Should I Cut Back My Peonies In The Fall?


5 Answers

Margie Delaney Profile
Margie Delaney answered
I have had several years experience with peonies in New England. I always have cut them down to 5 or 6 inches after the foliage has died. The new growth in the spring does not come from the old stems - new shoots grow, and I cut the previous year's off.

When you divide your peony, do it in the fall. They are very picky about the planting depth. If too deep or too shallow, they will never bloom! They also like rich compost or something similar when tranaplanting them.

I also have always limed them in the fall.
terry cooper Profile
terry cooper answered
I cut mine completely down after all signs of blossoms are gone and the seed pods have hardened. They have been growing and doing fine for ten years now.
Sharon Tyler Profile
Sharon Tyler answered
I believe that the best method to keep poenys healthy is to cut back dead blooms and leaves after the first frost or first few cold nights kill them.

Some experts say you should cut the plant to the ground, others only 5-6 inches. In my personal experience you don't need to cutback any further then where the plant looks unhealthy, unless you feel the need to for your garden's size or your personal preference.

If you want to divide or move your peony the time to do this is right after pruning.
Sue Hurley Profile
Sue Hurley answered
If your plants are herbacious (they go to ground in winter), remove all deadened surface growth.
Tree peonies should not be pruned, but any sick or dead parts can be trimmed back in Spring

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