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How to deadhead peonies

Are your drooping peony flowers making your garden look tired? Peony care isn't difficult. You can grow peonies just about anywhere in North America. Learn how to prune your peonies and deadhead the flowers so that you can enjoy your peony plant all summer long.

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  1. Allow your peony flowers to wilt at the end of their flowering season, because you can't deadhead a flower that isn't dead. Deadheading peonies isn't mandatory. The plant will grow just fine if you don't. The root base will spread and every year you'll have more stems. However, the dead flowering heads are unattractive and many people who grow peonies like the way they look when they're removed.

  2. Snip each flowering head just above the first set of leaves. Allow that set of leaves to be the new top of each stem. Follow good peony care guidelines and make sure that your shears are very sharp. A sharp edge heals quickly and resists bacterial growth that can damage your plant.

  3. Discard of the dead peony flower in a garbage bag. It isn't a good idea to make a habit of composting dead flowers because the seeds may develop and instead of distributing compost in your garden, you could be spreading more peony plants to unwanted areas of your flowerbed or garden.

  4. Tip

    For proper peony care all year long, cut away the dead fibrous stems each autumn. The fallen stems can harbour bacteria and mould that can damage the new peony shoots in the spring.


    Always store pruning shears away from children. Their sharp edges can be dangerous if they are not handled properly.

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About the Author

Lisa Russell has been a writer since 1998. She's been published in Rethinking Everything Magazine, Playdate, AERO and Home Educator's Family Times. She has a Bachelor of Science in business marketing management and a professional background in marketing, education, cosmetology and hospitality.

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