How to Prune Peonies


One of the most well-known perennials in gardens are peonies. They come in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes, and grow best in cooler climates that have nutrient rich soil in a good drainage area. Peonies are easy to care for and prune.

Step 1

Prune peonies in the spring and summer very lightly to improve air circulation. For serious pruning, prune them only in the fall when the foliage has begun to die back.

Step 2

Use the pruning scissors to cut off any broken or weak peony stems (this means stems that are thinner or shorter than a ballpoint pen). Cut these stems back to the point where they connect to the base of the plant.

Step 3

Prune slowly and carefully, because you want the peonies to be shapely and still stay bushy without trimming too much leaf mass off.

Step 4

Prune the entire plant back to the ground if it seems diseased or dead in any way.

Things You'll Need

  • Gloves
  • Pruning scissors


  • Pruning Peonies
  • Trimming Peonies
Keywords: pruning peonies, caring for garden flowers, peony trimming

About this Author

Lauren Wise has more than eight years' experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food, wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, including "Runway," "A2Z," "Scottsdale Luxury Living" and "True West." Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Arizona State University.