Swenson Gardens

Deadheading spent peonies


By now all of the peonies have either gone way past bloom or have been done for our gardening friends in Zone 2 a few weeks ago. Many of you have inquired on where to cut off spent blooms. Here is a picture on where the average location is. Basically right above the first main foliage branch. With some varieties where the bloom is held high above the plant, you may even have to cut farther down to tidy up your plants. Our tip for cutting off either spent blooms or cut flower blooms, you always want to leave at least 1/3 of the original stem in place. Now the ‘what if I don’t remove my spent blooms?’ Well we can answer that as there is no way we can afford to remove all our spent blooms on 18,000+ plants. We see no reason to remove spent blooms other than to tidy up the plants in gardens. For future reference, do not cut off spent blooms until 2-3 weeks have passed from the last bloom in order for the stored energy within the plant to return to the roots. Oh and yes it is a great idea to sterilize your snipper when going on to another plant. 1 part bleach to 10 parts water will do that. Let it soak for about 30 seconds and that will help with possibly spreading any diseases from plant to plant. Happy snipping peony spent blooms…or not!

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