The Q&A Archives: Trimming Peonies

Question: I clipped the stalks from my peonies last fall before it snowed to about 12" from the base. Should I have left them alone? Have I damaged my bushes for this spring's blooms? The plants are about four years old and have matured nicely - planted by the previous owners.

Answer: What you did is fine. Peonies should be trimmed back as short as possible each fall, after frost has killed off the tops. The trimmings should be removed to try to minimize the chance of any pest or disease carrying over from one year to the next. You can go out now and carefully remove the rest of the stems, being cautious not to damage any emerging growth. Enjoy those peonies!

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