When to Cut Back?/ Fall /Winter Care

valtorrez(6b)September 5, 2009

I moved into my first home last fall. I had no idea what the previous owners had planted nor did I do any fall care. Luckily this summer 3 big peonies bloomed. I am now wonder what should I do this fall? I read some people cut back this plant. What exactyly does that mean/ how do I do it?

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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

With cold weather your peony should turn yellow and then black. I cut mine back to about four inch from the ground. The little stems will get stiff and provide some protection for the new buds growing just below the surface. Cats or other digging animals will usually avoid the stiff stems. Be sure to clean up all the old foliage and haul it away. If your plants are prone to fungal diseases you might want to spray the soil surface with a fungicide such as Bordeaux. Al

    Bookmark   September 8, 2009 at 9:30AM
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Hi ValTorrez:
I too moved into first home 1.5 years ago  have now spent 2 summers with the beautiful peonies I discovered. Last fall after our first frost (Oct?) I took a chance and cut mine down & they came back this year just fine. They are very old 30+ years (?) and had been horribly neglected for the last 12 or so. I do also get the odd browning in the late summer/early fall (right now). It happened last year and didn't affect quality  just ugly. I found a good site with similar issues. The link is to page 2 (page 1 is pretty pedestrian).

Here is a link that might be useful: Peony Health

    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 4:45PM
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The information on the HPS site is one of the reasons that I suggest visiting gardens with peonies at this time of year. You can look at the various plants to see which ones look ratty or nice. Some peonies actually develop fall reds, oranges, and yellows. Treat them as a year around plant rather than just one short season of bloom.

If you are in the area come to the lecture and sale on the 26th of September.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2009 at 8:22PM
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