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How to Deadhead Peonies

Peony image by Konstantin Stepanov from

Deadheading is an often overlooked but beneficial pruning technique. Through this method, certain flowers can be encouraged to bloom for twice as long as they normally would. Unfortunately, new blooms don't proliferate on deadheaded peonies the way they do on other flowering perennials. But varieties that produce multiple buds per stem may be coaxed into producing a few more, larger blooms than they normally would.

Spray your pruning shears with disinfectant before you begin to prevent the spread of disease or fungal infection.

Inspect your peonies for faded flowers that are ready to be deadheaded. A flower is ready for deadheading once it is wilted and drooping.

Grasp the spent flower with one hand to expose the stem on which it is growing. Before you cut, carefully examine the stem for any flower buds that may be small enough to overlook.

Use your pruning shears to cut the peony just above the leaf that is right below the blossom. Take care not to cut off any new buds.

Deadhead the rest of the plant's spent blooms as soon as you see them until the peony has stopped flowering.

Deadhead Peonies?

grown in U.S. Department of Agriculture zones 3 through 8, are classic, gorgeous perennial flowers that are beloved for their soft, sumptuous blooms that add a splash of color to any home garden or landscape. Repeat this process and remove all dead or drooping flowers. When you’re deadheading your peonies, always cut to a strong leaf so the stem doesn’t stick out of the foliage. Get in the habit of evaluating your garden as frequently as possible (ideally every day) to determine if you have any deadheading needs and to ensure that your peonies are producing enough blooms. Many gardeners report that the process of deadheading is meditative, calming and downright therapeutic. Make sure that your peonies have enough sunlight; these plants thrive in full-sun locations.


While deadheading may not produce prolific flowering, it makes the peony look more attractive and prevents it from setting seed.

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