This little tip for staking peonies is almost so easy to do, I’m embarassed to tell you about it.
This 42-second video will show you how quickly and easily you can deal with flopping flowers and plants whacked down by rain storms.
This is no fancy Martha Stewart technique, it’s simply a good way to stop flopping flowers and I’ve been using it for years now.
For Those Who Hate Video
- Take an old metal coat hanger.
- Straighten it out using a pair of pliers. Tougher to do with hands alone but it can be done.
- Put a hook in each end by bending the metal about six inches from the end.
- Wrap the coat hanger around the peony about 1/3 of the way down the plant – this is a rough rule of thumb, you may find it better to do it higher or slightly lower.
- Hook the two ends together.
Your peony will now not flop around. The flowers may bend over in heavy rains but will straighten up (most of the time) after they dry.
Note: you can adjust the length by making one hook bigger for smaller, younger plants and indeed can use two coat hangers hooked together for larger, older plants. Generally though, I’ve found one coat hanger works fine for all sizes of peonies
Advantages and Disadvantages
The best advantage is that it’s fast and easy. No fuss or muss. The wire disappears so there’s no wire showing, no ugly string or stakes sticking up would be a close second.
The disadvantage is you have to remember you did it and remove it in the fall. Otherwise, it will wind up in the compost pile and you’ll dig it up a year later (ah, no, I never did this – not me – nope) 🙂
The Hardest Thing
The hardest part now is finding the used metal hangers – try junk shops and garage sales.
Pay somebody fifty cents for a handful and you’ll have a lifetime supply.
This kind of staking (plus old Christmas tree branches) can be used on many different perennial flowers
Multiple Sources of Peonies
Both plants and seeds of peonies can be found here but do not buy seeds unless you’re a germination expert – they are tricky to start. For 99% of gardeners, it would be a waste of money.