I have three peonies in my garden that have thrived in dappled partial shade under a River Birch tree. Some years the flowers look great, others, they get wiped out in one the frequent thunderstorms that rumble through here in the Midwest. I used to try to put the little peony “fences” around them to help them stand straighter, but I found that first, you need to get them fenced in before the plant gets very big, and secondly, it really crowds a full grown plant. Now I just let them grow and they look natural and beautiful.
I’ve also never had much luck having blooms last very long in the house. I usually cut a pretty bloom and within a day, the petals have dropped. But, I learned a couple of tricks this year. First, I cut the stem with a bud almost ready to burst into flower, put it into a vase, and by the next morning I had beautiful blooms that last days. The second trick I learned was from a Fine Gardening Quick Tip on how to save peonies to bloom later on. I was skeptical, but it actually worked.
Cut your flower bud and wrap them immediately and place in refrigerator.
When you want to have them bloom, take them out of the refrigerator. I let mine stay in for four days. It looked pretty wilted and I had my doubts, but I unwrapped it and put it in the vase.
Within a few hours, the leaves started to perk up and by the next morning I had an absolutely stunning flower that went on to bloom for days!