growing Chinese tree peonies for cut flowers
Chinese tree peonies are usually growing on their own roots, unlike Japanese tree peonies almost alway crafted. For this reason, Chinese tree peonies should be planted with root crown just below or at the ground level.
And since CTP has their own root, new shoots (canes) growing from the ground level are welcome by Chinese growers, especially for cut flowers.
Prepare the soil and select the location like you would with regular tree peonies: deep, well-drain soil with lots of compost or matured manure, at sunny but cool location with good air circulation.
After transplanting, just let it grow for the first year, no pruning.
From the second year during late March and early April, start choosing 5-7 canes for next year's flower. Keep only the strongest bud on the cane. Get rid of any extra canes by cutting them to the ground level. Add more fertilizer than you would with general purpose TP.
Start from the third spring, keep choosing 5-7 new canes each year and de-bud. Cut the flowering canes (that we choose a year before) from the ground level when the flower start showing it's color. Because the new canes can form the flowering bud during the fall and flowering the next spring, you would get longer flowering stem this way (than cutting flowering branch) and they would be at similar length. You can choose 8-10 new canes from a healthy 5 years old plant.
A couple of ways to keep the cut peony longer:
1. burn the cut.
2. Add a piece of Asprin into a cup of water (last 2-3 days longer)
3. flower preserving solution: Glucose 15 g, suger 5 g, borax 50 mg, some antibiotics and fungicide. Add to 1-2 cups of water. Flower lasts up to 5 times longer.