Floppy peonies

plantlady1758(S.E. MI z5)June 21, 2007

Need help for next year! I have been double hooping my peonies for a few years. Even though I divided them 2 years ago, the plants are huge. The blooms this year were many and huge also, but like last year, they bent over the hoop and snapped over it and were soon dead. I was so disappointed! I thought you were supposed to support peonies. Maybe I should just let them fall naturally to the ground. At least the stems wouldn't snap and break.

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I use lamp shade frames for peony supports (found at yard sales, or garbage night...take off fabric), but they're not perfect. Stems do flop, and some do break. Then I cut them to bring inside!

Some folks support each stem individually. Others have more elaborate ring/string systems.

Bill Countryman, Sr. (of Countryman's Peony Farm in Northfield, VT) always said that peony rings were like guillotines.


    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 2:53PM
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plantlady1758(S.E. MI z5)

Thank you, Judy for that advice. I think next year I'll try different things on different plants and see what works best.

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 4:52PM
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jayco(5b NY)

I've struggled with this problem as well. This year, after the usual flopsville occurred, I decided that next year I'm going to cut all the big (primary) buds right before they bloom, bring them inside, and then let the side buds flower and see if they flop. I think the only thing that would work for my monster peonies would be to stake every single stem -- and that would just be too much work for lazy me!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2007 at 10:11PM
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plantlady1758(S.E. MI z5)

I also am too lazy to stake each stem, so I think that's a great Idea! Will the buds bloom inside then? Maybe I will try that on a couple plants and see how it goes.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2007 at 11:27PM
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jayco(5b NY)

Yes, if you wait to cut them until they are like big, soft marshmallows (I think they actually refer to this as the 'marshmallow' stage), they will bloom indoors. The only problem for me is that the primary blooms are usually on very short stems, if I intend to leave the smaller buds intact.... but I think I'll just buy some shallow flower bowls for them. I can't think of anything else to do, besides the dreaded eight gazillion individual stakes.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2007 at 1:56PM
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