Hello Peony lovers -
We want them to last as long as possible in our vases. Picking time is the key. Knowing when to pick to get the longest vase life is not hard (thank goodness). This pic shows the state you want buds to be in. The bud should be soft. If it is cut when hard like a rock, it may not develop further. Notice a lot of the bud is showing here. This is another sign that picking time is very close. This one is a little spongy. Just what we want. As the buds will mature at different rates on the same plant, it is good to check your peonies every day to catch them at this state. Early morning is the best time too for picking.
Another thought - putting a basket around your peony gives it great support too, which is needed once mature with buds or blooms!
-Neil & Mary