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Peonies are one of my favourite plants and I have a couple in my garden but one issue I always have is keeping them upright and stop them from falling over. It’s not really been an issue with younger plants but once they start producing them magnificent flowers which I love the smell of, that’s when they need a little help staying upright but it really needs doing before they put on any significant growth.
The problem with peonies is that the flowers are often that large that they struggle to stay upright and if we get some wind and rain, that’s when they come crashing down.
When to use peony plant supports
Peonies are fast growers so you need to be quick, ideally, you should add peony support in early spring just as the new growth starts. You want to push the peony support into the ground so the peony crown (where the new growth shoots are) is in the centre of the peony stand. This way you can avoid damaging the peony crown and want have to risk damaging the new growth which you would if you waited too long.
I recently moved one of my peonies into a raised bed I had built, so I decided this year, I would get ahead of it and get some peony supports ready.
Now there is a couple of ways to do this, you can either use specially designed plant supports as I have for my peony Sarah Bernhardt in the raised bed as shown below.
I like to use the fancy peony supports rather than tomato supports are they look more appealing and elegant but it’s a personal choice. They are also more sturdy too, especially the Thompson & Morgan ones I use.
- Takes the hassle out of staking herbaceous peonies and other perennials when gardening with our garden tools
- Sturdy obelisk frame supports big, showy and heavy flowers
- Position around the crown of the plant in spring to support stems as they grow
- Perfect for keeping plants upright in borders
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You can also use tomato supports, sometimes you can cut them in half and use the wide top for large plants or use the narrow section (from the bottom) for smaller plants.
Here is a tomato supports you can use
How to support established tall peonies
Sometimes, if you forget to insert peony support in Spring as I did with the plant below in my border, then the best thing to do is to stake around the edge of the plant with 3 or 4 thick canes or stakes and use string attached to the top of the canes around the edge of the plant to support it. Make sure you don’t have the string too tight, as the plant should still be able to move around in the wind and you don’t want to damage the stems.
That’s it, ideally, you want to insert peony supports in spring so that you don’t have to try and carefully guide the new foliage through the support. If you want a cheaper option, then tomato supports seem to be more affordable and can be cut in half to create two supports.
Failing this, why not just try inserting some canes around the edge of the plant if you have waited too long to use a specialist peony support. This doesn’t look amazing but it does the job and is certainly what I will have to do with the peony above I forget to insert peony support earlier before it got too large.
Last update on 2021-05-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API