Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Floppy Peonies: Start Again?

'Should I axe them?'

What can we do about our peonies, which flop when rain soaks their blooms, sometimes even before?

“The first wise decision,” writes Adrian Higgins in his Washington Post “Gardening” column, “might be to dig up that beloved old floppy peony and place it by the curb: ‘Free to Bad Home.’”

Oh, come on, Adrian. Get a grip. We love our peonies, even if they flop. Our parents and great-grandparents raised them. They cut long-stemmed blooms and took them as remembrances to lay by the tombstones of loved ones.

But Adrian, as usual, has a point to make. There are now peonies varieties that don’t flop.

To read his column, titled “Smart choices can prevent a floppy peony” in the Post print edition, CLICK HERE.


  1. Or you could 'stake' them up and enjoy their fragrance and beauty anyway !! : ) Linda

  2. Yes, the answer isf to stake them. If you just have a clump or two, then wire hoops are the answer. If you have a big bed like my daughter (3' by 20') get some green short steel stakes and a roll of green garden fencing 3 feet wide Put the fencing a foot to 18" from the ground before the peonies are that tall and they will grow through the fence, hiding it and not flop over.

  3. I agree--no need to root out all the family heirloom peonies. Take them, support them, smell them.

  4. I have some that flop and I choose to cut them and enjoy the gorgeous blooms in my home. They are quite delightful, even if they do flop!

  5. Yes, ours flop too, but cut and brought inside, they perfume whole rooms. We're keeping ours!