When to cut back peonies: Top tips to maintain a perfect garden

Gardening: Expert demonstrates how to deadhead flowers

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Peonies are slow-growing and will require some attention, but have patience and you will be rewarded. Herbaceous peonies produce large imposing blooms, and when they flower in late spring to early summer they will be sure to impress your garden guests. But, when should you cut them back?

These flowers started to bloom in May and they should continue to bloom for most of the summer.

With the glorious weather that has been hitting Britain many of us will be enjoying time spent outside in our gardens.

If your garden is filled with peonies you may be wondering when you will need to start cutting back these beautiful blooms.

On one hand, many gardeners will be keen to keep these flowers on display for as long as possible, but, when should you cut them back to ensure they flourish again next year?

What is deadheading?

Deadheading is the term used by gardeners to describe the method for revitalising blooms.

Deadheading is when faded, discoloured and dying flower heads are removed.

This not only keeps your garden looking good but also allows other flowers to grow.

Deadheading flowers encourages a second bloom, most annuals and many perennial flowers will continue to bloom throughout the season if they are deadheaded.

Deadheading maintains good plant health, encourages more flowers to grow and can help stop the plant become diseased.

To deadhead gardeners only need to remove the wilting blooms, this can usually be done with their fingers or scissors if they have tougher stems.

When should you cut back peonies?

Peonies should be cut back or deadheaded when the flowers start to fade.

This means you should be watching your peonies from the moment they start to bloom and deadhead them when required until the end of the season.

You can make your peony season last a little longer if you regularly deadhead peonies when required.

With peonies you shouldn’t just remove the head, instead, you should cut back the plant to its leaf bud.

Peonies are delicate flowers and need to be cut back carefully.

As these are delicate flowers it is best to use a pair of sharp scissors and cut off the faded flowers.

You should cut the flowers from the stem at a 45-degree angle.

Make sure you sterilise your cutting implements, this may sound like a faff but it will help reduce the risk of transmitting diseases to the plant.

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