The Q&A Archives: trimming a peony

Question: When is the best time to trim a peony down? right now some of them are 5 feet tall. Also I dug part of one up and transplanted and it looks horrible Should I not have done it in May. They are quite large and thought since it is early in the year it would bounce back.

Answer: Peonies resent being disturbed while they are actively growing. Wait until after frost nips the tops of the plants then cut off the dead foliage. You can dig and divide your peonies, then replant. Peonies usually are not trimmed down. You might stop their growth if you prune them back now. I'd just live with them this summer and dig and divide them this fall. Next spring the plants will be much smaller and easier to handle. Enjoy your garden!

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