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How to Cut Back a Peony


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Peonies enjoy full sunlight during the day, with evening shade in the hotter climates. They produce abundant, large and fragrant blooms in the spring that often linger into mid-summer. When planted properly in a sunny location, peonies require little routine maintenance. Double bloom varieties hold water in their blooms, so they need a wire support or stakes to hold them up, but the single bloom flowers do not. Adding a monthly fertilizer, or a slow-release fertilizer once or twice during the growing season and regular watering are all the care most peonies need.

Difficulty:
Easy

Instructions

Things You’ll Need
  • Pruning shears
    1. Remove spent blooms during the growing season, which in most growing areas is mid-spring to early or mid-summer. Pull the dead flowers from the stem with your hands, or snip the buds off with pruning shears.
    2. Cut each stem of the peony bush low to the ground in late fall or early spring while it is in its winter dormancy stage. Leave just a few inches of the dormant stems above the ground.
    3. Cut stems from the peony bush as needed during the growing cycle to maintain a particular size or shape. Perform only light and occasional pruning during the growing season. If the peony is too large for its current location, requiring excessive pruning to keep growth to a minimum, move the bush in the fall to a more suitable location.

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