My Peonies need Prozac

13 Jun

I don’t know if I’m the only one, but I don’t understand peonies.  I have zero experience with them prior to this spring and I had no idea what these weird things growing in my garden were until my mother-in-law clued me in.

I think I’m still missing something.

OK, I get that the flowers are beautiful…. but seemingly only when cut.  As you can see from the picture below- the flowers right now are pavement dusters thanks to the crazy/crappy weather of the past week or so.  I have been able to rescue a few bunches and bestowed them on my friends.  Even prior to the weather, though, the plants themselves just looked like angsty teenagers- slouching and a little depressed.

The largest of the more than half-dozen in my yard (most are pretty skinny, small and barren of flowers) has a proper cage/stake with 2 rings holding it up.  I swear it started drooping more the second I gave it supports, though.  It was just pulling the supports over with it!  The next step was to attach the supports to a trellis that I stuck in the ground behind the plant. That’s almost been pulled over too.

I just don’t get it!  How can I make my peony plants themselves look as lovely as the flowers look cut??  If I can’t figure it out, I may start giving away some of my peony plants for next year.  I don’t want to rid the yard of them completely, however for a yard this size, so many drooping peonies aren’t giving off the best vibe! (Do you see the pathetic scrawny one to its side?)

If you have experience with peonies, PLEASE leave me comments telling me what I’m doing wrong and how I can make my garden happy next year!

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6 Responses to “My Peonies need Prozac”

  1. Debra 06.13.2011 at 2:14 pm #

    The heavy rain doesn’t help with mood or top heavy plants. There’s circular metal supports made just for peony plants. Maybe give those a try or just cut and enjoy in home. Good luck, your lucky to have enough sun to grow them.

    • vintageviolet 06.13.2011 at 2:17 pm #

      I did try (what I think is) the circular peony support, but I’m thinking it may not be beefy enough for a few of these monsters. For now I’ll enjoy the cut flowers and call a do-over for next year.

      • vintageviolet 06.13.2011 at 4:01 pm #

        OK, another update. A facebook friend showed me what you were talking about- definitely not what I have now. By the time I realized what these weird plants were, it was too late to properly stake them. Now I know for next year and can plan accordingly! Thanks for your help!

  2. Decor Girl 06.16.2011 at 10:13 am #

    I’ve got the supports but this year only one measly flower with 3 plants! I think part of it is accepting they are truly best enjoyed indoors before they flop!

    • vintageviolet 06.16.2011 at 10:17 am #

      Of the half dozen plus peony plants I have, only 3 have flowers, so you aren’t alone! I’m just curious to figure out these weird plants next year

  3. Mike 06.16.2011 at 7:28 pm #

    Yeeeah, the ones at my house do the same thing. Then they turn brown and die and turn into mush on the drive way. Not cool.

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