Deadheading and cutting back peonies

poppydog(5)April 23, 2006

Ok, they're just coming up, but I just saw another post that said they should be deadheaded and cut back in fall. Mine are only 3 years old, but I've never done either. They are healthy and beautiful and have tons of buds. I have wondered each year if I should deadhead, cause the spent blooms aren't very attractive, but never got around to the research. I was afraid I would do more harm than good. Is there any benefit to deadheading and cutting back?

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I want to get rid of all the old foliage during the winter so the new growth will be clean and fresh. Of course I am talking about harbaceous peonies NOT tree peonies. Especially if you had any Botrytis problems you want all diseased foliage removed from the area. Al

    Bookmark   April 24, 2006 at 10:15AM
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I have a follow up question on this, What about deadheading a single stem right after the bloom is done?

    Bookmark   May 20, 2006 at 12:51PM
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I always deadhead mine directly after blooming, then leave the foliage until fall. After we have had hard frosts I then cut back the complete bush. I have about 18-20 peonies in our yard.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2006 at 9:25AM
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goodhors(z5 MI)

I also deadhead all my herbaceous Peonies after blooms fade, puts all the plant energy to growing roots and food storage. I am not going to be planting seeds, so the plant is wasting energy on them.

I cut the Peony foliage in fall after first hard frost. Cut foliage off and remove from bed to prevent any disease having some place to to stay over winter.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2006 at 10:05PM
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Cybersunday(z5 ca)

You don't have to deadhead peonies at all, does not make any difference, this comes from a renowned expert Lindsay D'Auoust.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2006 at 9:21AM
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I have a couple hundred peonies and have deadheaded some and left other spent flowers on. I also cut a fair number of fresh blooms, about half on each plant. I've never noticed any difference in the amount or quality of the blooms the following year. I do remove all the foliage after it has died back in the late fall.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2006 at 5:57PM
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I want to know if I can cut back the foliage before the first frost. I inadvertantly planted mine too close to a sprinkling head and the water cannot get over the top of the peonies so it is killing my husband's grass (which he is not too happy with) so can I cut them back now, or do I have to wait until fall?

    Bookmark   July 8, 2007 at 10:09PM
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My peonies develop what looks like seed pods after about one month after the flowers have passed.

Can these be planted to grow new peonies?

    Bookmark   June 19, 2011 at 8:45PM
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Herbaceous peonies are not normally started from seed and I try and dead head faded flowers and avoid spending plant energy producing seeds. Al

    Bookmark   June 20, 2011 at 9:56AM
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I'm fairly new to growing peonies and after a few years of trauma (being transplanted 3 times in 2 years) this year I have my first blooms. I have two plants, one bloom on each plant. They're starting to look a little spent, so I figure it's time to deadhead them? Will they have more blooms this year or is that it? We've had a very cool, wet spring here, and it's July 2nd and it seems like summer has finally arrived. The plants themselves are much larger than they were last year when they were planted in their permanent home.

I'm pretty much a peony newbie and would appreciate any advice you have. :)

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 10:23PM
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mytime(3/4 Alaska)

That's all the blooms for this year (I assume you don't see any more swollen buds). I usually cut my spent blooms off, because those stalks are so long and heavy that they bend over. Whether or not you should cut them off is up for debate.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2011 at 11:32PM
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I have had my three bushes for 4 years. After blooming this year the stalk and flower turned brown and I noticed last week that all the leaves have a powdery white substance on them. Can anyone tell me what it is and what I should do? I took a soft wet cloth and the white stuff came off. I don't think I can do that to all the leaves. Is there a simple solution.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2011 at 12:37PM
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LSue you have a serious case of powdery mildew. The best you can do,is to limit the damage. I would spray your plants with a good fungicide, now and again in about 10 days. I use a Bordeaux mix, which is effective and lasts the best in rainy conditions. It is somewhat ugly as it stains any surface a blue/green. This fall when you remove the old foliage do not compost it but put it in the garbage. Spray the ground well again with the fungicide to try and prevent the fungus from living over and infecting next years foliage. Al

    Bookmark   July 9, 2011 at 9:22AM
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I've transplanted three 10 yr old bushes from a flower farm. They were bare rooted. some roots were about 1/2 in to 1 in around. I mixed good planting soil when planting them. Two did flower somewhat this year but now several stems have browned and look like they are dieing. Most of the little heads all browned and dried out even with my persistent watering. Should I cut them totally back.
The browned stalks I have cut off. Some stalks I only cut back to where it was green again. I hate to lose these plants since they are older ones. Any suggestions on mid summer care??

    Bookmark   July 10, 2011 at 4:08PM
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I am a totally new peony grower, and inexperienced gardener. I have 2 peony plants, both planted this spring. They were doing great until a few days ago, when I noticed this white-greyish filmy stuff covering the entire plant (both plants). It rubs off with my finger. From the posts on this site, I gather this is either mildew or fungus. Today is July 15; it is too early to cut back the whole plant? Others who are talking about cutting it back seem to be talking about doing it in the Fall when foliage is begging to fade. Also, what sort of treatment can I use? Could someone provide a specific brand of treatment?

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 7:14AM
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After the bloom, during the summer, the foliage is collecting carbohydrates which it is feeding the roots. The roots make storage tubers which will be available to power the spring growth and bloom. If your plant is allowed to cover the leaf surface with mildew the work of the foliage is interrupted. When mildew is first seen the plant should be sprayed with a fungicide to protect the unaffected foliage. I would spray any affected plants no matter how bad the condition. I use a Bordeaux mix on a 10 day cycle of at least three sprays. You may have your peonies planted too close together with not enough air to dry the foliage. It takes about 24 hours of being wet to grow mildew. Al

    Bookmark   July 15, 2011 at 9:48AM
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