When and how to cut peonies properly?

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With peonies (peonies) in the garden you always know exactly when the summer starts. The hardy perennials produce every year again numerous, wonderfully fragrant flowers, which are also loved as cut flowers, and require little cultivation for cultivation. However, they should be pruned regularly to stimulate flower growth and prevent possible diseases. Here are some tips to help you groom and prune your peonies perfectly for a long-lasting enjoyment.

To cut

In general, a sharp hedge or rose scissors should be used to avoid squeezing the plant stems. Make the pruning on a dry day so that no germs or dirt can enter the plant at the interfaces. Peonies are hardy, they do not need to be covered for winter after cutting.

As cut flowers

The peony is an elegant, fragrant and long-lasting cut flower whose flowers are impressive as a single bouquet, as well as in combination with other flowers. Cut off the flower stems long, remove the leaves, if any should be on the stem, they rob the flower's strength. If you want leafy green, cut it extra. Cut in your own garden early in the morning, make sure that the buds are not too small, otherwise they can not open in the vase. The stems are cut diagonally and placed in lukewarm water, on request you can add summer flower food from the specialized trade. Place the vase in a sheltered place. Every two to three days change the water and cut the flowers again. So they should last at least 10 days.

herbaceous peonies

When cutting outside in the garden, it is essential to distinguish between shrub and perennial peonies; the requirements here are different.
The cut of the perennials takes place in autumn, preferably October - November, so that the aboveground plant parts can retreat into the earth and rest over the winter. Perennial peonies are cut back to within a hand's breadth of the ground so that the resting phase can begin. Cut the stems piece by piece so that too little pressure is exerted on the interfaces and unnecessary sap emerges. Then the interfaces can dry out quickly and close. Examine the cut parts of the plant for any signs of fungal attack. If this is the case, the clippings must not be disposed of in compost, but must be disposed of with household waste. If there are signs of fungal attack, cut close to the ground or just below the ground, so you can be sure you will not see any remains.


Remove the efflorescence immediately after flowering with one or two leaves, so that the plant gets enough strength and does not expire in the production of the seeds. In spring, you can snap back the young shoots down to two or three eyes. For the following year, then more buds are formed, in addition, the plant branches better.
The woody plants receive only if necessary, a cleaning section in late autumn, so November - December. The shoots are cut back to the first bud, budding buds should not be touched. Before cutting, examine the branches and twigs to determine if a cut is necessary. If your peony is a bit bleak, you can influence the renewal with a cut. Cut to the first branch, preferably in front of an outside eye. However, avoid cutting in front of your eyes. In general, the plants do not resent a pruning, but it can take a year or two to regain full flowering if you need to prune the peony more.
  • In the fall, also remove the leaves of the shrub peonies
  • Cut out wild shoots below the cultivation in the spring directly at the trunk
Tip: If frostbite has occurred in the shrub peonies, cut the frozen parts only after the shoot. So you can see which shoots have died. Here are some tips for cultivating your peonies so that each year you can enjoy the wonderful splendor and abundance of flowers of your peonies.

Substrate and soil


Loose, humus-rich soil is preferred. Deep soil is important, the roots reach deep into the earth and branch out there.
  1. When placing the young shrubs, add horn chips to the excavation, which saves the fertilizer in the first year.
  2. Put the finishing area at least 5 - 10 cm below the soil in the case of tree peony.
  3. Make sure that your eyes are at least 3 cm below the ground in the case of perennial peonies.


Peonies are loyal to their location and want a sheltered, sunny spot where they can stay for several decades.Among gardeners, the peony is also the favorite plant of the lazy gardener. She does not like being implemented.


Peonies are available as perennials and shrubs. Usually they are planted in the fall.
Tip: Never put new peonies in a place where there has already been a peony, because of the soil fatigue it will not develop properly and only take care of it. Even a soil exchange brings no improvement at this point.


If the perennials become too large or if for some other reason a transfer of the true-to-the-ground plant is unavoidable, the whole perennial must not be moved to its new location, it is divided and treated like a young plant. In this way the multiplication by division can take place.

Diseases and pests

The frugal plants may get fungal diseases, as evidenced by wilted branches and stems during the growing season. In these cases in the case of perennials tear out the affected stems directly at the roots and cut them off in the autumn. Do not dispose of in compost. Shrub peonies should be cut back to healthy wood to eradicate the fungus.
The frugal and long-lasting peonies are an asset to any garden where your grandchildren can still enjoy. By pruning in autumn, the perennial draws new strength and rewarded for the little effort with enormous flowering wealth and beguiling scent. Put your peonies in a sunny spot and the plant will thank you every year.

Worth knowing soon

  • Basically, the branches and leaves should be cut back gently. It applies here: less is more.
  • It is very important to use a high quality pruning shears, which is very sharp.
  • Above the so-called "sleeping buds", shoots are always cut off - shoots that only drive out in the next phase of growth.


In absolutely exceptional cases, a peony can also be severely cut back: Exceptional cases are only situations in which there is a disease or the peony was massively damaged by a storm or frost damage. After such a radical cut, it may happen that the flower fails for a year. Thus, one should not be surprised if the peony does not cast out for a season and looks rather miserable. It should be left in any case, as it recovers by itself.
  • It is also important in a massive pruning that a miracle closure agent is applied to the interfaces.
  • This avoids that fungi or other diseases get into the bush via the interfaces.
  • Such miracle closure can be purchased in any well-stocked hardware store or you look at the Internet in various online shops.
  • Since peonies do not form strong stems, it makes sense to buy a good secateurs.
  • Alternatively, you can borrow garden tools in many hardware stores or garden shops.

Video Board: How to Fertilize & Trim Peonies in the Spring : Garden Savvy.

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