A peony (Paeonia spp.) flower is large. It has multiple petals, called doubles, and blooms in shades of white, pink and red. If not staked, the peony’s opulent flowers can end up on the ground thanks to rain and wind. Special peony cages are available to help keep the plants upright, or make your own peony stakes for a fraction of the cost. Peonies are staked when they are in bud, before the flowers open. Hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 2 through 9, these herbaceous perennials are long-lived, drought tolerant and low maintenance.
- Moderately Easy
Things You’ll Need
- Measuring tape
- 1-by-2-inch lengths of wood
- Hammer, mallet or big rock
- Sturdy string
- Measure the height of your peonies from the soil to 5 inches below the buds. You need three stakes per peony. Multiply the height by three. Use this figure to determine the length of a 1-by-2-inch piece of wood to buy from a lumber yard. Use the hacksaw to cut the wood into three pieces.
- Pound the stakes into the ground at intervals, close to but not touching the peony crown. Pound the stakes into the soil 2 to 3 inches deep so they are sturdy and at the right height to support the peony’s heavy blossoms, about 7 to 8 inches below the buds.
- Wind three levels of string around the stakes making sure the top string comes within 8 inches or so of the peony buds. Arrange the string so that the peony looks natural. The aim is to let the peony leaves and stems obscure as much of the stakes and the string as possible.
Tips & Warnings
Some single-flowered peonies, with only a few petals, may not need to be staked.