Peony Supports and Growing Tips
Plant a peony today! Every garden needs a peony bush and if you are lucky enough to live in an area where peonies thrive, there is no better time like the present! I’m sharing my tips on how to get instant peony gratification and how to keep them looking their best with peony supports. Ever wonder why your peonies won’t stand upright and flop onto the ground? Get my peony growing tips and learn all about peony rings plus tips on making them thrive!
I look forward to peony season more than I anticipate a new season of Outlander, a new pair of shoes or a frosty cold margarita (well almost). For those of you who live in areas where peonies won’t bloom, you have my sympathies.
If you’ve always wanted to grow peonies, start with this post …
How to Grow Peonies
(it’s got all my tips for making sure you have peony success)
Why are My Peonies Falling Over?
If peonies don’t have support, the big blooms will cause them to flop onto the ground and they won’t last long. Also, rain likes to batter peonies into the ground which is yet another reason to support them.
In early spring, when peony shoots begin to pop through the ground, I make sure to get my peony support rings into the ground so my peonies will have a shoulder to lean on when the weight from their giant blooms begin to emerge.
This post contains affiliate links which means if you make a purchase, I may earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
The peonies will quickly grow through the supports and stay standing upright.
I like these Peony Support Rings
When the peony starts to bloom, the support ring will be hidden in the foliage.
I planted three pale pink Sarah Bernhardt peonies years ago and they have been rewarding me with armloads of peonies ever since.
This year, I am so excited to add another peony, this one a gorgeous hot pink color … Edulis Superba.
To get peony blooms the spring that you plant them, I prefer buying peonies in containers instead of bare root peonies which take years to bloom.
Find a sunny spot in your yard, and plant a peony!
What Size Peony Support?
There are many types of supports but I like peony grids. They come in a few different sizes so choose the one right for your size shrub.
The diameter of your cages should be larger than the diameter of the peony rootball.
If the support is too small, you could damage the peony roots when trying to push the cage legs into the ground.
I like these peony support rings
Once your peonies blooms, you will barely see the green support wires.
Peony Care Tips
Peonies are meant for cutting so don’t be afraid to clip them and bring them inside using a clean, sharp pair of shears (these are my favorite pruning shears).
Make sure to remove peonies from the bush when they die (they will turn brown).
When your peony bush is done blooming and you’ve removed all the dead flowers, leave it alone until fall.
Cut your peony down to the ground in late fall or after frost has killed the leaves (don’t cut it down in the spring or summer or it may not bloom next spring)!
I like to store my peony supports in the garage until next spring.
So plant a today for yourself or for a friend or family member. It would make a unique Mother’s Day gift!
New to peonies – start HERE
My new house has peonies!!! Dark cranberry ones! My friend has ice cream peonies and they are amazing!!!
Thank you for the information about the peony rings, my husband thought I had made it up!!!
No longer jealous!!!
Tell your husband he now needs to get you a ring for your finger since he didn’t believe you about the peony rings! Your cranberry peonies sound gorgeous!
How far south (zones) can you grow peonies?
Peonies grow in zones 4-7.
I have grown peonies with moderate success in Dallas in full shade under large oak trees. The hot summers aren’t their friend though.
Wow full shade – you have a green thumb!
Kelly my Peonies are beautiful but are covered with ANTS! I dont dare take them in the house but what do I do with them to get rid of the ants without hurting the petals so I can display them…help!!
Hi Mary… Peonies need ants! They eat the the coating off the blooms so the flower can open. When you cut yourself a bouquet, hold the cut bloom upside down and give it a gentle shake or tap, the ants will fall right off! Now you can take them inside to enjoy! Hope that helps!
Hi Mary – it’s actually a myth that peonies need ants for them to open! Try cutting them before the fully bloom – they should be in bud but not too tight (they should feel like a marshmallow). Or you can cut your blooms and soak them in water to get rid of the ants before you bring them inside. 🙂
Thanks so much for the tips on how to grow peonies. You had me at the phrase “instant gratification”. Just moved to the mountains of Georgia in hopes to grow a great cutting garden. A lot of our belongings are still in boxes, but my flower garden is under way. I have prioritries. I have already cut blooms from bushes the former owner planted. I desperately need peonies. I appreciate all the great tips on what to do to have blooms as soon as possible.
I love your priorities Susan! If you want really instant gratification, get plants in gallon or two gallon containers (instead of bare roots which need a few years before they produce blooms). Enjoy your flower garden!
These are super beautiful Kelly!
Thanks Susan 🙂
I adore peonies and have planted them at every house where the zone was right. We’ve lived in some states where they don’t grow, which made me very sad! lol I hope the people that live in those houses are enjoying those peonies each season!! Next year we’ll be leaving PA to live in AZ (God willing), so I will buy them as cut flowers. ?
I grew up in PA Rebecca! Best wishes on your move to AZ!
I am lucky to have some beautiful peonies of ranging colors from white, yellow and fuchsia, but they get a powdery something or other all over the leaves by the end of summer. Any suggestions??? Thank you!
Hi Melissa – you need to cut off the powdery stems and discard them immediately so that they don’t infect your other plants. Also, try to water them close to the ground instead of getting the leaves wet.
I love Peonies too! Where is the correct place to cut the stems?
Anywhere Anne! They have a short growing season – only a few weeks and they won’t rebloom once you cut so you can easily cut the stems very long or short – whatever you prefer!
My pionies grow well and have beautiful blooms but after the blooms die, the leaves get a dusty coating. What could that be and how do I treat it.
Hi Debi – powdery mildew won’t hurt your peonies so don’t worry! It happens when there is a lot of humidity. Your best defense is to make sure your peonies are spaced properly and have plenty of air circulation.
Last year I just pushed my rings flat to the ground after I cut them down. Then surprise, I just had to lift them a little as they sprouted and I will continue to as they grow! Saved me storage and frustration of being too late to put them in the ground when the plants are too tall! Of course my roots are well established.
That’s great Lori! My support legs are too tall to push down into my rocky soil!
Where can I buy the peonies supports ? I’ve used tomato cages but they just don’t do the job.
Eileen – these are the peony supports I use: https://amzn.to/2I2tWad
Hello, my fiance cut my peony bushes down to the dirt 2 years ago (they were at least 60+ years. We Live on our familys farm been in the family for over a century.) he didnt know what they were. Well they didnt come back. We are getting married spring 2019 and I wanted to have peonies everywhere. I was told that if i planted this spring they would not bloom next spring. But I seen you said instant gratification with 2gal plants. Would they also bloom next spring?
Very hopeful! Thank you in advance.
Hi Holly – I’m surprised your peonies didn’t come back! I cut mine down every fall. I wonder if there is too much mulch on them? Anyway, I bought two gallon containers that were full of buds in the spring, planted them and they did bloom that same spring. Good luck!
Hi there! Thanks for the tips! I have moved into a house with 2 large peony bushes in the backyard planted right next to each other. When it starts to break the soil at the beginning of spring there are so many little points coming out. I was wondering if/when/how you would recommend splitting these up and planting more around my yard. Is that possible without killing them? I want a whole row in the front yard!
Laura – it’s not necessary to divide peonies often and if you do, you may not get blooms for a few years. If you decide to, it’s best to do it in the fall.
I bought a house 6 years ago that has 4 peony bushes! The first year we lived there I counted 80 blooms just on one bush! They were amazing. Every year since then I get fewer and fewer blooms. I got maybe 6 from the same bush I got 80 on. Can you please tell me what to do to get them to have more blooms? Should I be fertilizing them at some point? With what?
I use the new colored tomato cages and cut them down to size. I then tie to the top ring the peony supports. Often I need to add extra grid that is achieved with pieces of cheap garden grid fencing tied to the peony grid to support extra growth . Been doing this for years. Works well. I leave them in place for the winter. These cages are useful for the tree peonies and intersectional peonies without the peony grid. Jay Kaplan
Those peony cages can be pretty pricey, so I went to a local hardware store and bought a roll of metal wire with the squares about 3″x3″. The roll probably stood about four feet tall, so I took tin snips and cut it in half, so that it was now about two feet tall. I then estimated how big around I wanted each cage and cut the long 2′ high rolls into sections. It took a little time to do this, but they are actually more invisible than the purchased rings, and much easier to install and store. To store, I just nest them, one around the next one, and so on.
Great idea Barbara!
Thank you! I can’t wait for next spring ! I do love my peonies!
I use branches off of a junk mulberry bush that likes to take over a corner of my back yard. I cut about a dozen straight 3 to 5 foot, ¹/₂ to 3/4 inch branches and shove both ends into the ground around and across the peonies as they are starting to come up. It forms a little cage for the peony stalks to poke through. Gives them plenty of support, is natural and lets me take out my aggression on an unkillable mulberry nuisance. I end up replacing about a half of the “hoops” each spring as they rot and break after a few years.
Great idea to use what mother nature supplies!
I live in an apartment where you cant plant anything in the ground. This means I must plant in pots. I do grow roses and a few other plants on my patio. Is there any way to grow Peonys in pots?
This article has info on growing peonies in pots: https://homeguides.sfgate.com/grow-peony-pot-41756.html
I live in Dallas. Will peonies do well here?
This article has info on growing peonies in Texas: https://www.hunker.com/13427033/how-to-grow-peonies-in-texas
Timely post! I was just gathering an armful of Festiva Maxima peonies and American Beauty rose buds this morning. Both were here when I bought the house and may be 20 years old with lots of life left in them. I’m so happy you said peonies may not bloom for years if moved because I contemplated moving 1 of the 2 large peonies here and definitely won’t be doing that if it means years without blooms! Instead, I plan to add Sarah Bernhardts and will heed your advice to go with established pots because I’m impatient for their beauty like that! So enjoy your content. Thanks for sharing!
You can always move the peonies in the fall Christy. You may not get blooms for awhile, but if it’s a better location, it will be worth the wait!
I visited my daughter back in 2105 who had just moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan. That was the first time saw peonies in mass plantings. It was LOVE at first sight. I came home to North Texas and immediately scoured nurseries for the elusive peony’s found around here. Finally found some in a large nursery in Dallas, and the only advice I got was “good luck”.
I’ve tried many different locations, soils, and I just can’t get them to flourish like they do up there.
Maybe this year! I’m hunting again and going to try it once more!
Peonies need cold winters to flourish and Texas is definitely not cold enough! Read this post for more peony info: https://www.kellyelko.com/how-to-plant-peonies-peony-care/
Where can I get Peony rings?
I like these grid rings: https://amzn.to/3kyr0qc
It is so beautiful!!!