Do your beautiful peonies keep falling over? Are you struggling to find a way to make sure these fragrant blooms don’t droop over or lay limp on the ground? In this article, we’ll show you how to keep your peonies upright no matter what size they are or which species they come from.
Why Do Peonies Flop Over?
Peonies flop over due to their large and heavy flowers on top of long stems. The stems aren’t always flexible enough to support the full weight of the large bloom.
Certain varieties like Sarah Bernhardt peonies require support.
Another factor is because the peony rootball isn’t buried very deep. So stems don’t have a lot of underground support.
How to Keep Peonies Upright
Peony blooms do best when they are supported, so it is important to make sure they have some sort of structure or support around them.
You can use a stake and twine or hoop to keep your peony plants upright as they grow and give them additional support.
Some people like to use wire tomato cages, but I prefer to use peony cages to support my peonies.
Using Peony Cages
Peony cages are used to provide support to the growing plants. This helps keep the plant’s flowers and foliage upright. The cage prevents them from collapsing under their own weight or becoming overwhelmed by strong winds.
The cage also allows air to circulate around the flower buds, keeping them in pristine condition as they unfurl each spring season.
It also helps protect peonies from certain pests, such as deer and rabbits who may have an appetite for flower petals.
In some cases, a decorative peony cage can be used as part of the landscape design.
Peony grid cages are my preferred cages to buy. The center of the support circle contains grids that the peony blooms grow up through. This provides great support.
Where to Buy Peony Plant Supports
Peony cages are typically sold at garden or hardware stores, or you can buy them online.
When purchasing a peony cage, it is important to keep in mind the size of your peonies as they require plenty of space and air circulation to grow.
You will also have to consider the material your cage is made from; it should be sturdy enough to last an entire growing season and protect your blossoms from any damage.
When to Install Peony Cages
Peony cages should be installed in early spring when tender new growth first appears from the ground.
Before installation, you should measure the diameter of the cage to ensure it fits snugly on your peonies. Be sure to place them firmly around each plant, approximately 3-4 inches from the plant’s crown.
How to Install Peony Support Cages
Start by putting one of the rings at the base of the bush.
Then, with even spacing, stick the three stakes in the ground. Use a rubber mallet or hammer to drive the stakes into the ground if needed.
Here’s what my floppiest peony bush looks like with the support in place.
Here’s what the row of peonies looked like yesterday.
I would’ve staked the one at the very end (right side of the photo), but it’s too big for the supports I used. It may be time to divide that peony bush.
Remove the peony cages in late fall when it’s time to cut down your peony bushes.
Don’t worry, I’ll be back with updates.