The Q&A Archives: Disbudding Peonies

Question: Someone once told me that it was possible to get more blooms from the plant by picking off the small buds. Is this true? If so, when is the best time and exactly how do you do it?

Answer: This practice, called disbudding, will increase the size of remaining blossoms, but will actually reduce the number of blooms. If you're looking for quantity and a longer bloom season rather than large blossom size, allow all the buds to remain. If you want to experiment with disbudding, here's how it's done. Flower buds are clustered at the end of a flower stem. The largest bud is in the center. Removal of the smaller buds that are along the side and below the main bud will encourage a single large blossom to form.

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