My Everchanging Garden

Gardening That Grows With Me

Peonies and Rain

One of my favourite times of year is early to mid-June due in large part to peonies. This year it seems we have had a lot of rain and thunderstorms in June, making for a lot of floppy peonies. This picture was taken just a day before a heavy rain. By the next day all the largest blooms were on the ground despite the peony stakes surrounding the plant. The problem with peony stakes is they just don’t seem to be large enough to support the whole plant. Even after drying out in the rain, the blooms never look the same and the stems always seem to be a bit droopy. This year I have cut off many of the largest blooms a little early to help those side buds put on a nicer show.

That leads to a question of whether to disbud or not disbud. Until this year I never really considered it and have never done so. I’ve just let nature take it’s course. Some cut the side buds earlier in the season to create one larger flower and help reduce the weight on the stems. However in a year like this one, I would have lost out on even more enjoyment from my peonies as I have extended the season a bit after having to cut back a floppy rain beaten center flower. Either way though, rain or shine, peonies are still one of my favourites.


  1. Martini on

    I know this is an older post… but if you see this comment, is it ok to transplant a peony now, in September? My golden raspberry bushes have suffocated it. It didn’t even bloom this year and I’m afraid it’s going to die.

    • everchanging gardener on

      Hi Martini

      You can move peonies either in the spring or fall but fall is best so now is a great time. I have moved peonies in the spring, just after they broke the surface. At that time of year I am careful to get a big root ball, trying to disturb as little roots as possible and have been successful if having the moved peony bloom slightly that same year.

      The fall is typically when you divide perennials if you would like to. A couple things to remember: don’t plant them too deep and the more you disturb the roots the more likely you will have to wait a year or two for the plant to rebloom. Peonies have a huge root system so upon transplanting, particularly if you divide them, they may take a year to three years to redevelop their roots. Hope that helps.

  2. Martini on

    Thanks. It definitely helps. However, now that I know about the roots, I’ll have to enlist help, as it’s far too large for me to move by myself. Just planted a 7 foot Susan Magnolia, and that really broke me. I need time to recover…


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