An event that should not be neglected is the trimming of peonies in the fall. When it comes to old-fashioned peonies, the answer hasn’t changed during the years — cut herbaceous peonies back to 3 to 4 inches in height when the leaves lose their luster and turn color. After the first frost, this flower should be cut back to the ground, removing any and all foliage, fallen leaves or dropped flowers to reduce the chances of disease being passed on to the next growing season. In milder climates and warmer years, peony stalks may remain standing into November. (watch out for the ants!) link to When To Fertilize Blueberries: Seasonal Plant Food Timing For Blueberry Bushes, link to 32 Camping Gifts Perfect For Outdoorsy Friends Or Nature-Loving Family Members, Falci European Pruning Shears (Made in Italy), this article for more info about how plants produce energy using photosynthesis, Perennials for Every Purpose: Choose the Right Plants for Your Conditions, Your Garden, and Your Taste (A Rodale Organic Gardening Book). All rights reserved (c) 2019 GardenTabs.com. Make your cuts at an angle, right above outward-facing buds. Be sure to remove any damaged wood. Cutting back prevents any disease from forming on the leaves, buds, and stems. Intersectional peonies are a cross between tree and herbaceous peonies. Once the plants start to yellow or brown in the fall they should be cut to the ground. In climates prone to ice and snow (where most peonies thrive), early spring frequently brings daily freeze-thaw cycles. Autumn’s the ideal time to split and move well-established herbaceous peonies, despite the widely held view that peonies don’t like being moved. When to Trim Peonies. Leave the rest of the peony plant standing until autumn. They have soft green stems and typically die back in fall and regrow the following spring. Over the last few years, Home for the Harvest has grown into a popular home & garden site with hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. This is often in mid-October, around the time that beautiful red, yellow autumn leaves are falling. Dispose of the cuttings that are leaf-free by placing them in the compost pile. I have 10 different varieties of peonies and they are all doing fine. Now you can save those seeds, and actually try to start new plants with them or you can trim them out either way. When to Cut Down Peonies Perennial Peonies. Leaves from a peony infected with powdery mildew should not be composted. I'm MJ. For herbaceous peonies, you can cut the whole plant to the ground after a fall frost has killed off the foliage. Cut back the entire peony plant in mid-Autumn, around the time of the first frost. Spent flowers are generally trimmed off in June after they’ve blossomed, but the leaves of the plant should remain standing until mid-Autumn so the plant can produce next year’s flower buds. Corydalis (Corydalis lutea) It is hard to kill corydalis. The roots of the plant are growing, extracting nutrients and water from the soil, and also “setting” the flower bud “eyes” that will shoot up the following spring. Cut back the entire peony plant in mid-Autumn, around the time of the first frost. After your peony puts on a marvelous display of color in the fall, cut the browning foliage to the ground and mulch with a couple of inches of compost. 2. In autumn, after the foliage has died back, cut the herbaceous peony down to ground level. Himalayan gardens to visit in the UK. Peonies are therefore, relatively low maintenance and reliable performers in the garden. Powdery mildew is another of the common peony diseases which covers leaves with a white powdery coating. Fertilize peonies twice a year — in the spring shortly before new growth appears and then again in the fall after the plants have been cut back. Other gardeners, however, disagree and are in favor of pruning and end-of-season cutting back. We have peonies in the front of our house and some in the back. Patience. I'm in zone 5. Outgoing links in this post may be affiliate links in which this site receives a portion of sales at no extra cost. When cutting back peonies in the fall, keep as much as the foliage intact while pruning the wilted and dying blooms. There are many types of peony blooming varieties; early, mid-season and late blooming…making it possible to stretch out the season over several weeks. Flowers may last longer in partial shade when cutting back the entire peony standing. 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