Peonies and pruning

andigoldJune 19, 2006

I have many peonie plants that are almost done blooming for the spring. Can i cut them back since they are making such a mess after blooming or leave them go until the fall?

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jenny_in_se_pa(USDA7 Sunset 32)

You can dead-head if you want but try to leave as much foliage as you can as that helps to increase the rhizomes (ie., treat them like you would do bulbs).

There are some who have reported a tradition of mowing them to the ground every year after bloom and they bloom fine the next year but I expect that's done with old established clumps.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2006 at 3:02PM
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I am surprised by your description of your peonies as "making such a mess" after the spent blooms have been removed. Mine are quite attractive green shrubs until they die back in the fall. Al

    Bookmark   June 21, 2006 at 8:09PM
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luvahydrangea(Albany, NY 5)

I have some that become a mess after blooming and some that remain beautiful shrubs after blooming. I tend to place the ones that become a mess, behind the ones that remain as beautiful shrubs. I try to wait as long as possible before cutting them down, but I have one that is just an eyesore right now. I'm resisting because the seeds aren't ripe yet and I'd like to collect them this year.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2006 at 8:10AM
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msbernard(z4 cental OR)

I dead-head asap when done blooming but leave the foliage until fall. The plant needs the foliage to 'feed' the roots. DO NOT leave the foliage on your peonies over winter.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2006 at 4:57PM
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