The Q&A Archives: Peonies Flop Over

Question: My peonies always flop over. If I pinched the plants back early in the spring, would that help to keep them more compact, as it does with my mums and petunias? Would it affect the blossoming?

Answer: Peonies should not be pinched as this would destroy the flower buds. Instead, stake or otherwise support the plant to keep the flower stalks from flopping over. To do this, you can use a special "peony ring," or you can set stakes around the perimeter of the plant and run string around and among the stakes, spider web style. Another method is to set a hoop of chicken wire (or other larger wire mesh) over the plant in late winter. It will grow up through the wire, and the flower stems will be supported.

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