I wrote all about Peonies, knows as the Queens of the Garden, last week. They’re often the first thing to bloom and the anticipation of all of those bursting buds is often squashed when suddenly they all bloom at once and then *poof!* They’re gone as fast as they came.  Young peony plants often only see a handful of blooms, but established plants will be overflowing and you’ll wish you could stagger the blooms to last longer.  Well, the secret is that you CAN.  This is a fantastic trick to know and it will let you trim peony buds before they bloom, store them for weeks, and then have them bloom whenever you want.  Sound like magic?  It kind of is!  Read on…

Fully Bloomed Peonies

With this little trick, you can trim peony stems when they look about like this, and then save them for weeks.

Peony Buds

The key here is to cut some stems at just the right time.  You’ll want them to be in the “marshmallow” stage.  This means the buds are still closed, but not hard as rocks; they feel just a little squishy.
Peony Bud

Cut your stems at about 16 inches and remove all leaves. Then you’ll wrap these up in brown paper, or newspaper, or tissue paper.
Peonies wrapped in paper

Pop them in the vegetable drawer in your fridge.  This works really well if you have an extra fridge where you can store them without being stuffed in with actual vegetables. They can stay there for up to 3 weeks.  When you’re ready to have them bloom, simply pull out of the fridge, snip about an inch off the bottom of the stems and place them in water.  The photo below are the very buds I photographed in this post; they’ve been in my fridge for about 3 weeks and this is about 6 hours after trimming the stems and placing them in water.

Peony Buds in Water

And this is after about 12 hours.

Fully Bloomed Peonies

It really is like magic!  Remember this trick and extend the life of those blooms!

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