Delaying Peony Blooms

Peonies are lush, romantic and very fragrant.  I absolutely love everything about this flower and they look gorgeous in any bouquet.  Every year I plant a new peony bush in my yard, I am up to 9!  I have a fuchsia, baby pink, medium pink and even peach.  This year I am on the hunt for a white one.

I was thrilled when I came across an article that tells you how to pick peonies early and refrigerate them to delay blooming for up to 3 weeks or more!  Ideally, the bud should be neither too loose or too compact, almost the consistency of a soft marshmallow.  Cut the peony, leaving a 14-16inch stem attached the bud. Make sure the buds are dried and remove the leaves.  Wrap the stems individually in newspaper and put a bag of some sort over them and refrigerate with a temperature around 36-40 degrees.  Store the peonies flat on a refrigerator shelf.

Remove the peonies from the refrigerator at least 12 hours before use and trim the dried ends from the stems.  Place the stems in deep water and store them in a cool place.  The buds should then bloom naturally after several hours.  I can't wait to try this!  

Please let us know how this works for you!

-Melissa Maas