How to Cut Back Peonies in Minnesota


Peonies are perennials with large, fragrant blossoms. The colors of the peony flowers range from pink to red, yellow or white. Peony plants are actively growing through the spring and summer months, and they bloom in the late spring or early summer. If you have peonies and live in Minnesota, you can cut them back late in the fall, usually around the first part of October. Some people living in Minnesota leave their peonies standing, while others like to cut them back.



Things You’ll Need
  • Sharp shears
    1. Wait until the peony bush turns brown. This will occur after the first frost kills the leaves–usually around Oct. 1.
    2. Cut the stems back almost to the ground but leave a few leaves on the very bottom. The leaves help the peony to store food for the winter.
    3. Remove all the cut stems and debris.
    4. Put a layer of mulch over the peony plant for added protection. Although peony plants are hardy, it never hurts to mulch them as they go into the cold months of a Minnesota winter.

Tips & Warnings

  • Cut the flower stalks as close to the ground as you can after the blooms have died.

  • Sometimes if you cut the peony plants down before the leaves turn brown, you run the chance of the plant not blooming next spring.

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