my favorite flower
if it is a tree peonie, don't cut it. if a regular one, the leaves and flower will die down and turn brown.you can cut them after that or wait til next spring. new stems will come up the next spring.
I cut off the dead flower heads but leave everything else alone.
As Wendy says, you should deadhead the plants after blooming, but leave the foliage until it yellows in the fall.
We moved into our home last September, after the folage on the peonies were done I trimed the bush back since nothing had been done in this yard for over 7 years. My question is how do you separate the bush? Mine appears to have never been split and his massive, not sure how old it is but the home is 70+ years old.
Roxann, dig it up entirely and then carefully divide it into a few plants. Replant them where you want but they probably won't bloom for a year or two. I did this about 10 years ago and took one massive plant and turned it into about 10 plants. All are thriving now and the main plant is probably ready for another division. Good luck!
Thank you for all your help in answering my question. I certainly appreciate the information.
Devon is right on dividing your peonies. However, when you plant, keep the rhizomes at the level in the ground. Peonies don't like to be planted very deeply. Add a good handful of bone meal to the new plantings as well.
Mine are getting fewer and fewer blooms each year. What do I do?
i cut mine back in the spring as soon as the new shoots show their face...in northen Illinois is about April.
September is the best time to dig up and divide, just dig it up and use a sharp knife ( I have used the edge of a shovel) to break it apart. Plant just below soil line and add about a cup of bone meal,mix into soil, they like sun and a well drained soil. Don't expect them to bloom as fully the year after transplanting. After blooming cut off old blooms, but not the leaves, they need these to store energy for next year. You can cut them back in the fall. They can remain in the same spot for years, the one I got my start from was at least 50 years old, from my grandma's garden.
I saw a great idea yesterday on my local news for displaying peonies. Cut the stem short and float them in a decorative bowl of water. But pick them before they have opened up all the way. You get the nice smell and they look great too.
You can also do that with magnolia blossoms, Wendy. They don't last very long, but they are lovely and smell heavenly. :)
Catherine I wish I could grow magnolia's up here. I've heard their lovely. Our winters are just too cold.
Thank you all for the much needed advise, I plan on separating the giant clump in September.
Are peonies happier if not cut down after blooming? I enjoy the plant itself as greenery for the flower beds, with lilies inside, peonies as a 'border'...?