For all of you that have a secret stash of your own peonies…there is a way to harvest and care for them that will allow you to enjoy blooms for up to 3+ weeks!
What you will need:
1) refrigerator space
2) newspaper and
3) good timing!
As you know, your peonies will mature and often explode into bloom all in one afternoon. In order to capture these fragrant blossoms and have them for a couple of weeks as cut flowers do the following:
1. You must watch the peony patch frequently as the blooms get ready to explode. Feel the buds and when they are in a “marshmallow” state cut the stems.
2. Tightly wrap 5-10 stems together in newspaper. Place them in a refrigerator (not in water, they can lie at the back of the fridge).
3. A day prior to wanting the blooms in your home, take them out of the fridge. Dip the buds in warm water to remove the sugary coating the ants are usually taking off. Peel back the green guard petals so they are open. Cut the stems on an angle and place in warm water. The peony should open in the next 12-24 hours!
4. Peonies can be held in the fridge for a number of weeks. This allows you to maximize the goodness in your home from your own peony patch! Enjoy!