Peony shrubs are the delight of many gardeners when they burst forth with their colorful blooms in late spring to early summer. Gardeners often cannot resist cutting some of the beautiful blooms and bringing them indoors to create fresh floral arrangements. Peonies are particularly well suited for indoor floral arrangements because they can last a long time with the proper care.
Prepare to cut blooms from the peony shrub early in the morning, when the blossoms are cooler. Fill the bucket with cold water.
Examine the buds on the peony shrub to determine which ones are ready to cut. Buds that feel firm yet give under light pressure are ready to be cut, as are buds with petals that are just starting to separate from the bud area. Buds that feel hard inside are not ready. Buds that are cut before they're ready may not open.
Use the utility knife to cut the stems with the buds you determine are ready. Try to make the stems at least 1.5 feet long.
Place the cut stems into the bucket of cold water immediately. Cut off leaves below the water level, but leave at least two leaves on the stems closer to the buds so that the peony will continue to thrive.
Cut the stems again immediately before placing them in the flower arrangement. Hold the stems under cold running water and cut another 1 to 2 inches from the bottom of the stems. Cut at an angle.