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Grow with KARE: Saving peonies

You can have peonies in your vase at home well into July, or even August, with this trick.

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. — Peonies are a fan favorite here in the Midwest, but their season is short, lasting only a week or two. 

That is, unless you’re sneaky and save some in the refrigerator to bloom later. 

It’s a great trick to have peonies in your vase come July or even August!

The first step is picking the right peony bud. You want it to be in the “marshmallow stage,” meaning when you gently squeeze the bud, it should feel soft like a marshmallow. A bud that’s too hard will have a harder time blooming once you cut it. And one that’s too far along with the petals already unfurling will have a hard time lasting. SO make sure you get one that’s right in between.

Next, with a sharp pruner cut the stem about 12” to 18” down. You’ll be trimming it a bit later.

Then pinch or trim off all the leaves.

Roll each of your peony stems in a sheet of newspaper. This will help control moisture.

Then, those rolled up peonies go into a big plastic bag in a single layer, sealed up tight. You can use more than one bag if you have to. 

Seal up the bag and pop it in your fridge. You can put another bag of peonies on top, but nothing else. They should lay flat.

If you don’t have a big enough plastic bag, you can use plastic wrap. Just make sure it’s sealed tight.

You can leave them for up to three months and sometimes even longer!

When you want fresh peony blossoms pull a few out, trim at least an inch off the stem and pop them in water!

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