The Q&A Archives: Will Peonies Come Back

Question: I had a huge peony plant that I divided into 2 last spring w/ good success. In the fall, the dead stems were ugly so I trimmed them down to the soil. I think I made a mistake. Will they come back? No sign of life yet.

Answer: It's always best to allow peony foliage to experience a hard frost and die back on its own. This process signals the plant to stop growing and go into dormancy. If you remove the foliage too soon, the roots will attempt to replace the foliage - and use up energy doing so. I think your peonies will come back this spring, but they may not bloom well. Just put up with them this year and let the foliage die down on its own. By next year at this time they should be thriving and flowering well for you.

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