The Q&A Archives: Rejuvenating Neglected Peony

Question: After having an evergreen tree removed this spring, I discovered peonies starting to come up there. We have inherited a yard that has been neglected for some years, and the peonies must have been hidden as the tree grew wider. Having survived dense shade and several years of being cut down by the lawnmower, they are a little thin looking, although two have buds. What is the best way to help them recover? Erica Cathers Blackwood, NJ

Answer: The peonies will be thin for a while until they build up energy reserves from their crowns. You can fertilize twice a year--early spring and fall. Scratch a handful of bonemeal around the perimeter and work it in. I think that's all you can do for thetime being.

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