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From Message

Sunday, June 16, 2002
Subject: peonies
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how do I go about drying peonies. I have lots of white, pink, and red ones coming.... soon...I love them and would very much like to preserve them for future use.


Tuesday, June 18, 2002
RE: peonies
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The biggest mistake people make when drying peonies is that they pick the flowers way too late in development. Pick them when the buds are open but before the flowers are fully open. I know that is not very clear but the best recommendation I can give is that sense you have 'lots', pick them at various times after their buds open and then note which is the ideal time.

Be sure to hang them in total darkness, this is critical in maintaining the most color. My typical line is "open, airy, dark place".

An alternative would be to buy some silica (which is just sand) and pour a layer of sand in a shoebox. Set the cut peonies in the shoebox and then gently pour silica around the entire flower. I also recommend putting slots in the box for just a little added 'wicking'. After about a week (depends on specific humidity in your area) remove the silica and you will have a more 'fresh' looking flower then just air dried.

Do not misunderstand though, I actually prefer the 'old-fashion' air-dried peonies.

Good luck and send us some pictures!

D. Scott Demmin
Dried Flowers Direct

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