The Q&A Archives: Prune Kopper King? Pinch first year peonies?

Question: Hi,
I have the Hibiscus Kopper King. It looks like a big grey stick coming out of the ground. Can it be pruned?

I was told to pinch the buds off first year peonies. Does this truly help the plant?

Answer: This perennial hibiscus normally is killed back to the ground by freezing weather. In late fall or early spring cut off the dead stalk close to the ground. Mark the location so you do not accidently step on it or plant on top of it while waiting for it to regrow. This plant comes into active growth quite late in the spring, so be patient with it.

Peonies usually take several years after planting or transplanting or being divided to rebuild their strength and bloom. If your plant has been able to form a flower bud, enjoy the bloom!

Disbudding, removal of all but the terminal flower bud, is sometimes done to produce one larger flower per stem. This might be important if you wanted to show the bloom at a flower show, for instance. Most home gardeners would not feel a need to do this.

It is however a good idea to remove the faded blooms or deadhead. This prevents the plant from spending energy on seed formation. It also helps with sanitation. It is alway important to clean up the peony bed thoroughly in the fall after frost, too, this helps prevent carryover of diseases.

I hope this helps!

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