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Peony advice - novice Gardner!

Hi all,
I need some help from experienced gardeners out there. I've admittedly no knowledge of looking after plants and try to Google everything as I go to try learn how to keep things alive as best as I can. We have a peony plant potted which sits out on our patio and is currently getting battered by the multiple storms. I've looked up how to cut these back for the winter and the advice seems to vary depending on if it is a bush type or tree. I presume this is a bush because the stem is very thin so should I just be cutting this main stem back close to the soil and letting it grow back completely next season? Thanks in advance!


  • Sorry about the pic rotation, I can't see how to turn it around to post here!
  • AnniDAnniD Posts: 12,142
    Forum glitch with the photos, if you reduce the size before posting it turns up the right way  :)

    Has your peony ever flowered ? How long has it been in the pot ? 
  • Ah right I thought I was being stupid and turned it around myself a few times with no luck!

    It had a single bud this season but never actually fully opened unfortunately. We only bought it in about April this year so I don't know if it successfully flowered before this
  • borgadrborgadr Posts: 703
    You can cut it right back now.  It might not flower well (or at all) if it's planted too deeply.  In my garden I inherited a few peonies from the previous owners.  For the first two years only leaves and no flowers, so I dug them up and replanted them very shallow in the ground and they flowered fine.

    I have no idea if they do well in pots.
  • Thanks for that, they seem temperamental from what I've researched. Do I just cut it down at the base of the centre stem or leave a bit of height from the soil surface?
  • FairygirlFairygirl Posts: 54,348
    They [herbaceous peonies] aren't temperamental as such, but they just need the right conditions to thrive - as with many plants.  :)
    Decent, fairly rich soil, with good drainage. As much sun as possible, and as said - make sure the crown of the plant isn't too deep. I actually keep mine slightly proud of the soil surface because it's very wet here. Certainly no deeper than around an inch is best, so that the emerging buds in the crown of the plant don't rot.
    You can remove the dead foliage and stems. I just do mine as and when they happen. 
    They aren't terribly good long term in pots, because the root system gets sizeable, so it would be better to plant it out in the ground. Otherwise, you'll need to find a very large container for it. Then it's totally dependent on you for everything, which is always more difficult than when in the ground  :)
    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

    I live in west central Scotland - not where that photo is...
  • Thanks for the info everyone, by the sounds of it I might be better transplanting it into the ground or the shallow planter box I have out in the garden
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