What month do you cut back peonies?

Answered by Stephen Mosley

The best time to cut back peonies is in early fall or after the first frost. This timing is crucial for several reasons. First, cutting back the plants in the fall helps to remove any foliar diseases that may have developed over the summer. By removing the infected foliage, you can reduce the risk of infection spreading to the plant next year.

In addition, cutting back peonies in the fall allows the plants to focus their energy on developing strong roots for the following year. As the plants go into dormancy during the winter months, they can divert their resources towards establishing a robust root system. This will ultimately result in healthier and more vigorous growth in the spring.

To cut back peonies, simply remove all the growth at the soil level. You can use a sharp pair of pruning shears or a clean, sharp knife to make clean cuts. It’s important to discard the cut foliage and any other plant debris to prevent the spread of diseases or pests.

When cutting back peonies, it’s important to be thorough and remove all the above-ground growth. This includes the stems, leaves, and any remaining flowers or seed pods. By removing all the above-ground growth, you are effectively resetting the plant and preparing it for a new growth cycle in the following year.

Some gardeners may choose to leave the foliage on their peonies until after the first frost. This is because the frost can help to kill off any remaining diseases or pests that may be present on the foliage. However, if you notice any signs of disease or pest infestation on your peonies, it’s best to remove the foliage as soon as possible, regardless of whether or not a frost has occurred.

Cutting back peonies in the fall, either early in the season or after the first frost, is the ideal time to promote healthy growth and reduce the risk of disease. By removing all the above-ground growth and discarding it, you can help prevent the spread of diseases and ensure that your peonies have a fresh start in the following year. So, mark your calendar for early fall or after the first frost to give your peonies the best care possible.