When and How To Cut Back Peonies - Backyard Boss
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When and How To Cut Back Peonies

Peonies are one of the most beautiful flowers around, but they can be a little fussy when it comes to care. Do you prune them in the fall, or in the spring? And how much of your peony should you cut back? In order to keep them looking their best, you’ll need to know when and how to cut back peonies. Keep reading for instructions on how to prune these lovely plants so your garden will be full of stunning blooms all season long!

When To Cut Back Your Peonies

When it comes to caring for your peonies, one of the most important things you can do is learn the right time to cut back your peony plants. Doing so at the right time will ensure that your peonies have a long life, bloom beautifully each year, and keep looking great!

One major factor to consider when deciding on when exactly to cut back your peonies is the type of peony you have.

Herbaceous or Intersectional Variety

Intersectional Peonies
Image credits: Nick Pecker via Shutterstock

If you have herbaceous or intersectional peonies, pruning them in the fall is the right move. By cutting them back in autumn, you can reduce the risk of overwintering diseases such as peony wilt.  Additionally, by pruning in the fall you help promote new growth that will generate even more gorgeous blooms next year.

Tree Peonies

Woody Peony
Image credits: Violeta Beigiene via Shutterstock

However, if you have a tree peony (sometimes referred to as a woody peony,) it’s generally recommended that you cut back your plant in the spring after new growth begins. Tree peonies go dormant in the winter and store their buds in their woody stems. Cutting them back in the fall may reduce your chances of getting any peony blooms in the springtime.

Skipping out on fall pruning will help ensure that your peonies make it through the cold months and come back strong when spring arrives.

How To Cut Back Your Peonies

Peonies are a favorite flower of many gardeners. They add stunning color to any summer garden or bouquet, and they’re fairly low maintenance. But if you want to keep your peonies healthy and thriving throughout the years, there are a few simple steps you can take to care for them properly.

Herbaceous or Intersectional Variety

Itoh or Intersectional Peony
Image credits: Kristine Rad via Shutterstock

First, cut back their stems before winter sets in. Be sure to cut the plant back to 1 to 2 inches while avoiding the crown, as this could damage or expose the plant to disease. If you notice any signs of fungal damage on your stalks or leaves, it’s best to discard these rather than composting them.

To protect your peonies from frosty winter conditions, apply a light layer of mulch once the ground has frozen. Just be sure to remove this early in the spring, as it could actually prevent your peonies from growing.

With these simple steps, you can help keep your peonies healthy and beautiful for years to come!

Tree Peonies

Woody or tree peony
Image credits: PopovicM via Shutterstock

If you’re looking for a way to keep your shrub pruned, while also encouraging new growth and buds, then pruning your tree peony in the springtime is the way to go.

To do this, simply cut back the old, dead woody stems of your plant. This will help keep it looking neat and tidy, while also promoting new buds and growth as well.

How To Care for Your Peonies

Peonies are beautiful, delicate flowers that require some care in order to thrive and bloom. To keep your plants looking their best, you should follow these simple care tips:

Tree, Herbaceous, or Intersectional Peonies

Tree or woody pink peony
Image credits: Sergey and Marina Pyataev via Shuterstock

First, make sure you give your peonies plenty of sunlight. They do best when they get direct sun throughout the day. If they don’t get enough light, they can become leggy and have weak stems.

When planted in spring or summer, peonies need regular watering until they get established. After their first year, they don’t need to be watered on a routine basis.

Finally, when growing herbaceous or intersectional peonies, it is important to provide the plants with plenty of nutrients in order to promote healthy growth and beautiful flowers. To do this, you should apply a general-purpose fertilizer regularly. Additionally, it’s important to mulch the base of your plants with a layer of compost or well-rotted manure in order to suppress any weeds that may be competing for resources and to maintain moisture. However, it’s essential to avoid covering the center of your plants, as this could damage or harm the buds.

A Peony For Your Thoughts

Now that you know how to prune your peonies, it’s time to get outside and put our tips into practice! Peonies are one of the most stunning flowers you can grow, so make sure to share this article with your friends and family. They’ll be glad you did – everyone will be able to enjoy these gorgeous blooms all season long!

Do you have any tips or trick for pruning your peonies? Leave a comment below!