Care of Peonies - Knowledgebase Question

Oxford, Ct
Question by Jck6213
July 3, 2005
My peonies are thru Blooming do I cut them all the way back or just the old blooms?


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Answer from NGA
July 3, 2005

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You can remove the spent flowers but don't cut the whole plant back after blooming. Peonies need those stems and leaves to function through the growing season in order to stay alive and healthy enough to bloom next year. In late fall after frost has killed back the tops, gently remove the stems and clean away any fallen peony leaves. This will help prevent any carryover of pests or diseases from year to year. Don't forget to mulch over the soil surface to protect the roots. Allowing the foliage to remain until death will help the roots collect as much nourishment as possible (through photosynthesis) and will ease the plant into dormancy.

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