Do not cut down completely in autumn
As a rule, when Japanese peonies are mentioned, they are so-called tree peonies, also known as shrub peonies. Such peonies exist for several years and are now usually grafted. In contrast to the perennial peonies, these specimens are not completely cut down in autumn.
- Japanese peony: how does it reproduce?
- How hardy is the peony actually?
- Dividing the peony: from digging to planting
Sometimes a cut is necessary
Shrub peonies like the Japanese peony do not need pruning. However, over time the scissors should be used from time to time. So you should remove too old, weak, rotten, crossing shoots. The best time for this is in the spring before budding. Alternatively, the cleaning cut can be made in autumn.
But the scissors should not only be a companion to remove unwanted shoots. Wilted flowers should also be cut off to protect the plant. Otherwise, the seed formation costs her a lot of strength.
If necessary: only cut back to the bud in autumn
If you think your Japanese Peony could use a cut to get back into shape, you can easily prune it back. This can stop the growth and promote a compact shape.
In autumn, take sharp secateurs and cut the shoots back to the first bud. That is enough! If you cut off the buds, you will also remove the flowers for the next season!
Other reasons why a cut may be appropriate
Even then, a cut makes sense:
- for obtaining cuttings for propagation
- to remove frozen shoots
- to remove diseased plant parts
Since these growths tend to turn gray, you should clean the cutting tool thoroughly after each use to avoid the transmission of disease!