Step 1: choose stems with a bud that is almost ready to bloom but still closed. Make sure the buds are not closed too tight or too loose.( A good tip is to look for some that have a marshmallow consistently when you touch it! )
Step 2: cut the stems mid morning and make sure the stems are dry! I would wait if it rained the night before or there is any condensation or morning dew! The stems need to be dry to prevent mold from growing and harming the stem while refrigerated. Cut the stems 8-15 inches down.
Step 3: Next, wrap your stems up to 3 together in a plastic bag. ( I used a small zip lock bag to cover the bud . Next year I will buy the extra large zip lock bags to cover th entire stem). You can also use plastic newspaper bags and an elastic band. Place your dry, wrapped stem in the back of your refrigerator where it is the coldest . Make sure it is in a place where they won't get squished, damaged, or wet! Ideally the temperature should be 32 degrees Fahrenheit. However, most household refrigerators are 36-40 degrees. (If you have a setting on your fridge you can turn it lower. If not this process should still work as long as the temp does not exceed 40 degrees.)
Step4: Now you wait! You can take your peonies out any time in the next four weeks or so. ( possibly 6 weeks). Remove them 24 to 36 hours before you would like them to bloom! Perfect way to time for guests or a summer party!
Simply remove the peonies from the fridge and cut the bottom of the stem slightly (the freshly cut stem will help them drink water easier! ) Then place in cool, fresh water. They should bloom in 24 to 36 hours!
*One final tip! ( go into your yard and cut green peony foliage from your peony bush! The peony flower may bloom and look fresh but the leaves may look bridle and dried out! You can camofoldge this by adding the green fresh foliage!
Good luck! Can't wait to have peonies all throughout the summer next year!!! Will you try this trick?