ minutes to view it
  • and because they go through a full metamorphosis in their life cycle

Ladybugs morph from egg to adult in about 21 days and generally live for 3-9 months.  There are 5000 different species of ladybugs worldwide and 300 different species in North America alone.  They are known as ‘foliage dwellers’ – meaning that they like to live among the leaves in trees, shrubs, flowers, forests, fields, and weed patches.

Not all ladybugs are red with 8 black spots like the ones we know so well.  They can be yellow, white, orange, brown, pink, and all black.  They can have no spots, a few spots, and up to 24 spots.  And instead of spots, some have stripes.  Crazy, hey?

Why They’re Good

Ladybugs are omnivorous – meaning that they eat both plant material and animal material.  For the vast majority of ladybugs, their preferred diet is aphids – that’s why we love them in our gardens so much!  It’s estimated that ladybugs eat 5000 aphids in their lifetime – they eat up to 400 in the first 2 weeks of their life as they develop from larva to adult.  Ladybugs also eat fruit flies, thrips, mites, mealybugs, bollworms, broccoli worms, cabbage moths, and tomato hornworms.  Some types of ladybugs eat pollen & mildew, and they have also been known to be cannibalistic, meaning that they will eat some of their own.

In addition to their ability to curb aphid populations, they play a role in pollination.

Ladybugs have few natural predators because they taste so bad.  They secrete a stinky smelling and terrible tasting yellow fluid from their joints & abdomen called hemolymph when they are threatened.  Do you remember having this stuff on your hands? Yuck!  Hence, birds generally avoid them; but some bugs, like assassin bugs, stink bugs, and some spiders and toads do eat them. 

Ladybugs have 2 other defense systems, their aposematic coloration – meaning their bright colors and spots – warn predators of their bad taste.  And their last line of defense is how they back flop to the ground landing on their backs, exposing their black bellies, and playing dead – this is called thanatosis.  It is really hard to see them on the ground when they do this, their black bellies camouflage right into the color of the soil.

How to Attract Them — 

Let’s talk about how to encourage ladybugs to live in your garden space during the growing season and how to encourage them to hibernate in your garden over the winter. 

But, before we talk about the actual plants that attract ladybugs, let’s talk a little about the use of chemicals. First up — is the need to stop using pesticides, chemical, natural, OR organic.  Most pesticides that advertise that they are safe to use are speaking of safety for the adults, but they kill the babies and other stages of development that are more sensitive.  Having a clean, weed controlled, healthy, well mulched garden goes a looong way to preventing garden pests from taking over your garden.

Now, details for encouraging ladybugs through the winter and the other seasons:

For winter hibernation – Ladybugs hibernate outdoors in:

  • hollow stems
  • under leaves, and
  • amongst garden mulch. 

Leaving organic matter in your garden through the winter encourages them to stay, so don’t cut down your perennials in the fall, and allow them to drop their leaves where they stand. Another thing to do is to keep your gardens well mulched.

While gardens are growing – Ladybugs are attracted to pollen, flowers & herbs.  Having a yard full of foliage and pollen is the best way to persuade them to take up residence.  They love trees and shrubs and are attracted to the pollens of flowers and herbs – take a peek at the chart below which we have divided into their favorite herbs, annuals and perennials.

We love this little bug that plays such a big part in our ecosystem!

Come in or give us a call @ 780-467-3091 or email us via our contact form on our website and we can help you find the plants listed in the chart below in the herb, annual, and perennial departments of our sales greenhouse.


Plants That Attract Ladybugs                 

  Herbs   Annual Flowers   Perennials
  • chives
  • cilantro
  • dill
  • fennel
  • garlic
  • mint
  • parsley

  • alyssum
  • asters
  • black eyed Susan aka rudbeckia
  • calendula
  • cosmos
  • daisies,
  • geraniums scented & unsented
  • marigold
  • ajuga
  • angelica
  • asclepias
  • coreopsis
  • ecchinacea
  • statice
  • yarrow

 Sources: 

https://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/animals/stories/surprising-facts-about-ladybugs, https://www.thoughtco.com/ways-insects-defend-themselves-4065571, https://www.thoughtco.com/fascinating-facts-about-ladybugs-1968120, www.ladybuglady.com, http://www.arkinspace.com/2010/08/strange-life-cycle-of-ladybug.html, http://everything-ladybug.com/ladybug-facts.html

http://www.lostladybug.org/files/9%20LLP%20All%20About%20LadybugsPDF.pdf

https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/how-to-make-a-ladybug-feeder-attract-them-to-your-garden-169681

https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/garden-how-to/beneficial/attract-ladybugs.htm

http://balconygardenweb.com/26-plants-that-attract-ladybugs/

http://www.hobbyfarms.com/5-tips-for-luring-ladybugs/

“6 Surprising Facts About Ladybugs” by Angela Nelson, Mother Nature Network website.  Accessed online Novemeber, 2017

“Ways Insects Defend Themselves” by Debbie Hadley , ThoughtCo. website.  Accessed online November, 2017

“10 Fascinating Facts About Ladybugs” by Debbie Hadley, ThoughtCo. website.  Accessed online November, 2017

Poinsettia History & Care

Poinsettias have been synonymous with the holiday season for years. But how did these vibrant, crimson flowers become Christmas staples?

There is a Mexican legend (Poinsettias originate from Mexico), that goes like this:

A poor Mexican girl who had no gift to present the Christ Child at Christmas Eve Services. Her name was Pepita and as she walked to the chapel with her cousin Pedro, she felt ashamed and saddened. “I am sure, Pepita, that even the humblest gift, if given in love, will be acceptable in His eyes,” her cousin Pedro told her, in an effort to reassure her.
Not knowing what else to do, Pepita knelt by the roadside and gathered a handful of common weeds, fashioning them into a small bouquet. Looking at the scraggly bunch of weeds, she felt more saddened and embarrassed than ever by the modesty of her contribution. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she entered the small village chapel.
As she approached the altar, she remembered Pedro’s kind words: “Even the humblest gift, if given in love, will be acceptable in His eyes.” She felt her spirit lift as she knelt to lay the bouquet at the foot of the nativity scene.

No sooner did she place the flowers at the alter than they burst into blooms of brilliant red! They were the most beautiful cherry-red blossoms Pepita had ever seen. All who saw them were certain that they had witnessed a Christmas miracle right before their very eyes.
From that day on, the bright red flowers were known as the Flores de Noche Buena, or Flowers of the Holy Night, for they bloomed each year during the Christmas season and thus, the legend of the poinsettia was born.

To this day, millions of poinsettias are purchased around the holiday season. The most common poinsettia colour is red, accounting for three quarters of all poinsettia sales worldwide. But did you know poinsettias also come in white, pink, orange and cream colours? It’s true!

Interested in learning more about this seasonal wonder? Check out our Poinsettia Care video series on our YouTube channel! Each video is filled with helpful tips on how to keep your poinsettia in perfect condition.

Peony Cut Flowers

Peony Cut Flowers

 

Peonies, one of the hardiest and easy to grow perennials, bloom in the spring. Peonies make wonderful romantic fragrant cut flowers.  Here are some guidelines for success:

  • Always work with clean tools – clean shears, clean vases.  Make it a habit to keep your garden tools and vases washed with warm soapy water.  Clean tools and vases keep bacterial growth at bay and gardens healthier.

 

  • Always cut fresh flowers first thing in the morning – they are well hydrated from the previous night’s rest and they are fresh and cool.

 

  • Avoid picking Peony blossoms in the first and second year of the plant’s growth.  Deadhead the old blossoms on young plants so seed pods don’t form – that way the peony can devote its energy to growing robust, healthy roots.

 

  • Pick buds at the ‘marshmallow phase’ – give the peony buds a gentle squeeze and when they feel like a marshmallow, it’s time to pick them.  Another way of gauging when to pick is when you see the first flower petal beginning to emerge from the bud.  If the bud feels hard like a marble, they may not open because the buds are too tight.  Cut single peony blooms tighter than you would double peony blossoms – the doubles just have more mass.
  • A fully open bloom with fall apart quickly as a cut flower.
  • Cut stems at a 45º angle – this optimizes the surface area for water uptake.  If possible, trim stems underwater to keep the stem bottoms well hydrated.
  • Changing the water in the vase daily and keeping leaves out of the water will help to keep bacterial counts down.
  • Timing peony blossoms for an event – follow the above procedure, and store them in the refrigerator – optimal temperature is around 34F (2-4C)
  • keep them in the fridge for up to 4 weeks but the longer they stay in the fridge, the faster they will open and the shorter they will last
  • they can be stored in water or wrapped in damp paper towels to keep them fresh
  • 2 or 3 days before the event, take them out of the fridge, give their stems a fresh cut and place them in lukewarm water to wake them up

 

 

Sources:  http://passion4peonies.blogspot.ca/2010/08/peonies-as-cut-flowers.html, http://peonyparadise.com/cutflowercare.aspx, http://borealfarms.net/cuttingandstoringpeonyblossoms/

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