The Q&A Archives: Peonies

Question: I read thru questions already asked and couldn't find a clear cut answer. I hope you can help. I just bought a home that has peonies everywhere! Winter is here, should I cut them back, and if so by how much? They look pretty brown except for a little green foliage.

Answer: Trim away the brown stems and leaves at ground level at the base of the plant -- if fully dried they may simply fall loose and free into your hand, especially after frost has hit. (Be careful not to damage any of the roots or eyes if they are near the surface.) Clean up and remove the old stems and foliage from the growing area so as to limit any carryover of disease or pest problem from one year to the next. Things should be gorgeous at your house next spring!

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