Peonies are delightfully colorful and eye-catching flowers that many people include in their gardens. They are perennials, which means they will re-grow each year. Peonies have large blooms that appear in late spring and stay gorgeous throughout the summer. They also have plentiful foliage.
You should cut back your peony plant’s dead stems in the fall. You should wait until frost kills the leaves. Cutting back your peonies will help to prevent disease and insects from damaging the plant. Pruning your peonies is also an important part of tidying up your garden.
There are more than 3,000 types of peony available, and they come in many different colors. You can find peonies in shades such as pink, white, red, coral, and yellow.
Table of Contents
- Why Should You Cut Back Peonies?
- How to Cut Back Peonies
- How Do You Prepare Peonies for Winter?
- Should You Cut Peonies After They Bloom?
- How do You Get Peonies in Bloom Again?
- How Do You Plant Peonies?
- How to Arrange Your Peonies
- How Should I Fertilize Peonies?
- How to Get Rid of Ants on Your Peonies
- How to Stop Squirrels from Digging in Your Flower Bed
- Related Questions
Why Should You Cut Back Peonies?
Peonies die back naturally during the fall months. They will eventually re-grow in the spring. You should cut back the plant’s dead stems to the ground during the fall because it will prevent diseases and insects from causing problems. It is also an important part of tidying your garden.
If you don’t cut back your peonies, your plants are much more likely to end up with insect and disease problems. If this happens, you will have to deal with this the following spring.
How to Cut Back Peonies
Follow these steps when cutting back your peonies:
Step 1. Wait until the first frost.
You should cut back your peonies in the fall, after the first frost has killed the leaves.
Step 2. Get a pair of garden shears and clip the stems.
Use your garden shears to clip the stems as close to the ground as you can.
Step 3. Make sure you don’t damage the crown.
As you cut the stems, ensure you don’t cause any damage to the crown. The crown is a fleshy component of the plant that is found between the stems and roots.
Step 4. Pick up the stems, leaves, and debris.
After you have finished cutting back the plant, pick up all the stems and other debris.
Step 5. Put all the stems, leaves, and debris in bags and throw them away.
You should throw away all the stems, leaves, and debris. Never try to compost them, as peonies can harbor resilient fungal diseases that can affect the rest of your garden or lawn.
How Do You Prepare Peonies for Winter?
An essential part of getting your peonies ready for winter is cutting it down to the ground. More accurately, this is almost down to the ground. You should wait until the leaves on the trees turn yellow during the fall months before you do this.
When you cut back your peonies, ensure you don’t remove any of the pink or reddish buds. These are also referred to as the eyes. This can be tricky, as the eyes are situated near the ground level. The eyes are necessary for next year’s stems to grow. They are the part of next year’s stems that already exist.
The peonies’ eyes will be safe during the winter, as they are not prone to freezing. If you forget to cut back your peonies before the winter, don’t panic. In most cases, peonies will die back and then re-emerge in the spring. Be aware, however, that problems with insects or disease might develop that you will have to deal with.
Should You Cut Peonies After They Bloom?
You should only cut peonies after they bloom if the blooms are spent (faded or dead). Deadheading blooms will make sure the plant has the energy it needs to bloom the following year. It is also key in preventing fungal diseases.
Don’t cut the leaves, as the plant will need those to grow flowers for the following year. When the fall arrives, you should cut the entire plant to the ground. It is best to wait until a fall frost has killed the plant’s foliage before you do this.
How do You Get Peonies in Bloom Again?
Normally, peonies will begin to bloom again automatically in the spring. However, there may sometimes be buds present that refuse to open. You may find that the buds grow and develop but then shrivel up and turn a brown color. If this happens, it means that the bud is dead.
To save the rest of your plant, take steps to ensure its health. Peonies need to have full sun. If your peony isn’t getting enough sun in the early parts of the spring, buds can die. Perhaps a nearby tree has grown in more leaves and created too much shade.
How Do You Plant Peonies?
The best time of the year to plant peonies is the fall, but it is possible to plant potted peonies in the spring instead. Never plant peonies too deeply. There are “eye” buds that are found on the tubers. Identify these and make sure that they are planted above soil level.
Plant peonies in a place where they will get six to eight hours of sunlight every day. This area where you plant the peonies must have effective air circulation. Plant your peonies in well-drained soil that is slightly moist. Give your peonies an especially thorough watering right after you plant them.
How to Arrange Your Peonies
You should plant your peony plants about three or four feet apart. This will help to ensure they have enough air circulation. You can plant peony plants individually or just plant a few of the plants. Alternatively, you can plant several of them in areas such as wall-side borders, borders, and cottage gardens.
Remember that peonies don’t tend to do well if you transplant them. This is why you should spend quite a bit of time deciding on the right location before planting. Some plants that do well planted with peonies include roses, columbines, Siberian irises, bearded irises, springs bulbs, and small shrubs.
How Should I Fertilize Peonies?
It can sometimes be challenging to give a peony plant the fertilization it needs. If you think your peony needs better fertilization, apply some liquid fertilizer. An example could be a seaweed emulsion or compost tea.
If you haven’t yet planted your peonies, make sure to mix some fertilizer in before you do so. Mix in an organic material such as compost. Many gardeners like to use tulip fertilizer for peonies. Your peonies should start to grow in the spring. When you have shoots that are about three or four inches in height. At that point, you may apply a synthetic, dry, and complete fertilizer.
What Kinds of Fertilizer Do I Use for Peonies?
An example could be 5-10-5 or perhaps 10-10-10. If you go with an organic fertilizer, look for 5-5-5. In most cases, just one fertilizer application each year will be enough.
Use a low-nitrogen fertilizer for your peonies. If peonies get too much nitrogen, they could have problems growing properly. You should apply the low-nitrogen fertilizer to the area of the soil surrounding the stem of the plant.
Remember to test the soil in which you keep your peonies every year. You should ensure that the right levels of the different nutrients are present. To help boost your peonies, try adding a phosphate fertilizer or bonemeal sometimes.
How to Get Rid of Ants on Your Peonies
Peony blossoms produce a sugary sap that appears right before they open. Ants love this liquid, and you will notice them being attracted to your flowers. They will even crawl up onto the buds.
You can simply use your hose (on a very gentle setting) to wash off the ants. The ants will probably come back, but they don’t damage the plant. If you want to repel the ants, there are ways you can do this. You can sprinkle some cayenne pepper in the soil near your peonies. A vinegar and water spray can also help.
How to Stop Squirrels from Digging in Your Flower Bed
Squirrels like to dig in flower beds, hoping to find places to hide their nuts. There are several easy and natural methods you can use to make squirrels not want to come into your flower beds. One way is to mix one tablespoon of cayenne pepper with two or three drops of dish detergent in a bottle of water. Spray this on your flower beds.
When Should I Cut Back Irises?
Like peonies, irises should be cut back in the fall. You should do this after there has been a frost. Get rid of any foliage that is yellowed or spotted. If the foliage was affected by a heavy frost, you should remove it. To protect your irises after cutting back the plants, use about an inch of sand to cover the rhizomes. You should put a thin layer of evergreen boughs over the sand. Do this after the ground freezes.
When Should I Cut Back Daylilies?
You should at least get rid of your daylily plants spent stems and leaves in the fall. This should be done late in the fall. If you prefer, however, you can wait until early spring. If you decide to go with a fall cut back, do it after the first severe frost. After that, you can cut back the leaves. If you wait until spring, do the trim as you notice new growth appearing out of the ground. You could also do it just before this point.