When to cut back peonies – for show-stopping blooms next year

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Knowing erstwhile to chopped backmost peonies is indispensable if you privation to support your plants successful bully wellness and guarantee maximum blooms adjacent year.

Learning how to turn peonies is 1 of the astir rewarding gardening pursuits. Few different plants connection specified a immense scope of forms and colors, from purest white, done citrus yellow, softest pinkish and deepest red.

‘Renowned for their oversized blooms, peonies are a prized scenery works often utilized for chopped flowers,’ says Lindsay Pangborn, gardening adept astatine Bloomscape (opens successful caller tab)

‘Cutting backmost peonies is simply a captious to-do item, but it’s important to deliberation astir timing. It’s a cautious equilibrium of aesthetic and works wellness considerations.’

As good arsenic knowing erstwhile to chopped backmost peonies, it's besides important to cognize when to works peonies if you're adding caller varieties to the garden.

When to chopped backmost peonies – adept guide

Your section clime tin impact erstwhile to chopped backmost peonies arsenic those successful warmer zones volition angiosperm earlier than those successful cooler zones – cheque your USDA works hardiness zone (opens successful caller tab). Peonies tin beryllium grown successful zones 3-9, depending connected the variety.

‘Depending connected wherever you live, the increasing play for peonies tin beryllium anyplace betwixt April to June,’ says Gabriel J. Croteau, maestro gardener and advisor astatine Juliei Salone (opens successful caller tab).

‘It whitethorn beryllium tempting to prune peonies arsenic soon arsenic the leaves commencement looking bad, but you ideally request to hold until autumn to prune them. That's due to the fact that the plants are inactive relying connected getting their vigor for the pursuing year's maturation – and truthful cutting them sooner could impact adjacent year's flowers.’

When autumn sets in, and the peonies' leaves alteration colour to yellowish oregon brown, past it’s clip to marque the cut. 

‘Take them close backmost to astir 1 inch (2.5cm),’ says Jennifer Green, botanist and adept astatine Positive Bloom (opens successful caller tab). ‘If the works is severely damaged oregon overgrown, you should chopped it arsenic adjacent to the basal arsenic possible. 

'You tin besides region steadfast branches that interaction each other, taking distant the little developed subdivision with less buds.’

peony achromatic  wings

(Image credit: Leigh Clapp)

Can I chopped my peonies backmost successful August?

August is not the champion clip to chopped backmost peonies, arsenic it doesn’t let the foliage to sorb arsenic overmuch vigor arsenic it needs for the pursuing year.

‘The foliage of peonies tends to decline, opening successful August, since this is erstwhile the works people starts diverting vigor distant from increasing leaves and alternatively to underground tubers. These tubers let the works to store vigor for the adjacent season,’ explains Pangborn.

‘Though the leaves whitethorn not look great, it’s champion to let them to stay truthful that they tin proceed to photosynthesize and stitchery vigor for the plant.’

Cutting backmost peonies successful spring

Unless you are trimming aged maturation near implicit from the erstwhile year, you indispensable not chopped backmost your peonies successful the spring, arsenic this could harm the works and forestall it from flowering.

However, determination is 1 objection to the rule. ‘The lone peony you should trim successful the outpouring is simply a histrion peony,’ says Croteau. ‘You wouldn't chopped it backmost successful the autumn similar you bash a herbaceous oregon Itoh peony. 

Early outpouring is the champion clip to prune histrion peonies.

bi-colored pinkish  and pick  peonies successful  a plot  bed

(Image credit: Leigh Clapp)

Do peonies request to beryllium chopped backmost for winter?

It’s champion to chopped backmost your peonies earlier wintertime successful the fall, and discard each dormant works matter. 

‘Peonies are susceptible to foliar fungal issues, and allowing infected foliage to stay connected the works done wintertime tin exposure caller maturation to damaging pathogens that person overwintered connected the aged leaves,’ says Pangborn.

Pruning peonies earlier wintertime besides keeps your plot tidy. ‘If you don’t chopped them, the leaves and stems deteriorate, go mushy, and autumn to the ground,’ says Green.

Can you chopped down peonies aft they bloom? 

‘You should not chopped backmost peonies aft they bloom, since the leaves bash a batch of enactment implicit the increasing play gathering vigor for the plant. However, you should deadhead peonies aft they bloom,’ says Pangborn.

Always usage clean, crisp pruners to region spent angiosperm blooms, to debar the hazard of illness transference. 

‘Allowing the aged blooms to stay tin lend to fungal maturation connected the plant, on with being unsightly,’ adds Pangborn. ‘It’s besides champion to region immoderate stems that are declining passim the play successful an effort to support illness from spreading.’

What happens if you don't chopped backmost peonies? 

If you don’t chopped backmost peonies, the aged foliage volition go unsightly implicit the wintertime and into the outpouring – but they should inactive angiosperm the pursuing year.

‘Bear successful caput this increases the accidental that immoderate aged fungal issues are transferred to the tender caller maturation successful the spring,’ adds Pangborn.