Q. I have three peony
plants. They are beautiful and have large flowers on them each year,
but the blooms don't last very long and I am stuck with flowerless
shrubs for the rest of the summer. What type of care do they need in
the fall to overwinter best? When they flower in the late spring, the
blooms are so big that if they get wet the plant collapses and the
blooms fall apart. What can be done to prevent this so that the
blooms last longer?
A. Peonies, like other
perennials, have their own bloom period. Peonies bloom from late
spring through early summer. The large flowers are beautiful and I
wish they'd last longer, too.
Peonies do not require any special winter protection.
They are a very hardy perennial.
To prevent the plants laden with flowers from
collapsing, in early spring set a peony support ring above each
plant. The stems will grow through the grid of the support ring.
Depending on the size of your plants, you may need to add a second
support ring above the first one. This support system will hold the
stems upright and will prevent them from flopping over when the heavy
When peony blooms are fully open and we get heavy
rain, it can shatter the blooms, causing the petals to fall off and,
unfortunately, there's nothing you can do to prevent that from
happening, except to pick the open flowers before it rains and enjoy
them indoors as a cut flower.